Congregation Ner Shalom

services and events

What's the Buzz?

Ner Shalom "Re-Tale Seder"
Saturday, April 19 ~ 6 PM Sharp!
Led by Reb Irwin Keller and Atzilah Solot
Music by Lorenzo Valensi and Friends

See description in the column to the right. This event will sell out! So register now. Just click here.

Bigshot Shabbat
Friday, April 25
Shmooze ~ 6:45
Service ~ 7-8:45 PM
Led by Reb Irwin, with Lorenzo Valensi, Atzilah Solot and Special Guests

Because of tomorrow's Bar Mitzvah, a cadre of Reb Irwin's beloved mentors will converge on Ner Shalom this weekend, presenting song and story like Ner Shalom has never had in one room before. Guests include Cantor Cory Winter, Rabbi Eli Cohen and Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder of Storahtelling and Labshul. Among tonight's offerings: Cantor Winter and Reb Irwin will present a rarely-performed Max Janowski setting of this week's haftarah portion. Oneg sponsored by the Slozberg-Keller Tamar-Mattis family. Childcare provided.

Bar Mitzvah: Ari Tamar-Mattis
Saturday, April 26
Special Time: 12 PM ~ Kiddush; 1 PM ~ Service
Parshat Kedoshim - Leviticus 19:1-25

Join us as we welcome Ari Tamar-Mattis, child of Anne & Suegee Tamar-Mattis, Oren Slozberg and Irwin Keller, as he becomes an adult in our commnunity and in Klal Yisrael. Ari will be presenting his Torah portion using the Storahtelling method. So be prepared to be engaged!

ReGeneration: Lessons from the Holocaust
Sonoma County Yom Hashoah Commemoration
Sunday, April 27 ~ 2-4 PM
Friedman Center, 4676 Mayette Avenue, Santa Rosa

Join Reb Irwin, Board member Barbara Lesch McCaffry and Gale Kissin for this important annual event! This year, Sonoma County’s annual Holocaust commemoration, “Regeneration: Lessons from the Holocaust”, will be dedicated to passing on the timeless and important memory of the Holocaust to the next generation.

As the number of living Holocaust survivors continues to diminish, this year’s theme reflects the critical role that young people will have in sharing the individual stories and universal themes of the Holocaust.  The “Righteous Conversations Project”, a collaboration between Holocaust survivors and teens using film and new media to give voice to injustice taking place today will be featured and a short film, “Not Standing Idly By” created by project participants will be shown.

Erev Shabbat

Friday, May 2
Shmooze ~ 6:45
Service ~ 7-8:45 PM
Led by Reb Irwin, with Lorenzo Valensi, Atzilah Solot and Special Guests

What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play. Join us to welcome Shabbat in joy and community.

Ignite Your Mind: A Day of Jewish Learning

Sunday, May 4 ~ 1-4 PM
At Person Senior Wing at the Finley Complex
2060 West College Avenue, Santa Rosa

Sponsored by the Sonoma County Jewish Community Center, the workshops on this countywide day of learning will include topics focused on Jewish: Kabbalah, urban farming, chanting, wilderness, spirituality, yoga, collage, mysticism, symmetry, music, film, the Baal Shem Tov and social media. Engaging and entertaining sessions will be accessible to all - whether you’re a scholar or have never been involved in any facet of Jewish learning. The event will consist of two one-hour breakout sessions. Participants will choose from among five or six workshops offered in each session. Teachers include Reb Mia Cohen, Ira Steingroot, Rabbi Michael Cumins, Atzilah Solot and Reb Irwin. Free child care with Camp Chai counselors and Rick Concoff present. (Children must be potty trained.) Read more on Facebook by clicking here.

Journey to Revelation (An Evening with Rabbi Shefa Gold)

Sunday, May 4 ~ 7-9 PM at Ner Shalom

In counting the days of the Omer, we prepare ourselves to become the vessels for God’s Presence and messengers for the Divine Word. God instructs Moses to tell us to make ourselves holy for the Day of Revelation, to wash our garments and get ready! Together with the help of the illustrious Rabbi Shefa Gold, we will joyfully prepare for revelation with an evening of Hebrew Chant. The Chant will help us connect with our longing for Truth, clear our minds, open our hearts and strengthen our commitment to receive Torah anew. Although Rabbi Gold's music is always present in our shul, she is not. We are pleased to welcome her on one of her rare visits to the Bay Area. $25 for the public; $18 for Ner Shalom members and people with limited income. Please register by clicking here.

Messengers of Peace Chant Circle
Thursday, May 8 ~ 7:30 PM
Led by Atzilah Solot, with Lorenzo Valensi and Jeff Hoffman

Please 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: $5-10; no one turned away for lack of funds.for her family. Please join us to help send her on this difficult path of mitzvah.

Ner Shalom Annual Membership Meeting
Thursday, May 22
5:30 ~ Vegetarian Potluck Dinner
6:30-8:30 ~ Down to Business

Ner Shalom has some challenges and some exciting new opportunities ahead. Join us to be together, enjoy each other's company, reflect on our accomplishments, plot our course and select next year's leadership. This is an important and enjoyable night. Please put it in your calendar. Open to Ner Shalom members in good standing only. Childcare provided.

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, May 12 - 9:30 AM
At Marvin's Restaurant in Cotati.

To attend a Ner Shalom Board Meeting, click here.

Special Upcoming!

On this night, different from all other nights, we will find a few new ways to tell and hear our ancient story of slavery and freedom. We will use symbol and story and embodiment and improvisation. The night will be thought-provoking, laughter-filled and suitable for all generations. A delicious, [mostly] vegetarian dinner will be served. This event will sell out. To learn more and register, click here.

Shefa Gold Returns!
Sunday, May 4 ~ 7-9 PM

Journey to Revelation.
Rabbi Shefa Gold returns to Ner Shalom to lead an evening of Hebrew chant honoring the Omer and our journey toward Revelation. The evening will help us connect with our longing for Truth, clear our minds, open our hearts and strengthen our commitment to receive Torah anew. Click here to register.

Yiddish Tish
Wednesday, April 16

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.

People of the
Book Group
Next: A Guide for the Perplexed
Sunday, April 6 ~ 1:30 PM

Not the Maimonides tome but Dara Horn's  suspenseful novel that follows an American software developer to Egypt. Inspired by the Joseph narrative it is interspersed with episodes from the lives of Solomon Schechter and Maimonides. Questions about family, memory, technology and much more are evoked. This new novel is a fabulous read. Loaner copies are available at Ner Shalom.  Note: Author Dara Horn will also appear at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco on May 1 at 7 PM. Get information at


Beginning Yiddish
Tuesdays at Noon

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.  We are currently learning with Mayn Yiddish Buch by Deborah Tarant. It is viewable in full online by clicking here.

Rainbow over Ner Shalom. Photo by Lorenzo Valensi.

Ner Shalom: Strictly Scent-Free

We Like 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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