Sunday, December 9 was the big day, and we had a great turnout! A big thank you to all of the volunteers that came and helped complete much needed repairs in the shul and stayed to celebrate Hanukkah with us! 


• Dale Kleisley for putting the Hanukkah party together.
• Debra Surkin Perloff for making the delicious food.
• Karen Benjamin for sharing a delicious champagne tequila recipe and for picking up the Tequila
• Ira Levy for helping plan the event and tending bar
• Eli Levinson & Noa Resnikoff for their Hanukkah song performance
• Adam Lowy and Jonathan Bayer for their Hip Hop Hanukkah with Assist and the Scrappy Maccabee!

The Troupe de Beth Sholom players who starred in the play How Ms. Menorah Saved Hanukkah:
• Rabbi Dan Ain
• Ben Chinn
• Beth Jones
• Dan Rubinsky
• Bat El Saad
• Vered Levinson
• Katherine Friedman Barboni
• Jonathan Bayer


Myles Baruch's Bar Mitzvah on December 15

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Shabbat Shalom,

My name is Myles Baruch and I go to school at Aptos Middle School in San Francisco. Some things that I like to do are playing games with my family, playing baseball and rock climbing. I’ve been a certified scuba diver for two years. I like to scuba dive because it is a whole different world and you can see different animals that you cannot see on land.

In my parsha, Joseph is finally reunited with his family and with his brothers who sold him into slavery. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous of how he was their father’s favorite. However, being sold into slavery ended up being a good thing because – in the end, he was able to keep his family alive by providing food, shelter, and water for his family during the seven years of famine. It was also a good thing because when the Jews became slaves, he was able to create a yeshivah for the Jews to live and study Torah.

Eventually, Joseph forgave his brothers because he understood that the experiences that he went through were from G-d, and those experiences helped him gain a better understanding of who he was. They were used to teach him about forgiveness and how to treat others, even those who had wronged him in the past.  

Joseph’s trust in G-d, and belief in what G-d wanted him to do, allowed him to forgive his brothers. When he was finally reunited with his brothers, he cried because he had missed them and was grateful to have his family back. He was able to let the past anger go. 

As a result of Joseph being sold into slavery and then subsequently placed in jail, he was able to move past his previous immaturity and anger, as well as discovering and appreciating his own personal talents.

Initially, Joseph’s dreaming had gotten him into trouble with his brothers. But, as he became wiser and experienced his own ups and downs, he learned how to better understand his gift and utilize it to accomplish things that others could not. Joseph was called upon to to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, and as a result, became a trusted person to Pharaoh.

I imagine that everyone has a unique quality that he or she brings to the world; maybe it is an experience they had or something they are good at, or the way they can see the world. What is important to remember is that our experiences help us see the world differently – which makes all our voices unique and important.

As it says in the Midrash – “There are 70 Faces to the Torah; Turn it around and around, for everything is in it.”

To me, this means that everything can be found in Torah and that it is up to us to decode the words of the Torah in our own unique ways. That, in fact, this is what is meant by Torah study.

As Rabbi Ain and I were studying Torah together, I found that I did this naturally and when we were discussing some difficult portions of the Torah – I was able to share with the Rabbi new ways of looking at it. Ones that he hadn’t considered or even seen before in the text.

I want to thank Jacob Erez for being patient and helping me learn my Haftorah. Thank you for being a great teacher and tutor. Finally, I would also like to thank Rabbi Ain for helping me understand and explore some deeper lessons of the Torah.

May we all use bad experiences as a way to learn new things.

Ella Sturm's Bat Mitzvah on December 8


Hi! I am Ella Sturm and I am in 7th Grade at San Francisco Day School. At school I enjoy art, playing trumpet and learning about history. For the past few years I have been a part of First Lego League (Robotics) and it has given me a great perspective on teamwork and competition. I like space, especially Mars, and would love to be an astronaut one day. Outside of school I enjoy hanging out with friends and watching TV, going to Giants games with my dad, traveling East with my mom, and spending time with my brother, Toby. I also like boxing and playing baseball.    

Over the last few years, I have been preparing for my Bat Mitzvah by attending Shabbat School. I have learned a lot from my preparation including time management, prioritizing things that need to get done (even if they are not what I want to do), and that Judaism and this community welcome hard questions. And I ask some hard questions. My Torah portion, Miketz, tells the story of Joseph and the highs and lows of being part of a family and community.  I drew some connections to my relationship with my brother and my family. I also related to how far Joseph came from being a slave at the bottom of a pit to being the second in command to Pharaoh.  

I want to thank Rabbi Ain, who took time to help me with my speech and pushed the boundaries of my assumptions and perceptions. I also would like to thank my tutors Noa Bar and Stuart Blecher, who, after a rough beginning, helped me to learn my Torah portion and prepare for my Bat Mitzvah. Finally, I would like to thank my parents for everything they do to support me and for giving me room to grow.  

A Mitzvah for Teens on Maccabee Mitzvah Day

Help Makeover the Youth Lounge 
(especially for teens and tweens!)

Come join SFUSY in rededicating the Youth Lounge, ensuring an inviting and welcoming space for generations of youth to come! Possibilities include: painting the walls, hanging pictures, setting up objects, decorating, and envisioning future plans. 

Please bring with you any of the following materials: paint, string/fairy lights, light bulbs, furniture (beanbags, tables, lamps, etc.), pictures, banners, posters, streamers, other decorations, or objects/fixtures symbolic of Judaism and youth. 

DATE: Sunday, December 9
TIME: 1 p.m.
PLACE: Youth Lounge

Perform another Mitzvah on Maccabee Mitzvah Day - Donate to CTS!

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On Maccabee Mitzvah Day at CBS, bring donation items to Beth Sholom for the Community Thrift Shop. Declutter your home and perform a mitzvah at once!

Donations will be accepted on December 9 from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Items You Can Donate at CBS
• clean, gently used adult clothing and shoes
• jewelry and accessories
• art and collectibles
• housewares
• DVDs and CDs
• electronics
• books
Items should be clean and in good condition. Not sure about your item? 
Check the CTS website. 

Items Not Accepted at CBS
• children’s clothing, toys and linens
• larger items or furniture
For larger items that need to be picked up, call CTS directly at 415.861.4910.

On Maccabee Mitzvah Day, volunteers will doyou the mitzvah of delivering your items to CTS! However if you wish to take the tax deduction for your donation, please deliver your items directly to CTS. Make sure to have your donations credited to Beth Sholom!

If you are available to help with collections on Mitzvah Day, or you have a van or station wagon that we could use to deliver our goods to CTS, please contact Kelsey Russom.

Maccabee Mitzvah Day & Hanukkah Party: Rededicate & Revive!

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Join us on Sunday, December 9 in a communal volunteer effort to rededicate and beautify our sacred temple. We'll have the opportunity for hands-on beautification and restoration followed by a festive Hanukkah celebration.

Let's be the light and shine the light on our spiritual home...together we can perform the mitzvah of elevating our incredible space. This event is FREE & Open to All.


1-4 p.m. Mitzvah Teams

There are a range of projects to undertake that day. You can choose the project that you prefer and you'll work in a small team with a house committee member. Please read more about the projects below and then register for the team in which you would like to contribute.

4-6 p.m. Party Time!
A festive celebration including: Candle Lighting, Food & Drink, Games, Dramatic & Musical Performances & More!


Team 1: Landscaping  | Captain: Allen Levy
We’ll work on the Zweifach Meditation Garden, the Eva Gunther Plaza deck and wall planters, and a few other small projects. In the long term, we’d like to form a gardening committee to manage these spaces on a regular basis, so please contact Allen if you are interested in that.

Team 2: Interior Decor | Co-captains: Rosemary Rothstein/Mark Gunther
We have a collection of art and memorabilia that needs to be hung on various walls. We have chosen the locations. We'll be hanging a temporary exhibition in the Chapel Gallery, and permanent installation, on drywall or concrete, of other art items.

Team 3: Hanging the Tribes | Captain: David Madfes
Those of you who are long term congregants will remember the metal sculptures depicting the 12 tribes that used to hang above the bimah in the old sanctuary. These are going to be mounted on the concrete wall above the reception desk in the lobby. As each tribe is in at least three pieces, need to be mounted directly to the wall, and need to align precisely with each other when hung, persons with carpentry experience would be welcome for this task.

Team 4: Moving the Tree of Life | Captain: David Madfes
The Tree of Life memorial wall is being moved from the Library to Koret Hall. We need some strong folks to help with the moving and installation.

Team 5: Storage Space Management/cleaning | Captain: Mark Gunther
Working with Beth, this team will be inventorying items we have in our various storage spaces, moving stuff around to better locations, and discarding things that have passed their sell-by date. We also may power-wash the EG Plaza deck and walls, exterior stairwells, and other places as needed. 

Team 6: Renewing the Pews | Captain: Harry Meyer
This team will wash, vacuum, assess, refinish and move as necessary the pews in the Gronowski Chapel and Makom Shalom. There may be additional light carpentry tasks for this team as well.

Additional work: There is always something to do around the shul! We have some electrical work to do, replacing ballasts and fixtures. There is some repair work to do, such as replacing door handles. There may also be some other technical work related to building systems such as phones, computers, HVAC, A/V, security and so forth. If you have expertise in these areas and would like to join our team of handypersons, please contact Mark Gunther or David Madfes

And, of course, there is always the much appreciated ongoing option to donate gelt towards these efforts.

Jerry Neuhaus featured in local newspaper


Long-time CBS congregant, Jerry Neuhaus, was featured in a great article in The New Fillmore, a local paper that covers one of San Francisco’s most vibrant neighborhoods. The article, written by Howard Freedman, covers Jerry's life story: from his birth in Spangenberg, Germany, to his immigration to the U.S. in 1937 (bringing along a sacred Torah scroll), and the establishment of the Neuhaus Brothers clothing store, which played such an important role in the development of San Francisco's Fillmore District.


Donate Warm Winter Coats To Help Those In Need


As the weather gets colder and you return to your closet to get out your winter coat, you may find it no longer fits. Shabbat School has organized a warm coat drive with the “One Warm Coat” organization. Please bring your gently used coats and help warm those in need. Jackets, coats, warm sweaters, etc. we will take them!

Did you know that nearly 15% of Americans are living in poverty and struggling to provide warm coats for themselves and their families? This year we’re teaming up with One Warm Coat to hold a coat drive and we need your help! 

  1. Donate coats to our drive! From now until December 17 stop by the CBS office to drop off gently worn coats. All coats collected will be donated locally to our neighbors in need. Our goal is to collect 200 coats! Get all of the details here.

  2. Donate dollars! Donations to One Warm Coat support their coat drive program and outreach efforts. Every $5 donated warms 10 people - what an incredible impact!  You can donate directly to our coat drive and help us reach our goal by clicking here.  You can also donate by cash or check during our coat drive. Cash and check can be dropped in the small box on Rebecca's desk in the main office.

We hope you will support our coat drive and help us warm our neighbors in need. You can learn more about One Warm Coat by visiting their website: Thank you for your consideration!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Rebecca.

Welcome Isabella Grace Barboni!

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Siman Tav! Mazel Tov!

Mazel Tov to Katherine and Gerard Barboni on the birth of their second daughter!

Isabella Grace Barboni was born on Friday, November 2, 2018 (24 Cheshvan, 5779). She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20 inches long. Katherine, Gerard, Claire and Isabella are doing well, and Katherine is looking forward to visiting everyone at CBS.

The CBS community welcomes Isabella with love and open hearts!

OFFER Shabbat (Korban Shabbat)

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Join us for Korban Shabbat - A Sabbath of Communal Offerings

This is an alternative, free-form, Friday night experience that is Jewish in content and feeling.
Each Korban Shabbat is determined by the offerings brought by those present, including but not limited to music, readings, movement and meditations. Through our offerings and willing engagement, we create a holy community, one in which G-d's presence is brought close. ALL ARE WELCOME! You don’t need an offering to attend. LEARN MORE.

What to Expect:
• Beginners in all areas are welcomed and encouraged.

• Sitting on floor cushions and benches. Wear comfortable clothing.

• Geared towards grown-ups and mature teens – for ages 16 and older.

• A safe space that is open, respectful and conducive to sharing.

DATE: Fourth Fridays, each month.
The OFFER service on November 23 has been moved to November 30, in light of the Thanksgiving holiday
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
PLACE: Makom Sholom
Please join us directly following the service for a casual meal & cocktails in the Rainbow Courtyard & Main Meeting Room. PLEASE RSVP

If you are interested in making an offering at an upcoming Korban Shabbat, we want to hear from you! While there is a spontaneity to the evening, the offerings are scheduled in advance, rather than on the spot. Let Alana Ain or Karen Benjamin know if you're interested in giving a Korban offering at our next service. CONTACT ORGANIZERS