Congregation Ner Shalom

services and events

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Shema: Listening for the Still Small Voice

High Holy Days
Click Here for All the Details. (Note: You Must Reserve Seats)

Erev Shabbat - No Service
Friday, September 4

We will be busy preparing to welcome the High Holy Day season with Selichot on Saturday night, September 5. Click below, on the High Holy Days graphic, to get all the information!

Selichot Service
Saturday, September 5 ~ 8:00 PM
Led by Reb Irwin, Atzilah, Shoshana, Reb Judith and Rabbi Meredith
Free and Open to All

Selichot is one of the most beautiful rituals of our year. Not a traditional prayer service in any way, it is an opportunity to move as a community into a deeper place of gentleness, forgiveness, expansiveness and beauty. The service will include stories, short teachings, some nice meditation, some of our favorite High Holy Day songs and chants, and a shofar blast at the end. About one hour, soup to nuts.

Rosh Hashanah Evening
Sunday, September 13
Apples & Honey at 6:30 PM, Service at 7
Led by Reb Irwin Keller and Friends
Music by Lorenzo, Atzilah and the Ner Shalom Singers.

We welcome the new year with beautiful music and celebration.

Rosh Hashanah Morning
Monday, September 14
9:30 AM - Morning Service Begins
9:45 AM ~ Children's Service
1:00 PM ~ Vegetarian Potluck Lunch
Led by Reb Irwin, with Atzilah, Shoshana, Reb Judith, Barbara Lesch McCaffry and Rabbi Meredith

We move deeper into the spirit of the Holy Days, listening closely to the needs of our souls. The morning includes a Shofar Service as well as this year's installment of Storahtelling, a lively, participatory, theatrical presentation of the Torah reading. The morning service will conclude by approximately 1 PM. A Children's Service will take place at 9:45 AM in another room.

Rosh Hashanah Tashlich

Monday, September 14 ~ 3:00 PM
At the Cotati Creek Bike Path Bridge
Led by Reb Irwin
Free and open to all.

Join us for this very affecting ritual, in which we let go of what holds us back by casting seeds and crumbs into living water.

Second Day Rosh Hashanah with ZMANIM in Sebastopol
Tuesday, September 15
At Ragle Park in Sebastopol
Led by Rabbis Josh and Daria Jacobs-Velde
Free and open to all.

An outdoor celebration of the New Year, organized by our friends at ZMANIM. Adult service is a 9:30 AM; there will be a break at 11:45; Kiddush and potluck vegetarian lunch at 12:15; and a family Rosh Hashanah celebration at 1:15. Get more details by clicking here.

Shabbat Shuvah
Friday, September 18 ~ 7 PM
Free and open to all.
Led by Reb Irwin and Friends

We welcome Shabbat with song and soulfulness. We will all be pre-tenderized from these holidays, so expect the night to be big and joyous.

Kol Nidre - Yom Kippur and Shabbat Evening
Tuesday, September 22 ~ 7 PM
Led by Reb Irwin and Friends
Music by Lorenzo, Atzilah and the Ner Shalom Singers.

Our solemnest night of the year where we dig into the question of how to hold back from the impulse to act that so often gets us in hot water. How can we integrate our actions with thought, restraint, deep listening and the spaciousness to allow things to unfold? A night of soul-stirring prayer and beautiful music. We will be moved by the musical gifts of Lorenzo Valensi, Atzilah Solot, the Ner Shalom Singers and many soloists. Please bring photos or memorabilia of loved ones whose loss you will reflect on in Wednesday's Yizkor Service. These will go on our Memorial Table. (Be sure to mark them as yours.)

Yom Kippur and Shabbat Morning
Wednesday, September 23
9:30 AM - Morning Service Begins
9:45 AM ~ Children's Service
Led by Reb Irwin, with Atzilah, Shoshana and Rabbi Meredith

We move deeper into our work of teshuvah, finding the road back to our own selves, working to repair our hearts, our relationships and the world we share. The service will include Storahtelling, a lively, participatory presentation of the Torah Service. A Children's Service will take place at 9:45 AM in another room. The morning service will conclude by approximately 1 PM.

Yom Kippur Afternoon: The People's Torah

Wednesday, September 23 ~ 3:30 PM
Led by Reb Irwin

We come back together for one of Ner Shalom's favorite new traditions, borrowed from Berkeley's Aquarian Minyan: the People's Torah. This is a very moving ritual in which attendees have the opportunity to hold the Torah scroll in their arms and speak from their hearts about what moves them in the moment.

Yom Kippur Yizkor Service
Wednesday, September 23 ~ 5:30 PM
Led by Sally
Free and open to all.

As we take stock on Yom Kippur, we become aware of those who have gone before us whose influence we still feel in our lives. Join us for memory, story and song. Please bring photos or memorabilia of loved ones whose loss you hope to reflect on, if you did not already bring those items and place them on the Memorial Table at Kol Nidre. (Be sure to mark them as yours.)

Yom Kippur Neilah Service
Wednesday, September 23 ~ 6:30 PM; Potluck Break-the-Fast Follows
Led by Reb Irwin
With Lorenzo and Atzilah

In our tradition, we imagine the Gates of Heaven closing at the end of Yom Kippur. The Neilah service is the time of the closing of the gates; our last communal opportunity to make amends, to achieve new resolve, to write our own intentions in the Book of Life. The service is followed at 7:30 PM by a short havdalah and a potluck vegetarian break-the-fast.


Shabbat in the Sukkah
Friday, October 2 ~ 7 PM
Led by Reb Irwin, Shoshana and Atzilah

A night of Hallel - we will welcome this special Shabbat that sits in the middle of our harvest festival with Psalms. We will sing and chant Psalms, set by many composers. Join us for this unusual night.

Simchat Torah: Dance the Torah Back to the Top
Sunday, October 4 ~ 10:30 AM
At B'nai Israel Jewish Center
Led by Rabbi Ted Feldman, Reb Irwin Keller and Reb Mia Miriam Cohen
With Special Musical Guests

Ner Shalomers, B'nai Israelites and their friends of all ages are invited to celebrate the completion of our annual Torah-reading cycle. Short ritual, some Torah hoopla, parading, peeking in the scroll, hearing end and beginning, and dancing dancing dancing. This event is free, wildly fun and a joyous opportunity to meet and mingle with the South-of-Penngrove Jewish set. And yes, this is a morning event! Come celebrate Torah with us by daylight.

Sukkot on the Farm
October 1st-4th
At True Grass Farms, Valley Ford
Brought to you by Wilderness Torah

This is Wilderness Torah's 9th Annual Sukkot on the Farm! Join for one, two, or three nights and help co-create a multi-generational village.

The main festival will include a multi-generational village, organic kosher food from Hearth Nourishing Foods, Shabbat and Sukkot celebrations, bonfires, movement, meditation, live music from Shamati, special programs for kids and teens, and an ancient Simchat Beit HaShoevah (water- drawing) ritual to honor the waters and call in the rains.

Lowest tickets on sale until Sunday, September 20. Limited Avodah (work exchange) opportunities available. Click here for more information. Or contact Wilderness Torah.

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
Leading up to the High Holy Days, we will rehearse Wednesdays at 7:30, beginning August 5. At Ner Shalom

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!

High Holy Days

Shema: Listening for the Still Small Voice

The High Holy Days are coming:
Selichot: September 5
Rosh Hashanah: September 13-15
Shabbat Shuvah: September 18
Yom Kippur: September 22-23

Ner Shalom will fill up for High Holy Day services. So be sure to reserve early. Find out more about our holy day offerings (and reserve seats) by clicking here.

Ner Shalom
Book Group

Love to read?
Join us to discuss a wide range of books containing Jewish themes or points of view. Watch this spot for upcoming books!

Yiddish Tish
Wednesday, July 29

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.


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:
July 16 ~ 9:30 AM at Marvin's Restaurant in Cotati.

Next Ner Shalom Board Meeting:
Thursday, June 25 - 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

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