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.
The Fall-Winter VIEW is here!
Click HERE to read the 2019 Fall-Winter VIEW: A Guide to upcoming Programs, Holidays & Special Events at Congregation Shomrei Torah.
Rabbi George’s Sermons
A Guide to the Holy Days
By Rabbi George Gittleman
September 9, 2019: “We often think of the Holy Days as beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur. In fact, the Yamim Noraim (The Days of Awe) officially begin a month before the start of Elul. I think of Elul as the month of conditioning before the big climb, not up Mount Sinai, but rather inside ourselves”….. Click HERE to read the rest of the blog.
September 5, 2019: Click HERE to watch an interview with Rabbi George for the Jewish Journal in Los Angeles.
Friday, August 30, 2019: Rabbi George’s Sermon “How Tribal are We?” Watch it HERE.
High Holy Days at CST
Congregation Shomrei Torah looks forward to celebrating the High Holy Days with you! All of our High Holy Day services will be held in our home at Congregation Shomrei Torah.
We need your help to make everything run smoothly. Please visit our SIGN-UP if you are able to help.
Make sure to fill out your High Holy Day packet, or download it HERE.
For more information about High Holy Days at CST, click HERE.
Slichot Storytelling and Havdallah with Joel Ben Izzy
Saturday, September 21, 7:00 PM
Please RSVP to the office.
Storyteller Joel ben Izzy will be returning to Congregation Shomrei Torah to share S’lichot and high-holiday themed tales, both traditional and modern. Join us for a fun, participatory way to ease into the holidays, including the changing of the Torah mantels to Holy Day white, havdalah and a sweet nosh for a sweet New Year! Read about Joel HERE.
Creating Sacred Space: A Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Program
Drop In Session: $8 CST Members / $12 Non-Members
Series: $80 CST Members / $120 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.
Jewish Mindfulness adds the teachings of our tradition to deepen the meditative experience. This course, led by Rabbi George Gittleman, will include teaching, meditation instruction, and periods of silence… read more HERE.
Program Schedule (Timing/Dates):
- September 22 @ 4:30pm: Loving Others/Loving Ourselves
- October 13, 20, 27 @ 4:30pm: Impermanence
- November 3 (Guest Leader), 17 (Guest Leader), 24 @ 4pm: Gratitude
- December 8, 15, 22 @ 4pm: Inner Light
Financial Seminar led by Carla Frank
Cost: $20 per family per session or $30 for both sessions. No one turned away for lack of funds.
As the new year approaches, we invite you to spend some time reflecting on your finances: where are you are now, and where you would like to be? Attend one session or both.
We will be debunking myths, gaining knowledge and developing confidence in planning for your financial future. CST member Carla Frank is a financial executive with more than 25 years’ experience in financial planning & analysis, READ MORE HERE.
Planning for Retirement
Sunday, September 22, 4pm-5:30pm
How can we evaluate if a potential investment is a good fit for our family? Should we invest in long term care insurance? What should we know about annuities before deciding to invest?
Financial Planning for Families
Wednesday, September 25, 7pm-8:30pm.
How do we create a family budget? How do we prepare for the unexpected? The kids are so smart! How will we pay for college?
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY SUKKOT PLAYHOUSE BUILD
Sunday, October 13, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Free lunch provided, please RSVP to the office.
Please join Congregation Shomrei Torah and the entire Santa Rosa community as we spend Sukkot “praying with our hands and feet” by building a playhouse for Habitat for Humanity! Building and painting will take place at CST and the finished playhouse will be delivered to a Habitat for Humanity home.
All ages are welcome, lunch will be served following Religious School. Invite your family and friends to this wonderful community event!
Jewish Literacy Circle
October 17, 6:00pm: The Worlds We Think We Know by Dalia Rosenfeld.
FREE, all are welcome, please RSVP to the office.
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.
Wine and Cheese Pre-Oneg in the Sukkah
Friday, October 18, 5:45pm – 6:45pm
Please join your congregational family for a free, pre-oneg wine and cheese in the Sukkah.
We will be gathering at 5:45pm, followed by regular Shabbat services at 6:15pm.
Sweet Shabbat Mornings
Potluck Lunch in the Sukkah
Saturday, October 19, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Please RSVP to the office.
The Religious Practice Committee will be hosting special gatherings on Saturday mornings on a number of Shabbats this year. We’ve picked four of these to include a speaker and a potluck lunch (with a main dish provided by us) immediately following Shabbat Services.
Joyful prayer, food, community and inspiration. An unbeatable combination! Join us for the first one on October 19th for a lunch in the Sukkah and a Sukkot speaker.
Adult B’nei Mitzvah Cohort
If you are a Jewish adult who has never had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, now is your opportunity. This 14-month course will delve into Jewish theology, liturgy (prayer), and Jewish cannon (Torah, Midrash,Talmud, etc.). READ MORE…
- Course Registration Deadline: October 15, 2019
- $200 deposit due at time of registration, please RSVP to the office.
- Cost: $1,310. Includes tuition and materials; Scholarships available upon request.
Simchat Torah Celebration & Lunch
Sunday, October 20, 10:30am – 1:30pm
A free falafel lunch will be provided after the celebration; please RSVP to the office.
Everyone is invited to come dance with the Torah at the holiest party of the year! This will be a Simchat Torah to remember with music, dancing, chanting Torah, and celebration as we end our Torah reading cycle and immediately begin all over again.
Tractate Ta’anit – What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?
Cost: $315, $252, $189 (Students choose their tier)
To register, click HERE.
In this mostly narrative section the Talmud, questions are raised about “Holy Men” who pronounce the “meaning” of a disaster. The text, according to Julia Watts Belser, “over turns expected hierarchies of gender, piety, and social status to challenge the theological significance of hunger, suffering, and abundance… While the majority of participants are continuing students, anyone may join.
Talmud Circle participants should obtain the Koren Talmud. If you have questions, please contact Tamar Zaken at email@example.com or (510) 845-6420.
Sunday Class Dates from 2-4pm: October 6, November 17, December 8, January 5, February 2, March 1, April 5, May 17, June 7 (Offsite)
Informational Meeting: 2020 Congregational Eastern Europe Trip
Meeting Date: Wednesday, October 23, 7:00 PM
Trip Dates: August 23 – September 4, 2020. Congregation Shomrei Torah’s Jewish Journey to Europe: Poland, Vienna, Budapest. Led by Rabbi George Gittleman.
Explore the remains of the Warsaw Ghetto. Shabbat services with members of Krakow’s Jewish Community. Pay tribute to the six million at Auschwitz . See the legacy & beauty of imperial Vienna. Visit Europe’s largest synagogue in Budapest. Visit the remarkable Jewish museums in Warsaw and Vienna. Cruise on the Danube River.
Friday, October 25, 5:15pm – 6:15pm
Shabbat ShaBoogie is a very special Shabbat experience for families with children 3rd grade and under!
Begin with a short service with music, dancing and stories – and then enjoy a light dinner and dessert with all of your new friends! Regular Shabbat services will follow at 6:15 PM.
Shabbat ShaBoogie is a free event but please RSVP to CST@cstsr.org so we know how much food to order.
What’s Cooking at CST – Constantine Cuisine
Sunday, October 27, 12:30-2:30 PM
Free, spaces limited, RSVP to the office
Please join us as member Eva Thomas-El Beze takes us on a taste filled journey through her family’s recipes of North Africa. Using recipes that were handed down generation after generation, Eva is excited to share her rich culture of Arabic and Berber cuisine.
Come explore how Jews in Algeria eat, gather and celebrate through their traditional foods and beverages. Learn how to make a variety of dishes that are sure to impress at your next event!
Menu: Entrée salads – medley of small salads with varying dressings. Borek – Arabic potato dumplings served warm with fresh lemon juice. Couscous aux legumes – vegetable stew served over couscous. Halva – warm dessert made with semolina, almonds and raisins. Espresso Arabica – espresso coffee flavored with cardamom and rose water.
Please note the menu is vegetarian but not gluten free.
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 Sue: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Already a Member?
Get Involved & Support Shomrei Torah
- Buy a Judaica Gift Shop Gift Certificate
- Join Shomrei Torah’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
- Purchase a Yahrzeit Memorial Plaque
- Join a Chavurah (Interest) Group
- Purchase a Leaf or Pomegranate on our Kir Hakavod Wall
- Sign up for eScrip: Raise money for your favorite school or nonprofit when you shop.