Kol Kehilla
April 2020
The Newsletter of Kehilla Community Synagogue
Dear Friends,

Welcome to the April issue of Kol Kehilla, our monthly newsletter!
An Update from Michael Saxe-Taller

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I have been off work at Kehilla for the month of March. At the end of February, I had an intestinal obstruction and needed to have immediate surgery to correct the problem. After a few early complications, I have been resting, healing and regaining my strength, and expect a full recovery.  

I’m excited to say that as of March 30, I am working again. I am starting part time and returning to my full duties as soon as I’m able. I clearly have much catching up to do, so it will take me some time to get fully up to speed. You can engage with me as you need, just know it may take me awhile to get back to you. Thank you for your patience. 

Sharing Kehilla's Sustainability During Vulnerable Times

by Kehilla's Board of Trustees

Dear Community,

To recap “A Community Conversation: Sustaining our Congregation,” the Board’s March article in Kol Kehilla , our congregation has almost reached the tremendous milestone of 500-member households, a moment to both celebrate and to acknowledge the greater staffing needs posed by having a larger congregation. We hope that the article, still accessible on our website, demonstrated that your dues primarily support the backbone of how our community functions, namely, Kehilla’s incredible staff that you know and love. The staff hold us together, inspire us and serve the needs of our community. They are key to our collective experience of belonging to a community that makes an invaluable difference in the world. Please consider what your life would be like if you didn’t have a Kehilla.

Please Contribute to an Appreciation Book for Lead Custodian Josef who is Retiring by April 10

by Dee Ward

Josef.Straub, our lead custodian, is retiring on April 12, his 65th birthday, after 16 years of dedicated service to the Kehilla community.
We are putting together for Josef a special appreciation book that includes digital cards, photos, memories, blessings, poems, art, messages or whatever you are inspired to contribute that communicates our love, support and well wishes. Please send all messages and photos in a digital format (this can include taking a photo of a handwritten card), and   email them to Dee no later than Friday, April 10. Thank you!

Kehllla offering online ways for people of all ages to connect and help each other!

Rachel Bloch has generously stepped up to coordinate ways for Kehilla members to share resources and mobilize caring for people who become sick or need other kinds of support:
  • Families with school-age kids at home
  • People wanting to connect around mutual aid 
  • People who need or can offer help 

Continue reading here to learn more about ways for Kehilla members to connect and help each other, and about other resources for those needing and/or offering assistance in the greater community .
Homeless Action -- Emergent Needs!!!!

by Sue Greenwald

More than 9,000 homeless individuals live in Oakland, currently at extremely high risk for COVID-19. The newly formed Homeless Action, a subcommittee of Kehilla’s longstanding Economic Justice Committee, had its first Zoom meeting last week and immediately addressed this emergency.

Kehilla’s Folks With White Privilege Affinity Group

The next meeting of Kehilla’s Folks With White Privilege Affinity Group is Thursday, May 7 th , 7-9pm -- likely on zoom, or else in the Fireside Room. Everyone who identifies as white is welcome, we’d love to have you, whether or not you have ever attended these meetings before. Questions? Contact Susan .

Working Class/Low Income Group Meeting

Connect with other Kehilla members on Sunday, April 12, 1-3pm at our monthly meeting, through Zoom. If you are working class/low income and have experienced class/income in ways that have impacted you personally and/or in community, and you are looking for a place to talk and get support, we hope that you will join us. We will gather together to discuss how class and income affect our lives both in and outside our Kehilla community. We will also explore how to bring class/resource dynamics consciously into our community for education and change.

PLEASE NOTE: All of our Services & Virtual Gatherings are listed below - all others have been cancelled.  To confirm a cancellation, feel free to check out  our online calendar , which is updated daily. The schedule of services is a bit in flux but there will be some kind of service every Saturday. 

KEHILLA SEDERS, 2020/5780! - Via Zoom

Glitter Kehilla Passoiver Gathering  
Wednesday, April 8, 6-7:30pm 

Seder for those Sheltering in Place
Wednesday, April 8, 5-6:30pm

People of Color Seder
Friday, April 10, 6:30-7:30pm

Shared by   Rabbi Dev Noily: An addition for your Passover Seder for Indigenous Solidarity

Rabbi Dev made this supplement,  An Acorn on the Seder Plate , as a way to bring to our seders our practices of acknowledging our presence on Indigenous land, and Indigenous solidarity. Please use and share as you’d like!    

Passover Resources   compiled by the JCC East Bay

This webpage  includes names of local caterers, DIY projects, downloadable Haggadot, and links to Broadway Passover Singalong Songs for you to check out and share with your community - enjoy!
NEW!  Bikkur Cholim: Pastoral / Spiritual Care coordinated by Rabbi Chaya Gusfield
Kehilla is blessed to have a number of members who are rabbis and chaplains trained in pastoral care and in accompanying people through times of illness and other challenges. In response to Covid-19, Rabbi Chaya is coordinating this wonderful group to offer support to our members who are ill or caring for loved ones who are sick. If you’d like to speak to someone, please  email Rabbi Dev  (we’ll be setting up a more direct line of communication in the next week).
Clergy Appointments

To make appointments with Rabbi Dev, please contact Dee and she will help you schedule time with them!
The Rabbis’ Discretionary Fund is Here for You

Through the generosity of many in our community, the Rabbis' Discretionary Fund (RDF) can help with modest financial challenges, including (but not limited to) things like grocery money, utility bills, healthcare supplies, etc. If your resources are stretched thin because of the Coronavirus, or just life, and you need a little help to get by, please reach out to  Rabbi Dev  or  Hazzan Shulamit , or one of Kehilla's other Spiritual Leaders (Sharon, Avi, Howard, Rabbi David and Rabbi Burt). Thank you to the many donors who contribute to this community fund, enabling our community to share resources and help meet each other’s needs.
Phishing Scams Continue in Rabbi Dev's Name

Please be aware of phishing emails since they are continuing to be sent out under Rabbi Dev's name, from an email address that may look like theirs, but it is not. The emails communicate that they need assistance from you, and are part of a phishing scam that has been targeting rabbis and synagogues. If you get one of these emails, please report it to Google as a phishing email, and also  notify the Kehilla office . The real Rabbi Dev will never ask for money or assistance in this way.
Our Community is Online!

We’re calling our online offerings  “Sukkah b’Makom”  - literally, “Shelter in Place” - and in Hebrew, it has the beautiful resonances of the joy, fragility and shelter of the sukkah, and the holiness “Makom” - one of our many names for G-d. Join us via Zoom!  Click here for a list of virtual gatherings.
Morning Meditation Sits
Wednesdays & now Fridays too - Via Zoom
Wednesdays: April 1, 15, 22, 29 at 7:50am
Fridays: April 3, 10, 17, 24 at 7:50am

With Rabbi Dev. Short teaching at 7:55, silent sit from 8:00-8:30, mourner’s kaddish and announcements at 8:30.  Click on this link to join the Wednesday meditation sit and this link to join the Friday meditation sit .
Kabbalat Shabbat - Via Zoom
Friday, April 3, 5:30-6:15pm

 Join us to ease into Erev Shabbat with the Psalm-songs of Kabbalat Shabbat and an opportunity to say the Mourner's Kaddish together. We'll tend our souls and prepare to receive the blessings of Shabbat peace, joy, comfort and rest Link to the liturgy here and click on this link to join us!
"Live" Tot Shabbat - First One Via Zoom!
Saturday, April 4, 10:30-11am  

Join Jen Miriam and Alon Altman and their Puppet Friends for songs, prayers, puppets and dancing, and enjoy seeing each other's faces! Geared for babies to 5 year olds and their families.  Click on this link to join us!  
Shabbat Morning Service and Evan Blumensweig becoming Bar Mitzvah - Via Zoom
Saturday, April 4, 10am-12:30pm

Join us as we celebrate Shabbat and Evan’s simcha online. Click on this link to join us!  
Yoga for Passover: Finding Our Ground - Via Zoom
Sunday, April 5, 2-3:30pm

With Julie Emden of Embodied Jewish Learning. Experience and embody ways to find ground in this gentle Iyengar-based practice as a resource for feeling our steadiness in the current oceans of tumult, uncertainty and change. Sliding Scale: $0- $36; no one turned away for lack of funds & multiple payment levels offered.  Register Here .  Zoom link will be provided upon registration. For more info,  click here   or  contact Julie .
Book Discussion Group - Via Zoom
Monday, April 6, 7-9pm

All Kehilla members are welcome to join us for our meetings, usually on the second Monday of the month at 7pm. This week we will discuss  The Wife by Meg Wolitzer , and the following week The Lemon Tree (we are meeting 2 weeks in a row since we missed our last meeting.)  Learn more here , and click here to see the list of 2019-20 book selections.  Contact Terry  for more info about book group meetings, and for the Zoom link to attend. 
Kehilla Administrative Offices Closed for Pesach
Wednesday, April 8-Thursday, April 9

We will not be working on these days in observance of Pesach, and will resume work on Friday, April 10 during normal business hours.
Shabbat Morning Service - Via Zoom
Saturday, April 11

Details TBD -- please check the Kehilla Calendar on our website for updated information.
Sunday, April 12, 1-3pm

If you are working class/low income and have experienced class/income in ways that have impacted you personally and/or in community, and you are looking for a place to talk and get support, we hope that you will join us. If you are interested in getting the Zoom link, have questions or want more info, please  email: coordinator-wclig@kehillasynagogue.org .
Jews On Ohlone Land Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, April 15, 6:30-9:30pm
(to be confirmed)

We are organizing to maximize Jewish participation in the Shuumi Land Tax throughout the East Bay. The heart of this project is training and supporting people to offer an interactive workshop that addresses the indigenous history of the East Bay, through the teachings of i ndigenous leaders, and that explores how we as Jews can live in right relationship to this land, its ancestors, and the indigenous people and communities who live here now.  Details TBD -- please check the Kehilla Calendar on our website for updated information. Learn more here.
Kabbalat Shabbat - Via Zoom
Friday, April 17

Details TBD -- please check the Kehilla Calendar on our website for updated information.
Tot Shabbat - Via Zoom
Saturday, April 18, 10:30-11am  

Join Jen Miriam and Alon Altman and their puppet friends for songs, prayers, puppets and dancing, and enjoy seeing each other's faces! Geared for babies to 5 year olds and their families. Please check the Kehilla Calendar listing on our website for the Zoom link.
Shabbat Morning Service - Via Zoom
Saturday, April 18

Details TBD -- please check the Kehilla Calendar on our website for updated information.
Tikkun Ha-Nefesh (Repair of the Soul) Healing Racism, Unpacking White Privilege – Affinity Group - Via Zoom
Sunday, April 19, 10-11am

This group is part of the community’s larger project of addressing racism and de-centering whiteness within and beyond our congregation. It is an outgrowth of Kehilla’s affinity group for those who identify as white or as benefitting from white privilege. For the month of April, and until the shelter-in-place order is lifted, we'll be hosting a one hour session on the third Sunday of the month. We'll do a check-in on how our practice is going, and how we're experiencing and impacted by white supremacy culture in this time. A brief overview of principles will be provided at the beginning of the session. New participants are welcome. Click on this link to join us!  
Essentials of Judaism
April 21, 7-9pm (usually on the third Tuesdays of the month)
(to be confirmed)

Join Rabbi Dev for a deep dive into some of the juiciest parts of Jewish practice and life. This monthly class is required for Conversion and Adult B’nei Mitzvah Students and is open to all. Details TBD -- please check the Kehilla Calendar on our website for updated information. Learn more here.
Kehilla Sings! - Via Zoom
Wednesdays, April 22 and May 20, 7-8:30pm

A monthly gathering with Hazzan Shulamit to circle round and sing together! We’ll nourish our bodies, minds, and spirits with nigunuim (wordless melodies), new tunes for ancient prayers, and songs to take out into the streets. Join us for a delicious time of tuning into our souls and to one another. Everyone’s welcome! Follow this link for posted music for shabbat, protests, and more, and c lick on this link to join us!
Shabbat Morning Service - Via Zoom
Saturday, April 25

Details TBD -- please check the Kehilla Calendar on our website for updated information.
Healing Service with Rabbi Chaya Gusfield & Buddhist Teacher Eve Decker - Via Zoom
Tuesday, April 28, 6:30-8:30pm

Using Jewish and Buddhist approaches, Chaya and Eve will use meditation, music and teachings to support well-being in the midst of uncertainty. RSVP/Register by April 27 by emailing Chaya
Cost: $18; No one turned away for lack of funds.
Board of Trustees Meeting - Via Zoom
Tuesday, April 28, 6:15-9pm

All members are welcome to attend! F or the zoom link, c heck on the online calendar later in the month.
Norah Needs You

Norah is an expert joke-teller, modern-dancer, ice cream-licker, and loving big sister. She's been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Fanconi Anemia (FA), and will need a bone marrow transplant - none of Norah's family members are a match for her. Joining the registry is simple and could save Norah’s life. Join the registry!
Urgent Action Needed to Feed, House and Protect Unhoused People

  • Please follow this link to inform city and county officials about the crucial need to get homeless individuals into hotels and other housing during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Have Sewing Skills? DIY masks are critically needed to distribute to homeless encampments. If you have sewing skills and would be willing to work on this, please contact Sue at as soon as possible.
  • Also please contact Sue if you have a tent to donate.
  • Homeless Action invites you to send donations/checks to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund to provide packaged meals to homeless encampments and other Covid 19 related efforts. Thank you!
Are you experiencing abuse in an intimate relationship?

Please be in touch with one of our clergy members (Rabbi Dev, Hazzan Shulamit, Rabbi Gray, Rabbi David or Rabbi Burt), or with one of these organizations:
www.thehotline.org - National Domestic Violence Hotline 800 799−7233,
www.shalom-bayit.org   - Shalom Bayit (East Bay) 866 SHALOM-7
or 510 845-SAFE, www.thehotline.org/help/for-abusive-partners/ - National Domestic Violence Hotline (for abusive partners)
Thank You for Your Generosity   
So many of you give to Kehilla - you give money, you give time, you give love and community in a wide variety of ways.

Kehilla Community Synagogue | 1300 Grand Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94610 | 510-547-2424 www.KehillaSynagogue.org