Weekly Newsletter

November 17, 2022

23 Heshvan 5783

400 Missouri St, SF CA 94107

Coming Up Soon...

Fri 11/18, 7:00 pm

Shabbat Service

& Book Discussion

at the Brandeis School

Sat 11/19, 10:00 am


with Rabbi Chaya

at the Brandeis School

RSVP to Amy

Sat 11/19, 5:00 pm


With Rabbi Me'irah

Tue 11/22

No Class

Bet Sefer Day School

Wed 11/23, 10:30 am

Shabbat Torah Chanting

with Rabbi Me'irah

Fri 11/25, 6:00 pm

Shabbat Service

via Zoom

Recurring Events

Kvetch & Kvell crafting

2nd + 4th Mondays, 4:00 pm

Zoom link + KVETCH

Torah Study Zoominyan

Thursdays, 10:00 am

Zoom link + THURSDAY

Find a complete calendar at:


Blog Post: Taking Stock of Our Own Transitions

Transitions are part of life. We can be in transition for many reasons. Sometimes the transitions can be harder than other times, even when it might be an expected change. I realize Or Shalom is in transition.

I invite you to join me this Saturday morning at Brandeis from 10:00 – 11:30 am to share how you feel about the transitions both within the Or Shalom community and in your personal life.

Read the rest of Rabbi Chaya's blog post here

This Shabbat: Book Group Discussion

Friday, November 18, 8:00 pm

Brandeis School, 655 Brotherhood Way

Hosted by the Or Shalom Book Group! After our Friday night service, we will discuss stories from The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land by Omer Friedlander. The stories are vivid, insightful, and sometimes absurd, exploring the complexities of the Israeli experience. We will focus on the stories: "The Man Who Sold Air," "Checkpoint," "Jellyfish in Gaza," and "Jaffa Oranges."

Several copies of the book are available to borrow from Judy (email olasov@pacbell.net). Ebooks are available from public libraries and the Jewish Community Library.

Please join us even if you haven’t read the book!

We Braided Our Own

Chester and Tala Hartsough, pictured here, were among the nine enthusiastic students at the second Candle-ology class, where we braided our own havdallah candles! We learned about the importance of making distinctions and having rituals that make the vagaries of life a little less vague. We had inspiring discussion, and a lot of fun!

Read more below about our new Ani Tefilati: Center for Jewish-Living Arts.

Chanukah Sing Shalom!

Saturday, December 3, 10:00 am

Brandeis School, 655 Brotherhood Way

Come celebrate Chanukah early with your little ones! Or Shalom is hosting a Shabbat morning filled with wiggles, giggles, music, movement and puppetry with Miss Jeni and Rabbi Chaya! Open to all.

RSVP Here.

Cortland Holiday Stroll

Thursday, December 8, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

333 Cortland Ave.

Bernal Heights is an excellent neighborhood to get your early holiday shopping done. Be sure to stroll on by 333 Cortland Ave on December 8 to visit your favorite community—Or Shalom, and pick up your Chanukah gift. Want to help us hand out Chanukah cheer? Sign up to volunteer here!

The Cortland Corner will appear in our weekly newsletter when there is important information to be shared. Currently, Matt Rudoff and Amy Mallor are working with land use attorneys and architects to submit our Conditional Use Authorization, which would allow Or Shalom to change the current authorization from residential to commercial use. We hope to share more updates sometime in December. Stay tuned!


Ani Tefilati Center: The School of Jewish-Living Arts (SJLA)*

The Or Shalom Executive Committee is thrilled to announce a pilot program created by our own Rabbi Me’irah Iliinsky— Ani Tefilati: The Center for Jewish-Living Arts. From the culinary, to Torah, to crafts, to Decoding the Aleph-Bet and prayer, a multitude of workshops and classes for combined ages will be offered both for Or Shalom members and the general public.

Choose your path! Enter more deeply into living a Jewish Life: beautifully, musically, and meaningfully. We have embarked already with the Aleph-bet, our four sessions of Candle-ology and a Torah Chanting class. We are preparing new classes beginning in January on Building a Caring Community: Healing for Self and Others, taught by Rabbi Chaya. We’ll also be offering “Getting up Close and Personal with the Torah,” and “It’s never too late to get a Hebrew Name” (and why ever would someone do that?).

Is there something you would like to learn? Anything you are afraid to ask? Looking for an adult program leading to a ritual akin to Bar/t Mitzvah? Email RabbiMeirah@OrShalom.org.

*Ani Tefilati means "I am my prayer." How I live, the environment of goodness, justice, or generosity that I create is my prayer.

Social Action Corner

SFUSD Meet-and-Greet

Tonight: Thursday, November 17, 6:00 pm

Register Here for Zoom Link

The JCRC will act as convener for this important discussion between Jewish parents and the SFUSD Superintendent and School Board members, providing parents with an opportunity to ask questions and share their concerns and experiences in SFUSD. In attendance will be: Superintendent Matt Wayne, Board President Jenny Lam, and Board Member Lisa Weissman-Ward.

SF Black & Jewish Unity Coalition Meeting

Tonight: Thursday, November 17, 6:00 pm

Zoom Link

The Unity Coalition's last formal meeting of 2022 will host pollster and election forecaster, Eugene Bregman. Bregman will discuss this past election and how the results will affect our future, starting in 2024. This meeting will also include reports on Committee accomplishments of 2022 and goals for 2023.

BARJI-Logo-Mockup-002f-Small image

Contemporary and Historical Legacies of Jews of Color

Sunday, December 11, 4:00 pm

Register Here for Zoom Link

Part of the Kehilla Community Synagogue's Racial Justice Initiative. Find a common understanding of the beauty, challenges, struggles and triumphs of our multicultural history as Jews! Please join this ‘learning journey’ led by Victoria Alcoset & Avi Brooks. This history session—which centers Jewish peoples' histories from ancient times to modern ones—will also be conversational. This event is open to the public. ALL are welcome!

Community Bulletin


We gratefully acknowledge these contributions from our community:

  • Corey Weinstein & Pat Skala, In Honor of Reb Ezra
  • Jurate Raulinaitis & Kirk Schneider, with gratitude for Douglas Mandell’s amazing musical leadership.
  • Judy Olasov, In Memory of Ben Olasov
  • Matt and Motomi Rudoff, In Memory of Leonard and Janet Rudoff
  • Miriam Lewis & Douglas Mandell, In Memory of Doris Lewis, and in Honor of Rabbi Chaya
  • Diane Zacher, in Memory of Gregg Brooks
  • Claudia & Alan Silverman, to the Bravo! Silverman Fund
  • Bryna Rifkind, in Memory of Ruth and Sidney Rifkind and Seymour Horowitz.
  • Chana Jacobs, with gratitude for everyone in the Or Shalom community. May we continue to learn, pray, & work together in 5783!
  • Kirk Schneider and Jurate Raulinaitis, In Memory of Laura and Alvin Siegal


On the anniversary of their deaths, we remember:

Chris Grauman, Christine Crowe, Gerald Spatt, Harlan James Crowe Jr, Helene Hall, Ilse Herz, Isabel Louis, Isidore Weinstein, Jack Israel, James Amsler, James Howard Levine, Jeff, Ann and Sienna Fairbanks, Judith Knoop, Lillian Lesser, Lore Grove, Mel Kessler, Myra Sharken, Priscilla Bartholomew, Rosa Kessler, Ruth Rifkind, Saly Ruth Ramler Struik, Sarah Ackerman Solow, Victor Resnick, Wesley Crowe,

Zachary Brandstetter

This Week's Parsha

The parsha for this week is Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)


from Reconstructing Judaism

from Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

from American World Jewish Service

Please note our mailing address!

Or Shalom Jewish Community

400 Missouri St

San Francisco, CA 94107

To reach Or Shalom by phone, please call: (415) 469-5542

Or Shalom Jewish Community

Matt Rudoff, Board President

Amy Mallor, Executive Director

Rabbi Chaya Gusfield, Interim Rabbi

Naomi Rodriguez-Finer, Communications Specialist

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