Congregation Ner Shalom

services and events

What's the Buzz?

Book Group: The Curse of Blessings
Sunday, August 31 ~ 11AM-1PM

This month we will read The Curse of Blessings by Mitchell Chefitz. Ten jewel-like tales nestled in a larger framework, wherein an aged storyteller passes on his craft to four unlikely apprentices. This is a very short book that can be read in a sitting, yet stay with you forever. Ariana has a few loaner copies. Click here to email her.

Erev Shabbat
Friday, September 5 ~ 6:45 Shmooze; 7 PM Service
Led by Reb Judith Goleman

Join us as to welcome Shabbat with spirit, song and sweetness. Childcare available upon request by September 3.

Messengers of Peace Chant Circle
Thursday, September 11 ~ 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.

Oliver Ranch Hike, Supporting J School
Friday, September 12 ~ 4:30-6:30 PM

A limited number of spots are available for this small group hike of the remarkable Oliver Ranch grounds and sculpture gardens in Geyserville. (Never been there? Reb Irwin says it's one of the most beautiful places he's ever visited. Take a gander.) Your $100 donation supports our school. And after two hours at Oliver Ranch, you'll be primed for a truly delicious Shabbat. To nab your spot, call Vicki at (707) 664-8622.

Save the Dates: November 15-16

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, October 13 - 9:30 AM
At Marvin's Restaurant in Cotati.

Next Ner Shalom Board Meeting:
Tuesday, October 7 - 6:30 PM
If you'd like to attend, email us. Just click here.

Special Upcoming
and Ongoing!

High Holy Days 5775

Rosh Hashanah begins Wednesday, September 24, and with it we enter a shmitah year, where our ancient law was to let our fields lie fallow. Most of us today don’t own actual fields. So what is the Soul Lesson that the idea of shmitah give us?

In a world that values doing over being, what is the value of stillness, listening, awareness, patience? How bad would it be to give up trying to control it all? If we were to just stand back and allow it, how might we all grow and bear new, creative fruit ?

Join us for our beautiful, moving, and highly musical High Holy Days at Ner Shalom. Balancing tradition and innovation, our High Holy Day experience invites you to look at what makes you tick, discover what you need, and emerge with a renewed sense of possibility.

Reb Irwin Keller will lead services, along with many musicians, singers and brilliant congregational leaders. And once again we will feature the exciting art of Storahtelling as our theatrical strategy for reading and engaging in Torah. Find out more and reserve your spot by going to

Yiddish Tish
Wednesday, August 13

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. This month we complete a beautiful story by Nobelist Isaac Bashevis Singer - if you weren't there last time we'll catch you up in a split second in a jiffy.


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.

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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