Congregation Ner Shalom

services and events

What's the Buzz?

Erev Shabbat
Friday, December  5 ~ 7 PM
Led by Reb Irwin, with Lorenzo Valensi, Atzilah Solot and Friends

Welcome shabbat with music, rest, soulfulness and a drash from Reb Irwin. Childcare provided.

Messengers of Peace Chant Circle

Tuesday, December 9 ~ 7:30 PM
Held at Devi Yoga Studio, 7151 Wilton Ave #103 in Sebastopol
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; no one turned away for lack of funds.

Kindling Fires Within Darkness (Outdoor Gathering)
Sunday, December 14 ~ 10-3
At Ocean Song Farm & Wilderness Center
Sponsored by Zmanim.

A day-long community gathering outdoors, preparing for Chanukah and the season of winter and exploring the element of fire in Jewish tradition. Led by Rabbis Daria & Josh Jacobs-Velde, Wilderness Guide Rachel Ruach and Yael Raff Peskin. Come make oil-burning chanukiyot from natural materials and build a fire without matches! Organized by ZMANIM (SEASONS), a new nature-based, Waldorf-inspired, embodied learning program in West Sonoma County, cultivating multi-generational Jewish community outdoors through the seasons. $54 for adults; $44 for members of Sonoma County synagogues. Click here for more information.

Sunday, December 14: They're Baaaaaack!

The Kinsey Sicks return to Sonoma County in an encore performance of "Oy Vey in a Manger," benefitting Congregation Ner Shalom. Come join us again! Or if you can't stomach another night with these girls, then send your friends instead. Note that this will be Reb Irwin's last California performance with the Kinsey Sicks as he steps into the drag of retirement. Click here for info and tickets.

Winter Treasures: Solstice Shabbat 2014
Friday, December 19 ~ 7 PM
Led by Atzilah Solot and Friends

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!

Ner Shalom Community Chanukah
Mostly-Vegetarian Potluck Dinner!

Sunday, December 21 ~ 5-7 PM
Your Hosts: Binah Block and Susie Miller

It's Chanukah! It's Solstice! It's Chanukah! It's Solstice! It's Chanukah AND Solstice! Join us to light candles (bring your menorah), eat delicious food including lots of latkes provided by Ner Shalom, sing, laugh, play games and enjoy a warm, communal, kid-friendly Chanukah moment. RSVP by clicking here and we'll throw another teaspoon of matzah meal in the latkes.

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

Special Upcoming
and Ongoing!

Yiddish Tish
Wednesday, November 19

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. 

Ner Shalom
Book Group
The Betrayers, by David Bezmozgis
Sunday, February 15
1 PM

A compact saga of love, duty, family, and sacrifice from a rising star whose fiction is ''self-assured, elegant, perceptive . . . and unflinchingly honest'' (New York Times)

These incandescent pages give us one fraught, momentous day in the life of Baruch Kotler, a Soviet Jewish dissident who now finds himself a disgraced Israeli politician. When he refuses to back down from a contrary but principled stand regarding the settlements in the West Bank, his political opponents expose his affair with a mistress decades his junior, and the besieged couple escapes to Yalta, the faded Crimean resort of Kotler's youth. There, shockingly, Kotler comes face-to-face with the former friend whose denunciation sent him to the Gulag almost forty years earlier.

Loaner copies will be available at Ner Shalom after January 5. We read this book as part of the One Bay One Book program. Find out about other programs relating to this novel by clicking here.

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.

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, November 10 - 9:30 AM
At Marvin's Restaurant in Cotati.

Next Ner Shalom Board Meeting:
Thursday, October 23 - 6:30 PM
If you'd like to attend, email us. Just click here.

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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