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.


January 4, 2019
Rabbi George’s Sermon “The Seventy Names of the Divine”.
Click HERE to watch.

January 9, 2019
Companionship or Death
As we approach Tu B’shvat, I am reminded of the story of Honi Hamagil, Honi the Circle-Maker and the carob tree. Honi lived in Israel around the year 100 BCE. He was a shaman and a miracle-worker.  He’s called “the Circle-Maker” because in times of drought he would draw a circle, stand in it and…. READ MORE.


January 19, 2019
Rabbi Stephanie spoke at Women’s March, Santa Rosa
If you missed Rabbi Kramer’s speech at our local independent Women’s March, watch it HERE. She spoke powerfully to a crowd of over 4500 attendees, 30 groups were tabling, 35 volunteers made it all possible, 11 speakers in total. The crowd completely covered one-third of a mile while marching with participants in downtown Santa Rosa. Many have said it was the most diverse event they have been to in Santa Rosa and that they are rejuvenated with hope to fight for our future.
 Related News Articles:
Press Democrat: here | KSRO: here | KRCB: here | KBBF Women’s Spaces: here |
News of the North Bay: here | Sonoma West Times: here

JEWISH LITERARY CIRCLE

Thursday February 21 at 6:15pm   The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

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.

FREE, all are welcome. For more information, please contact the office.

Upcoming dates: March 21, Apr. 11, May 16, Jun 20


Shabbat Service & Game Night

Friday, February 22, 6:15 PM

Following services, please join us for a burrito bar dinner.

Bring your own board games, cards and tile games to play!

Please RSVP to denise@cstsr.org so we know how much food to provide.  The cost of this meal is $10 per family.


Jewish Baking with Ronnie Campagna: Rugelach

THIS CLASS IS FULL, WAIT-LIST AVAILABLE

Sunday, February 24, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Free, attendance limited. RSVP to the office at denise@cstsr.org

The first rugelach class was so popular that we are doing it again! Rugelach, an addictive Jewish pastry, is easy to find in Jewish bakeries in New York, Los Angeles and all over Israel, but it’s almost impossible to buy in Sonoma County. In this first in a series of Jewish cooking and baking events, participants will learn about the history and varieties of rugelach while creating this sweet treat from start to finish (in two hours!!).

Memories of your mom’s light-as-a-feather matzoh balls? Wishing you could make delicious and beautiful challah? Babka? Hamantaschen? Passover desserts? Something else? Send an email to the temple office: denise@cstsr.org.


LGBTQ INCLUSION AND SUPPORT 

Embracing Those with Chronic Illness or Disability

Monday, February 25, 6:30-8:30pm. Free to attend | Dessert Served

Join us for an interactive conversation with Rabbi Elliot Kukla from the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center for youth and families on creating more accessible communities for disabled and mentally or physically ill people. We will explore this topic through the lens of spirituality and disability justice and ask questions like: What does it mean to feel welcome and to be welcoming to people whose bodies or minds are different? How can we create communities where everyone feels invited to come as a whole person? What roles do wonder, creativity, and curiosity play in building an inviting community?

No religious background or spiritual beliefs are required for this conversation and all are invited.

Rabbi Elliot Kukla provides spiritual care to those who are dying, ill or bereaved at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, as well as co-directing the center’s end of life spiritual care volunteer program, Kol Haneshama (a collaborative program with the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living). He is also chronically ill and disabled and his essays and ideas on illness, dying, and disability justice, are published widely including in The New York Times, National Geographic, Shm’a: Journal of Jewish Thought, The Body is Not an Apology, and The Jewish Daily Forward. He lives in Oakland with his wife, son, and a mélange of animals.

Bay Area Jewish Healing Center is dedicated to providing Jewish spiritual care to those living with illness, to those caring for the ill, and to the bereaved through direct service, education and training, capacity building, and information and referral, www.jewishhealingcenter.org.

Save the date for our final session on Monday, April 8, 6:30-8:30pm: Creating a Culture of Inclusion


Death: A Spiritual & Practical Exploration from a Jewish Perspective

Three Wednesdays: February 27, March 6, March 13

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Free, please RSVP to the office.

This 3 session class taught by Rabbi George & Rabbi Stephanie will explore from a Jewish perspective the main spiritual and practical issues that arise around death. No previous knowledge is necessary. You are welcome to sign up for the series or for whatever session(s) are of interest to you.

Session Topics:

  • February 27: The End of Life – Preparation and Approaches Including the Question of Assisted Suicide
  • March 6: The Jewish Way in Mourning – Jewish Practices and their Meaning
  • March 13: Does the Soul Survive? Jewish Views of the Afterlife

 


SHABBAT SERVICE WITH ISRAEL TRIP ATTENDEES

Friday, March 1, 6:15 PM

Please join us as Rabbi George and members of the congregation who attended the Israel trip in October share their experiences.

Bagel Club

Sunday, March 3, 9:00am – 11:00am
The Bagel Club meets once a month to enjoy a delicious bagel breakfast followed by a speaker.
The March speaker will be announced soon!
All are welcome, $7-$10 donation requested.
Please RSVP to cstbagelmen@gmail.com or call (707)829-1388 to reserve your seat and brunch.

Mindfulness Meditation – Buddhist Practice, Jewish Wisdom – Rabbi George Gittleman

Wednesday, March 6th, 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 17, 3:00 PM
FREE, please RSVP to the office.

Mindfulness Meditation is the practice of cultivating our attention on the present moment: body sensations, mood and the never ending stream of thought that flows through our minds. Through focused attention—meditation—we become more aware of what is true for us and the degree to which our thoughts, habits and life patterns serve our goals and higher aspirations.

Are we happy? Are we living the life we want to live? As we learn to see our truth more clearly a path opens to living a fuller, happier, healthier life. Jewish mindfulness adds the teachings of our tradition to complement and deepen the experience. This 4-session course will include teaching, meditation  instruction and periods of silence. No previous experience is necessary.


March Rabbi’s Tisch with Professor Benjamin Benson

“Stewards of Eden: Sonoma County in Native Times”
Friday, March 8, 6:15 PM
$18 suggested donation for the catered dinner, please RSVP to the office.

Longtime member and beloved professor Benjamin Benson will present an illustrated lecture regarding his current research into the ancient Native American heritage of Sonoma County.  He will focus on new discoveries about Native American traditional relationships to the natural habitat, discoveries that greatly contradict conventional assumptions.

Professor Benson will incorporate his research in paleontology, archaeology, and ethnology, with an emphasis on Native philosophical and spiritual foundations for thousands of years of Native environmental harmony in Sonoma County.  This presentation will have direct relevance to the California environmental movement and to progressive Jewish environmentalism.

Professor Benjamin Benson is an Environmental Anthropologist who taught for over 30 years at the Santa Rosa Junior College and is currently a Professor of Native American Studies at Sonoma State University, the Cultural Resources Coordinator, at the Pepperwood Preserve and a consultant to Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of the American Indian and to the California Academy of Sciences.


PURIM CARNIVAL

Sunday, March 10, 11:15am – 1:30pm
This event is FREE and open to the community! Food will be available to purchase.

Join us for a day of fun, Purim games, crafts, music and much more! Come in costume to win a prize!

FREE TO ALL!
-Costume Contest
-Special Show @ Noon
-Pizza & Treats
-Games, Prizes & Activities
-Bounce House
-Face Painting
-Fortune Teller
-Test Your Skills
-Special Surprises
-Adult Lounge


Dinner & Dialogue with Israeli Palestinian Christian Dr. Niveen Rizkalla

Sunday, March 17, 6:15 PM
Free, please RSVP to the office.

We first met Niveen as part of the IsraAID team that came to help us during the fires. A psychologist who specializes in trauma, Niveen came to our aid during the worst days of the fire, offering counsel and comfort to many. Since then, we have worked with Niveen on a number of fire-related programs. Niveen has an interesting and compelling story as a psychologist working with trauma victims all over the Middle East and also as an Israeli Christian Palestinian. Join us as we share a meal and hear Niveen’s story.

Niveen is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Mack Center for Mental Health and Social Conflict. Prior to her arrival at Berkeley, Niveen served as the volunteer coordinator at the Haifa Rape Crisis Center and the director of the Haifa Ministry of Health’s Mobile Clinic, where she treated women, men and LGBTQ individuals in prostitution; trained professionals and volunteers on sexual violence and frequently presented at conferences and gave guest lectures. Her research interests focus on trauma – PTSD, complex PTSD, vicarious traumatization, secondary traumatic stress, posttraumatic growth and victims of torture and war in addition to women, gender based violence (e.g., sexual violence and prostitution).

She also is working on the traumatic experiences and physical and mental health of Syrian refugees and the staffers who assist them in Jordan (Middle East). Couples’ intimacy, marital satisfaction and the intimate relationships of traumatized populations are another area of interest. Her most recent project delves into secondary traumatic stress, intimacy, posttraumatic growth and coping mechanisms among staffers who assist refugees and war traumatized populations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.


A Season of Mussar with Sharon Schwartz

Seven Wednesdays: March 20, April 3, 17, May 1, 15, 29, June 5
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
$136 for the series, please RSVP to the office (scholarships available)

Mussar is a Jewish spiritual practice that gives concrete instructions on how to live a meaningful and ethical life. Based on the idea that by cultivating inner virtues, we improve ourselves, Mussar allow formore meaning and balance through study, practice and contemplation.

Sharon, a trained Mussar facilitator, will offer a beginner course called Season of Mussar I, a curriculum created by Alan Morinis, the founder of The Mussar Institute. For more information visit mussarinstitute.org/courses/season-of-mussar.


ADULT PURIM PIANO BAR

Wednesday, March 20, 7:00pm
FREE, please RSVP to denise@cstsr.org.

Come sing-a-long to the music of everybody’s favorite Jewish Piano Man, Billy Joel! Bring your groggers and your beverage of choice as storyteller extraordinaire, Norman Eisley, helps us retell the story of Esther.
We’ll chant some Megillah and together, enjoy singing classics like Uptown Girl, Tell Her About It, and My Life!

What’s COOKING at CST?

Mandelbrot Baking Class with Jo Anne Bressick
Sunday, March 24, 1:00-2:30PM
Free, spaces limited, please RSVP to the office.

Is it Jewish biscotti? No, it is delicious mandelbrot taught by baker supreme Jo Anne Bressick, a newish CST member, who loves to bake and especially loves to make Jewish dishes. (photo of Jo Anne Bressick)

No experience necessary. You will eat and bake and have your own scrumptious mandelbrot to take home. Materials are provided.  Jo Anne has made mandelbrot over a hundred times in the last 10 years. Her father-in-law loved them and she sent a double batch every few weeks to his delight.  They are the perfect cookie to dunk in coffee or tea while schmoozing with friends.

BAGEL MAKING CLASS with Cy Wilcox
Sunday, April 14 from 12:00-3:00PM
Free, spaces limited, please RSVP to the office.

Learn to bake chewy and delicious New York style water bagels. No more having them shipped from NY–make them yourself! Participants will learn to mix bagel dough, shape, boil, dress them up with your favorite toppings and bake. Class will be approximately 3 hours and will conclude with a bagel and a schmear.

Want to Teach a Class?

If you’d like to teach a class, please contact Susan Bailyn at susan@bailyngraphics.com.


The Folk Experience – Jewish American Songwriters of the 60’s Folk Era

Sunday, March 31, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Free, bring a friend. Please RSVP to the office.

The folk music movement of the 1960’s helped to galvanize social change in America. Not surprisingly, many of the successful songwriters of the folk era, calling upon their heritage and their sense of Tikun Olam – repairing of the world – were Jewish. Writers and performers such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Peter Yarrow, and Fred Hellerman of the Weavers wrote some of the most iconic songs of the folk era.

The Folk Experience – Cindy Paley, Mike Sirota, and Ed Labowitz — present a 3-part harmony musical program of American folk songs from Jewish songwriters of that great folk era. Their concert is part nostalgia, part entertainment, and part sheer joy as everyone in the audience sings along with the help of lyric booklets. It’s a hand clapping, foot stomping happening!

Cindy Paley has delighted Jewish communities across the country with her spirit and rich repertoire of Jewish music. As a Cantorial Soloist, Cindy is the soul of Lev Eisha and the Valley Beth Shalom N’shama Minyan, both creative Shabbat women’s services in Los Angeles.

Ed Labowitz and Mike Sirota are part of another trio, The Folk Collection, that has performed for the last fifteen years throughout the country, singing the classic songs of the folk era. When not singing with that group or The Folk Experience, Mike is the Cantor at Temple Ami Shalom in West Covina. As a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer, Ed represented many of the folk groups of the 60’s, including The Kingston Trio and The Limeliters, with whom he jams from time-to-time.


Reserve Today for the Congregational Retreat!

April 26-28, 2019 | Point Bonita YMCA, Sausalito

Reserve your spot with a non-refundable $100 deposit by contacting 707-578-5519 or denise@cstsr.org.

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. Final payment due by March 15.

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 vegan.  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 Spring/Summer 2019 Program Guide.

Click HERE to read The VIEW: A Guide to Programs, Holidays & Special Events.


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