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.


LUNCH & LEARN WITH Dr. Stan Roodman

Tuesday, November 12, 12:00 PM–1:30 PM
Please RSVP to the office. Cost $8, Soup and Salad provided

A very brief introduction to Immunology with emphasis on antibodies and the
amazing discoveries of three Jewish immunology Nobel Prize winners that not only helped to explain the mystery of antibodies, but how they can be used in cancer therapy.

Stan spent 29 years as a Professor in the Pathology Department at St. Louis University Medical School where he performed research on many areas of Immunology.


Ten Paths to God

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

Wednesdays: 7-8:30pm: November 13, 20, 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.


Upcoming SAC Voter Engagement Activities

Many of you are concerned with the state of our country. It is up to each of us to do what we can address these concerns. This is no time to feel helpless. SAC will be engaging in a variety of activities including letter writing, texting, phone banking, voter registration and GOTV campaigns.

Letter Writing with Judith Richlin-Klonsky at CST

November 13, 7-9 PM
Please RSVP to the CST office.

Judith will train us so we may do more of this in the future
If you or anyone you know is not registered, it is an easy process. Visit https://vote.gov.


Chavurah Kickoff Meeting

Thursday, November 14, 7:00pm
All members are welcome. Free dessert and noshes.
Please RSVP to the office.

Want to join a Chavurah?  New Chavurot are forming!  This meeting is for anyone interested in making new friends and joining a Chavurah. With guided mingling around common interests, new groups will come together. By the end of the evening, new Chavurah groups will be formed and have their first meeting date to look forward to. Whether you submitted a form or not, all are welcome.

For more info, or those who would like to join a Chavurah and cannot attend this evening, please contact one of the following:
Marian McKenna:   650-776-6543  chabansky@yahoo.com
Jan Schwartz:  707-479-1110  
jangschwartz@me.com


All-School Family Shabbat and Dinner

Friday, November 15, 6:15pm

You’re invited to a special Shabbat service, full of family-friendly fun! The service will be followed by a burrito bar dinner!

Please RSVP to the office with how many people you will be bringing.  We ask for a $10 donation per family to cover the cost of food. When you RSVP yes, we will use your card on file for the $10 donation unless you instruct otherwise.


PJ Library Read Day with Diana Shmiana

Toddler-3rd Grade
Sunday, November 17, 9:00am-11:15am

All families are welcome to a special kid’s concert featuring Diana Shmiana! Join our religious school students at Shomrei Torah as they celebrate Jewish Book month with singing, magic, and learning!

Come in your pajamas!  We will wrap up the fun with a special snack of cookies and milk. Special thanks to PJ Library for this event.


Creating Sacred Space:  A Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Program

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

November 17 (Guest Leader Alissa Hirshfeld): Thanksgiving & Gratitude

November 24 @ 4pm:  Thanksgiving & Gratitude

December 8, 15, 22 @ 4pm:  Hanukkah &Inner Light

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.   


Interfaith Thanksgiving Service (offsite)

Sunday, November 17, 6:00 PM
Location – Christ Church United Methodist

Join friends from Congregation Shomrei Torah and Christ Church United Methodist
to reflect on how we find gratitude in time of uncertainty. Bring a meatless dish to share if
you are able.


Talmud Circle

Tractate Ta’anit – What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?
Cost:  $200. To register, click HERE.

Sunday Class Dates from 1:30-3:30pm: November 17, 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.


2020 Congregational Eastern Europe Trip: Poland, Vienna & Budapest

Led by Rabbi George Gittleman

Last Informational Meeting: Wednesday, November 20, 6-7 PM.

This is the last chance to learn details about the trip and have your questions answered! You will have the opportunity to meet with our tour guide, Danny Ehrlich, who has made this amazing voyage many times.  There is still time to register!

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.


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 –Torah Told Different: Stories for a Pan/Poly/Post-Denominational Era – Deathless: The Complete, Uncensored, Heartbreaking, and Amazing Autobiography of Serach bat Asher, the Oldest Woman in the World – and Fragments of the Brooklyn Talmud. An ordained maggid, many of his prayers appear in the inclusive feminist LGBTQ siddur of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco. He lives in Oakland, California. 


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.


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!


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!

Register online HERE.


Jewish Literary Circle

November 21,  6:30pm: What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander.

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

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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