Congregation Ner Shalom

services and events

What's the Buzz?

Shabbat Dinner for Families with Young Children
Friday, January 30 ~ 4:30-7 PM
Hosted by Kamala Brown and Janet Rae Jorgensen at Ner Shalom
With a story by Reb Irwin and music by Susie Miller

A chance for families with young children who are looking for ways to take root Jewishly to get together, enjoy Shabbat, model Jewish community for their children, sing, eat and relax. Please RSVP with your potluck contribution (vegetarian or kosher fish please), the number of people in your family and the ages of your children.

Mama Loshn Shabbat Café
Friday, February 6 ~ 7 PM
With Mama Loshn: Gale Kissin, Suzanne Shanbaum, Rhonda Findling and Mike Margulis
Commentary and drash by Reb Irwin

This is not a Shabbat service. It is a Shabbat experience. Performance, passion and prayer. Imagine welcoming the Sabbath with a mix of traditional, contemporary and Yiddish music, full of soulfulness and joy. (But, with respect to the traditional Friday night, a bit off the rails.) If the Chasidim and the Socialist revolutionaries of 100 years ago were to have welcomed Shabbat together in some European cafe, it might have felt vaguely like this. Come try it out with us. Childcare available. Oneg sponsored by Reb Irwin and family in memory of Marilyn Keller.

Wine Tish: The Torah of Wine
Saturday, February 7 ~ 2-4 PM
At Orpheus Winery, 8910 Sonoma Hwy in Kenwood
Led by Reb Irwin, Rachel Friedman and Marc Krafft

Wine is part of nearly every Jewish ritual from infancy to old age. It serves as metaphor for sweetness, love, revelation and closeness to God. Join us for this periodic study group where we read Torah, Talmud and Chasidic texts involving wine growing, winemaking and wine drinking. (And some wine drinking could in fact happen on site!) Enjoy this very special Shabbos afternoon. Space is limited. Please RSVP!

Messengers of Peace Chant Circle
At Ner Shalom

Thursday, February 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.

Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday, February 20 ~ 6:45 Shmooze, 7 PM Service

Enjoy the sweetness and poignance of Shabbat's long-awaited weekly return. Childcare available upon request by February 18.

Mir Zingen: A Musical Tribute to the Jewish Chicken Ranchers of Petaluma
Sunday, February 22 ~ 3 PM
At Ner Shalom

The Jewish Folk Chorus of the Bay Area has been in existence since 1926 and currently performs songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino and Russian. Over the years the Chorus has sung many interesting and difficult Jewish musical works, without forgetting the simple folk music of our ancestors. They "preserve a rich, diverse and deeply satisfying musical heritage."
Co-sponsored by B'nai Israel Jewish Center, Congregation Ner Shalom,
 & YiddishLand.

Shabbat Morning
Saturday, February 28 ~ 10 AM
Led by Binah Block

Shabbat by daylight! The Shabbat morning service has some stunning liturgy, gorgeous melodies, and an opportunity to engage with Torah. Come enjoy with us. And bring a little something to share for kiddush...

New 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
Third Tuesday of the Month ~ 7:30 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.

Chavurah for Families
with Young Children

Friday, January 30 ~ 4:30-7 PM
At Ner Shalom

Join this newly forming chavurah to welcome Shabbat with light, warmth and homemade food. Get info here.

JFCS Post-Retirement Group
Wednesdays, February 4 - March 11 ~ 5-6:30 PM
JFCS Office, 1360 N. Dutton, Suite C in Santa Rosa
Facilitated by Marsha Jacobs, MFT

Are you nearing retirement, or have you recently retired? Are you thinking,“What comes next?” Life transitions of any kind can present challenges as well as opportunities! Join Jewish Family & Children's Services for a new six-week discussion group geared to individuals exploring their post-retirement options. Click here to sign up. Registration is $60.

Bereavement Group
Launches February 3 in Santa Rosa
Facilitated by Rabbi Natan Fenner, Bay Area Jewish Healing Center
and Alissa Hirshfeld-Flores

Ner Shalom co-sponsors this 10-week group, along with the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and neighborhood synagogues, as a means to help those of us who have experienced significant loss give shape and expression to our grief. The group will meet at Congregation Shomrei Torah, and you must pre-register for it. Watch this spot for registration details. To read more about BAJHS bereavement groups, click here. There is a participation fee of $100, but some scholarships are available.

Special Upcoming
and Ongoing!

Coming Soon

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.

Yiddish Tish
Monday, February 9

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: the art of the formal business or love letter! 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.

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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