Congregation Ner Shalom

services and events

What's the Buzz?

Shabbat Morning
Saturday, April 25 ~ 10 AM
Kiddush to Follow
Led by Judy Iwanier and Friends

Enjoy shabbat by daylight! Our monthly Saturday morning minyan is sweet and intimate and boasts an incomparable feeling of closeness and holiness. Judy says this shabbat will be simple: song, prayer and the joy of being together.

Walk to End Genocide
Sunday, April 26 ~ 9 AM
Stepping off from Congregation Shomrei Torah

When Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was asked about his experience marching with Rev. Martin Luther King to Selma, he replied, "I felt like my legs were praying." Let's let our legs do the praying...

Join the J School team to bring our Jewish feet and intentions and resources to bring relief from violence around the globe. We will this year be especially focused on the plight of the Yazidi people of Syria.

Please sponsor the J School team for as much or as little as you can. Or walk with us. Just click here.

Simcha Sunday
Sunday, April 26 ~ Noon-4 PM
Santa Rosa Veterans Building, 1351 Maple Avenue

JCC presents Sonoma County's Jewish Cultural Festival, Simcha Sunday. Food, entertainment, sing-along, shopping, kids' mini-carnival, community resources and great nosh. Admission is free. Volunteer at the Ner Shalom table by emailing Vicki.

Erev Shabbat with Reb Irwin and Friends
Welcoming New Ner Shalom Members!
Friday, May 1st ~ 6:45 shmooze, 7 PM Service
Led by Reb Irwin, with music by Lorenzo Valensi, Binah Block, Suzanne Shanbaum and Chantleader Atzilah Solot

Shabbos!!! Song, celebration, soulfulness - and a Reb Irwin-style drash. This week we honor and welcome our newest Ner Shalom members. Please join us to be welcomed, and veterans, please join us to do the welcoming! Childcare provided.

Messengers of Peace Chant Circle
At Ner Shalom

Tuesday, May 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.

Annual Congregational Meeting - Members Attend!
Thursday, May 14
5:30 ~ Vegetarian Potluck Dinner
6:30-8:30 ~ Down to Business

This is an exciting moment in Ner Shalom's growth. Challenges, to be sure, and many exciting new opportunities ahead. Join us to be together, enjoy each other's company, reflect on our accomplishments and plot our course for the future. And fine, we'll make some music too.

This is an important and enjoyable night. Please put it in your calendar. Open to Ner Shalom members only. (And it's not too late to become a Ner Shalom member!)

Potluck assignments by last name: A-G: Main dish (vegetarian please). H-N: Salad or side dish. O-Z: Dessert. Be prepared to identify your contribution's ingredients for members with food allergies!

Erev Shabbat with Reb Irwin and Friends
Friday, May 15th ~ 6:15 Learn with Reb Irwin; 7 PM Service
Led by Reb Irwin, with music by Chantleader Atzilah Solot, Lorenzo Valensi, Binah Block and Suzanne Shanbaum

Shabbos!!! Song, celebration, soulfulness - and a Reb Irwin-style drash. This week we honor and welcome our newest Ner Shalom members. Please join us to be welcomed, and veterans, please join us to do the welcoming! Childcare provided.

The architecture of Jewish prayer.  Come at 6:15 and learn with Reb Irwin about the major themes in the service, the fixed order, and how the prayer service is like the Temple of ancient times.

Countywide Tikkun Leyl Shavuot
Harvest for the Hungry Hearted
Saturday, May 23 ~ 7 PM and through the night
At B'nai Israel Jewish Center in Petaluma

One of our loveliest traditions: learning overnight. This year our theme is "Harvest for the Hungry Hearted." Our teachers include every congregational rabbi in Sonoma County, plus many other gifted teacher. The night also includes music, dairy treats and childcare (until 10 PM). Sponsored by all the Sonoma County synagogues.

For details, just click here.

Ongoing 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
2nd and 4th Tuesday of each 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.

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.

Special Upcoming
and Ongoing!

Click on the Picture for Details

Ner Shalom
Book Group

Watch this spot for our next book...

Yiddish Tish
Next Date: TBA

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.


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.

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

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