Rabbis’ Tisch Speaker Explores the Summer Camp Experience in Jewish Culture

Come to the February 12 Rabbis’ Tisch wearing your camp t-shirt or hat if you attended a Jewish camp and hear Ruben Arquilevich discuss “Jewish Peoplehood:  The Role of Camp in Jewish Life.”  He will share the history of Jewish camp, going back over 100 years and the critical role it plays in securing Jewish identity today. Congregation Shomrei Torah is a wonderful partner to URJ Camp Newman and he will also highlight this special relationship.  Join us for Shabbat prayers and a delicious catered dinner before Ruben’s presentation.  After Ruben’s talk, we’ll end the evening with Mi’Shebeirach andKaddish.  $18.00 suggested donation for dinner.  Please RSVP to the office by Tuesday, February 9 so that we can order enough food; 707-578-5519 or denise@cstsr.org.

New Class Explores Mussar, a Form of Jewish Ethical Practice

CST member Sharon Schwartz explores Mussar, the 19th Century Jewish ethical practice. Participants will experience how transformational Mussar can be and how it can lead to a deeper understanding to live a better, more fulfilling life. The Mussar ethical, educational and cultural movement developed in the 19th century in Lithuania. The Hebrew term Musar (מוּסַר) is from the book of Proverbs 1:2, meaning moral conduct, instruction or discipline. $36.00 materials fee.  Please RSVP to the temple office at 707-578-5519 or denise@cstsr.org. The class will be held Sundays, February 14, 21, 28; and March 6, 20 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the Kolbo Room.

Social Action Film Series Returns February 20; First Up, “A Reason to Live”

SAC Goes to the Movies Logo SquareThe annual film series presented by Shomrei Torah’s Social Action Committee opens with a powerful documentary about teen and young adult depression and suicide. “A Reason to Live” presents personal stories of hope told by young people of different ethnicities and sexual orientation and their families. A discussion with a panel of experts follows the movie. This first film in the SAC series will be Saturday, February 20; doors open at 7 PM; the film airs at 7:30 PM. There is no charge to attend, although donations are welcome.

To download the flyer for “A Reason to Live,” click here.

In addition to SAC, the series is sponsored by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Sonoma County; Jewish Family & Children’s Services; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Sonoma County Behavioral Health Division and CAPE; Social Advocates for Youth; Restorative Resources; Project Success; Aurora Behavioral Hospital; St. Joseph’s Health—Sonoma County; Kaiser Permanente; and Sutter Health.

JCC Presents Day of Jewish Learning, Sunday, February 28

Date: Sunday February 28 – free admission 

Time: 12:30-5:30 PM. Three 1-hour sessions beginning at 1 PM.

Location: Finley Community Center, Person Senior Wing, 2060 W College Ave, Santa Rosa

Don’t miss these sessions, taught by our own Shomrei Torah clergy: Rabbi Stephanie Kramer: “Fifty Shades of Jacob:  Do Concubines Count?” and Cantor David Frommer:  “G.I. Jew:  A Real American Jewish Hero?” (2-session class)

All classes on a first-come, first-served basis. Complimentary social-hour with music from 4:30-5:30pm. For full class descriptions click here.

Reserve Your Seat Now for Shomrei Torah’s Passover Seder on April 23

This year Shomrei Torah offers one Passover seder that features a traditional Pesach meal as we celebrate the Festival of Freedom. Led by Rabbi George Gittleman, Rabbi Stephanie Kramer and Cantor David Frommer, our seder welcomes both members and non-members on the second night of Passover, Saturday, April 23 at 6 PM. Passover at Shomrei Torah is more than the retelling of the ancient story of the Exodus; it honors our ongoing struggle for freedom, justice and equality everywhere. There is a place at our table for you.

Here are the prices to cover the cost of the catered meal:

  • $36 per member adult
  • $46 for nonmember adult
  • $18 for member children (ages 12 and under)
  • $23 for nonmember children (ages 12 and under)
  • Free for children under 5

Reservations are required. Please call (707) 578-5519 or email  denise@cstsr.org or reserve online by clicking here. Be sure to specify your preference of chicken or vegetarian.

Applications Now Available for Grants to Attend Jewish Summer Camp or Israel Experience

Applications are now being accepted for scholarships to attend Jewish summer camp or to participate in a qualified Israel travel experience. Download and return completed applications by March 31, 2016. Scholarships are available from the Marlene and Martin Stein Camp and Israel Experience Scholarship Fund. All pre-college age children of Congregation Shomrei Torah members are eligible to receive a grant from the fund. Click here to download the application form.

CST Adopts New, Standardized V’ahavta Melody

At the urging of Cantor David Frommer, Shomrei Torah is introducing a revised melody for the V’ahavta, a central prayer in Jewish worship that expresses how we will love God and is drawn directly from the Torah. According to Cantor David, our former version of the V’ahavta was actually an amalgamation of multiple versions and lacked internal consistency, deviating from the standardized trope system used in other parts of the service. Not only did this pose a challenge for b’nai mitzvah students, but it was out of step with the Reform Movement, which adopted the Wolff-Portnoy version (named for the two cantors who directed the standardization project) in 1999.  Over the years, this new version has been adopted by almost every synagogue in the Reform movement and has become the basis for the cantillation course at Hebrew Union College that is taught to all of our rabbinic and cantorial students.

Download the sheet music for the Wolff-Portnoy V’ahavta or click below to hear Cantor David’s rendition.

Join a Chavurah to Connect with CST Members Who Share Your Interests

Displaying Chavarah Committee Shabbat Oneg for website.jpgChavarah Committee Shabbat Oneg for websiteA Chavurah is a group of CST members who meet from time to time to share a meal, take a hike, enjoy a ball game, or participate in any number of interesting activities. There are many existing Chavurot to join, or consider starting one of  your own.  If you’d like to learn more about this easy and informal way to build community and connect with fellow CST members, email or call Jan Gilman (drjangilman@sbcglobal.net / 483-8866) or Donna Taffel (taffel3@sbcglobal.net / 695-5635). Pictured at left, a special Shabbat Oneg on January 29 where the Chavurah Committee hosted a gathering of current and prospective Chavurah members. Displaying Chavarah Committee Shabbat Oneg for website.jpg

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)

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.

Already a Member? Get Involved & Support Shomrei Torah