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.
- Torah Study: Saturdays at 8:45 AM, Click HERE to read this week’s Torah portion
- Shabbat Services: Fridays at 6:15 PM, Saturdays at 10:30 AM
- Rabbi’s Tisch: Second Friday of each month
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 annual guide to programs, holidays and events: The VIEW
- Read the WINTER 2018-2019 VIEW, a guide to programs and events.
Hanukkah and Hypocrisy | A blog by Rabbi George
December 5, 2018
Just a few days ago the New York Times published an article about Hanukkah with the following headline: “Hypocrisy of Hanukkah: It’s a holiday that commemorates an ancient battle against assimilation. And it’s the one holiday that most assimilated Jews celebrate.” More interesting than the title is its point that the heroes in the… (READ MORE).
Sermon by Rabbi George – “The Key to Happiness”
November 30, 2018:
Podcast “Explore the Space with Rabbi George – Crisis Leadership”
November 27, 2018
Over the course of navigating crises like September 11th, the Sonoma County Wildfires, and the recent Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, Rabbi Gittleman has run the gamut of experiences in leadership under pressure. He joins us to discuss the extraordinary insights he has gathered and the tools he uses to be at his best when it is needed most. To listen, click HERE.
Rebuilding Faith – Wildfires Provide Tough Test of Religious Beliefs
Press Democrat, November 25, 2018
(Read the entire article here)
… Rabbi George Gittleman, the Shomrei Torah religious leader, said the 2017 fires “sorely tested” his own faith, and wiped away any notion he had that “God is like Santa Claus,” granting people what they need and want. It was something he already knew on an intellectual level but came to understand more profoundly this past year…
Baseless Hatred – A Blog by Rabbi Stephanie Kramer
November 26, 2018
The destructions of the first and second temples in Jerusalem are seen as two of the most devastating events in Jewish history. Rabbinic literature and tradition draw a direct line between sinat chinam, baseless hatred, and the destruction of these temples. We read a story in the Talmud about two men with similar names, Kamsa… (READ MORE)
DECEMBER RABBI’S TISCH
Rabbi Zelig Golden, Founding Director, Wilderness Torah: Awakening Earth-Based Judaism
Friday, December 14, 6:15pm
$18 suggested donation for catered dinner, please RSVP to email@example.com. Please bring wine to share with your table.
Judaism is rooted in an ancient relationship to the earth, a relationship severed by our history. As the next generation seeks authentic ways to renew Judaism, while addressing the issues of our time, like global climate change, there is a rapidly growing movement to return Judaism to its earth-based roots. Rabbi Zelig will share the story of Wilderness Torah using his personal story and by exploring primary texts including Torah, Talmud, Chasidut, and Kabbalah.
Rabbi Zelig received rabbinic ordination from ALEPH, the Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and a Masters in Jewish Studies from Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union. Zelig was ordained Maggid by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi ztz”l on Lag B’Omer 5771. He previously worked as an environmental lawyer, including a 2010 landmark U.S. Supreme Court victory protecting food and farms.
CST’s Annual Posada Toy Drive is Back!
November 16 – December 14
Some of you may remember our eight-year participation in the drive to collect toys for the children of the local Roseland community. We are happy to, once again, be participating in this joyful event, which culminate in toy delivery on December 15th.
Wrapped gifts should each have a tag indicating gender (girl, boy or either) and age range (baby, 3-5, 6-10, 10-14, 15 & up).
Please put wrapped gifts into the marked bins in the synagogue entryway any time between November 16 and December 14.
Sponsored by the CST Social Action Committee and STaRS.
Heal, Paint and Nosh
Monday, December 17, 7:00 PM
$20 for CST members, $35 non-members , space is limited, please reserve your spot now at 707-578-5519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us for another evening of healing, painting and noshing. All supplies, wine, noshes and a teacher are provided. If you have never done a paint night, then this is your chance! Men and women are all welcome. We will have step-by-step instructions and it’s easier than you may think; and FUN!
JEWISH LITERARY CIRCLE
Thursday, December 20, 6:15pm
The Jewish Literary Circle, one of the Life Long Learning programs, meets monthly, to read Jewish literature and other published material in an atmosphere of stimulating discussion.
The readings for our next 3 meetings are:
- December 20:The Loudest Voice, a short story by Grace Paley (free, online)
- January 17: The Magic of the Ordinary by Gershon Winkler
- February 21:The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
FREE, all are welcome. For more information, please contact the office.
Upcoming dates: Jan. 17, 2019, Feb. 21, 2019, Mar. 21, 2019, Apr. 18, 2019, May 16, 2019, Jun 20, 2019
DECEMBER OFFICE CLOSURES
The Shomrei Torah office will be closed
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
through Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM
Presented by the Jewish Community Center Sonoma County
Wednesdays, January 9 – April 17
7:00-8:30 PM (14 classes)
Location: Congregation Ner Shalom, 85 La Plaza, Cotati
Cost: $125. Scholarships are available.
Are you Jewish, Jew-ish, or Jew-Curious? Do you want more knowledge? What did your ancestry DNA tell you? This is an opportunity to meet and learn with Sonoma County’s 10 Rabbis with infinite points of view. This class is open to everyone regardless of previous knowledge or religious background. Just bring an open mind!
January Rabbi’s Tisch with Penny Wolin “Descendants of Light: American Photographers of Jewish Ancestry”
“Descendants of Light: American Photographers of Jewish Ancestry” is an original work of art and scholarship that investigates the extraordinary skill of the photographic witness. Alfred Stieglitz, Annie Leibovitz, Helen Levitt, Lauren Greenfield, Arnold Newman, Robert Frank and scores of other photographers created and continue to build the visual lexicon of American culture.
For over eight years photographer and author Penny Wolin traveled across America, photographing and interviewing more than 70 of the leading and most original Jewish photographers in history. This book and exhibition is the culmination of these unprecedented face-to-face encounters.
Penny Wolin is the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and one from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work is held in such institutions as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the New York Public Library, the Santa Barbara Art Museum and the Wyoming State Museum. She divides her time between Sonoma County and Santa Barbara.
LGBTQ Shabbat Potluck
REJOICE! A NIGHT OF JEWISH SONG AND CELEBRATION WITH NAVA TEHILA
Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa
$15-$25, Purchase tickets HERE.
We have made it through a hard year in Sonoma County. Now come and rejoice in music and community. Jerusalem-based Nava Tehila is one of the world’s most innovative musical prayer communities. Rooted in Middle Eastern, Hasidic, Israeli, and other musical traditions, Nava Tehila pours forth a celebratory, meditative, and joyful experience, designed to make the spirit soar. (Check out some of their music here or at http://www.navatehila.org,)
Sponsoring organizations: Congregation Shomrei Torah, Jewish Concierge of Sonoma County, Congregation Ner Shalom, Congregation Beth Ami, B’nai Israel Jewish Center, Congregation Shir Shalom, Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, and Wilderness Torah.
For more information contact Carol Appel, 415-847-2992, CarolA@sfjcf.org.
LGBTQ INCLUSION AND SUPPORT
Monday, January 28, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Free to all teens and interested adults, dessert will be served.
February 25 | Embracing Those with Chronic Illness or Disability; April 8 | Creating a Culture of Inclusion
Reserve Today for the Congregational Retreat!
April 26-28, 2019 | Point Bonita YMCA, Sausalito
Reserve your spot with a $100 deposit by contacting 707-578-5519 or email@example.com.
Please join your congregational family for a community healing retreat. Activities and “chill-tivities” for every type of CST family, big or small, fun for all! Bring your spouse, your kids, your grandparents, or just bring yourself!
Enjoy the beautiful surroundings in the Marin Headlands, completely accessible, close to the beach and ocean air, a break from your allergies. Fun includes hiking, art, study, campfire, lighthouse tour, yoga, or sitting with your book surrounded by nature
Price includes the whole weekend – boarding, meals, and activities!
- Adults 18+: $200
- Kids 4-17: $125
- Kids 0-3: FREE
- Family cap of $500. Scholarships available upon request.
PASSOVER AT SHOMREI TORAH
It’s not too early, sign up today!
Saturday, April 20, 6:15 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. There is a place at the table waiting for you.
Our annual Seder on the second night of Passover welcomes both members and non-members.
Seating in the sanctuary is limited; please reserve your seat early to ensure your place at our Seder table.
The cost is as follows:
$36.00 member adult (13 and up)
$46.00 non-member adult (13 and up)
$18.00 member child (ages 5-12)
$23.00 non-member child (ages 5-12)
Free for children under age 5.
Reservations are required as well as meal preference of chicken or vegetarian. Contact the temple off at (707)578-5519 or CLICK HERE to reserve online.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with Passover, please CLICK HERE to sign up!
Watch Services Online
Congregation Shomrei Torah now streams all of our services! Click here to see a past service or event.
Click the PLAY button on the screen below to view a current event or to see an video archive of our previous events..
Activities and Events at Shomrei Torah
Click HERE to read The VIEW: A Guide to Programs, Holidays & Special Events
- STaRS Religious School
- B’nei Mitzvah Program
- Teens and College Students
- Young Adults
- Social Action and Environmental Action
- LifeLong Learning Classes
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