Congregation Ner Shalom

services and events

What's the Buzz?

Shabbat Morning
Saturday, February 28 ~ 10 AM
Kiddush to Follow
Led by Binah Block

As we enjoy these springlike temperatures and the beauty that surrounds us, Binah invites you to join her and a few wonderful fellow travelers as we look at the beauty in Parashat Tetzaveh, with its descriptions of the gorgeous clothing the priests were commanded to wear, representing the beauty, glory and honor of HaShem, ourselves and one another. We are reflections of the Divine - and the ner tamid (the light that never goes out) inside us needs firing up on a daily basis so that we remember who we are.

There will be some rituals to remind you of your inner and outer beauty, chants, poems, songs, Torah and food! Bring something beautiful you love to look at: a painting, a card, some cloth, a picture of a beloved, a flower, a gift you received...anything you like. We will use them.

This is not your normal Saturday Shabbat service, so try it! Shabbat morning services are only once a month, so give it a shot. Let's be sure to have a minyan so our fellow Ner Shalomers who are in mourning can be sure to say Kaddish.

PURIM (and Act-Along Megillah Reading)
Plus Hamentaschen Bake-Off
Wednesday, March 4th at 6:30 PM
Led by Reb Irwin, Rabbi Ted, Rabbi Meredith, Reb Mia, Binah Block and Many Others
Megillah reading by Rabbi Ted and Rachel Friedman
Music by Lorenzo Valensi, Susie Miller and Jim Stern

It's that time again: our most rollicking holiday. This year be part of the story as the megillah gets played out around and through us. Don't worry, no advance study necessary. Will you be an Esther? A Haman? A member of the Persian Guard? Anything could happen. Just come ready for fun! This is for all ages. Oh, and please bring some extra wigs, crowns, boas and shmatehs to share!

We will also have a hamentaschen bake-off. So bring a batch of your favorite recipe. Cookie dought? Bread dough? Gluten free? Poppy? Prune? Chili and mango? Bring your best. (And share your recipes on our Facebook page.)

Erev Shabbat with Reb Irwin and Friends
Friday, March 6th ~ 6:45 Shmooze, 7 PM Service
Led by Reb Irwin, with music by Lorenzo Valensi, Susie Miller & Binah Block

Shabbos!!! Come celebrate making it through another week, and nurturing that holy spot in each of us that gets so easily covered up by our day-to-day tasks. Song, celebration, soulfulness - and a Reb Irwin-style drash. Childcare provided. Note: this Shabbat is the national day of unplugging!

Messengers of Peace Chant Circle
At Ner Shalom

Thursday, March 12 ~ 7:30 PM
Led by Atzilah Solot, with Lorenzo Valensi and Jeff Hoffman

Join our weaving of voices, sound, and breath, connecting deeply inside ourselves, with each other. Chant on behalf of those in need of healing, to honor those who have passed on, to move through a difficult time, and to celebrate our lives. Many of the chants are in Hebrew... take advantage of this opportunity to chant in this powerful, ancient language. No child care is provided, but older kids are welcome to join the chanting. Suggested donation: $10-15; free for Ner Shalom members. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Hear O Israel:
Compassionate Listening and Tikkun Olam

Sunday, March 22 ~ 3-5 PM
Led by Rabbi Janet Shifrah Tobacman

As we approach Passover, how can we open our hearts to hear the liberation story in new ways? There are many issues in the world about which many of us care deeply, from anti-semitism in Europe to the killing of unarmed young men of color in the US, from the right of LGBT Americans to marry, to human rights abuses perpetrated against gay Ugandans, from food justice to environmental degradation. But these issues can feel overwhelming, and it can be difficult to find helpful ways of expressing our fears and concerns that can open our minds to fresh thinking.

This introductory Compassionate Listening workshop will set up a framework for a longer event in April, and will serve as the first program in the Spirit of the Matter series. It will lay the groundwork for us to listen to each other well as a community in the future, whether we are talking about global warming  or Israel/Palestine. We will learn about the power of compassionate listening as a tool to deepen our connections and build trust even across our differences and do our part to heal the world.

New at Ner Shalom!

Shalom Drum-In
Fourth Saturday of the Month ~ 7 PM

Teaching, Learning, Arranging, Playing, Performing. Come work up some rhythm with other talented Ner Shalomers! (Bring your own drum.)

Ner Shalom Singers
Third Tuesday of the Month ~ 7:00 PM
At Rachel Friedman's Home
Yulupa Co-Housing

A monthly sing, just for fun, and to develop the repertoire, allowing the Ner Shalom Singers to drop into more services and events. For details and address, email Lorenzo.

Fourth Friday of the Month ~ 6PM

Some Sebastopol and West County Ner Shalomers are making it a practice to gather and welcome shabbat together over a potluck meal. No program, no fuss. Just a warm, candle-lit place to hang out in community on Erev Shabbat. If you'd like to participate, email Jen Herman.

Chavurah for Families
with Young Children

Friday, January 30 ~ 4:30-7 PM
At Ner Shalom

Join this newly forming chavurah to welcome Shabbat with light, warmth and homemade food. Get info here.

Your Great Idea Here

Wine Tish
A Periodic Exploration of Wine, Winegrowing and Jewish Tradition
At Orpheus Winery
8910 Sonoma Hwy in Kenwood
Led by Rachel Friedman, Marc Krafft and Reb Irwin

Talmud says if a snake is swimming toward your boat and you have uncovered wine in it, quickly dillute the wine to repel the snake. This and a million other mysteries of Judaism's relationship with wine. Email to find out be included in future sessions.

Special Upcoming
and Ongoing!

Ner Shalom
Passover Seder

Coming Saturday Night
April 4

Watch this Spot!

Ner Shalom
Book Group

Watch this spot for our next book...

Yiddish Tish
Wednesday, March 4

Taught by Reb Irwin

This monthly workshop explores the great Yiddish writers of Europe, Israel and North America. We read, translate and discuss poetry, short stories and other texts, both serious and comic. No previous Yiddish knowledge is required. We read and translate together, and discuss the literature seriously and humorously. Bring your lunch!


Beginning Yiddish
Tuesdays at 11 AM

Led by Gesher Calmenson
and Myra Siegel

This class, an outgrowth of our monthly Yiddish Tish, will help you learn to read and speak basic Yiddish, and gain greater access to Yiddish literature. 

Rainbow over Ner Shalom. Photo by Lorenzo Valensi.

Ongoing Stuff...

AppleCommunity School for Jewish Learning
Looking for a religious school for your kids? Our dynamic "J School" is a collaboration with B'nai Israel Jewish Center. Join our vibrant school and community. Read all about it by clicking here.

Ner Shalom Singers
The Ner Shalom Singers meet periodically to prepare pieces for special services and events. Lend us your voice! Just email Choir Manager Lorenzo Valensi!

Ner Shalom Book Group
Love to read? Join us to discuss a wide range of books containing Jewish themes or points of view. See calendar above for upcoming sessions and books! For information, contact Vicki.

Find us on Facebook
Join the Ner Shalom Facebook group to stay in better touch with your Ner Shalom friends.

Chesed Team
Help Ner Shalom community members in crisis. If you might ever be available for a hospital visit, or to deliver a meal, or make a phone call, or respond to some other need, let us put you on our Chesed Alert list. Just contact Vicki.

Silver Circle
Join the elders of our community to discuss hot issues and enjoy each other's company. For information, contact Vicki.

Many Meetings

Kavanah (Ritual) Committee:
Monday, February 9 - 9:30 AM
At Marvin's Restaurant in Cotati.

Next Ner Shalom Board Meeting:
Thursday, January 22 - 6:30 PM
If you'd like to attend, email us. Just click here.

Ner Shalom: Strictly Scent-Free

We Love You Just the Way You Smell

Congregation Ner Shalom is dedicated to creating community and ritual space that is safe and accessible to all, including people with severe environmental sensitivity. It's easy to do once you know how:
  • Please don't wear cologne, perfume, or scented hair (or other) products when you come to Ner Shalom.
  • Pomegranate
    If you smoke, please take a few minutes to let the smoke from your last cigarette dissipated before entering the building.
  • As you settle into a scent-free, chem-free way of thinking, consider buying scent-free laundry detergent and fabric softener, so that you can hug everyone at shul, and everyone can hug you.
  • Tell your guests. They might be resistant at first. Looking nice for synagogue might, for them, include smelling nice. So please explain to them that being scented may seem small to them, but not to someone who may not be able to remain in the room at services because of it. Or just tell them we're sticklers (because we are).
We thank you for making our holy space safe for everyone.

Congregation Ner Shalom
A Reconstructionist Synagogue
of Sonoma & Marin Counties

Home  |   About Us  |   News  |   Calendar  |   Contact Us  |   Search