Congregation Ner Shalom

services and events

What's the Buzz?

Erev Shabbat - Shabbat Chazon
Friday, August 1 ~ 6:45 Shmooze; 7-8:15 Service; Oneg to Follow
Led by Reb Mia Miriam Cohen, with Lorenzo Valensi and Atzilah Solot

The shabbat before Tisha B'Av is called Shabbat Chazon - the Shabbat of Vision. Join us for a sweet shabbat of vision with our new friend Reb Mia. Beautiful music and mindfulness, with an eye toward the themes of Tisha B'Av and an awareness of the fact that we are completing Shloshim, the 30-day mourning period, for Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, whose teaching continues to inspire so many members of our community.. Child care available upon request by July 30.

Tisha B'Av - A Night of Grief and Hope
Monday, August 4 ~ 8-9:30 PM
Led by Shoshana Fershtman, Reb Judith Goleman and Atzilah Solot

This has been a time of such grief - violence in Israel and the West Bank, the loss of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and many personal losses and challenges in our community as well. The holy day of Tisha B'av, marking the destruction of our ancient Temple, is our opportunity to give full voice to the grief that continues to be part of our history and of our daily lives. Tonight we will read from the Book of Lamentations, we will chant, we will weep, we will breathe, and we will explore the real hope that emerges out of our grief. This night, the darkest of the dark, is what sets the stage for our spiritual rebuilding that comes to completion at the High Holy Days.

Messengers of Peace Chant Circle
Thursday, August 7 ~ 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.

Erev Shabbat
Friday, August 15 ~ 6:45 Shmooze; 7 PM Service
Led by Reb Irwin, with special musical guest Lisa Iskin

Join us as to welcome Shabbat with spirit, song and good music. Childcare available.

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, August 18 - 9:30 AM
At Marvin's Restaurant in Cotati.

Next Ner Shalom Board Meeting:
Thursday, August 14 - 6:30 PM
If you'd like to attend, email us. Just click here.

Special Upcoming
and Ongoing!

High Holy Days 5775

Tending Our Soil;
Attending Our Soul

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 spirit of shmitah that we could use in our lives right now?

In a world that values doing over being, how do we invite more stillness, more listening, more breath into our lives? How do we allow for a moment of reflection before reacting? How might such a moment improve our lives, our relationships and our world?

And if we let go of our compulsion to act and control, what new fruit might grow, unbidden?

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.

People of the
Book Group
Watch this Spot for Next Date

We are currently accepting nominations for our next book to read! What have you read that (a) you enjoyed; and (b) is an item of Jewish interest, loosely defined? Send your suggestion to the office and mark it "Book Group!"


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.  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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