Tikkun Leyl Shavuot San Francisco: Where Sinai Meets California Street

Celebrate Shavuot!

Get ready for a unique celebration and night of learning – a spiritual journey bringing together people from a variety of perspectives and affiliations. Come for an hour or stay the whole night! We will be joined by teachers from our diverse Bay Area Jewish community. There will be Flamenco, Arabic, and Jewish music by the Levoná Ensemble — master musicians from Syrai, Israel, and the U.S. In addition, enjoy the food, family events, and community learning opportunities!

DATE: Saturday-Sunday, May 19-20
TIME: 6pm until dawn
PLACE: Events at JCCSF, 3200 California Street, and CBS (See flyer for details)
COST: Free, but registration is required

REGISTER AND GET MORE DETAILS

Co-sponsors: Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, j. The Jewish News of Northern California, Honeymoon Israel, KehillahSF, Be’chol Lashon, and the Shalom Hartman Institute

With the generous support of The Ingrid D. Tauber Philanthropic Fund of the JCF and the Koret Foundation

Fusion Friday Kabbalat Shabbat Is Back!

Facebook_FusionFridayKabbalatShabbatCBS is proud to announce the return of Fusion Friday Kabbalat Shabbat, a spirited Kabbalat Shabbat service that provides its many participants with a transformative experience that is as moving as it is joyful.

Led by Rabbi Aubrey Glazer, the Shir Hashirim EnsembleHazzan Richard Kaplan, violinist Lila Sklar, and Sheldon Brown (on clarinet, flute, saxophone, and bass clarinet) – will provide participants with an exquisite Friday night service featuring Jewish sacred music from around the world and drawn from Sephardic, Ashkenazic, and Mizrahi traditions. Each Fusion Friday Kabbalat Shabbat will incorporate contemplative prayer, mantra-like tunes, a Jewish/Turkish/Sufi zikr, klezmer and jazz accents, and beautiful Zoharic teachings and meditations by our own Rabbi Glazer. The prayer leaders, music, spirit, and ideas of the Fusion Friday Kabbalat Shabbat series make the vital passage between the rest of the week and Shabbat the extraordinary experience that it should be! Shabbat is a gift. We hope you will celebrate it with us!

Let's sing together on Friday, March 16! The Fusion Friday service is free.

Matot / Massei -- Numbers 30:2 – 36:13

Facebook_CoverDesign_MasseiParashat Matot

The final of the four tangible ways of measuring the intangibles of intentional community that I learned with Dr. Sarale Shadmi-Wortman (Oranim College of Education) during the Rabin Bay Area Leadership Mission to Israel is Meaningfulness: "My uniqueness is an important resource and influence for the group."

As we read this week in Parashat Matot, Moses divides up the community according to tribes, assigning land and leadership roles accordingly as the Israelites prepare to enter the Promised Land. The Torah provides two names for the twelve tribes of Israel, both derived from the imagery of the tree: shevatim and matot. While a shevet is a "branch," a mateh is a "staff" – the former attached to the tree, the other detached. In other words, a mateh is a shevet that has been uprooted from its tree.

The twelve tribes embody this tension between unity and division. Eager to settle in plots east of the Jordan, the tribes of Reuben and Gad, later joined by half of the tribe of Manasseh, demand these plots as their portion in the Promised Land. Moses, initially angered by this special request, subsequently agrees – on the condition that they join and lead Israel’s conquest of the lands west of the Jordan.

Today, we continue to face this tension in our modern Jewish tribe. We struggle between mateh and shevet Judaism, between denominationalism and unity, and between Conservative Judaism and "Just Jewish."

Both of these perennial tendencies of creating and grouping community are part of the Tree of Jewish communal Life; the question is how we strike a balance between our need for ideological affinity within a given denomination and the need to be a part of a unified peoplehood.

Parashat Massei

"One can find a squalid America as easily as a scenic America; a bitter, hopeless America as easily as the confident America of polyethylene wrapping, new cars, and camping trips in the summer."

For Robert Kennedy (1925–1968), the U.S. Attorney General (during his brother's administration) and U.S. Senator who was assassinated in 1968, camping is a scenic part of our American pioneering spirit (rather than a squalid one).

So when we read this week of the journey of the Israelites and the record of their forty-two station stops in encampments along the way to the Promised Land – from the Exodus to the plains of Moab across the river from the land of Canaan – we would be well served in reading into it a sense of real joy. As we approached our destination, the boundaries of the Promised Land were traced, and more importantly, Cities of Refuge were designated as havens, places of exile for inadvertent murderers. (How telling that the Cities of Refuge, which are an advanced institution dedicated to creating civil society and thus protecting it from the circle of bloodshed that comes with revenge, are referred to time after time in Scripture – here in Numbers as well as in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Joshua.)

In the final surveying of laws relating to the land, we confronted the issue of inheritance head-on. The daughters of Tzelafochad – as proto-feminists – decide to marry within their own tribe of Manasseh to ensure that the estate which they inherit from their father should not pass to the province of another tribe.

Throughout the parsha, the land ultimately serves as a horizontal platform for action, one that always binds us in a vertical relationship to what is right, just, and compassionate – the divine. Just as we journey across lands here on earth, we must not forget the journey of the soul.

Although journeys on land may be long and treacherous, there is no greater journey than the turn inwards. Each Shabbat, we are offered this chance to slow down and share in this ongoing spiritual journey with our community.

- Rabbi Aubrey Glazer

Artwork note: This week's illustration is concerned with worldly boundaries, the lines we etch into or lay over the landscape to demarcate property and/or spheres of influence. "When you arrive in the land of Canaan, this is the land which shall fall to you as an inheritance, the land of Canaan according to its borders." (Numbers 34:2) Illustration by Christopher Orev Reiger.

Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound

AvivaChernickShaliach tzibbur (prayer leader), musician, and teacher Aviva Chernick returns again to CBS to lead Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound, a special, two-part service occurring on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur.

Renew Our Days is a prayer lab, a non-halachic service (e.g., there is no Torah service) inspired by traditional liturgy, but not bound to it. The service continues to evolve from last year's initial iteration; it will move a bit further from a traditional structure, letting go of more of the text and incorporating more contemplative and embodied practice.

Highlighting selected passages and prayers, Aviva will guide participants on a journey, an opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual substance of Jewish prayer and the High Holy Days. "With curiosity and an openness to discover the experience of prayer anew," Aviva says, "so much is possible."

Join us in song, prayer, and reflection as we experience
the "Days of Awe" in a fresh and inspiring way.

Renew Our Days is open to all CBS High Holy Day ticket holders, but space is limited and preregistration is required (even if you have already purchased your general High Holy Day tickets). Please plan to join us promptly at 10 a.m. The service will end at approximately 1 p.m. (During the Yom Kippur service, Yizkor will occur around noon.)

For a little taste of the prayer lab's vibe, we invite you to listen to Aviva’s lovely interpretation of Chadeish Yameinu.

[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/02-Chadesh-Yameinu-Turn-Your-Face-to-the-Sun.mp3"][/audio]
Service Details
Renew Our Days: Rosh Hashanah Unbound |  September 21, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gronowski Family Chapel
Renew Our Days: Yom Kippur Unbound (w/ Yizkor) |    September 30, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gronowski Family Chapel

___________
RENEW OUR DAYS WORKSHOP
Many of the Renew Our Days service melodies will be easy to sing, but new to service participants. Because Aviva wants to maximize the experience of all who join the special High Holy Days prayer lab, she is offering an optional Renew Our Days Workshop on Sunday, September 17, 4:15 – 5:45 p.m., on the Eva Gunther Plaza (just outside of the Sanctuary). In the event of rain, the workshop will take place in the Gronowski Family Chapel. Please join CBS congregants and friends as we reconnect with or get to know Aviva and become comfortable with the service melodies before the new year. (When you register for the services, you will automatically be registered for this workshop.)

Even before the workshop in late September, service participants can begin acquainting themselves with some of the Renew Our Days melodies. Please enjoy these simple recordings – sing along and let them warm you up for what is to come. (Just click on the melody names to listen.)

NEWER MELODIES FOR THE MORNING SERVICE:
1. Tishrei Niggun, by Nava Tehilah – (Or download music file)
2. Carlebach Niggun, by Shlomo Carlebach – (Or download music file)
3. Modah Ani, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
4. Elohai Neshama – (Or download music file)
5. Baruch Sheamar, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
6. Nishmat Kol Chai, by Joey Weisenberg – (Or download music file)
7. Ahava, by Aviva Chernick – (Or download music file)
8. Adonai S'fatai – (Or download music file)
9. Hayom, by Aviva Chernick – (Or download music file)

FAMILIAR MELODIES FOR THE HIGH HOLY DAYS:
10. Zochreynu
11. Michalkel Chayim – (Or download music file)
12. B'rosh Hashanah – (Or download music file)
13. U'teshuvah U'tefilah U'tzedakah – (Or download music file)
14. Avinu Malkeinu – (Or download music file)

Renew Our Days is supported by an anonymous grant.

The High Holy Days At CBS

Web_MachzorCBS looks forward to sharing the High Holy Days with you this fall.

The High Holy Days provide us with an unparalleled opportunity to take stock and reconnect with our deeper selves. Importantly, the spiritual drama and possibility of the "Days of Awe" are matched by the pleasure of spending time with so many friends, both old and new!

With support from the outstanding lay leaders in our community, Rabbi Aubrey Glazer, Ph.D., Rabbi Dorothy Richman, and Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell will guide us through the two main services that occur in the Sanctuary and Koret Hall.

SANCTUARY SERVICES
Our Sanctuary services balance traditional liturgy with familiar and innovative melodies so that the classic character of the High Holy Days is experienced in a contemporary context. Guided by Rabbi Glazer with support from Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell and a cast of wonderful lay prayer leaders, the services include much interactive singing and reflection.

TESHUVAH / RETURN (KORET HALL)
The Teshuvah / Return services in Koret Hall are both traditional and creative, inspired by our beloved teacher, Rabbi Alan Lew (z”l). They are an invitation to "go deep" and connect with our prayer, with each other, and with the Divine. Led by Rabbi Richman and supported by a number of CBS lay leaders including Zoketsu Norman Fischer, these services engage active participation through group aliyot, lots of singing, traditional and creative ritual, and poetry, prose, and kavanot/intentions to inspire our prayer.

RENEW OUR DAYS: THE HIGH HOLY DAYS UNBOUND
We are also delighted to welcome back Aviva Chernick, shaliach tzibbur (prayer leader), musician, and teacher, to lead Renew Our Days, a special, two-part service occurring on Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur. Renew Our Days is open to all ticket holders, but space is limited and advance registration is required. (Details about Renew Our Days can be found here.)

YOUTH & FAMILY PROGRAMMING
Age-specific children’s programming is offered for ages newborn – Grade 8. This year, we're introducing Kadima Klub, a unique program specifically designed for Grades 6 – 8. Our ever-popular Family Service (for families with children ages newborn – Kindergarten) and Days of AWEsomeness programming (ages newborn – Grade 5) provides an opportunity for your little ones to connect with the rituals, music, and stories of the High Holy Days in a warm and fun context. (Full descriptions of our children's programming is available here.)

If you have any questions, please contact us via email or call 415.940.7092.

Nonmembers, please scroll to the bottom of this post to place your ticket orders online. Alternatively, you can download the ticket order form and drop off at Beth Sholom.

CBS members, please click here to reserve your tickets and/or purchase guest tickets via EventBrite. (Please note that online purchase is only possible after you renew your CBS membership; the CBS office will supply you with the online access code upon request. If you do not already have an EventBrite account, you will be walked through the steps of creating one at "checkout.")

5778 HIGH HOLY DAY SEASON SERVICES & PROGRAMS
Below, we provide you with a comprehensive overview of our service and program times for the 5778 High Holy Day season. Details about some of the special services are provided in other posts on the CBS blog, as well as all CBS calendar listings.

SelichotSELICHOT
Saturday, September 16
9 p.m.Selichot study w/ Moshav (for young adults)
10 p.m. — Communal Selichot Beit Midrash
11:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. (next morning)Hardly Strictly Selichot
   (featuring Yehuda Solomon, Hazzan Avyatar Alfassi
   of Anshey Sfard, Rabbi Glazer, and other friends)

HIGH HOLY DAYS
Sunday, September 17
4:15 - 5:45 p.m.Aviva Chernick's Renew Our Days
   Song Workshop


high-holy-daysWednesday, September 20
6:15 - 8:30 p.m. — Erev Rosh Hashanah service

Thursday, September 21
8:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sanctuary Service
10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Koret Hall Service
10 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah Family Service
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
10 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah Family Service
4:30 p.m.Mincha minyan
at Ocean Beach 5 – 7 p.m.Ctrl + Alt + Del: Tashlique at Ocean Beach (w/ Reboot)

Friday, September 22
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Sanctuary Service

KolNidreFriday, September 29
6 – 9 p.m.Kol Nidre Sanctuary Service –
   Mincha (6:05 p.m.); Kol Nidre (6:15 p.m.)
6:30 – 9 p.m.Kol Nidre Koret Hall Service

Saturday, September 30
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Sanctuary Service
   (Yizkor, ~11 a.m.)
10 a.m. — Yom Kippur Family Service
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Koret Hall Service
   (Yizkor, ~11:30 a.m.)
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
   (Yizkor, ~12 p.m.)

2 – 4 p.m. — Special Afternoon Teachings w/ Ephraim Margolin, Henry Hollander, & Michael Loebs
2 – 4:45 p.m. — Open Meditation in Makom Shalom
4:45 – 7:30 p.m.Mincha, Ne’ila, Ma’ariv, & Havdalah
7:35 p.m.Break-the-Fast

SUKKOT
Thursday, October 5
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 1 Service
12 – 1 p.m.Kiddush Lunch & Learn 1: Kohelet Chapters 1–6 (in CBS sukkah)
6 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan

Friday, October 6
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 2 Service
12 – 1 p.m.Kiddush Lunch & Learn 2: Kohelet Chapters 7–12 (in CBS sukkah)
HoshanaRabbah2 6:30 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan

Wednesday, October 11
7 – 9:30 a.m.Hoshana Rabbah Service
9:30 a.m.Kiddush in CBS sukkah
6 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan

SHEMINI ATZERET & SIMCHAT TORAH
Thursday, October 12
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Shemini Atzeret Service, w/ Yizkor
12 p.m.Kiddush
6 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. — Simchat Torah Hakafot, featuring Veretski Pass

Friday, October 13
9 – 10 a.m. — Simchat Torah Service
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.Kiddush (concurrent w/ service)

Tazria / Metzora – Leviticus 12:1-15:33

Facebook_CoverDesign_Tazria-MetzoraDebate still abounds as to how best translate the key terms tumah and taharah — signatures of Leviticus (see, for example, Chapter 12). Purity and impurity? Ritual fitness or exclusion? Death and rebirth? I continue to return to the inspired translation of theologian Rachel Adler, who teaches that tumah and taharah are best rendered as "a way of learning how to die and be reborn."

In Parashat Metzora, we encounter the moment where Miriam stokes the masses to revolt against the leadership of her brother, Moses, through the sin of slander. Some of our rabbinic interpretation suggests that the signs of the metzora really describe a person caught in a state of unpreparedness or inappropriateness for ritual engagement, a person who has not yet learned "how to die and be reborn."

But the spiritual malaise of tzara’at is not limited to one’s person; it can also spread to one’s home, as manifest by dark red or green patches on the walls. This disease is at once spiritual and physical because it leads to exclusion and is associated with strife and dissension that are often the natural fall-out of hate speech.

Tzara’at takes different forms today, including irate e-mails, bullying texts, and harassing phone messages, but the outcome is largely the same — exclusion, strife, and dissension. Our task is to find ways of returning to our relationships, especially in society, ready to re-engage fairly and wholly with others after we have purged ourselves of our disruptive and destructive patterns, able to return to that unsullied core of the soul within each and every one of us.

- Rabbi Aubrey Glazer

Artwork note: In These Are The Words, Rabbi Arthur Green writes that the ritual defilements that Leviticus is preoccupied with all stem from "improper contact with the portals of birth and death, the limits of life as we know it." This week's illustration is meant to call to mind a sensuous plume of smoke – the sacrificial offering – but was created using the documented action of subatomic particles in a CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) bubble chamber – itself a beautiful artifact of our species' ongoing attempts to learn more about the origins and limits of life. Illustration by Christopher Orev Reiger.

From Tiberias With Love

Facebook_RobertsWe're pleased to announce From Tiberias With Love: Letters of Spiritual Direction from 1777 Community in Eretz Yisrael, a four-session mini-course that will meet at 8 a.m. on Thursdays in March (2, 9, 16, 23), immediately following morning minyan.

Scroll down to register now!


Does distance really make the heart grow fonder? What would you do if your spiritual leader and core community left your diasporic home to return to Eretz Yisrael? How would you continue your spiritual journey in the diaspora while remaining committed to your teachers and colleagues now settled far away?

These questions resonate as we reconsider the neglected history of Yishuv Aliya, the immigration of Hasidim in 1777, which consisted of several hundred people who arrived at the same time. At its head were four Hasidic leaders of White Russia: R. Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, R. Abraham of Kalisk, R. Zvi Hirsch of Smorytzsch, and R. Israel of Plock. The caravan set out in March 1777 from Eastern Europe and arrived in Eretz Yisrael, via Istanbul, in September of the same year.

Historians have different opinions about the causes of this immigration, but there can be no doubt that this conscious community was seeking an intimate experience of egalitarian fellowship built upon unique approaches to Torah and tefillah that can inspire our own search.  Of special interest then are fifteen igrot, or "Letters of Love," penned by R. Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk and R. Avraham haKohen of Kalisk that served as long distance spiritual direction primarily to Hasidim in Eastern Europe. By examining this ongoing correspondence as a form of spiritual direction, we will explore the creative spiritual tensions between mind-centered techniques (HaBaD) in relation to heart-centered techniques (HaGaT) of the spiritual life in community.

Bi-lingual texts will be distributed. No prior knowledge of Hebrew or Hasidism required; the syllabus will be made available to those who register.

Image credit: Detail of "Tiberias, looking towards Hermon," David Roberts (Scottish, 1796-1864), First Edition Lithograph

The Financial Four -- January 17, 2017

Today, the latest edition of The Financial Four, an update from our Interim Director of Finance, Missy Sue Mastel.

*****
Donation_CBSYellow
Happy Secular New Year!

I think we're especially fortunate to have two New Year celebrations; I use one for my spiritual health and the other for my (and incidentally, the synagogue’s) financial well-being. Some people say spirituality and financial considerations shouldn’t mix. Don’t believe that for a second; they are inextricably tied together. At the synagogue, like everywhere else, you get what you pay for – we commit to supporting our synagogue and the synagogue is there when we need and want it.

A lot has happened in a few short weeks since my last post. So, with no further ado, let's look at our recent progress.

1. Commitment to Cash Flow – While we continue our bold push to create a sustained culture of giving, we are well on our way to making our projections for the year, coming in at or below budget on our expenses. This good news is a direct result of...

2. Our Commitment to Savings – Many of our Board members and volunteers have come up with great ideas to help us save money. We are investing in programming changes for our synagogue database, our telephone systems, and our postage and copying contracts in order to create more sustainable long-term cost structures. Some of you may have noticed some of our customer relationship management (CRM) changes, and may have experienced a glitch here and there. We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we work through these systemic changes and get everything working correctly while we continue to do our job of keeping your financials accurate and up to date.

3. Commitment to Staff and the Environment – So many people came to tell us how wonderful the High Holy Days services were at CBS, and many felt this was because of the hard work of our staff. We agree, so we have reworked our staff benefits to include Commuterchecks and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefits for anyone who opts in. We also scheduled some lovely back massages for the hardworking CBS Family Preschool and office staff just before our wonderful Light It Up! Community Hanukkah celebration.

4. Commitment to the Community – We all know that Beth Sholom is not an island, and we have been making a lot of plans to partner and work with other synagogues. Here, in the financial office, we are forging a CRM redesign for use by other congregations in the Bay Area. We thank Congregation Emanu-El and Peninsula Temple Beth El (San Mateo) for encouraging us to "boldly go where (few) synagogues have gone before." Stay tuned for exciting updates on that front!

Finally, thanks to you, our members, who give all of our commitments – and your commitments to us – meaning and purpose.

L’shalom,
Missy Sue

Stories A Poem From The Minyan

The beating heart of CBS is our minyan.

We are the only synagogue in the Bay Area with a twice-daily, egalitarian minyan, one in which women and men play equal roles. Morning and evening, we join as one in the intimate Gronowski Family Chapel and carry on our rich tradition of communal worship. We come together to daven (pray) for personal and collective edification, but also because it’s important to us that we are there for every person who wants to pray or mourn, recite Kaddish, or recall the anniversary of a loved one’s passing with communal support.

Ours in a large community, however, and many CBS congregants have not participated in morning or evening minyan services. As a result, not everyone knows how special an experience it is.

With that in mind, we’d like to share the following poem with you, which congregant Stuart Blecher pointed us to shortly before the High Holy Days. The poem's author is Howard Simon, a Bay Area singer-songwriter, businessman, and the Board President of Lehrhaus Judaica. Howard is a member of Congregation Ner Tamid, but he is also a regular participant in our daily morning minyan.


facebook_theark_poemillustrationThe Ark

Ezekiel saw wonders
Wheels of fire, thrones that glistened
Like a thousand suns on the water
But I see only an ark
The upturned sides of this seafaring place
Of this building strong as an ocean

And this small simple room
That sits quietly at her prow
Is a tugboat
And we are the mariners
That each day lead her safely to the sea

And like Noah, the greatest sailor of all
We know how to navigate these shoals
How to save what must be saved
How to keep alive what otherwise would die
In these rough and forgetful waters

But when we are moored
Each kaddish that flows from our mouths and our hearts
Leads the ones we loved
Another step up the ramp and into shelter
Preserving not only their memories
But all those who follow
Even to the tenth generation

And thus we sail
Each day redeeming the world
One floating soul
At a time.


We're a little biased, but we feel the poem beautifully captures the vitally of our minyanim.

Please consider joining us for minyan — and, one day, you’ll have some of your own stories (or poems) to share with the community!

Announcing Fusion Friday Kabbalat Shabbat!

Facebook_FusionFridayKabbalatShabbatBeginning in 2014, the CBS community has gathered on the third Friday of each month to welcome Shabbat with uplifting song. This spirited 3rd Friday Musical Kabbalat Shabbat service has grown in popularity over the past two years, providing its many participants with a transformative experience that is as moving as it is joyful.

This year, CBS is proud to announce Fusion Friday Kabbalat Shabbat, an exciting new iteration of our 3rd Friday series!

Led by Rabbi Aubrey Glazer, the Shir Hashirim EnsembleHazzan Richard Kaplan, violinist Lila Sklar, and Sheldon Brown (on clarinet, flute, saxophone, and bass clarinet) – will provide participants with an exquisite Friday night service featuring Jewish sacred music from around the world and drawn from Sephardic, Ashkenazic, and Mizrahi traditions. Each Fusion Friday Kabbalat Shabbat will incorporate contemplative prayer, a Jewish/Turkish/Sufi zikr, klezmer and jazz accents, and beautiful Zoharic teachings and meditations by our own Rabbi Glazer. The prayer leaders, music, spirit, and ideas of the Fusion Friday Kabbalat Shabbat series make the vital passage between the rest of the week and Shabbat the extraordinary experience that it should be! Shabbat is a gift. We hope you will celebrate it with us!

Let's sing together on Friday, May 19! The Fusion Friday service is free, but pre-registration is required – please take a quick minute to sign up below.

Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound

AvivaChernickShaliach tzibbur (prayer leader), musician, and teacher Aviva Chernick returns to CBS to lead Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound, a special, two-part prayer lab occurring on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur.

Renew Our Days is not halachic (e.g., there is no Torah service or sermon) – the service is based on traditional liturgy, but not bound to it. Highlighting selected passages and prayers, Aviva will guide participants on a journey, an opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual substance of Jewish prayer and the High Holy Days. "So much of what we want and need is already in the liturgy," Aviva says, and it extends "an invitation to our spirits, voices, bodies, and minds."

Join us in song, prayer, and reflection as we experience
the "Days of Awe" in a fresh and inspiring way.

Renew Our Days is open to all CBS High Holy Day ticket holders, but space is limited and preregistration is required. Please plan to join us promptly at 10 a.m. The service will end at approximately 1 p.m. If you will be joining us, we ask that you R.S.V.P.: just click here and follow the registration instructions. (For a little taste of the prayer lab's vibe, we invite you to listen to Aviva’s lovely interpretation of Chadeish Yameinu.)

[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/02-Chadesh-Yameinu-Turn-Your-Face-to-the-Sun.mp3"][/audio]
Renew Our Days is supported by two anonymous grants.

Service Details
Renew Our Days: Rosh Hashanah Unbound |  10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gronowski Family Chapel
Renew Our Days: Yom Kippur Unbound |    10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gronowski Family Chapel

REGISTER FOR RENEW OUR DAYS HERE!
___________
RENEW OUR DAYS WORKSHOP
Many of the Renew Our Days service melodies will be easy to sing, but new to service participants. Because Aviva wants to maximize the experience of all who join the special High Holy Days prayer lab, she is offering an optional Renew Our Days Workshop on Sunday, September 25, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., in the Gronowski Family Chapel. Please join CBS congregants and friends as we get to know Aviva and become comfortable with the service melodies before the new year. (When you register for the services, you will automatically be registered for this workshop.)

Even before the workshop in late September, service participants can begin acquainting themselves with some of the Renew Our Days melodies. Please enjoy these simple recordings – sing along and let them warm you up for what is to come. (Just click on the melody names to listen.)

NEWER MELODIES FOR THE MORNING SERVICE:
1. Binah Niggun, by Joey Weisenberg – (Or download music file)
2. Carlebach Niggun, by Shlomo Carlebach – (Or download music file)
3. Modah Ani, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
4. Elohai Neshama, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
5. Baruch Sheamar, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
6. Nishmat Kol Chai, by Joey Weisenberg – (Or download music file)
7. Hayom, by Aviva Chernick – (Or download music file)

FAMILIAR MELODIES FOR THE HIGH HOLY DAYS:
8. Zochreynu
9. Michalkel Chayim – (Or download music file)
10. B'rosh Hashanah – (Or download music file)
11. U'teshuvah U'tefilah U'tzedakah – (Or download music file)
12. Avinu Malkeinu – (Or download music file)
13. Ki Anu Amecha – (Or download music file)

The High Holy Days At CBS

The "Days of Awe" are almost upon us – again! As another year draws to a close, we look forward to the next. We also look forward to sharing the High Holy Days with you this October!
Facebook_JWeekly_HHDAvertisement No matter how “late” they may seem this year, the High Holy Days are always a good time to reconnect with old friends and to make some new ones. All of our services are conducted with joy, deep feeling, and humor, and they preserve the classic character of the High Holy Days while authentically connecting with contemporary Jews and their friends and family.

With support from cantorial soloist and rabbinic intern, Amanda Russell, and a cast of wonderful lay leaders, Rabbis Aubrey Glazer and Dorothy Richman will lead inspiring services in our acclaimed Sanctuary and Koret Hall. In addition, CBS offers a completely new prayer experience: Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound, a special, two-part prayer lab occurring on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur. This a special opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual substance of Jewish liturgy. Led by Aviva Chernick, teacher, hazzan, and frontwoman of Jaffa Road, the celebrated world music group, Renew Our Days is open to all ticket holders, but space is limited & advance R.S.V.P. is required. (Full details on Renew Our Days can be found here.)

Age-specific children’s programming is also provided from Newborn – Grade 5, and we're introducing Launch Kadima 5777, a unique program specifically designed for Grades 6 – 8. (Full descriptions of our children's programming is available here.)

Let’s put chalk to board and write the next chapter together!

Below, we provide you with a comprehensive overview of our service and program times for the 5777 High Holy Days. Details about some of the special services are provided in other posts on the CBS blog, as well as all CBS calendar listings.

If you have any questions, please contact us via email or call 415.940.7092.
Nonmembers, please click here to access the High Holy Days Nonmember Ticket Request Form, which can be printed and mailed to the CBS office or scanned and emailed.

5777 HIGH HOLY DAY SEASON SERVICES & PROGRAMS

SELICHOT
Friday, September 23
6:30 p.m. — "Neo-Carlebach" Kabbalat Shabbat (guest-led by Yehuda Solomon)

Saturday, September 24
9 a.m. — Shabbat morning service (co-led by Yehuda Solomon)
1:30 p.m. — Mincha gedolah minyan (replaces our normal, evening minyan service)
9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. (next morning) — Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged (featuring Yehuda Solomon, Duvid Swirsky, Hazzan Avyatar Alfassi of Anshey Sfard, and other friends)

HIGH HOLY DAYS
high-holy-daysSunday, September 25
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. — Aviva Chernick's Renew Our Days Song Workshop

Sunday, October 2
6:15 - 8:30 p.m. — Erev Rosh Hashanah service

Monday, October 3
8:45 – 9:30 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah Family Service
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sanctuary Service
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Koret Hall Service
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
4:30 p.m. — Mincha minyan at Ocean Beach (near Fulton, just across from Beach Chalet)
5 – 7 p.m. — Ctrl + Alt + Del: Tashlique at Ocean Beach (w/ Reboot and others)

Tuesday, October 4
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Sanctuary Service

Tuesday, October 11
6:00 – 9 p.m. — Kol Nidre Sanctuary Service – Mincha (6:05 p.m.); Kol Nidre (6:15 p.m.)
6:30 – 9 p.m. — Kol Nidre Koret Hall Service

Tuesday, October 12
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Sanctuary Service
8:45 - 9:30 a.m. — Yom Kippur Family Service
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
12 – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Koret Hall Service
2 – 4 p.m. — Open Meditation in Makom Shalom
2 – 4 p.m. — Special Afternoon Teachings w/ Ephraim Margolin, Henry Hollander, Ovid Jacob, & Michael Loebs
4:45 – 7:30 p.m. — Mincha, Ne’ila, Ma’ariv, & Havdalah
7:30 p.m. — Break-the-Fast

SUKKOT
Monday, October 17
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 1 Service
12 – 1 p.m. — Kiddush Lunch & Learn 1: Kohelet Chapters 1–6 (in CBS sukkah)
1 p.m. — Mincha gedolah minyan

Tuesday, October 18
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 2 Service
12 – 1 p.m. — Kiddush Lunch & Learn 2: Kohelet Chapters 7–12 (in CBS sukkah)
1 p.m. — Mincha gedolah minyan

Wednesday, October 19
6:30 p.m. — Community Sukkot Dinner in CBS sukkah (to be followed by dessert at Congregation Chevra Thilim)

Sunday, October 23
8 – 10:30 a.m. — Hoshana Rabbah Service
10:30 a.m. — Kiddush in CBS sukkah

SHEMINI ATZERET & SIMCHAT TORAH
torah_iconMonday, October 24
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Shemini Atzeret Service, w/ Yizkor
12 p.m. — Kiddush
6 p.m. — Mincha minyan
7 – 11 p.m. — Erev Simchat Torah Street Party, featuring Veretski Pass

Tuesday, October 25
9 – 10 a.m. — Simchat Torah Service
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Kiddush (concurrent w/ service)

A Personal Reflection on Halacha

In early July, we introduced our Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) Kohn Summer Intern, Claire Ambruster, to the community with a thoughtful article she wrote for the CBS blog. Today, we're pleased to share Claire's second blog contribution, "A Personal Reflection on Halacha," which is accompanied by her lovely artwork.

Yes, indeed, Claire is one talented intern!

* * * * *

ClaireAmbruster_Artwork1Like many modern Jews, my practice requires that I embrace a quintessential Jewish struggle. I struggle to reconcile my commitment to religious observance with my commitment to egalitarian values. I also desire to practice regularly and spontaneously.

I recently learned of a Kabbalistic teaching written by Rabbi Hayyim Vital in Sha’ar HaGilgulim. He writes (11:12) that each soul is intrinsically connected to a unique mitzvah. It is the mission of each person to perfect that one act. While practicing all 613 mitzvot also engages the soul, Vital writes that we are most responsible for perfecting our individual, "root" mitzvah.

The idea that one mitzvah is uniquely connected to our soul does not mean we must ignore the other 612, but it does mean that some of the mitzvot might not come naturally, authentically, or easily for individual Jews. We can learn and grow by grappling with even the most personally-challenging mitzvot, but we learn and grow in an equally valuable manner by practicing mitzvot at our own pace, in a way that feels meaningful. Halacha is a living, individual experience.

Recently, I became inspired to expand my Shabbat observance. Although I had not developed a regular Shabbat practice, I attempted to observe one Shabbat completely according to halacha (no driving, no phone or computer, no cooking, etc.). It didn’t exactly work. While parts of the experience were meaningful – especially the break from my computer screen! – my high expectations of a "perfect" Shabbat became a little overwhelming. For me, focusing too much on the "rules" distracted me from my original kavanot (intentions). For the next Shabbat, I vowed to focus more on the basics – to light candles, spend time with family and friends, to rest, and renew.

This struggle between halacha and spontaneity, between tradition and change, is one I choose to embrace. With respect to halacha, I find a kind of magic in speaking ancient prayers and honoring words that have been spoken l’dor v’dor – from generation to generation. There is a magic in connecting to my Jewish family, bound together by the rituals we practice. Yet I sometimes find that focusing on halachic practices can distract from my true desires and kavanot. For now, my goal is to find a balance, stay true to myself, and continuously learn and discover.

Artwork credit & note: Claire Ambruster, Shiru L'Adonai, Watercolor on paper, 2015; Claire wanted this piece to accompany her article because Shiru L'Adonai, or "singing a new song," "references the theme of finding a balance between change and tradition."

Matot/Massei -- Numbers 30:2 - 36:13

Facebook_CoverDesign_MatotMasseiParashat Matot

Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), a German-born Swiss author, once remarked: "Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin."

Hesse’s universal vision of human enlightenment requires us to transcend our worldly boundaries. Ironically, religion is sometimes responsible for the very divisions that hinder transcendence into a spiritual realm.

As we read this week in Parashat Matot, Moses divides up the community according to tribes, assigning land and leadership roles accordingly as the Israelites prepare to enter the Promised Land. The Torah provides two names for the twelve tribes of Israel, both derived from the imagery of the tree: shevatim and matot. While a shevet is a "branch," a mateh is a "staff"—the former attached to the tree, the other detached. In other words, a mateh is a shevet that has been uprooted from its tree.

The twelve tribes embody this tension between unity and division. Eager to settle in plots east of the Jordan, the tribes of Reuben and Gad, later joined by half of the tribe of Manasseh, demand these plots as their portion in the Promised Land. Moses, initially angered by this special request, subsequently agrees—on the condition that they join and lead Israel’s conquest of the lands west of the Jordan.

Today, we continue to face this tension in our modern Jewish tribe. We struggle between mateh and shevet Judaism, between denominationalism and unity, and between Conservative Judaism and "Just Jewish."

Both of these perennial tendencies of creating and grouping community are part of the Tree of Jewish communal Life; the question is how we strike a balance between our need for ideological affinity within a given denomination and the need to be a part of a unified peoplehood.

Parashat Massei

William Henry Ashley (1778-1838), an American congressman and fur trader, once described the pace of his trapping expeditions: "As my men could profitably employ themselves on these streams, I moved slowly along, averaging not more than five or six miles per day and sometimes remained two days at the same encampment."

If the pace of Ashley’s journey seems slow, consider that of the Israelites. Along the way to the Promised Land—from the Exodus to the plains of Moab across the river from the land of Canaan — the Israelites record forty-two station stops in encampments. As we approached our destination, the boundaries of the Promised Land were traced, and more importantly, Cities of Refuge were designated as havens, places of exile for inadvertent murderers. (How telling that the Cities of Refuge, which are an advanced institution dedicated to creating civil society and thus protecting it from the circle of bloodshed that comes with revenge, are referred to time after time in Scripture – here in Numbers as well as in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Joshua.)

In the final surveying of laws relating to the land, we confronted the issue of inheritance head-on. The daughters of Tzelafochad — as proto-feminists — decide to marry within their own tribe of Manasseh to ensure that the estate which they inherit from their father should not pass to the province of another tribe.

Throughout the parsha, the land ultimately serves as a horizontal platform for action, one that always binds us in a vertical relationship to what is right, just, and compassionate – the divine. Just as we journey across lands here on earth, we must not forget the journey of the soul.

Although journeys on land may be long and treacherous, there is no greater journey than the turn inwards. Each Shabbat, we are offered this chance to slow down and share in this ongoing spiritual journey with our community.

- Rabbi Aubrey Glazer

Artwork note: This week's artwork is concerned with "worldly boundaries," the lines we etch into or lay over the landscape to demarcate property and/or spheres of influence. "When you arrive in the land of Canaan, this is the land which shall fall to you as an inheritance, the land of Canaan according to its borders." (Numbers 34:2) Illustration by Christopher Orev Reiger.

Camp Ramah Galim

Riding Your Wave In the Sea of Judaism: The Start-up Camp Ramah Galim

imgresThere is nothing quite like the oceanic rhythm of Camp Ramah campers and staff surrounding you from dawn till dusk. In those eternal moments, you begin to feel the pulse of this camp’s namesake — Galim. Singing, dancing, exploring, studying, rock climbing, scuba diving — an immersive summer at Camp Ramah in Northern California transforms hearts and minds to live Jewish lives.

Along with Elyssa and Talya, I have been blessed to visit, teach, and support our brand new Camp Ramah NorCal, known in Hebrew as Ramah Galim, or "Ramah of the Waves." Clearly, if we can create the ruach of Ramah amidst the strawberry fields of Watsonville, then we can do anything! Thanks to the devoted leadership of many, including CBS members Craig Miller and Alex Bernstein, Ramah Galim has been overwhelmed by the response of parents looking for a meaningful, authentic Jewish camping experience. Registration was expected at 100 and is now over 250! Who could resist such a panoply of ways to live your Judaism? Outdoor adventures, ocean explorations, and performing arts – each track of this new camp meets each child right where they are, lifting their souls ever higher.

Facebook_JoshHorwitz---AaronMiller---------RabbiGlazer_CampRamahNorcal_July2016 I've been part of Ramah since my second year as a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). Traveling to and teaching at almost every Ramah in the Northeast, it has become clear to me that the many unique Ramah traditions mark a transformational camping movement born from the vision of Conservative/Masorti Judaism; the movement continues to inspire and renew one generation to the next, producing Jewish leaders and families unlike any other!

And so this summer I brought deep expectations – along with my family (who joined many other rabbinic families from near and far) – to Ramah NorCal, the new jewel in the Bay Area Jewish community. As rabbi of CBS, along with our amazing Youth Advisor, David Herrera, we look forward to our ongoing partnership with Ramah Galim and its leadership (headed by Rabbi Sarah Shulman) Facebook_SarahShulmanLielRabbiGlazer_CampRamahNorcal_July2016with the goal of ensuring more and more Jewish campers feel their unique pulse as part of the waves of this oceanic blessing of Ramah Galim, and that this summer magic washes back through our communal family in the coming years.

While Elyssa was facilitating Jewish art and spiritual direction workshops for all ages, I was blessed to teach the staff and campers about some of the layers of meaning within the name Ramah Galim. This culminated with our dedication of the Aron HaKodesh during the camp's Founder’s Day, when I shared two "take-aways" from the Zohar on the mystery of galim, or waves. Firstly, to be children of galim is to be riding the waves of our ancestors, as the children of Abraham and Sarah who enacted mitzvot as innumerable as galei yam, the waves of the sea. Secondly, to download the taste of the world that is coming – that is, Shabbat — we must be as galim, for all exists within these waves, intermingled, heaps upon heaps, reaching out to all!

I am grateful for the ability to support and partner with Ramah Galim, and I know that the camp is so appreciative of the unconditional support provided by CBS. The pulsing rhythm of our CBS spiritual life will only be enhanced by continuing to support Jewish camping experiences and making spaces for informal, experiential Judaism to come alive in our community! As we welcome Rebecca Goodman to our team as Director of Youth Education,Facebook_RabbiGlazerArkDedication2_CampRamahNorcal_July2016 along with David Herrera who is been blessed to spend all summer with our campers at Ramah Galim, we have great things to look forward to together! May we continue to be and become children of galim! That is the secret of Ramah Galim and it is the secret of CBS. Let us continue to reach out to all, making new friends and deepening old friendships so that we continue building and nurturing our Jewish lives with love as deep as the ocean. May this summer immerse our children in the waves of inspiration that make up the oceanic blessing of Judaism. From these children inherit a better world, thanks to the actions we commit to take.

- Rabbi Aubrey Glazer

Photo captions:
- Josh Horwitz, Sam Toeman, Aaron Miller, Raquel Sweet, Nathan Fell, Adina Sweet, and Rabbi Glazer at Camp Ramah NorCal
- Rabbi Sarah Shulman, Liel Shulman, & Rabbi Glazer at Camp Ramah NorCal
- Rabbi Glazer speaking at the dedication of the Ramah Galim ark during Founder's Day

Miles Kessler's Bar Mitzvah

MilesKesslerMy name is Miles Kessler, and I am a 7th grader at Roosevelt Middle School. I enjoy playing board games like Monopoly along with strategic games like chess and Risk. I also enjoy playing World War II video games, engineering, model railroading, and playing jazz on my tenor saxophone.

I am very excited about my bar mitzvah this coming Shabbat, but, to tell you the truth, I'm also pretty terrified! The Torah portion will be Parashat Chukat. The manuscript outlines the laws of purity, that is, how one becomes impure, and instructions on how to purify those who are impure. It then chronicles Moses' mistake (when he struck, rather than spoke, to a rock to get water for the parched Israelites), and the history of what happened next.

I cannot wait to share this day with my friends, Greg and Colin, family, and all the members of the minyan, and I hope you find it enlightening.

I would like to thank my mom and dad for pushing me on when I got stuck and teaching me the value of commitment; my tutor, Stuart, for teaching me how to do get the job done along with the value of learning; Rabbi Glazer, for giving me the gift of Torah study and instructing me on the value of spirituality; the weekday minyan, for showing me how to read the Torah and teaching me the value of tolerance; and all the previous b'nai mitzvahs during the last school year, for exposing me to this process and teaching me the value of passing on knowledge as a side effect of your own learning process.