Lights, Latkes and More at Annual Hanukkah Party, December 9, 6:15 PM

Menorah no wordsLatkes with homemade applesauce, donuts and dreidels signal the arrival of Hanukkah at Shomrei Torah’s annual party celebrating the Festival of Lights. All are welcome to join the fun–bring your menorah and candles and a favorite dairy/vegetable dish to share. Consider bringing a wrapped toy, with a label stating the age range and gender, to contribute to our annual toy drive for our friends and neighbors in the Roseland district. This is a free event.

Don’t Miss Shomrei Torah’s Hanukkah Fair, Sunday, December 6 from 9 AM to 11 AM

Shomrei Torah’s annual Children’s Hanukkah Fair features music, art, a bounce house, face painting, and delicious Hanukkah treats. The Shomrei Shop will also be open, offering a wide assortment of Hanukkah decorations, gift wrap, candles, and much, much more. This is a free event.

Holiday Toy Drive and Winter Warmth Collection On Now

Shomrei Torah is collecting new and gently used toys, wrapped and labels with appropriate age/gender, now through December 18. Please put your donations in the blue bin in the synagogue entryway.

Winter Warmth Drive continues through December 4: please bring new and gently used warm coats, hats, scarves, gloves, sweaters, blankets, bedding, socks, and rain gear to the collection bin in the Shomrei Torah lobby. The donations will be distributed to clients of Elisha’s Pantry. Volunteers are needed to distribute the items at the pantry from 2:30 to 5:30 PM on the first three Thursdays in December. This volunteer effort qualifies for community service hours for high school students.

Gelt-a-Thon Gears Up for December 6; Donate Early and Skip the Call

Gelt-a-thonThe 2015 Gelt-a-Thon, the synagogue’s most important fundraising event of the year, returns December 6. This year, instead of waiting for a friendly volunteer to call, why not donate early? Online, by phone, by mail, or in person–all donations are welcome. Although the requested donation is $118, this year our goal is 100% participation at whatever level your family can afford. Click here or on the button below to donate to the Gelt-a-Thon.

December Bagel Club Speaker Explores $15 Minimum Wage for County Workers

Please join me at the next men’s Bagel Club meeting on Sunday, December 6 at 9:00 AM.  Martin Bennett, the leader of the Living Wage Movement in Sonoma County, will be speaking about their campaign to raise the minimum wage in our county to $15 for all  workers employed by SoCo. He will be accompanied by an in-home services worker who will share their experience of supporting a family on the current SoCo wage of $11.45 an hour!!!  You know how difficult that work is if you have ever had a in-home service person work for a family member or friend. Please RSVP if you wish to attend to cstbagelme@gmail.com so they can have enough of a gourmet breakfast to go around.  Of course, all ladies are also invited and welcome.

Rabbis’ Tisch Features Four “Dreamers”, Undocumented Sonoma State College Grads

Four recent graduates of Sonoma State, all brought to the U.S. as young children, are the featured speakers at the December 11 Rabbis’ Tisch. Hear their inspiring stories of growing up American under constant threat of deportation until President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order granted them temporary legal status.  The 6:15 PM Tisch is sponsored by Shomrei Torah’s Social Action Committee. The evening includes Shabbat prayers and a delicious catered meal. Please RSVP by phone or email to the synagogue office at denise@cstsr.org.  A donation of $18 per person is requested to cover the cost of the meal.

Read Part 2 of Rabbi George’s Blog, “After Auschwitz,” on his Trip to Poland and Germany

CemeteryRabbi George Gittleman just returned from an eleven-day rabbinic mission to Poland and Germany, where he traveled with a group of Northern California rabbis. Read Part Two of his moving blog about the experience, and leave a comment, by clicking here.

 A Labor of Love, CST’s New Tzedakah Box Combines Art, Beauty and Charity

tzedakah boxMore than a year in the making, Shomrei Torah’s newly installed Tzedakah box is now accepting donations. The box was designed by CST member Linda Weiss in collaboration with Rabbi George Gittleman and Ben Benson. It was handcrafted by Weiss, a noted silversmith, and by cabinetmaker Greg Zall. The colored glasswork is by Dr. Charlie Catlett.

Our new Tzedakah box was conceived as a gift from the congregation to Rabbi George on the occasion of the 18th anniversary of his rabbinate–his “chai” year. The 18-inch tall box is made of natural cherry wood and depicts an olive branch on each side made of inlaid argentium sterling silver. In addition to symbolizing peace, the olive branches are a visual link to the nearby Heritage Cabinet, the bima furniture, and the signature olive tree on the patio just outside the building entrance. The colored glass panels on either side of the box, illuminated by interior LED bulbs, correlate to the twelve tribes of Israel. For more information about the box’s design, construction, and significance, click here. Next time you enter Shomrei Torah, please take a moment to admire this work of art, and consider making a donation, 100% of which will directly benefit those in need.

See Photos of Recent Events and Connect With Us on Facebook

Have you liked Shomrei Torah on Facebook yet? If not, click here to visit our Facebook page. There you’ll find news about upcoming events, photos of past events, and other ways to connect with your synagogue community. Use this link or go to Facebook.com and search for Congregation Shomrei Torah Santa Rosa.

Shomrei Torah Congregant in Critical Need of a Donor Kidney

Kidney donor neededRichard Lazovick is a kind and gentle man, a dedicated dad, and a solid member of this community. And both of his kidneys are failing. Richard spends every night, all night, connected to a dialysis machine while he waits for a donor kidney — a wait estimated to be eight years! Meanwhile, his kidney function continues to decline. Read More…

This Week’s Torah Portion

“It is a tree of life to all who grasp it, and whoever holds on to it is happy; its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all it paths are peace.” (Proverbs 3:17-18)

Here are links to the “Jewish Journeys” presented on Yom Kippur afternoon:

Jewish Journey – Jennifer Levine-Smith 2015

Jewish Journey – Adele Pickar 2015

Welcome to Shomrei Torah

Walk to End Genocide, 4-18-2010 022Congregation Shomrei Torah is the welcoming home of progressive Reform Judaism in Sonoma County. Blending the traditional with the innovative, we are a diverse, inclusive and socially conscious community that provides a doorway to Jewish life through worship, study, social action, fellowship, and play.

Chanukah Party-1050158Join Rabbi George GittlemanRabbi Stephanie Kramer and Cantor David Frommer at a Shabbat service, attend our popular Lifelong Learning events or participate in our community activities or social action initiatives. Children discover their Jewish identity in our thriving religious school. Click here to inquire about joining our congregation today.

Shabbat Services: Fridays at 6:15 PM, Saturdays at 10:30 AM
Second Friday of the month is a Rabbi’s Tisch

bimaAll Friday evening Shabbat services begin at 6:15 PM in the Sanctuary. Saturday morning services begin at 10:30 AM. The second Friday of every month is a Rabbi’s Tisch, an alternative Shabbat experience consisting of a catered dinner followed by a lively discussion led by our clergy and guest speakers.  RSVP’s greatly appreciated. The suggested tisch donation is $18. If you or your chavurah would like to sponsor a tisch, please contact the office.

Shomrei Torah Supports Interfaith and Same-sex Marriage

Congregation Shomrei Torah is a welcoming community for households of every variety. Our clergy are available to marry interfaith and same-sex couples, and our facilities are available to host weddings and other life-cycle celebrations. Click here to read about interfaith households at Shomrei Torah. Please call the office to learn more, or to arrange a conversation with one of our rabbis.

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