Congregation Ner Shalom

services and events

What's the Buzz?

New Member Shabbat
Friday, November 20 at 7:00 PM
Led by Reb Irwin
With Lorenzo Valensi, Atzilah Solot, and the Good Shabbes Band

Join us for a songful, soulful Erev Shabbat. Come meet all the new people who are bringing their beautiful presence to this community. New members: come meet the veterans who are the foundation of this community. Much joy to be had.

Family Shabbat Morning Hike
Saturday, November 21 ~ 10-Noon
At Crane Creek
Led by Janet Rae Jorgensen and Kamala Brown

Join our Sapling Chavurah - Ner Shalom families with young children - for a stroll in Crane Creek. Enjoy good company, room for kids to run around, and music by Susie Miller. Bring a lunch for your family. In case of rain, it's popcorn and games at Ner Shalom! RSVP by clicking here.

Lily Brett: Text, Jews and Rock 'n' Roll
Monday, November 23, 7-8:30 PM at Ner Shalom
A Commonweal New School Conversation
In Conversation with Reb Irwin Keller

The Commonweal conversation series called The New School is coming to Sonoma County, beginning with this conversation with author Lily Brett. Lily Brett is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, who at 19 became a rock and roll journalist, interviewing the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger. She went on to publish seven novels, four collections of essays, and eight volumes of poetry. An Australian based in New York, Lily’s work has struggled to make connections between the disparate and conflicting facts of our lives, finding in them both humor and home. The event is free, but registration is required. Click here.

Shabbat by Daylight
Saturday, November 28 at 10:00 AM
Led by Reb Irwin and Friends

A nice, easy Shabbat morning. Music, community, and some Torah too. Join us!

Erev Shabbat
Friday, December 4; 6:45 Shmooze; 7PM Service
Led by Reb Irwin and Friends

Join us to welcome Shabbat with song and soulfulness, and a Reb Irwin-style drash.

Messengers of Peace Chant Circle
Thursday, December 10 at 7:30 PM
Led by Atzilah Solot, with some musical combination of Lorenzo Valensi, Suzanne Shanbaum 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.  $10-15 for non-Ner Shalom members. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Ner Shalom Family Chanukah Celebration!
Sunday, December 13 ~ 5-7 PM

Candle-lighting (bring a menorah from home). Games. Latkes. Mostly vegetarian potluck dinner! Sing, laugh, make a bisl art, play games, shmooze, and enjoy a warm, communal, kid-friendly Chanukah moment. This event is for EVERYONE in our community of all ages. RSVP by clicking here and we'll throw another latke in the oil.

Potluck Assignments: If your middle name begins with A-H, bring a main dish. I-Q: salad. R-Z: dessert. Remember: vegetarian or kosher fish (i.e. fins & scales).

Winter Treasures: Solstice Shabbat 2015
Friday, December 18; 6:45 Shmooze; 7PM Service
Led by Atzilah Solot, Reb Irwin and Assorted Wonderful Musicians

It's Shabbat, Solstice, and nearly Christmas. On this near-longest night of the year we come together to chant, relax and drop into a deep place. We will give voice to the chants of a number of traditions. Come enjoy the warmth of each other's company and the magic of the long winter nights. You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy this special night! 

Ongoing at Ner Shalom!

Shalom Drum-In
Second 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
Lend your voice! Besides our annual High Holy Day appearances, we sing for other ritual and just for the joy of it.

For details 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.

Sapling Chavurah
for Families
with Young Children

Join this new and delightful chavurah for families with young children. Events include Shabbat dinners, weekend hikes and song sessions! 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.


Congregation Ner Shalom is a warm and inclusive Jewish community. Drawing from our Reconstructionist roots and the soulfulness of Jewish Renewal, we embrace Judaism through ritual, social justice, music, learning and laughter.

Special Upcoming
and Ongoing!

Ner Shalom
Book Group

Next Date: TBA

Our next book is Primo Levi's The Periodic Table. We are reading this as part of the OneBayOneBook program sponsored by Jewish Learning Works. Watch this spot for details.

Yiddish Tish
Next: Thursday, December 17
at Noon

Taught by Reb Irwin Keller, 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. And bring your lunch. This month: Reb Irwin talks about the political and cultural import of Yiddish-reading women in the 18-19th Centuries.


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.

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:
Wednesday, December 9
~ 9:30 AM at Marvin's Restaurant in Cotati.

Next Ner Shalom Board Meeting:
Thursday, November 19 - 5:30 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

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