Security Update -- Peace and Prayer for Poway


Dear CBS Community,

We stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters in Poway, San Diego, and unite against senseless hatred and violence. We mourn the loss of life and pray for the healing of those injured and shaken, attacked in their sacred place of worship.  

At this sad and confusing time, we also gather our focus at home - where we continue our efforts to ensure the protection, safety and security of Congregation Beth Sholom and our congregants who gather in prayer, learning and community. 

Over the past several months we have been working with law enforcement, Jewish organizations, and security professionals and, with their help, will continue to evaluate and improve our safety policies and procedures. 

Our House Committee is currently leading the planning of upgrades to our facility, in coordination with applications for federal security funding, to ensure that our synagogue building continues to be a safe space for all who enter in peace. We also rely on the vigilance of our congregants. If you see something, say something to a staff member or security guard.

Rabbi Ain will be making additional time available in the coming weeks for personal counseling. In the meantime, in the face of ugly and brutal hatred, we are grateful to the members of our community who demonstrate every day the strongest love of our tradition, our community and each other. 

Rabbi Dan Ain 
Ben Chinn, President of the Board

CBS Community Passover Preparations


CBS Seder Matching:
Open Seats & Friendly Faces

Do you have an extra seat not already reserved for Elijah or Miriam?
Are you interested in joining a Seder at the home of a CBS community member?
This year, CBS staff will be helping community members with extra seats fill their table by facilitating community connections. Please use the forms below to help us in this process!

If you are planning a Seder and interested in adding a chair (or three): Please use this form

If you are interested in joining a CBS Community Member’s Seder: Please use this form to help us match you with an available host!

Please email Bill Crotty at with any questions.

Preparing CBS for Passover

  • Help us prepare CBS from 1-4 p.m. in a bi-annual event of tidying our physical spaces for the community!

  • We'll be accepting donations of usable clothes and household items for Community Thrift from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (proceeds benefit CBS). Please ensure all donations are acceptable items.

  • Following our community-wide tidying of CBS, we will nosh on some bread products (chametz) while listening to a dialogue between Rabbi Ain and Jeremiah Lockwood.

  • Rabbi Ain and Jeremiah Lockwood discuss their most meaningful Passover traditions - through rabbinic and musical lenses. Bring your questions and engage us all in a holiday filled with purpose, inquiry and spirit, beginning at 4 p.m.

  • Finally, Revive your soul with a performance from The Fraternal Order of the Society of Blues. Jeremiah Lockwood (guitar and voice), Ernesto “Lover Cat” Gomez (harmonica and voice) and Ricky “Dirty Red” Gordon (washboard and voice) comprise this band: a tribute to the Life and Music of Carolina Slim (aka Elijah Staley). Check out the video below for a preview! Performance will begin at 5 p.m.

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!!

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The Installation of Rabbi Dan Ain

The Installation of Rabbi Dan Ain

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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

Baruch Dayan Emet–Jane Kahn

With heavy hearts we share the news that that Jane Kahn passed away on
Wednesday, December 26 (18 Tevet 5779). Jane was 64 years old. 

Jane is survived by her husband, Michael Bien, and her sons, Ben, Max, and
Joseph Bien-Kahn, and her daughters, Allison Jamtaas and Katy Mann.

There will be a public memorial for Jane.
DATE: Friday, December 28
TIME: 2 p.m.
PLACE: Sinai Memorial Chapel located at 1501 Divisadero Street, San Francisco

The burial and shiva will be private.

Zichrona l'vracha - may her memory be a blessing.

Baruch Dayan Emet – Dr. Richard (Dick) J. Cohen

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It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of beloved congregant and former CBS Board member, Dr. Richard (Dick) J. Cohen, who died on Tuesday, December 25 (18 Tevet 5779) at the age of 82.

Dick was a proud native of Brooklyn, New York and graduated from James Madison High School and Columbia College. He earned his medical degree from the State University of New York’s Downstate Medical Center in 1961. 

Following an internship at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C, Dick moved to San Francisco in 1962 for a residency in Internal Medicine and subspecialty training in both Hematology and Medical Oncology at Letterman General Hospital and at UCSF. 

Upon completion of training in 1965, Dick was sent to Vietnam where he served for 12 months as Chief of Medicine at the 17th Field Hospital in Saigon. For service against hostile forces, Dick was awarded the Bronze star and Commendation medals before returning to Walter Reed and continuing his specialty training. He became Board Certified in both Medical Specialties and Internal Medicine, becoming a Fellow of the American College of Medicine in 1965.

In 1967, Dick was invited to return to San Francisco to join a consultative practice as well as active teaching at UCSF, Children’s Hospital, Mt. Zion Medical Center, and California Pacific Medical Center, enjoying his active practice in all three medical specialties until his retirement in 2011. Dick was renowned especially as a teacher to his peers and to generations of residents and Fellows in training. A highlight of Dick's teaching was his delivery of the Sherlock Holmes lecture every December where, dressed in frock coat and deerstalker hat, he taught the art of deductive reasoning. Having received numerous awards in teaching over the years, Dick was pleased to be awarded the Charlotte Baer award in 2005, the highest honor that can be bestowed by UCSF on a member of the Clinical Faculty. 

Dick's many hobbies included collecting fountain pens (to make up for having never received one at his Bar Mitzvah), bow ties and wine. With his wife of 59 years, Dr. Sandra Cohen, he was a regular attendee at both opera and ballet.

Having grown up in Brooklyn as a devoted fan of the Dodgers, he transferred his baseball allegiance to the SF Giants and was invited to serve as a ”Balldude” in 2004, working many games a year, wearing his full uniform emblazoned with “Doctor C #18", which translates as Chai in Hebrew, the word for “Life.”  In retirement, Dick also enjoyed his courses at the Fromm Institute at USF as well as the many friendships made there.

The love of his life was his wife Sandra, whom he met during his senior year at Columbia while she was attending Barnard College. Sandra later earned her PhD degree at UC Berkeley and began her career as a practicing psychologist in San Francisco. In addition to his wife, Sandra, Dick's survivors include his son, Aaron, of Berkeley, daughter and son-in-law, Eve and Keith Cohen-Porter of Denver, Colorado, and adored granddaughters, Thea and Bailey Cohen-Porter.

DATE: Friday, December 28
TIME: 11 a.m.
PLACE: Sinai Memorial Chapel at 1501 Divisadero Street in San Francisco.
Burial will follow at Home of Peace cemetery at 1299 El Camino Real in Daly City.

Shiva lunch following the burial at 2 p.m. at 1926 8th Avenue, San Francisco.

Shiva visitors are welcome Sunday and Monday afternoons at the family home. Contact for address.

Contributions in his memory may be directed to Congregation Beth Sholom.

Zichrono l'vracha – may his memory be a blessing!



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


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 Kiddush for the Ains

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Join us for in formally welcoming Rabbi Dan Ain, his wife Alana, and their children, Autumn and Samson, to San Francisco and Congregation Beth Sholom.

Though many of you have already had the opportunity to meet, learn, and daven with the Ains, we want to take a moment to welcome them to the wider community, as many congregants return from summer vacations. 

DATE: Saturday, September 8
TIME: Noon
WHERE: Koret Hall

We will also be celebrating Rabbi Ain at his installation in early 2019.
If you are interested in being part of the installation planning committee, please
contact Ellen Ginsberg.

CBS HaLuach, July 12 - 18


Beth Sholom this week.

Did you miss the email version of our HaLuach newsletter? Are you not on our mailing list, but you're interested in learning more about what's happening at Beth Sholom this week?

To get on the mailing list, just email

To read the online version of our July 12 - 18 HaLuach, please click here.

CBS HaLuach, July 5 - 11


Beth Sholom this week.

Did you miss the email version of our HaLuach newsletter? Are you not on our mailing list, but you're interested in learning more about what's happening at Beth Sholom this week?

To get on the mailing list, just email

To read the online version of our July 5 - 11 HaLuach, please click here.