Kol Kehilla
December 2018 - January 2019
The Newsletter of Kehilla Community Synagogue
Dear Friends,
Welcome to the December 2018-January 2019
issue of  Kol Kehilla , our monthly newsletter. 
By Rabbi Dev Noily, Michael Saxe-Taller, Karen Cohn and Catherine Lyons
Following the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, Kehilla hosted an Open Door Shabbat. More than 450 people came to welcome Shabbat with us, including allies of every faith who spilled out of the sanctuary, into the lobby, and down the stairs. We made a decision for that night to reach out to have our friends and neighbors join us, rather than to fortify our doors. Continue reading .
Executively Speaking: An Exciting Time at Kehilla
by Michael Saxe Taller, Executive Director
Kehilla is at an exciting time in its evolution. We have been growing steadily for a few years. We now have the opportunity to look afresh at our community and imagine new possibilities, some for the first time.

This was not true only a few years back. Soon after I began working for Kehilla in January 2015, I learned of the synagogue’s recent history. Kehilla, as an institution, had been through a challenging series of years. In the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis, finances at Kehilla had become very tight..
Seeing the Dark in a Different Light
by Rabbi Dev Noily
Hanukkah invites us to explore the holy possibilities of darkness. Our practice of Hanukkah can radically challenge our society’s privileging of light over darkness – a privileging that perpetuates, and may be rooted in, our structural racism. We can see this in our language—both what we say and what we hear. And especially, the ways that we use “light” and “dark” as metaphors for “good” and “bad” or for “hope” and “despair.” In these subtle and not-so-subtle ways, our language constantly delivers the message that lighter is better than darker, that white is holy and black is corrupt or bereft of holiness. Continue Reading.
A Word from the Board
A new monthly column by Kehilla's board
This is the second installment of our new column about the life of the Kehilla Board of Trustees. This month we’re presenting a summary of some of the Board’s work over the past year and explaining the various modes of Board work (source article: “Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of the Nonprofit Board,” The Pew Fund for Health and Human Services).
The Jewish Roots of Kehilla’s Values:
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Part 1
by Rabbi Burt Jacobson
In these monthly articles I have been offering readers some background history on the Jewish sources of the values and ideals that motivated me to develop the vision that became Kehilla Community Synagogue. In this six-part series, I turn to the legacy of Reb Zalman for our community.

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi was the primary founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, of which Kehilla was a founding community... Continue reading .
Mitzvah, Community, & Avodah – All at Once!
by Barbara Cohen
Kiddush is an important part of community and our community is what makes kiddush work. But it doesn’t just happen on its own – kiddush happens when members of the community step up and make it happen. There are three ways you can do a mitzvah: (1) you do the shopping and setting up and cleaning up without the expenditure of buying the food (Kehilla will reimburse you), (2) you can sponsor a kiddush which means you write a check to cover the cost of the kiddush and others will do the labor or, (3) you can Host a Kiddush! If at all possible, we encourage you to host one!
WE DID IT!!! Kehilla Community Synagogue has an official final resting place for purchasing members. Known as Plot 70, this section has a total of 49 graves and is bounded by two Live Oak trees. It is on a crest overlooking part of the cemetery with rolling hills, old monuments, and the water in the distance. It is lovely, local, and ours..... Continue reading .
The Kehilla Trip to Israel/Palestine?
by Rabbi David J. Cooper
For well more than a decade there has been some discussion about a trip to Israel/Palestine that could uniquely reflect Kehilla’s values and the variety of attitudes in our congregation about that zone. I believe that the time has come if belatedly, but in the words of Bertolt Brecht, “For you whose time has already come, it is never too late.” Continue reading .
An Interview with Kehilla Congregant Jane Hoberman
by Bill Lazarus
It was 1970, and Jane Hoberman, then 18, child of New York City and leftwing atheist parents, was eager for a change. “I didn’t finish high school because I was too busy doing my revolutionary stuff. It was a politically active and unsettled time,” Jane recalls. She hitchhiked across the nation and landed in the political vortex that was Berkeley. “I was very rebellious. I’ve been in California ever since.” Continue reading .
The Faith Trio, an alliance of Kehilla, Montclair Presbyterian Church and the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC), is organizing an interfaith volunteer project against hunger in Oakland on Friday, December 28, 2018 at the Alameda County Community Food Bank at 7900 Edgewater Dr in Oakland. We will volunteer from 8:30 – 11:00 am doing tasks such as bagging fruit. Continue Reading.
Update from the Sanctuary Task Force
Recap of Kehilla’s steps towards offering sanctuary:
1985: Kehilla declared itself a sanctuary congregation and became an active member of the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, a network of faith communities engaged in helping refugees escape death squads in El Salvador.
2016: Our High Holy Days theme focused on immigrants and refugees... Continue reading .

Kehilla   Hanukkah   Celebrations
Kehilla Chanukah Party for People of Color and their Families

Thursday, December 6th, 6:30-8pm

Join us for this collaborative event! 
Sign up HERE TO RSVP so we can make sure we have a good variety of food, music, etc. * Please share this with any other Kehilla families with POC members and encourage them to join!
Join Kehilla for our annual family-friendly Hanukkah party!
Saturday, December 8

5pm: Doors open with snacks for children!
5:30pm: Octopretzel performance, and candle lighting with kids immediately after the show. Suggested cost (concert only): $10 per Adult, $5 for children, under 3 are free. No one turned away for lack of funds. Get concert tickets here. 
6:30pm: Community Candle Lighting and Vegetarian potluck dinner. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share. Latkes provided.

You are invited to bring your own menorah and candles.
7pm and on: fun activities for all – singing, stories, games, and art!

Arts and Crafts Fair to Benefit Immigrants
6:30-9:30pm in the Fireside Room
Many beautiful, small, handmade gift items, perfect for the holidays. ($10-100 each). All proceeds will go to meet the urgent needs of immigrant and refugee families supported by Kehilla accompaniment teams (such as legal and housing costs).
The Chevra Kadisha of Kehilla wants to honor the Tree of Life Chevra Kadisha for their spiritual strength and dedication. As one of our Chevra Kadisha member said “I had been thinking about the work of the Chevra Kadisha in Pittsburgh these last few days overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. … I find it difficult to imagine working on victims of targeted anti-Semitism who died from gun violence.” Continue Reading.
If you are 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 1−800−799−7233
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)
A Long Walk With Many Views: An Art Exhibit by Barbara Haber
Opening: December 8
Reception with Artist: January 6
We are pleased to announce the opening of a new art exhibit in the Fireside Room, created by Kehilla artist Barbara Haber. The show will be on view beginning Saturday, December 8. Please join us for the artist’s reception on Sunday, January 6, 2019, 3-5pm.
Barbara writes: All of my art starts with walking. Hiking in the Sierras or by the ocean, I am awed by the grandeur... Learn more here.
December & January Book Discussion Group:
Mondays, December 10th & January 14 , 7-9pm
December: The Power by Naomi Alderman
January: Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub
All Kehilla members are welcome to join us for our customary meetings on the second Monday of the month at 7pm. See our selections for our upcoming 2018-19 meetings here .
For more information about the Book Group, contact Terry at mcglynnmandel@gmail.com. Learn more here.
Kabbalat Shabbat: Liturgically Traditional, Radically Inclusive
Fridays, December 14 & January 11th, 6pm
* New early start time!
Join us for a more traditional davenning style of Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv, the Shabbat evening service, songful and in Hebrew, following the full liturgy. ALL are welcome to come pray, sing, hum, clap and celebrate building our beloved community. Kiddush and light oneg (ritual snacks) after the service. Cosponsored by Kehilla and Glitter Kehilla.  Learn more here.
A Living Room Conversation with the folks of the Faith Trio
Saturday, January 19, 2-4pm in the Fireside Room
A Living Room Conversation is planned for congregants from Kehilla, the Montclair Presbyterian Church and the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California. It will be on Saturday January 19, starting promptly at 2 and ending at 4pm. We will meet in small groups of 5 and have the opportunity to respond to questions about ourselves. Folks from each congregation will attend. It is a wonderful opportunity to listen to each others’ perspectives and feeling about each of our faiths. To learn more about Living Room Conversations please look at their website .
B’nei Mitzvah on the Horizon!
You are invited to join us at the following shabbat morning services as these amazing 7th graders become Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
January 26- Elijah Barrow Ward
Welcoming the Stranger: A Call for Kehilla Sanctuary & Shelter Volunteers
Sunday, February 3, 4-6pm
Come to hear testimony from immigrant families about why people seek sanctuary and how congregations can best support those in sanctuary. Learn what tasks will need to be done once we have a sanctuary guest and how volunteers will be organized. Sign up to help, and let us know what your special skills are!
We will need many volunteers! Please RSVP to  sanctuary@kehillasynagogue.org.
Teens and Adults, let’s do this, one aliyah at a time 🙂 Join us for Shabbat morning services and share your skills and love of leynen with our community. If you’re interested but have never chanted torah before, or if it’s been a long time and you expect to need significant support, please contact Hazzan Shulamit first– shulamit@kehillasynagogue.org .
An Invitation from Bracha Stone: Decoding Hebrew
I will be beginning the second phase of my De-coding Hebrew class in January.
The dates are Jan. 6th, 13th, 20th and and 27th’, Feb. 3rd and 10th. We will meet for 5 of these 6 dates (and you only pay for 5).
You are invited to join us if you have already taken any class with me and want to pick it up again; or if you have a smidgen (or more) of Hebrew already. (We will be at Chapter 5 in Lashon HaKodesh – more or less.) Continue Reading and Learn More Here.
Donate Supplies to Help
People Experiencing Homelessness
Please help Tayla Husbands-Hankin support our homeless population by donating tents, blankets, tarps & socks! A large box is located by the sanctuary door at Kehilla. Please fill it with listed items only. Talya will pick up the items periodically and deliver them to people who need them. Pickup is on pause until Tuesday morning. Questions? Contact Jeanne Finberg, jeanne.finberg@gmail.com. Thank you!
Thank You for Your Generosity   
December 25, 28, 31 & January 1,
Kehilla Administrative Offices Closed for the Winter Holiday
Kehilla Community Synagogue | 1300 Grand Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94610 | 510-547-2424 www.KehillaSynagogue.org