Link of the week: Rabbi Yoel Kahn retires from Congregation Beth El. "His send-off included the city of Berkeley proclaiming April 24 'Rabbi Yoel Kahn Day'." Read more about Rabbi Yoel Kahn here.

Help Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay House Afghani individuals and families. One of our members, Ron Lezell, is currently hosting a refugee in his home, and many of our members have hosted in the past. If you are interested in hosting a refugee and would like to talk to someone with experience, please contact Ron. For more ways you can help resettle new arrivals, click here.

More information on registering for High Holy Days services coming soon!
#Shabbat: Join Us this Week
Friday Night Services: Aug 20 at 7:30 pm

Led by Cantor Sharon Bernstein. D'rash by Franco Martinez. Register Here. Meeting ID: 452 290 988.

Saturday Morning Service: Aug 21 at 10 am

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.

#Elul Activities: Mark Your Calendar for...
Playing with the Psalms: A Spiritual Practice for Elul
Monday, August 23
7:00 - 8:30 pm
Facilitated by Sue Bojdak

How can reciting the Psalms make us ready for the High Holidays? Let’s find out! We will play with the Psalms through chant, contemplative reading, & creative expression, exploring and imagining our way into this traditional practice. Bring an open heart plus writing, drawing or other art materials.

Writes of Passage: an Elul Journaling Workshop
Wednesday, August 25
7:00 - 8:30 pm
Facilitated by Maggid Elias Ramer

In this season we're invited to review the year we're completing, as part of our teshuva, our return - to what my dear friend spells - Godd. Our tradition teaches that "Song of Songs" in the Bible is a love poem about Godd's love for us, and coming back to that love will be the focus of our writing time together.

Please bring your preferred tools for writing, and know that you don't have to believe in God, Godd, Goddess, Goddix (a word I thought I made up for about 10 minutes, 'till I found it online) in any formal or defined way. We will be deepening into our own lives and writing about what we want to return to as we journey toward the new year. 

Is This the Fast I Desire?
August 27, 10 -1 p.m. (San Francisco-Marin Food Bank)
& September 13, 12 - 2 p.m. (Berkeley Food Pantry)

Join the Social Action Committee at Bay Area food banks during this time of Elul and Yom Kippur. We have arranged for two shifts at the Food Banks where we can volunteer together. Sign up for one or both. Teenagers over the age of 13 are welcome to join.

Shift 1: We will be working outside at the Cow Palace, pre-packing groceries for distribution. Please review the details hereTo sign up, you must first register with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank as a volunteer. After you have registered, please contact Tirtza Pearl to let her know you registered. She will then add you to the Sha’ar Zahav team. Masks are required.

Shift 2: Meet us at the Berkeley Food Pantry located at 1600 Sacramento Street (parking lot available for use). We will be working from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m., helping to sort and bag groceries. We will be in a well-ventilated workspace but please also bring a mask. Please sign up with Shawn Matloob by September 9, 2021. 
Being Jewish and White: An Exploration
August 30
7:00 - 8:30 pm
Facilitated by Claudia Bernard

  • For those of us who identify as white and Jewish, what does it mean to be both the beneficiary of white supremacy and the victim of it?
  • How do we hold both the trauma of our own historic persecution – as Jews and as queer folks – as well as the myriad privileges and power afforded by our whiteness in a society where power and privilege are racialized?
  • How do we take an unflinching look at the legacy of slavery in this country, and work with the idea that we - who had nothing to do with creating it - nonetheless benefit from and uphold it?
Join me for a workshop that begins to explore these dualities. We’ll use MLK’s statement, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality,” as a guidepost for our exploration. We’ll use experiential exercises, and both small and large group discussion in search of the unarmed truth, and practice it all with unconditional

This workshop is intended for those who identify as white. CSZ has recently created an affinity group for those who identify as Jews of Color. The purpose of limiting attendance is to allow white folks to do this sometimes uncomfortable exploration without harming POC and to do so in service of making us better able to work to dismantle the racism within our community and in society at large.
#SocialAction: Get Involved
Climate Action Committee
Monday, September 13
5:00 - 6:30 pm

Are you concerned about environmental degradation? Want to work with other Sha’ar Zahavniks against climate change? Come share your ideas, get support, and have fun while we work together on some of the most pressing issues facing the planet. Contact Deborah Levy with any questions.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link
Racial Equity Group Meeting
Thursday, September 9th
5:00 - 6:30 pm

Interested in working toward racial justice in and outside Sha’ar Zahav? Come to our meeting and let's talk! We have a lot to discuss and work towards together. Questions? You may contact Larry Best.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link
Social Action Committee
Monday, September 6
6:00 - 7:30 pm

On fair elections, welcoming the stranger, secure housing and food, ending gun violence, and more! The Social Action Committee is currently working on advancing the “Equality Act” (federal LGBT rights) and the “For the People Act” (assuring national fair elections). Want to join us? Come to our next meeting or contact Nancy Wecker or Geri Kahn.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link
#Learning: Keep Growing
Weekly Torah Study Group
Weekly on Thursdays
8:30 - 9:30 am

Study the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Copeland and lay leaders. For the first half hour, we’ll talk, learn and share thoughts about the portion. In the second half, we will practice our Hebrew reading skills in a compassionate environment! Join for either or both parts of the study.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link

Weekly Mussar Group
Weekly on Thursdays
7:00 - 8:00 pm

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! For more information, contact Mark Pressler.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link
#Community: Let's Get Together
Va'ad (Board) Meeting
Wednesday, August 18
7:00 - 9:00 pm

Today is our regular monthly board meeting. We have many updates to share, and will have time to answer questions as well. All Sha'ar Zahav members are welcome to attend Va'ad meetings.
Young Adult Havdalah Bonfire
Saturday, August 21st 
6:30pm at Ocean Beach (on the Richmond side) 

Please join the Kaf-Lamed (young adult) group to connect with the ritual of Havdalah at Ocean Beach! This is an incredible chance to rethink our relationship with each other, our community, and our rituals. We'll be connecting, socializing, and creating a sense of belonging, so you don't want to miss this. Please read our reopening values and sign our brit before you come. Any questions, email Emily or Franco.
Beit Sefer Summer Meet Ups: Garden Adventure
@ Sha’ar Zahav
Saturday, August 21
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Come do a mitzvah! We are going to reclaim, replant & rebeautify our Sha’ar Zahav garden. Bring masks, gloves, garden tools and a water bottle. We’ll provide snacks, plants & garden art. Can we plant it? Yes, we can! People of all ages, including friends and folks curious about the Beit Sefer community, are welcome! Please read our reopening values and sign our brit before you come.

RSVP to Sue Bojdak by Thursday, August 19
Meditation Chavurah
Saturday, August 21
10:30 am - Noon

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 Zoom Meeting: Zoom link
Hiking Chavurah
Saturday, August 21
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. The hikes usually last about two hours. For more information, email Karen Schiller and Ellen Murland at
The Land at 290 Dolores
Sunday, August 22
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Kelly Thiemann and the Racial Equity Committee invite you have virtual dinner with us to discuss the history of the land upon which our shul is built. We will be looking at the history of three periods: Ohlone, Mission and post 1906 earthquake.

Join the Meeting: Zoom link
Sha'ar Zahav Baby Havurah
Saturday, August 28
11:00 am at Precita Park in San Francisco

Baby Havurah is a monthly gathering of kids ages 0-2 and their families where we connect about parenting and build community together. Please read our reopening values and sign our brit before you come.

RSVP to Sue Bojdak
Remember When
Wednesday, September 1
6:30 - 8:00 pm

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. Everyone is welcome! Questions? Please email Marv Lehrman.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link
Theater & Movies Chavurah
Wednesday, September 1
6:00 - 7:30 pm

The Theater & Movies Chavurah meets on the first Wednesday of each month. This month, Martin Tannenbaum and Alex Ingersoll will lead us in a discussion on the second part of Angels in America "Perestroika."

Join the Meeting: Zoom link
Art Group: Drop-in
Weekly on Thursdays
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Drop in for a joyful hour of free art-making and connection. Everyone is welcome! The group meets every Thursday. For more information, contact Paisha Rochlin, Barbara Cymrot or AJ Turpen Fried.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link
12-Step Meetings by and for Sha’ar Zahav Members
Weekly on Sundays
1:00 - 2:00 pm

Come listen and share experience, strength, and hope with other members of the Sha’ar Zahav community! Starting on Sunday, June 13th, CSZ will be hosting a weekly 12-step gathering for those members of our community who identify as part of any 12-step community (AA, NA, CMA, Alanon, SA, etc.).

The meeting will be run in the usual 12-step format but will also feature some thoughts and reflections from members who are working to bring their Jewish selves and Jewish traditions to their 12-step practice. The meetings will be on Zoom until further notice. Contact Erika Katske with any questions.

For Sha'ar Zahav Members Only. Register Here to Attend.
Weekday Morning Prayer
Weekly on Tuesdays
8:30 - 9:00 am

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. For more information, contact Cantor Bernstein.

Join the Zoom Meeting: Zoom link
Caring for the Caregivers: A Support Group by the Family Caregiver Alliance

2nd Thursday of the month until Nov 11
Next meeting Thursday, September 9
7:00 - 9:00 pm

This group provides a place for family caregivers to get support and hear from other caregivers. It is moderated by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker from the Family Caregiver Alliance and is open to caregivers who are caring for older adults or adults with disabilities. Brought to you by the Hineni Caring Community.

Limited spots. For Sha’ar Zahav members. Fee: $125, but no one will be turned away. Please email Rabbi Copeland to apply for a scholarship or if you are interested and you’re not a member. This is not a drop-in group, so we ask that you are able to commit to all the sessions.

For Sha'ar Zahav Members Only. Register Here to Attend.
Volunteer Opportunities
Beit Sefer Phyllis Mintzer is Looking for Volunteer Teachers/Hebrew Tutors

Our Beit Sefer is powered by YOU! Would you enjoy 5-8 weeks of learning about Jewish Values/Anti-Bias Education with the coolest 5th and 6th graders you could meet? Or a chance to work one-on-one with a Hebrew student through the year? Consider joining our Beit Sefer team this year. 

Check out the details here

Contact Sue Bojdak to tell her you are interested.
Host An At-Risk LGBT Young Adult in Your Home

Do you live in SF and have a spare bedroom or private space that can be turned into a bedroom? SZ is partnering with The San Francisco LGBT Center's Host Homes Program which matches San Francisco volunteer hosts with young adults (ages 18 to 24) who need stable housing for a period of three months to one year. During this time, the young adult pursues their education and employment goals alongside support from our case management team, and is then positioned to find their own housing after the program period ends. The young adult participants have previously experienced unstable housing situations like couch surfing, sleeping in cars, and living in non-affirming households.

Contact: or 415-852-2059. 

For more information visit
Create Something Wonderful for Jewish Hospital Patients at the High Holy Days

The Bay Area Jewish Healing Center needs your DIY/craft help! Since 2009, our “Holidays in an Envelope for Jewish Hospital Patients” program has delivered hundreds of High Holy Day, Passover and Chanukah Envelopes to 27 hospitals. Filled with liturgy, essays and other ritual and festive items, the Envelopes provide spiritual and emotional support to the patient. This is especially important this year when patients not only cannot be in their favorite seats at synagogue but they still may also have limited, if any, access to their friends and family visitors.

You can help make things feel better—even for just a moment. Make a card or cards for us to include in our High Holy Day Envelopes.

For details, click here.
We Also Recommend
#Shabbat: Join Us Next Week
Friday Night Service: Aug 27 at 7:30 pm

Led by Rabbi Mychal Copeland and Marika Straw. D'rash by Gabriel Lampert. Register Here. Meeting ID: 452 290 988.

Saturday Morning Service: Aug 28 at 10 am

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.

Contact to sponsor a Shabbat
August Birthdays
Amanda Killian 8/1
Carolyn Reiser 8/1
Carey Averbook 8/2
Jonathan Funk 8/4
Bradley Tanner 8/5
Ellen Harrington 8/5
Jackie Cohen 8/7
Gail Ludwig 8/7
Alan Michels 8/7
Edward Korthof 8/8
Dorothea Cyan Atura Bushnell 8/8
Allan Gold 8/9
Richard Ralston 8/9
Bina Herron Geller 8/10
Lionel Harkman 8/10
Claudia Rosenbaum 8/11
Frank Yellin 8/12
Brian Heng 8/13
Lonnie Weiss 8/13
Beck Epstein 8/13
Robert Mabe 8/14
Liam Wynia 8/14

Kendra Froshman 8/16
Maxwell Malakoff 8/16
Rebecca Stern 8/18
Janet Klein 8/18
Franco Martinez 8/19
Paul Cohen 8/19
Erik Sikovitz 8/20
Jonathan Zingman 8/20
Stephanie Golden 8/22
Jan Half 8/22
Diana Sojourner 8/22
Martin Rawlings-Fein 8/23
Sen Talley 8/25
Jose Hernandez 8/25
Shira Zingman-Daniels 8/26
Michael Chertok 8/27
Kirsten Gustavson 8/27
Tom Lakritz 8/28
Alex Goldstone 8/29
Joshua Levy 8/29
Ann Daniels 8/29
Zaydan Greene 8/30
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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