Link of the week: Sha'ar Zahav shoutout in this article about local leader, Manny Yekutiel.

Building Update

We now have heat in the building, yet sadly our elevator is still unavailable. We're working hard to resolve this issue. We understand how crucial our elevator is for our community. As always, our services are accessible on Zoom.

Contact to sponsor a Shabbat

Friday Night Services:

February 17th at 7:30 pm.

Hybrid: On Zoom and In-Person.

Led by Karen Schiller and Warren Baim

Register Here for Zoom Service

Meeting ID: 886 7131 3838

Saturday Morning Service:

February 18th at 10:00 am.

Hybrid: On Zoom and In-Person.

Join Gabby Powell's b'mitzvah. All are invited!

Join the Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 365 434 855 and Passcode: 068575.

To join by phone for either service, dial +1 669 900 9128 or find your local number.

Save the Date

May You Live to be 120: Talking About Death

Sunday, March 26, 3pm-7:15pm

Hybrid: In person at Sha'ar Zahav

For Members only!

Jews often bless each other with the phrase “May you live to be 120!” But even if we live that long, we still need to make plans for when the time comes.

Our keynote speaker, end-of-life expert Jim Van Buskirk, will address the challenges of talking about death, and in breakout sessions we'll be exploring a range of topics including - the legal, ethical and spiritual aspects of end-of-life decisions, writing wills, making burial choices and arrangements, and talking about mourning practices.

Click here to learn more about our keynote.

Registration link coming soon!

Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) Panel 

on the Power of Pro-Trans Legislation

Wednesday, March 29th, 6:00 PM

Panel Starts at 7:00 PM

Hybrid: In-Person at Sha'ar Zahav

Please join us for a panel discussion about the Power of Pro-Trans Legislation. TDOV is held in memory of Ray Bernstein z"l. 

More information coming soon.

Community Get Together!

Celebrate Purim at Sha'ar Zahav

Ray's Shpil, Drag Bingo & Storytime, and more!

Monday, March 6

In person starting at 5:30pm

Hybrid beginning at 6:30pm

Purim is here! Join us for Drag Bingo and Storytime with Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, plus an original shpil written by our beloved (and very funny) Ray Bernstein z''l, never before heard. Dress up as your favorite queer icon, Purim character, or secret heart's desire for our most topsy-turvy Jewish holiday (costume supplies available on-site).

5:30pm: Maker Space Mask Making, Drag Storytime, Pizza & Hamentaschen for kids

6:30pm: Megillah Reading for all ages, Drag Bingo, Hamentaschen & light dinner

Morning Chanting with gender neutral Hebrew

 Friday, February 17, 8:30-9:15am on Zoom

Want to start your day and transition into Shabbat by connecting with yourself, others, and the Divine with morning chanting? Do you have a hard time with the male language in our liturgy? Love morning singing? Join Rabbi Copeland in morning Hebrew chanting that uses entirely gender-neutral Hebrew for names for the Divine. All prayers will be in transliteration or English, so come with any level of Hebrew, even if it's totally new to you.

Learn about the Nonbinary Hebrew Project that makes this minyan possible.

Register here: Zoom meeting

Learn With Us!

Journey to Judaism: A Discussion Group

Facilitated by Ora Prochovnick, Rose Katz and James Carlson

Six Mondays (the last Monday of each month), starting January 30th, 7pm-8:30pm

February is the last month to join!

This discussion group will explore issues that arise for people who are considering, are in the process of, or have only recently completed, converting to Judaism. We also welcome those who have a Jewish parent (or parents), but were raised with little or no Jewish experience and are interested in exploring their connection to Judaism. This group is not an introduction to Judaism course, but rather a place to ask questions and discuss issues with others who are also on this journey. Class sessions will alternate meeting in person with meeting on Zoom. Hybrid access will not be available for the in-person sessions. For further information, click here.

To register, please contact Executive Director Susie Idzik

Exploring Midrash 

Taught by Rabbi Yoel Kahn 

Thursday evenings, 7-8:30pm 

January 19 - February 23 (6 sessions) on Zoom only 

If you haven't joined, it's not too late!

Drop-ins welcome: each class stands alone.

A midrash is “a story about a story in the Torah” (or the Tanakh). One of the oldest forms of Jewish commentary, midrash moves beyond the “literal” of any to bring imaginative and creative interpretations. While midrash often “fills in the blanks” in a narrative or offers the “backstory” to the text, it also is a path for the ancient commentators to complicate, nuance or even question the Biblical story. In this series, we will encounter a variety of classic midrashic texts, as taught by the rabbis of old, as well as exploring how these texts in turn are woven into Kabbalah, poetry and modern Jewish commentaries - including a session on the great modern midrashic interpreter, Avivah Zornberg. 

Rabbi Yoel Kahn, Ph.D, was the Rabbi of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav from 1985-1996.

Register for class here and you'll recieve a Zoom link a day before class starts!

Recurring Gatherings and Meetings

Kaf-Lamed Monthly Gathering

Don't go to Shabbat alone!

February 17, 7:30pm

Join Sha'ar Zahav's young adult group (The Kaf Lameds) for a monthly gathering at Shabbat Services in person! Perfect for those who've ever felt intimidated to go to Shabbat in person services alone. Or perfect for those who just want a few buddies to join on Friday night services! This is a monthly gathering, where we'll do "Shabbat Together" the 3rd Friday of each month.

Contact Emily Ornelas-Dorian.

Theater & Movie Chavurah: "Armageddon Time"

Wednesday, March 1st

6:00 pm on Zoom

Set in 1980 New York, "Armageddon Time” is a story of family love and conflict, an interracial friendship between two young boys, and hard lessons about racism, antisemitism, and generational trauma. The film can be streamed for $5.99 on YouTube, Amazon, and other streaming platforms. 

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Book Group Discussion:

The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed Race Jewish Girl

by Marra B. Gad

Tuesday, March 21, 7:00 - 8:00 pm on Zoom

“Jewish boys didn’t want to explain my brown skin. And Black boys could not understand or embrace my Judaism,” Marra Gad writes in her memoir. Whatever our ethnic, racial or religious background, Gad's story raises questions about how we see others, how others see us, how we see ourselves -- and how (or if) we can open ourselves to love and accept those unlike ourselves.

For more info, email Ami Zusman. Everyone welcome!

Join the discussion: Zoom Link

Climate Action Committee

2nd Monday of the Month   

5:00-6:30pm on Zoom

The CAC gathers monthly to support and educate ourselves and our community on climate issues, including climate grief, policy advocacy, and personal and community strategies to address the urgent crises of climate change and climate justice. 

Contact Deborah Levy.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Disability and Accessibility Committee

If you identify as disabled, are exploring that identity, or have a loved one with a disability and are interested in joining the Disability and Accessibility Committee, please reach out to Eliana Smithstein for more information. If you are interested in learning more about disability and how you can become a better ally, stay tuned for educational events to come!

Remember When

1st Wednesday of the Month


Hitch a ride on the wayback wagon for a trip down memory lane. Let’s reminisce about the 40’s thru the 70’s together! Different topics each month. We will gather on the first Wednesday of every month. Email Marv Lehrman.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Weekly Torah Study Group

Weekly on Wednesday


Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Mussar Group

Bi-weekly on Thursdays 7:00-8:00pm

Mussar is a very practical and flexible spiritual discipline to help you balance soul-traits (Middah/Middot) such as Humility, Loving-Kindness, Generosity, and Silence. Drop-ins are always welcome! Contact Mark Pressler.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Meditation Chavurah

1st and 3rd Saturday of the month


Everyone is welcome. And you will not regret it! A typical session includes a short and longer silent sit, with chanting, movement, and a short teaching. The group meets on the first and third Saturday of every month.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Hiking Chavurah

2nd Saturday of the month, 9:50 am

Join other Sha’ar Zahavniks on monthly urban hikes – mostly in SF but we sometimes venture farther afield. This is a great way to get to know other SZ members while exploring the city and beyond. The hikes usually last about two hours. Email Karen Schiller and Ellen Murland

12-Step Meetings by and for SZ Members

Weekly on Sundays On Zoom


The meeting will be run in the usual 12-step format but will also feature some thoughts and reflections from members bringing Judaism into their 12-step practice. Contact Erika Katske.

For Sha'ar Zahav Members Only. Register Here to Attend.

Weekday Morning Prayer

Weekly on Tuesdays


Songs and prayers to set our hearts and minds! This service takes place every Tuesday morning, and is led by community lay leaders and Cantor Bernstein. Contact Cantor Bernstein.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Birthdays this week!

Debra Reabock 2/15

Ema Morales-Diaz 2/15

David Lowe 2/16

Reuben Friedman 2/18

Adam Best-Leung 2/18

Nancy Muller 2/18

Steven Mazer 2/19

Barbara Bergmann 2/20

Jim Edlin 2/20

Hilary Zaid 2/20

Andrew Schwartz 2/21

Amy Scharf 2/21

While we strive for all our events to be mixed-access, this is not always possible. Some events are only in-person, and some are Zoom only. If you have any questions about a particular event, please contact the office, or the contact listed for the event.

Returning to 290 Dolores

Attending In-Person Events and Services

Our policy is as follows.

  • For the health and safety of our community, it is Sha’ar Zahav's expectation that all members and visitors who attend in-person services and events will be fully vaccinated and boosted.
  • Well-fitting masks covering the mouth and nose are required at services, and are optional at other in-person events. N95 or KN95 masks are recommended and will be provided if you don’t have one. Masks may be removed for eating at onegs/receptions following services.  
  • Please remember: Sha’ar Zahav is a scent-free environment. Keeping our synagogue safe for those with scent and chemical sensitivities is part of our commitment to accessibility. Questions/concerns? Email us, the Accessibility Committee.
Updated Registration Policy
Registration: Registration will no longer be required for most in-person services and events. If you have a key card, please let yourself in. If you do not, you will be asked to sign in and show proof of vaccination. Key cards are available to all members. Please reach out to get yours.
Click here for information about our vaccination policy
Thank You to Our Grantors
Programs at Sha’ar Zahav are supported by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, the Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative for Immigrant and Refugee Justice of the Religious Action Center, San Francisco Humanities, and the National Center to Encourage Judaism.
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