Building Update

We now have heat in the building, yet sadly our elevator is still unavailable. If you are attending Friday and Saturday Shabbat, please enter from the front door entrance, as you normally would for Shabbat services. As always, our services are accessible on Zoom.

Link of the week: Check out this article highlighting our member Michael Chertok and Refugee Shabbats. Come next week to our Refugee Shabbat to hear Michael drash about our community's commitment to support refugees!

Contact to sponsor a Shabbat

Friday Night Services:

February 3rd at 7:30 pm.

Hybrid: On Zoom and In-Person.

Shabbat Shira Service and Sing Along

In honor of Shabbat Shira (the Torah portion where we singingly come to safety across the sea), a rousing, fortifying, soup-for-the-soul, song fest! Join Cantor Bernstein in singing our favorite tunes, Jewish and secular, with special themes of the sea for Shabbat Shira and trees for Tu Bishvat.

Register Here for Zoom Service

Meeting ID: 886 7131 3838

Saturday Morning Service:

February 4th at 10:00 am.

Hybrid: On Zoom and In-Person.

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

Tu B'Shevat Seder

Sunday, February 5

6:30-8:00pm on Zoom only

Join us for a Seder to celebrate the New Year of the Trees, in this time of global change and needed healing. Co-leaders Carey Averbook and Eli Ramer will be facilitating the evening's ritual, weaving together kabbalistic and present-focused elements. 

Register here to reserve your spot and to get more information on the Seder.

Immigration/Refugee Shabbat

Friday, February 10

7:30pm, Hybrid: In-Person and on Zoom

The service will open our eyes to the plight of refugees through the lens of Jewish spiritual practice. After the service the Social Action Committee will distribute suggestions on how to get involved in responding to the refugee crisis on global, national and most importantly, on a person-to-person, very local level. We look forward to seeing you there. Come to Refugee Shabbat and meet the Colombian family Sha'ar Zahav is accompanying.

If you prefer to join the service through Zoom, register here.

Community: Let's Get Together

Immigration Journal

Join the SZ community to tell stories of immigrants/refugees who have shaped your life in preparation of Immigration Shabbat on February 10th. The Social Action Committee is collecting stories for this year's journal. (You can see the journal from last year here.) Everyone is welcome. Story wrap-up is February 5. Avoid the last-minute rush: Here is the link to tell your story.

Grant Writing: Looking for a way to support our community?

We need people to assist with researching and writing grants! We depend on grant funding for a variety of SZ programs. No experience is required—except an interest in writing, editing and shepherding grants through the application and approval process. You will work with Susie Idzik and experienced Resource Development volunteers. We promise you’ll increase your knowledge and connection to our community and gain a deep sense of fulfillment—and many mitzvah points! 

We estimate it will be a few hours of work over 1-3 months.

Please let me know of your interest by emailing me, Deborah Levy.

Racial Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (REDI) 101

Monday, February 6th, 8-9:30pm (EST)

Please join the Religious Access Center of Reform Judaism for Beyond Welcoming: Addressing Racism, Homophobia, Ableism, & More. Start building stronger communities and transform the ways in which you can create meaningful Jewish experiences for people of all backgrounds. All are welcome to REDI 101, the core REDI program. 

We hope to have as many of SZ members as possible participate in this program.

Register here

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

Theater & Movies Chavurah: The Fabelmans

Tonight! Wednesday, February 1st

6:00 pm on Zoom

Growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, young Sammy Fabelman aspires to become a filmmaker as he reaches adolescence, but soon discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth. It’s available to view in theaters or to rent or buy on Amazon Prime and many other streaming platforms. It’s pricier than our prior shows, but it’s still considerably less expensive than attending theatre.

Join the Meeting: Zoom meeting

Social Action Committee

Monday, February 6th

6:00 - 7:30 on Zoom

Together we can create a more Just and Peaceful World. Act to Welcome the Stranger, Secure Housing and Food, End Gun Violence, Protect fair Voting, and more! At our next meeting we’ll finalize plans for Immigrant/Refugee Shabbat (Feb 10) and organize a special SZ trip to the AIDS Memorial Quilt! Come to our next meeting or contact Nancy Wecker or Geri Kahn

Join the Meeting: Zoom link

Check out SZ's Book Group

Tuesday, February 7, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Zoom in even if you haven't read the book!

or haven't a clue what an Aleppo or a Codex are!!!

The Aleppo Codex is the true-life thriller of what happened to the oldest annotated Hebrew Bible, after it left Syria in the 1950s on its way to Israel. It's a story of intrigue, political upheavals, and a controversial courtroom trial. Howard Steiermann, who will facilitate our discussion, suggests reading just four pages (email Ami Zusman and she can forward them to you) or simply reading the following sentence to make sense of the discussion: “over the years, in the care of its keepers, [the Aleppo Codex] became less a source of knowledge for the improvement of people (man), as its creators had intended, then a holy relic of great value…"  

Join the Meeting: Zoom Link

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.

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

3rd Saturday of the month until 2023, 9:50 am

We hike on the second Saturday of the month

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!

Jason Simonoff 2/1

Joan Goldman 2/1

Paul Bodner 2/1

Spencer Fischer 2/2

Zoe Friedman 2/2

Jacob Robinson 2/3

Denise Gordon 2/4

Ami Zusman 2/5

Salem Condello 2/5

Andrew Fyne 2/6

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.

  • Shabbat Service: Masking during the service is required. Following the service, you may remove your mask to enjoy oneg.
  • For all other events, masking is optional. Children 2-5 will be required to mask. We welcome you to keep wearing masks if you choose.
  • Vaccination is required, including a booster shot.
  • 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.
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in Sha'ar Zahav. Be sure to add to your (email) contacts list so that our communications land in your inbox! All our events take place at Sha'ar Zahav 290 Dolores Street, unless noted otherwise. To unsubscribe, please click on the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email.
Visit Our Website
Facebook  Twitter