Welcome

Welcome

Congregation Shomrei Torah is the 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.

Our congregation 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 families at Shomrei Torah.

All 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.

  • Read our monthly newsletter: The VOICE.
  • Read our Fall/Winter VIEW, a guide to upcoming programs, holidays and events.
  • Read our annual guide to programs, holidays and events: The VIEW.

One Ringy-Dingy, Two Ringy-Dingy…

On Sunday, December 15, CST volunteers will be calling temple members during the annual Give-A-Thon, a key part of CST’s Tradition of Giving fundraiser which bridges the gap between operating costs and members’ pledges.

So, what will you do when your phone buzzes on the morning of the 15th?

(a) Hit the “send to voice mail” button.

(b) Answer, but pretend it’s a wrong number.

(c) Answer, and have a heartfelt but awkward conversation with a caring volunteer.

The best response is “none of the above.” Avoid the call – Donate today!

While we welcome any size donation to the Tradition of Giving Campaign, we hope you’ll consider a gift at one of these levels: $180; $360; $500; $1000; $2500; $5000. 

Donate by clicking here or you may send a check or call the CST office.


A Message from Rabbi George

Noah and the Kinkade Fire

A Blog by Rabbi George Gittleman
November 6, 2019

“As the Kinkade fire ravaged northern Sonoma County, synagogues around the world were reading about Noah and “ha-mabul”, the great flood, the archetype of natural disasters. According to the Torah God brought the flood to cleanse the earth of, “lawlessness” or “violence”.   “God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all…” [READ MORE]

Click HERE to see sermons by Rabbi George.


A Message from Rabbi Stephanie

November, 2019: Rabbi Stephanie’s Published Article in the CCAR Journal

Unconsumed: Emotional Resilience through Fiery TimesBy Stephanie Kramer

“Nothing could have prepared me for Sukkot 5778. My family had just had a wonderful evening reveling in a friend’s sukkah; the perfect beginning of what was going to be a week filled with celebratory meals shared with ushpizin. We drove home happy, tired, and full…” Read more HERE.

Click HERE to see sermons by Rabbi Stephanie.


Shomrei Torah is LIVE!

Congregation Shomrei Torah streams services LIVE! Click one of the links below to watch.


Ten Paths to God

An exploration of Judaism based on the teachings of Rabbi Jonathon Sacks

Wednesdays: 7-8:30pm: December 4, 11, 18, January 8
Cost for the Series – $54 members, $72 Nonmembers
Drop-ins – $8 for Members, $12 Non Members
Please RSVP to the office.

This 6 session class facilitated by Rabbi George and Rabbi Stephanie is great for anyone interested in deepening their understanding of Jewish tradition and spirituality.

Utilizing curriculum and materials (including videos) provided by the renowned rabbi and Jewish thought leader, Lord Jonathon Sacks, we will focus on the following key elements of Jewish life: Identity, Prayer, Study, Mitzvot, Tzedakah & Chessed.


Wise Aging Taught by Rabbi Meredith Cahn

Fridays, December 6th, 13th

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

$18 for Members, $36 for Non Members. RSVP to the office.

This two session class will explore how to find meaning and the joy in our journey into our later years. With texts, poetry and liturgy we will engage important questions about our plans, our fears and our joys. Discussion will be based on Rabbi Rachel Cowan, z”l, and Linda Thal’s book, Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience and Spirit. You don’t have to buy it (but it’s worth owning). Join the conversation whether you are 55 or 95 or anywhere in between. Read more about Rabbi Meredith HERE.


Shabbat Service with Andrew Ramer followed by a Potluck Lunch

Traveling the Axis of “Jacob’s Ladder”: The Vertical, the Horizontal, and All Points In Between

Saturday, December 7, 10:30am

Potluck lunch begins around noon.  Please RSVP to the office with the dish that you will bring to the potluck.

Join us for Shabbat morning services with special guest Andre Ramer.  Andrew will speak during services and lead a discussion during lunch. A potluck lunch will follow services.

Andrew Ramer is the author of Queering the Text: Biblical, adMedieval, and Modern Jewish Stories… and many more.


Creating Sacred Space:  A Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Program

Drop-ins are still welcome for the current Fall Series: December 8, 15, 22 @ 4pm, “Hanukkah & Inner Light “. $8 CST Members / $12 Non-Members. Please RSVP to the office.

Sign up now for the upcoming Spring Series:

January 12, 19, 26: 4pm-5:15pm
February 9, 16, 23: 4pm-5:15pm
March 8, 15, 22: 4pm-5:15pm
April 5, 12, 26: 4:30pm-5:45pm

Full Spring Series: $80 CST Members | $120 Non-Members. Please RSVP to the office.

Drop In Session:  $8 CST Members / $12 Non-Members. Please RSVP to the office.

Are we happy?  Are we living the life we want to live? Mindfulness Meditation is the practice of cultivating our attention to the present moment.  As we learn to quiet our minds, we see our truth more clearly, and open a path to living a fuller, happier, healthier life… read more HERE.   


Rabbi’s Tisch: Maccabees and Other Super Heroes

With Scholar-in-Residence Isaac & Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik.

Friday, December 13, 6:15 PM

$18 suggested donation for the catered dinner, please RSVP to the office.

Join us as our scholars-in-residence present an exploration of heroes in Jewish tradition and pop culture.

This dynamic visual presentation takes a scholarly look at the stories of the Maccabees and Judith, compares the biblical story of Hanukkah with its Talmudic interpretation, and reveals which super heroes are lighting a Hanukkiah this season

Read more about our Scholar-in-Residence HERE.


Paper Midrash (Papercutting Workshop)

With Scholar-in-Residence Isaac & Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik. 

Saturday, December 14, 3:00 PM

$20 per participant, please RSVP to the office.

Join our scholar-in-residence for a hands-on papercutting workshop. You will learn, deep Jewish scholarship together with a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional art of paper cutting, providing workshop participants with the opportunity and tools to make visual biblical commentary — what they call “paper midrash.”

No experience necessary, you don’t have to know how to paint or draw! We will study, create, share and shmooze. You will leave with a masterpiece ready to hang.

Read more about our Scholar-in-Residence HERE.


Jewish Literary Circle

FREE, all are welcome, please RSVP to group leader Marian McKenna at chabansky@yahoo.com.

The Jewish Literary Circle, one of the LifeLong Learning programs, meets monthly to read Jewish literature and other published material in an atmosphere of stimulating discussion. Participants choose the reading selections for the upcoming months. Anyone can join anytime.

Upcoming Dates, starting at 6:30 PM:

  • Dec. 19: Short Story Listening Evening – Listen to podcast(s)
  • Jan. 16: The Lost Girls of Paris  by Pam Jenoff
  • Feb. 20: A Bride for One Night  by Ruth Calderon
  • Mar. 19:To This Day by S.Y.  Agnon

Hanukkah at CST

Hanukkah, Chinese Food and a Movie

Wednesday, December 25 6:15 PM

Free. Please RSVP to the office.

Join us for this exciting event! Spend the evening at Shomrei Torah enjoying Chinese food and the movie Keeping the Faith.

Shabbat Service and Hanukkah Candle Lighting

Friday, December 27, 6:15 PM

Please join us for an intimate Shabbat service followed by traditional candle-lighting. Bring your menorah and candles.


Holiday Information & Office Closures

The CST office will be closed: Wednesday, December 25 through Wednesday, January 1.

If you have a rabbinic emergency during that time, please call Rabbi George at (707)480-6490 or Rabbi Stephanie at (213)505-5802.


Men’s Retreat

Telling Stories & Creating Memories

Friday-Sunday, April 24-26, 2020

Join us at the beautiful Marconi Conference Center overlooking Tomales Bay. We have a full schedule of activities for the body, spirit and funny bone. Enjoy a unique Sabbath experience, nature walks, and much more. Fully accessible!

The all-inclusive price for the weekend is $500. A deposit of $200 is due at the time of registration. Full balance due by March 24, 2020.

Scholarships are available, contact Rabbi George at rabbig@cstsr.org.

Register online HERE.


CST Women’s Retreat 2020

Friday, October 23 – Sunday, October 25, 2020

Women of CST, join us for our 12th biennial Women’s Retreat held at the beautiful Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma.

Immerse yourself in the spiritual, peaceful and joyous bonding and reflection as we welcome Shabbat and experience nature in the company of Jewish women.

The all-inclusive, early-bird registration fee is $385. Register by April 15, 2020 to receive this early-bird discount!  (Registrations received after April 15, 2020 will pay $425). Scholarships are available, see the registration form.

There is a $200 non-refundable deposit due at registration to secure your spot.  Full balance is due by September 1, 2020.

To register, CLICK HERE.


2020 Congregational Eastern Europe Trip: Poland, Vienna & Budapest

Led by Rabbi George Gittleman

Trip participants will have the opportunity to explore the remains of the Warsaw Ghetto. We will participate in Shabbat services with members of Krakow’s Jewish Community. We will pay tribute to the six million at Auschwitz . We will see the legacy & beauty of imperial Vienna. We will visit Europe’s largest synagogue in Budapest and the remarkable Jewish museums in Warsaw and Vienna. We will have an unforgettable cruise on the Danube River.

Trip Dates: August 23 – September 4, 2020.

View the full itinerary HERE.

View pricing HERE

Register for the trip HERE.

For more information, contact Rabbi George at rabbig@cstsr.org or call (707)578-5519.


Now is the time – Register for Summer Camp

Don’t miss out on an amazing experience at any of the incredible Jewish summer camps available in California! Check out Bay Area Jewish Camp Collective  and Jewishcamp.org,or contact Morgan at youth@cstsr.org to find the right summer fit for you!

CST camp scholarships are available, download the form HERE.


Talmud Circle

Tractate Ta’anit – What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?
To register, click HERE.

Sunday Class Dates from 1:30-3:30pm: December 8, January 5, February 2, March 1, April 5, May 17, June 7 (Offsite)

In this mostly narrative section the Talmud, questions are raised about “Holy Men” who pronounce the “meaning” of a disaster… read more HERE.


Purim Schpiel Casting Call!

Don’t throw away your shot to be a part of this year’s Purim Schpiel: inspired by Hamilton!

Rehearsals will be held at 6:30pm on January 29th, February 19th, March 4th, and March 8th. The Purim Schpiel will be on March 9th at 6:15pm.

Contact Morgan, youth@cstsr.org to participate or with questions!


CST  Women’s Interest Groups

Meet both new and long-time Shomrei Torah friends by checking out one or more  Shomrei Torah Women’s Groups. Try them all and then attend the group(s) that work for you when you can.

No commitments are required. Fun and friendships are guaranteed!

Ongoing Groups: Monthly Book Club, Monthly Movie Group

Newly Formed Groups:  Walking (restarting), Knitting/Crocheting, Healthy Cooking, Dinner Group, Lunch Group, Mahjongg & Games Group

For dates, locations, details and questions, please email Ronnie: ronniecc@gmail.com or 707-483-2534.


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