It is a night of eating, davening, singing and dancing! Come early at 7pm for the food and music. Services will start at 7:30pm. Cantor Bernstein (with voice and piano), Josh Horowitz (on accordion), Cookie Segelstein (on violin) and Frank London (trumpet) will provide the expressive melodies and joyful rhythms. Bruce Bierman will lead us in dance. Stay after services for more eating, dancing and schmoozing.
Join Sha'ar Zahav's young adult group, The Kaf Lameds, for drinks and community after Klezmer Shabbat, at The Evil Eye in the Mission District. Please contact Emily Ornelas-Dorian, 408-881-4817.
Yoga of Rededication
Saturday, December 17th, 9:00-9:50am
In person at Sha'ar Zahav
Celebrate the Chanukah holiday by resuming our in- person yoga practice, led by Rabbi Mychal Copeland. We will move, chant, and share in our holiday of lights. Wear clothes you can move in. No previous experience with yoga is necessary; a few mats provided. Can’t come but interested? Email Susie to get on our yoga list. Members and nonmembers are invited.
Sha’ar Zahav Community Chanukah Workshop
Saturday, December 17th, 10:00am-12:30pm
In person at Sha'ar Zahav
It’s a holiday adventure for people of all ages! We’ll begin with a quick Festive Chanukah Shabbat morning service including Chanukah singing and stories. Then…choose your own adventure:
Dreidel Design Challenge
Text Study with Rabbi Copeland (for ages 12+)
We’ll close with Latke eating and dreidel playing. Let's get ready for Chanukah!
Join us for a celebration of the first night of Chanukah, which begins a few days before the shortest day and longest night of the year. Led by Rabbi Copeland and Eli Andrew Ramer. Register here
We'll be lighting candles following two different traditions, singing, learning about the history of this holiday, and exploring ways that we can observe Chanukah in an eco-friendly way. Support our local Judaica stores by buying or ordering Chanukah goodies and environmentally safe candles at Dayenuin San Francisco and Afikomenin Berkeley. More eco-resources here for an eco-friendly Chanukah.Try eco-friendlier lighting with non-paraffin/non-petroleum candles like oil, beeswax, or plant-based materials. The brand Ner Mitzvah has pre-filled oil glasses (called Ohr Light), and all of their Shabbat candles are paraffin-free.
Castro Menorah Lighting
Monday, December 19th, 6:00pm in person
Jane Warner Plaza at Castro, Market & 17th Street
The Castro Menorah lighting is a fun family event complete with music, singing, dancing, and jelly donuts! Spin a giant dreidel and light your own chanukiah along with our jumbo menorah! Hosted by Congregation Sha’ar Zahav and Castro Merchants Association and the Castro Community Benefit District. No registration required, come and enjoy.
December 23rd, 7:30pm
Hybrid: In-Person and on Zoom
Join in Shabbat services either in-person or on Zoom.
Led by Cantor Bernstein and Ariel Spagnolo.
Community: Let's Get Together
Friday, December 9, after Shabbat
Hakhel/Hazon, the Jewish Lab for Sustainability, will bring its 15 global participants to Sha'ar Zahav. Hakhel/Hazon is known for its "Urban Kibbutzim," having approximately 400 communities around the world, revitalizing Jewish life by building Jewish intentional communities of unaffiliated Jews around the world. Please come and meet this special group of individuals during Oneg.
Join us to meet three inspiring activists--Sally Abed, Lev Littman and Ahlam Kasim Ali--representing two Israeli grassroots movements supported by the New Israel Fund, Omdim Beyachad (Standing Together) and Tzedek Centers. They will share their vision of how to build a real partnership between Jews and Arabs in Israel, even at an increasingly challenging political moment. The discussion will be moderated by Deborah Levy. This event will not be streamed, but will be recorded. Ask the office for info after the event.
Join people of all faiths, or no faith, to remember those who have died this year while living on San Francisco Streets. In silence, in prayer, in song we'll remember them, honor them, mourn our loss, reach out to each other for comfort and hope and show our solidarity in working for change.
L'Havin: Understanding Israel and Its Neighbors is a Sha'ar Zahav working group that provides our members and community friends with support, knowledge, and dialogue skills that deepen our relationship with the land and peoples of Israel and Palestine, and to advance understanding and healing within our Jewish community. We hold a range of narratives and relate differently to the ideas and realities of Israel, Palestine, and the Israeli-Arab conflict, yet are united in our desire to advance peace and justice.
You do not need to come with any previous knowledge of the topics we may discuss or with any set viewpoints. In fact, we encourage all to come with open ears and a learner’s mindset. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re curious.
Music in the Mishkan
Long-time member, Randall Weiss, and The Bridge Players present the 23rd season of Music in the Mishkan on January 8, April 2 and May 21 - mark your calendars! All concerts begin at 4:00 p.m. Don't miss these beautiful concerts in our lovely sanctuary!
Judaism 101 is an introduction to Judaism for people who are new or returning to Judaism and are looking for a starting point to dive into Jewish learning and/or Jewish practice. Anyone from any background is welcome. We will be covering everything from Torah to Israel, spirituality to ethics, through a queer-positive, progressive, inclusive Jewish lens with plenty of room for questions. Our learning will be interactive and communal; come ready to be in the learning with us. If you have questions, please contact Sue Bojdak.
Have you wanted to try giving a Shabbat drash? Or maybe you're not so new to the practice but want a refresher. Learn how to write and present a beautiful Torah teaching from Maggid Eli Ramer and Rabbi Mychal Copeland with our drash coordinator Kay Magilavy.
Facilitated by Ora Prochovnick, Rose Katz and James Carlson
Six Mondays (the last Monday of each month), starting January 30th, 7pm-8:30pm
This discussion group will explore issues that arise for people who are considering, are in the process of, or have only recently completed, converting to Judaism. We also welcome those who have a Jewish parent (or parents), but were raised with little or no Jewish experience and are interested in exploring their connection to Judaism. This group is not an introduction to Judaism course, but rather a place to ask questions and discuss issues with others who are also on this journey. Class sessions will alternate meeting in person with meeting on Zoom. Hybrid access will not be available for the in-person sessions. For further information, click here.
Join Sha'ar Zahav's young adult group (The Kaf Lameds) for a monthly gathering at Shabbat Services in person! Perfect for those who've ever felt intimidated to go to Shabbat in person services alone. Or perfect for those who just want a few buddies to join on Friday night services! This is a monthly gathering, where we'll do "Shabbat Together" the 3rd Friday of each month. Contact Emily Ornelas-Dorian.
Racial Equity Committee
Monday, December 19
6:30-8:00pm on Zoom
The Racial Equity Committee is back to meeting regularly! Subsequent meetings will be held on the the third Monday of the month at 6:30. Come help assure that CSZ is always a place of welcome, inclusion and equity for all.
It is the near future, and North America is a toxic, overheated wasteland after nuclear war. Most people live unprotected from the poisoned atmosphere or in domed cities ruled by mega-corporations. But in the free town of Tikva, scientist Malkah has illegally created a cyborg to protect her town from corporate takeover. Piercy's novel, which weaves between this dystopian future and stories of the 17thth century golem of Prague, deals with environmental disaster, a 1984-type world, courage, love, and the question of what's human. For more info, email Ami Zusman.
The CAC gathers monthly to support and educate ourselves and our community on climate issues, including climate grief, policy advocacy, and personal and community strategies to address the urgent crises of climate change and climate justice.
If you identify as disabled, are exploring that identity, or have a loved one with a disability and are interested in joining the Disability and Accessibility Committee, please reach out to Eliana Smithstein for more information. If you are interested in learning more about disability and how you can become a better ally, stay tuned for educational events to come!
1st Wednesday of the Month
Hitch a ride on the wayback wagon for a trip down memory lane. Let’s reminisce about the 40’s thru the 70’s together! Different topics each month. We will gather on the first Wednesday of every month. Email Marv Lehrman.
Mussar is a very practical and flexible spiritual discipline to help you balance soul-traits (Middah/Middot) such as Humility, Loving-Kindness, Generosity, and Silence. Drop-ins are always welcome! Contact Mark Pressler.
Everyone is welcome. And you will not regret it! A typical session includes a short and longer silent sit, with chanting, movement, and a short teaching. The group meets on the first and third Saturday of every month.
Join other Sha’ar Zahavniks on monthly urban hikes – mostly in SF but we sometimes venture farther afield. This is a great way to get to know other SZ members while exploring the city and beyond. The hikes usually last about two hours. Email Karen Schiller and Ellen Murland
12-Step Meetings by and for SZ Members
Weekly on Sundays On Zoom
The meeting will be run in the usual 12-step format but will also feature some thoughts and reflections from members bringing Judaism into their 12-step practice. Contact Erika Katske.
While we strive for all our events to be mixed-access, this is not always possible. Some events are only in-person, and some are Zoom only. If you have any questions about a particular event, please contact the office, or the contact listed for the event.
Returning to 290 Dolores
Attending In-Person Events and Services
Starting at the end of April, our policy is as follows.
Shabbat Service: Masking during the service is required. Following the service, you may remove your mask to enjoy oneg.
For all other events, masking is optional. Children 2-5 will be required to mask. We welcome you to keep wearing masks if you choose.
Proof of vaccination is required, including a booster shot.
Please remember: Sha’ar Zahav is a scent-free environment. Keeping our synagogue safe for those with scent and chemical sensitivities is part of our commitment to accessibility. Questions/concerns? Email us, the Accessibility Committee.
Updated Registration Policy
Registration: Registration will no longer be required for most in-person services and events. If you have a key card, please let yourself in. If you do not, you will be asked to sign in and show proof of vaccination. Key cards are available to all members. Please reach out to get yours.
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