High Holy Days Classes

The month of Elul is a time for preparation for the High Holy Days, a time to begin the process of teshuva, or returning.   During this month, we traditionally spend time in self-reflection and consideration of where we have been and where we are heading. We can start our inner work through a variety of offerings by the wonderful spiritual teachers in our community.

Elul Meditation
Wednesdays, August 23 and 30, September 6, 13, 21, 8:15-9:00am
Jeffrey Kessler and Laura Goldman

Silent meditation and wise teaching focusing on building our awareness, intention, and openness, and based on the weekly Torah portion. Appropriate for new and experienced meditators.

The Poetry of Forgiveness: Elul Morning Chanting Service
Thursdays, August 24 and 31, September 7 and 14 – 7:30-8:30am
Zvi Bellin and Jen Roitman

Start your day with chanting, meditation and reflection. We follow the arc of the morning service and connect around the week’s Torah portion, including the poetry of forgiveness.

Is that Really a Sin?
Sunday, August 27 – 7:00 pm
Merissa Nathan Gerson

Learn what traditional Judaism says about your love life, your sex life, your body and more, and how to read the ancient into the modern with love, acceptance, and understanding. A writer and educator, Merissa Nathan Gerson consulted with the writer’s room at Amazon’s hit show, Transparent.


A Chorus for the Days of Awe

Wednesdays, August 30, September 6 and 13, 7:00pm
Jewlia Eisenberg

Help lead songs during the High Holy Days. There will be niggunim, traditional liturgy in Hebrew, and American psalmody.  All words transliterated. All voices welcome, come by and sing!

Sanctuary: A Room of One’s Own
Thursday, August 31, 2017, 7:00pm
Maggid Jhos Singer

Where do we find “safe space”? How does Judaism understand the notion of Sanctuary? Is there a there there? Together we will explore some core texts elaborating on these unique spaces; and we will apply these ideas to our own lived reality.

Yoga for Renewal
Sunday, September 10, 2:00-4:00pm
Julie Emden, Embodied Jewish Learning
Location: 4th Street Yoga – 1809 4th St. Berkeley

Enter into the High Holy Day season with a gentle Iyengar-based yoga and movement practice, infused with wisdom teachings rooted in Jewish Mystical tradition.

The Open Faith Salon: Moving from Justice to Compassion
Sunday, September 10, 7:00-9:00pm
Rabbi Dorothy Richman, Laura Magnani, Ameena Jandali
Estelle Frankel, moderator

We will explore how to move from Judgment to Compassion from three different faith-based perspectives. Our esteemed speakers will share stories about how their traditions inform their work with people too often dismissed as considered “other” and how we might increase compassion through self-reflection, engaged spiritual practice, and social action.

iEngage: Israel’s Milestones and their Meaning
Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, 7:00pm
Rabbi SaraLeya Schley

Study Israel’s legacy and the challenges for its future. This is an introduction to an 8-part series on the history of the State of Israel and its implications today.

The Magic of Music, Meditation and Middot: A Chanting Workshop
Sunday, September 17, 2017, 10:00am-4:00pm
Lior Tsarfaty and Laura Goldman

Bring the alchemy of music, mindfulness, and mussar into your preparation for the High Holidays. This daylong retreat will offer you support and companionship in your personal Teshuva work, utilizing silence, song, and teachings from various wisdom traditions.