Building Update

Our elevator is still unavailable. We are hoping that it will be repaired and fully working in the next two weeks. We appreciate your patience. We understand how crucial our elevator is for our community. As always, our services are accessible on Zoom.

Contact to sponsor a Shabbat

Friday Night Services:

February 24th at 7:30 pm.

On Zoom Only

Led by Rabbi Copeland and Larry Best.

Register Here for Zoom Service

Meeting ID: 886 7131 3838

Saturday Morning Service:

February 25th at 10:00 am.

Hybrid: On Zoom and In-Person.

Join the Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 365 434 855 and Passcode: 068575.

To join by phone for either service, dial +1 669 900 9128 or find your local number.

Community Get Together!

B’Mitzvah Mentors Gathering

Sunday, March 5, 3-4:30pm

In-person gathering at Sha'ar Zahav

Sha’ar Zahav has a tradition of pairing Beit Sefer students who are preparing for their b’mitzvah with an adult mentor, who provides guidance as they learn their Torah portion, write their drash and discover what it means to become a b’mitzvah.

If this is something you might be interested in doing, please join new and long-time mentors at Sha’ar Zahav. For more information about the gathering or if you can’t attend but would like more information about being a mentor, please email

Celebrate Purim at Sha'ar Zahav

Ray's Shpil, Drag Bingo & Storytime, and more!

Monday, March 6

In person starting at 5:30pm

Hybrid beginning at 6:30pm

Purim is here! Join us for Drag Bingo and Storytime with Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, plus an original shpil written by our beloved (and very funny) Ray Bernstein z''l, never before heard. Dress up as your favorite queer icon, Purim character, or secret heart's desire for our most topsy-turvy Jewish holiday (costume supplies available on-site).

5:30pm: Maker Space Mask Making, Drag Storytime, Pizza & Hamentaschen for kids

For those attending the 5:30pm event, please register here!

6:30pm: Megillah Reading for all ages, Drag Bingo, Hamentaschen & light dinner

You do not need to register if attending the 6:30pm event.

Express Yourself!

A Purim Costume Party for 21-40 year olds

Saturday, March 11, 7:00-9:00pm at Manny’s 

Gather in community for drinks, hamantaschen, music, dancing, and entertainment from San Francisco’s famous Jewish Drag Queens, Miss Shuguna and Menorah Manischevitz.

To register, click here.

From the President

The Rabbi and I, on behalf of the Va'ad, have just signed this Resolution in support of the work of the California Task Force on Reparations for African Americans. We were alerted to this Resolution through our work with the SF Black & Jewish Unity Coalition.

This Resolution is directly in line with congregational values, as expressed in our Racial Equity Plan and in Va'ad discussions during our December 4, 2022 Advance. The Racial Equity Committee also reviewed and voted to support the Resolution. Much of the rationale for support is expressed in Larry Best's drash on January 27, 2023.

As you will read in Larry's drash, Sha'ar Zahav is the first local synagogue to sign in support of this Resolution. We are proud that, though we all have more to learn, we are educated enough on racial inequity and systemic racism to understand the Jewish imperative to support the work of the CA Task Force (and of the SF Advisory Committee on Reparations for African Americans).  

Save the Date

May You Live to be 120: Talking About Death

Sunday, March 26, 3pm-7:15pm

Hybrid: In person at Sha'ar Zahav

For Members only

Jews often bless each other with the phrase “May you live to be 120!” But even if we live that long, we still need to make plans for when the time comes.

Our keynote speaker, end-of-life expert Jim Van Buskirk, will address the challenges of talking about death, and in breakout sessions we'll be exploring a range of topics including - the legal, ethical and spiritual aspects of end-of-life decisions, writing wills, making burial choices and arrangements, and talking about mourning practices.

Click here to learn more about our keynote.

Registration link coming soon!

Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) Panel 

on the Power of Pro-Trans Legislation

Wednesday, March 29th, 6:00 PM

Panel Starts at 7:00 PM

Hybrid: In-Person at Sha'ar Zahav

Please join us for a panel discussion about the Power of Pro-Trans Legislation. TDOV is held in memory of Ray Bernstein z"l. 

More information coming soon.

Learn With Us!

Journey to Judaism: A Discussion Group

Facilitated by Ora Prochovnick, Rose Katz and James Carlson

Six Mondays (the last Monday of each month), starting January 30th, 7pm-8:30pm

February is the last month to join!

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.

To register, please contact Executive Director Susie Idzik

Recurring Gatherings and Meetings

Theater & Movie Chavurah: "Armageddon Time"

Wednesday, March 1st

6:00pm on Zoom

Set in 1980 New York, "Armageddon Time” is a story of family love and conflict, an interracial friendship between two young boys, and hard lessons about racism, antisemitism, and generational trauma. The film can be streamed for $5.99 on YouTube, Amazon, and other streaming platforms. 

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Social Action Committee

Monday, March 13

6:00-7:30pm on Zoom

Together we can create a more Just and Peaceful World. Act to Welcome the Stranger, Secure Housing and Food, End Gun Violence, Protect Fair Voting, and more! At our next meeting we’ll plan Food Bank volunteer shifts and organize a special SZ trip to the AIDS Memorial Quilt! What’s on your mind? Come to our next meeting or contact Nancy Wecker or Geri Kahn

Join the Meeting: Zoom Link

Kaf-Lamed Monthly Gathering

Don't go to Shabbat alone!

March 17, 7:30pm

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.

Book Group Discussion:

The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed Race Jewish Girl

by Marra B. Gad

Tuesday, March 21, 7:00-8:00pm on Zoom

“Jewish boys didn’t want to explain my brown skin. And Black boys could not understand or embrace my Judaism,” Marra Gad writes in her memoir. Whatever our ethnic, racial or religious background, Gad's story raises questions about how we see others, how others see us, how we see ourselves -- and how (or if) we can open ourselves to love and accept those unlike ourselves.

For more info, email Ami Zusman. Everyone welcome!

Join the discussion: Zoom Link

Climate Action Committee

2nd Monday of the Month   

5:00-6:30pm on Zoom

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. 

Contact Deborah Levy.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Disability and Accessibility Committee

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!

Remember When

Cancelled for March

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.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Weekly Torah Study Group

Weekly on Wednesday


Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Mussar Group

Bi-weekly on Thursdays 7:00-8:00pm

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.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Meditation Chavurah

1st and 3rd Saturday of the month


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 the Meeting: Zoom link

Hiking Chavurah

2nd Saturday of the month, 9:50 am

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.

For Sha'ar Zahav Members Only. Register Here to Attend.

Weekday Morning Prayer

Weekly on Tuesdays


Songs and prayers to set our hearts and minds! This service takes place every Tuesday morning, and is led by community lay leaders and Cantor Bernstein. Contact Cantor Bernstein.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Birthdays this week!

Susan Tubbesing 2/22

Elizabeth Priest 2/24

Alex Ingersoll 2/25

Paul Peninger 2/25

Ethan Frazin 2/26

Benjamin Rainero-de Haan 2/27

Neil Jacob Rosenbaum 2/27

Steven Gaynes 2/28

Danny Kodmur 2/28

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

Our policy is as follows.

  • For the health and safety of our community, it is Sha’ar Zahav's expectation that all members and visitors who attend in-person services and events will be fully vaccinated and boosted.
  • Well-fitting masks covering the mouth and nose are required at services, and are optional at other in-person events. N95 or KN95 masks are recommended and will be provided if you don’t have one. Masks may be removed for eating at onegs/receptions following services.  
  • 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. Key cards are available to all members. Please reach out to get yours.

Click here for information about our vaccination policy
Thank You to Our Grantors
Programs at Sha’ar Zahav are supported by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, the Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative for Immigrant and Refugee Justice of the Religious Action Center, San Francisco Humanities, and the National Center to Encourage Judaism.
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in Sha'ar Zahav. Be sure to add to your (email) contacts list so that our communications land in your inbox! All our events take place at Sha'ar Zahav 290 Dolores Street, unless noted otherwise. To unsubscribe, please click on the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email.
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