Weekly Newsletter

February 8, 2024

29 Sh'vat 5784 | Parsha Mishpatim



333 Cortland Ave, SF, CA 94110

Coming Up Soon...

Fri, 2/9, 6:00 pm

Welcoming Shabbat on Zoom led by Saralie Pennington & Tom Herz

Zoom Link + Shabbat

Mon, 2/12, 7:00 pm

Reconstructing “Prayer” w/ R' Faryn, 333 Cortland Ave

Learn More

Thu, 2/15, 7:30 pm

Marc Van Der Hout Q&A via Zoom

Learn More

Fri, 2/16, 6:00 pm

Family Shabbat Service, led by OSCS students at NVM

Learn More

Sat, 2/17, 10:00 am

Embodied Spiritual Practice, 333 Cortland Ave

RSVP here

Sun, 2/18, 10:00 am

Israel-Palestine Communal Values Process


Wed, 2/21, 7:00 pm

Considering God Salon: A Non-theistic Shabbat

333 Cortland Ave

Learn More

Fri, 2/23, 6:00 pm

Traveling Shabbat at the home of Pat Skala & Corey Weinstein


Recurring Events

Kvetch & Kvell crafting

2nd/4th Mondays, 4:00 pm

Zoom link + KVETCH

Torah Study Zoominyan

Thursdays, 10:00 am

Zoom Link + THURSDAY

Explore our Calendar

Become an Or Shalomer

Mazel Tov! Our CUA was approved

We did it! On Thursday, February 1, Or Shalom achieved unanimous approval from the Planning Commission of our CUA application! Read about it in J Weekly and watch a recording of our hearing on SFGovTV (Begins at 05:02:39).

This Shabbat: Welcoming Shabbat on Zoom led by Saralie & Tom

Friday, Feb 9, 6:00 pm, via Zoom

Zoom Link + Shabbat

This Welcoming Shabbat will be led by Saralie & Tom and feature members of our community who will offer candle lighting, readings, songs, healing blessings, the Mourners’ Kaddish, Shabbat poetry, and a drash by Rabbi Me'irah.

Save the Date: Interfaith Winter Homeless Shelter Cooking Project

Thursday, March 7, 3:00 – 9:00 pm, Canon Kip Senior Center


For years, Or Shalom has participated in the San Francisco Interfaith Council’s winter shelter program. This year, we will cook dinner for 30-40 homeless San Franciscans and we’ll need 2 shifts of volunteers:


3:00 – 5:00 pm: 4-5 Volunteers Needed

Prep and cook the meal and prepare dessert bags at an Or Shalom member’s home.


6:15 – 9:00 pm: 4-6 Volunteers Needed

Serve the evening meal and clean up at Canon Kip Senior Center.

If you can't volunteer on that day but would like to help, please consider donating drinks and desserts. We are also seeking a large-ish kitchen for meal prep.

To get involved, please email Bryna at [email protected].

Reconstructing Prayer with R' Faryn

Mondays, beginning Feb 12, 7:00 pm, 333 Cortland Ave*

Reconstructionism is not a set theology or body of thought, but rather, an ongoing Jewish process of Reconstructing. So for this class, we will begin with a survey of all the different ways the concept of Prayer has been understood throughout Jewish time in order to first deconstruct Jewish prayer and reconstruct it anew.

Click here to explore your experience of prayer

Q&A with Marc Van Der Hout: Federal Court Case Defense for Children International-Palestine vs. Biden

Thursday, Feb 15, 7:30 – 9:00 pm, via Zoom

Zoom Link + Shalom

In addition to being an Or Shalomer, Marc Van Der Hout is an immigration attorney and recent co-counsel in the federal court case Defense for Children International-Palestine vs. Biden, in which “Palestinian human rights organizations, together with Palestinians in Gaza and the U.S., filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court against President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin for the U.S. officials’ failure to prevent and complicity in the Israeli government’s unfolding genocide against them, their families, and the 2.2 million Palestinians in Gaza” according to the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Please join for a Q&A session, facilitated by R’ Faryn, where you can ask Marc questions you hold about this case.

Save the Date: Friday, February 16 Family Service

Join R' Faryn, the Music Ensemble and Or Shalom Community School for a Family Service on Friday, Feb 16. This service will be quite similar to our regular festive musical services, with the added bonus of special guest appearances from the students of Or Shalom Community School, leading us in song and prayer. Please join for this joyful, intergenerational service.

Embodied Spiritual Practice: 8 Adar - Old and New Growth

Saturday, Feb 17, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, 333 Cortland Ave*

On 8 Adar, a day symbolizing both old and new growth, come together to honor the wisdom of the past and the potential of the future. We will move through the interplay of old and new growth within ourselves and the world around us through contemplation, gentle yoga, moving meditation, and prayer to embody the flow of energy within and around us, cultivating strength, openness, connection and presence.

All bodies and levels of ability are welcome. Please bring a yoga mat, a meditation or other pillow, a tallit or scarf, and any yoga props you may have. RSVP here.

Members Only: Israel-Palestine Communal Values Process

Sunday, Feb 18, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, The Firehouse: 259 Frederick St.

Please join R' Faryn for the first session of our Israel-Palestine Values Process. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early, as parking can be hard to find in Cole Valley. There will be tea, coffee and bagels available upon your arrival. Click here to RSVP for this important discussion.

Considering God Salon: Planning a Non-Theistic Shabbat

Wednesday, February 21, 7:00 pm, 333 Cortland Ave*

Gather with the Considering God Salon to help plan a non-theistic Shabbat for Or Shalom! Bring favorite materials such as songs, poems, meditations, and prayers to share as we brainstorm our service. RSVP here to help plan this special Shabbat.

Rabbi David A. Teutsch Brunch & Lecture:

Life and Death Decisions

Sunday, March 17, 10:00 am, JCCSF

This is the inaugural lecture for the Rosenzweig-Apelbaum Annual Ethics Lecture series in honor and memory of Stephen Gerard's parents, given by Rabbi David A. Teutsch. Rabbi Teutsch’s presentation explores Jewish values and attitudes on end-of-life medical decisions. This event is free, but please register by March 12. Click here to reserve your seat.

Seeking Members for Passover Committee

We're looking for Or Shalomers to organize our 2024 Community Seder. Interested? Have questions? Reach out to R' Faryn at [email protected].

Tikkun Olam Corner

New Chesed Circle Volunteer Site | Click here to join

The Chesed Circle has started a website for OS members to volunteer to assist other members with visits, rides and meals. Need help or have questions? Email Madeleine at [email protected].

Member-Only Listservs

Interested in joining one of Or Shalom's dedicated email discussion groups? We have open enrollment for The Social Action Circle, Dayenu Circle, Voting Rights & Democracy, and Ceasefire. Click here for descriptions of each group.

The School of Jewish-Living Arts

Well, our calligraphy class was foiled again, by the weather this time. However, that has opened a portal to another Jewish-Living art: Attitude toward what comes at us….

Let me explain: When I briefly served a congregation in Williamsburg, VA, there was a congregant who used to say to me, “It’s all good.” Whaaa??? ALL???

Here’s the explanation: Even when misfortune befalls us, try to think of it as a gift… a gift to learn to deepen our compassion and understanding for the misfortunes of other people in the world. Why do we feel entitled to a life with no misfortune? Think of all the blessings we have just by the accident, (or the forethought of selves, parents, grandparents who immigrated) of living in the United States. It’s far from perfect here, but hey… pick another continent and compare. So try out this Jewish-Living Art of saying to yourself, “It’s all good…” all, a gift to humble us and increase our capacity for satisfaction. (Savua in Hebrew…great word.) 

Hey, is anyone reading this column? Let me know.

Blessings, Rabbi Me’irah 


New Lehrhaus: Walking in the Valley of the Shadow

Thursday, Feb 8, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, In-person & Zoom

From New Lehrhaus: Jewish ways in death and dying: traditional and contemporary concepts and practices, the approach of death, dying and burial, grief and comforting the bereaved. In partnership with Sinai Memorial Chapel, the Ben Zakkai Institute, and Bay Area synagogues. With courses led by Rabbi Chaya and Rabbi Me'irah. All 8 sessions are listed on New Lehrhaus's website.

Ritualwell: Mothering, A Creative Exploration with Bec Richman

Thursdays, beginning Feb 13, 9:00 – 10:30 am PT, via Zoom

In this six-session series, we will explore the power of mothering physically and spiritually, drawing wisdom and insight from ancient and contemporary texts. We will unpack “motherhood” and explore the ways that mothering intersects with gender, caregiving and the body. Click here to learn more.

Kol Tzedek: Autoimmunity and Sacred Rest

Thursday, Feb 29, 9:00 – 10:00 am, via Zoom

As part of Kol Tzedek's Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion month offerings, R' Faryn will lead a session on Autoimmunity and Sacred Rest. Co-sponsored by Or Shalom. Learn more and register here.

Or Shalom Bulletin

Schedule a one-on-one with R' Faryn by clicking here


We gratefully acknowledge these contributions from our community:

When making a donation online, please be sure to specify where to allocate.

Judy Olasov, in memory of Mary Isham, Sophie Patla Olasov & Ann Zorn and in honor of Matt Rudoff and the Board.

Allan Pleaner, in memory of his beloved parents Renee and Dave, and in honor of R' Me'irah's Calligraphy class.

Jurate Raulinaitis, in honor of R' Faryn.

Phyllis Shulman, in memory of her generous, radiant, social justice comrade-in-arms, Cita Cook.

Corey Weinstein, in memory of Earl Weinstein.


On the anniversary of their deaths, we remember:

Hans Freistadt, Ron Glassman, Sandy Hudson, Mary Isham, John Levin, Jacob Harry Levine, Betty Levy, Ya'akov Mor, Doris Najjar, Rose (Ruchel) Raskin, Gigi Rubinstein, Robert Sagerman, Ruth Rebekka Struik, Earl Weinstein, Barry Willdorf, Clara Wolinsky Menduke

Or Shalom Jewish Community

(415) 469 - 5542

Matt Rudoff, Board President

Amy Mallor, Executive Director

Rabbi Faryn Borella, Rabbi

Naomi Rodriguez-Finer, Communications Specialist

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To submit an event for the newsletter, email [email protected].

* Events marked with an asterisk are held at 333 Cortland Ave, a building which requires climbing 21 steps to access. If this poses a barrier to entry for you, please email [email protected] with at least 5 days notice. Read our full accessibility notice here.