Volunteer at Purimpalooza!

Volunteers Needed!

Join the CBS community on March 20th to celebrate a world turned upside down! There will be carnival games, two bounce houses, a teen escape room, a raffle with amazing prizes, a silent auction, delicious food, and booze aplenty!

Your kids will enjoy the Purim puppet show and singalong by beloved Bay Area Jewish educator and entertainer, Mimi Greisman, and staffed by our wonderful teachers--allowing all the “big kids” time to schmooze. We’re also producing a CBS original, western-themed Purim spiel, written by Steve Miller and produced by Tracy Swedlow. "The Shushana Maidel Goes West!," will have two performances in Beth Sholom's Koret Hall.  

You will also have a chance to view performances by Elai & Noa's Youth Band performance and belly dancing by sisters Celeste, April, and Allegra Hirschman. The success of this event depends on you! Please sign-up for one (or two) or THREE slots of your preference and support our education programs at CBS!!

Purimpalooza Dale Volunteer Promo.JPG

Women of Congregation Beth Sholom: Sisterhood Reconsidered

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 3.18.18 PM.png

Dear Women of Beth Sholom,

It's been so exciting for me to connect with you over the past 6+ months, and to learn that so many of us are seeking similar things: greater opportunities to connect and for mentorship from one another – across the generations – in the realms of life, work and spirit. 

As a step to move us closer towards this shared goal, let's gather on Sunday, March 3, at 10 a.m. at CBS for an ideas exchange and light nosh. 

We'll have a chance to discuss what we're hoping to build with one another, and unpack iterations of "Sisterhood," reconsidering and imagining this concept as something that can hold relevance in our lives now.

We'll leave time for a creative writing exercise to help us flesh out ideas that bring us closer to our personal and communal visions. 

I'd love to know how many of you to expect, so please send me a quick note and let me know you'll be joining us.

Looking forward to more with all of you,

DATE: Sunday, March 3
TIME: 10 a.m.
PLACE: Main Meeting Room
COST: Free

The Installation of Rabbi Dan Ain

The Installation of Rabbi Dan Ain

1 (8).jpeg

Shabbat, January 26, 2019, was a wonderful day in the history of Congregation Beth Sholom as we formally installed Rabbi Dan Ain and welcomed his family, Alana Joblin Ain, Autumn, and Samson. We are so happy that many of you were with us to celebrate!

The day began with a moving Shabbat service that not only recognized Rabbi Ain but also the diversity of Beth Sholom, featuring service and prayer leaders of all ages. The sanctuary was packed with congregants, special guests, and members of Rabbi Ain and Alana’s family who came to mark this special day.  We were fortunate to be joined by the distinguished Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu, who formally installed Rabbi Ain and offered the priestly blessing to the Ain family. It was heartwarming to hear the warmth and affection that imbued Rabbi Sirbu’s remarks, and there were more than a few moist eyes in the house when Rabbi Ain gave his address, comparing this installation to a wedding in which the congregation and Rabbi make a binding commitment to each other.

The kiddush following services was extra special thanks to the talented bakers in our congregation who prepared the challot, cookies, and a beautiful cake.

The hope, optimism and naches that filled the sanctuary in the morning continued during the sold-out evening gala. The atmosphere was electric as we we kicked off the night with a beautiful Havdalah service led by our Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell, together with Beth Sholom Music Specialist, Jonathan Bayer. We were honored to be joined at Havdalah by State Senator Scott Weiner, who held the Havdalah candle, and San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. We were also honored to host District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who presented Rabbi Ain with a proclamation to honor the day. In addition, numerous professionals and lay leaders from a broad spectrum of Jewish community organizations were in attendance. It was a night of great music, great food, and great community.

The primary goal of the evening was to welcome the Ains and celebrate as a congregation.  However, we’re thrilled to announce that the gala also raised nearly $90,000 for Beth Sholom!

There are many, many people to thank for the hard work that made this day possible.  First, we want to thank everyone who supported the Installation--from volunteers to major donors.  Our devoted and enthusiastic Installation Committee was a spectacular team: Jenny Bernstein, Stuart Blecher, Mitzi Dean, Sandy Edwards, Judy Leash, Naomi Lempert Lopez, Liz Noteware, Marcia Sohn, Gary Sokol, Debra Surkin-Perloff, and Sharon Weinberg. We are grateful, too, for the constant help and support of Beth Sholom’s President, Ben Chinn.

We also want to thank the bakers who provided the delectable challah, cookies, and cake for the Installation kiddush:  Debra Surkin Perloff, Maralyn Tabatsky, Ruth Jaffe, Betty Newman, Heddi Cundle, Susie Spiwak, Marsha Glantz, and Eva-Lynne Leibman. Thank you to the Ratner Family for sponsoring the kiddush in honor of Rabbi Ain’s Installation and Ellianah’s birthday.

We are lucky at Beth Sholom to have some exceptionally skilled congregants. Thank you to lifelong Beth Sholom-er Ben Lempert for his and his band’s musical stylings, and to photographer Sharon Goldstone for capturing the evening so beautifully.  Below are just a few photos that capture the magic of the gala. We will share more soon. We are also indebted to David Malman for his help with the lighting and to Christopher Reiger, who designed all of the Installation materials. Also to Allen Levy, David Madfes and Ken Merrylees, who assisted with all things related to the facility and audio/visual systems.

Last, but certainly not least, a special thanks to the amazing Beth Sholom staff who made this day, and every day, possible.

We are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Ain, Alana, Autumn, and Samson into our congregation and we look forward to celebrating together with you as a congregation for years to come.

-Ellen Ginsberg & Becky Buckwald

Installation Co-Chairs

CBS congregants honor MLK day with community service!

This MLK Day, Monday, January 21, three Beth Sholom families honored Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory by cooking and serving a meal at the winter shelter for the homeless at St. Mark's Lutheran Church as part of a program organized by the San Francisco Interfaith Council.

The Buckwald, Darling Lempert, and Lempert Lopez Families (plus friend Tony) had a great time preparing the meal in St. Mark’s kitchen.  On the menu was chili, mac-and-cheese, corn bread, salad--and a last-minute apple crumble (thanks, Naomi!).  

Everyone, including the kids, pitched in--from shopping, to cooking, to serving the 65 men housed at the church that night as well as the shelter’s staff.  A fun and fulfilling time was had by all the volunteers!

If you are interested in this type of volunteer activity, consider joining Beth Sholom’s Social Action Committee and get in touch!

Purim is coming! Donations of great raffle prizes needed!


Every spring the CBS community comes together to plan a truly amazing Purim Carnival. The 2019 event date will be forthcoming but we know it will be in March. Besides being one of the best parties of the year at CBS, it also raises funds for programs that our preschool children enjoy all year, like Music with Jonathan, Hi-Five sports, etc, as well as scholarships for families in need. Proceeds come from event tickets, a raffle, and a silent auction. 

This is where you come in! We are asking our community to help with donations of goods or services for the raffle and silent auction. Here are ways you can help:

1. Personal donations
• Vacation house (Tahoe, Hawaii, etc)
• Sports tickets (Giants, Warriors, A's etc)
• Museum/theater tickets (i.e. Exploratorium, Academy, A.C.T., SHN, etc)
• Services (organizing, planning, specialty service, etc)
• Wine (above $20 please)

Email Denise Goldstein about your personal donation contributions.

2. Donations from businesses you frequent or have a connection to
• Do you golf? Ask your Golf Course for a round
• Have a favorite spa or salon? Ask for a gift certificate
• Do you participate in a wine club? Ask for a one-year membership
• Do you have a favorite clothing store or kids store? Ask for a gift certificate or a highly desirable item
• Do your kids take classes at local schools, like ballet, kung fu, chess, etc? Ask for a class pass
• Do you know someone who owns a restaurant? Gift certificates are usually easy to get
• Do you have friends or associates who own a business or have access to tickets, memberships at museums, items, gift certificates, etc?
• Are you willing to submit online requests for Disneyland ticket, airline tickets, etc? There are online forms for some of these - we can help identify them.

Businesses will get recognition by being involved! It's a great marketing opportunity for them. We have a donation request letter template that you are welcome to use.

We have started a list of organizations to reach out to for donations and have begun to contact them. Please email Denise Goldstein and let her know who you will be reaching out to so that we don't cross-over each other and contact these businesses twice. You can also send her more ideas!

Tot Shabbat at Beth Sholom


We invite children, birth - age 5, and their families, to celebrate Shabbat mornings once (or twice) each month. Our music specialist, Toby Pechner, will facilitate this short and sweet, preschool-friendly, interactive service that allows even our youngest community members to experience the joy of Shabbat in a warm and welcoming setting.

Tot Shabbat begins at 11:15 a.m. and concludes at noon in the chapel. Everyone is invited to join the greater CBS community for Kiddush lunch at noon in Koret Hall every month (no RSVP or payment required).

Mark your calendars now for the upcoming dates:
UPCOMING DATES: January 26, February 2 & 23, March 2 & 16, April 6, May 4 & 18
TIME: 11:15 a.m.
PLACE: Gronowski Family Chapel

CBS Parent's Book Group: February's Book

A book club for parents in the CBS community, the group comes together on school class days to discuss books of interest to the participants. The club reads books from the Jewish Community Library’s Book Club In A Box program, and all books are available to borrow from Rebecca Goodman‘s office in the CBS administrative area. Join us to discuss the next great book pick:

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 2.11.21 PM.png


by Eshkol Nevo

This heart-warming, charming and clever first novel dips into the lives of each of the inhabitants of a village in Israel.

It is 1995 and Noa and Amir, a student couple, have decided to move in together. Noa is studying photography in Jerusalem and Amir is a psychology student in Tel Aviv. They choose a small apartment in a village in the hills, midway between the two cities. 

Originally called El-Kastel, the village was emptied of its Arab inhabitants in 1948 and is now the home of Jewish immigrants from Kurdistan. Not far from the apartment lives a family grieving for their eldest son who was killed in Lebanon. The younger brother left behind, Yotam, forgotten by his parents, turns to Amir for support. 
Further down the street, Saddiq watches the house while he works at a building site. He knows that this house is the one from which his family was driven by the Jews when he was a boy, and to which his mother still has a rusty key. Despite friendships that develop and lives that become entwined, tensions among this melting pot of characters seem to be rising to the surface.

This enchanting and irresistible novel offers us windows into the characters’ lives. Each comes from somewhere different but we gradually see that there’s much about them that’s the same. Homesick is a beautiful and moving story about history, love, family and the true meaning of home. Summary from Goodreads.com

WHEN: Quarterly
WHERE: Boardroom
NEXT MEETING: Saturday, February 2
TIME: 9:45 - 11 a.m.
CONTACT: Elin Cohen

Women's Book Group: February Pick

Women Book Club_graphic1.jpg


A place to meet and discuss books of Jewish and general interest. Books are generally written by Jewish authors, or are popular novels or works of nonfiction. Readings are selected based on group interest, book availability, author, and topic. Join us to discuss this month’s book:

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 1.43.16 PM.png

The Plot Against America

by Philip Roth

In an astonishing feat of narrative invention, our most ambitious novelist imagines an alternate version of American history. In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected President. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.

For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh's election is the first in a series of ruptures that threatens to destroy his small, safe corner of America - and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother. Summary from Goodreads.com

DATE: Thursday, February 21
TIME: 7:30 p.m
PLACE: Rabin Family Library
FEES: No fee
CONTACT: Jean Tepper Segal

Achshav Yisrael screens film by executive producer Nancy Spielberg

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 7.11.44 AM.png

Please join us to view this incredible documentary film by Executive Producer, Nancy Spielberg (Steven Spielbergí’s younger sister.)

Above and Beyond is a feature-length documentary, created from a mix of archival footage and special effects from Industrial Light and Magic. It tells the story of WWII volunteer pilots, Jews and non-Jews alike, who risked everything to defend Israel in its War of Independence in 1948. 

Winner of Best Documentary at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and the Berkshire International Film Festival. See the movie trailer.

DATE: Sunday, February 10
TIME: 3-5 p.m.
PLACE: Koret Hall, Congregation Beth Sholom
301 - 14th Avenue (@ Clement Street), San Francisco, 94118
COST: FREE! Refreshments will be served.
RESERVE YOUR TICKETS NOW Pre-registration is required

Call 415-852-3095 or email Kelsey Russom with questions.

Achshav Yisraelís mission is to provide quality programming about Israel to Congregation Beth Sholom and the broader community, for all age groups, on a regular basis. We intend to create a safe space at CBS for community exploration of Israel.

Leila Eshaghpour-Silberman's Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, January 19


Shalom! My name is Leila Eshaghpour-Silberman. I am a seventh grader at Presidio Middle School. When I am not reading, I enjoy spending time with my friends, playing soccer, piano, and saxophone, and learning character folk dance. This Shabbat I am thrilled to be called to the Torah to become a Bat Mitzvah. 

 This week’s parsha details the splitting of the Red Sea. Also, the Haftorah tells the story of Devorah and Yael, the only Jewish texts that give women the credit for a military victory. I think it is really important for young women to be acknowledged in history, and I am very proud to read both the songs of Miriam and Devorah, two powerful women, on the day of my Bat Mitzvah.

 Preparing for this weekend has been an incredible process and it took the help of many people to get ready for this occasion. I want to thank my family for their support and I am especially grateful for my amazing Bat Mitzvah tutor—Dr. Noa Bar—for helping me learn my Torah portion, always believing in my ability to chant Hebrew, and agreeing to teach me Sephardi trope, as I am half Persian Jew and half Ashkenazi Jew. Thank you to Rabbi Ain for guiding me through this process and pushing me to reach my potential. And I am grateful to my extended family, friends, and the community of Congregation Beth Sholom for instilling my Jewish faith and Jewish identity. I have attended this synagogue since birth and went to preschool here. I look forward to celebrating this momentous life occasion with you all. Thank you for joining me and my family on this special day.

Rayna Novicoff's Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, January 12


Hi. My name is Rayna Novicoff and I am a 7th grader at A.P. Giannini middle school in San Francisco. I play soccer and like to surf, swim, rock climb and spend time at the beach. I also love to hang out with my friends, my brother, Arlo, and my parents. 

I have basically grown up at Congregation Beth Sholom, from preschool to Shabbat School and now I’m days away from becoming a Bat Mitzvah. I’m excited! It has been an empowering experience and I couldn’t have made it to this day without my teachers, tutors, family, and the CBS community. 

Thank you to my tutor Marilyn Heiss for helping me learn everything in preparation for my Bat Mitzvah and to Rabbi Ain for working with me on my drash. Special thanks to Noa Bar for being a great teacher over the past few years and for stepping in to support me on my Bat Mitzvah day. (Marilyn, you will be missed!) 

This week’s torah portion, Parashat Bo, begins in the middle of the story of the ten plagues, when hail has covered the land. God has come to Egypt to do two things, first to free the Israelites from slavery and second to punish the Egyptians by gifting them 10 plagues to their people and to their land. Each plague gets harsher and harsher and they end with mass amounts of death and loss for each and every Egyptian family.

 After the 10th and final plague, the deaths of the first born, Pharaoh finally gives in and begs Moses and Aaron to take everything and everyone and leave. With unleavened bread on their backs and stolen gold and silver from the Egyptians, the Israelites leave with their entire community, including their flock. It had been 430 years of slavery…and now they are free!

I look forward to seeing you on Shabbat and sharing more thoughts about Parashat Bo. Thank you for joining me and my family on this special day.