Kol Shofar’s moving and meaningful services are open to members and non-members alike.

High Holy Days 2016


Shavuot 2016/5776

shefa gold

Shavuot & Sacred Chant Shabbat with Rabbi Shefa Gold
Featuring Sylvia Boorstein
Sat, June 11, 2016

Rabbi Shefa Gold develops and leads Hebrew chants based on Jewish sacred texts for transformative spiritual growth.
10:00 a.m. to noon Rabbi Shefa Gold leads Kol Neshama Minyan
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Rabbi Shefa Gold Study Session: The Magic of Hebrew Chant
7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Rabbi Shefa Gold and Sylvia Boorstein at Tikkun Leil Shavuot: Reimagining Sinai: Opening to Revelation in Each Moment

For more information, contact Rabbi Chai at clevy @ or (415) 388-1818, ext. 119.
Rabbi Shefa Gold is a leader in ALEPH: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and received her ordination both from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (z”l). She is the director of C-DEEP, The Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. She teaches workshops and retreats on the theory and art of Chanting, Devotional Healing, Spiritual Community-Building and Meditation. Rabbi Shefa composes and performs spiritual music, has produced ten albums, and her liturgies have been published in several new prayerbooks. She is the author of Torah Journeys: The Inner Path to the Promised Land and In the Fever of Love: An Illumination of The Song of Songs, both published by Ben Yehuda Press. Her latest book, published by Jewish Lights, is The Magic of Hebrew Chant: Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love. By combining her grounding in Judaism with a background in Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, and Native American spiritual traditions, Rabbi Shefa is uniquely qualified as a spiritual bridge celebrating the shared path of devotion.

Sat, June 11 through Monday, June 13, 2016
10:00 a.m. to noon Rabbi Shefa Gold leads Kol Neshama Minyan
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Rabbi Shefa Gold Study Session: The Magic of Hebrew Chant
7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Rabbi Shefa Gold and Sylvia Boorstein at Tikkun Leil Shavuot: Reimagining Sinai: Opening to Revelation in Each Moment
9:00 p.m. Maariv Service
9:30 p.m. Cheesecake Break
10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Study Sessions with Rabbis Leider, Levy, Friedman, and Lezak
10:00 p.m. Study Session with Rabbi Chai Levy or Rabbi Michael Lezak
11:00 p.m. Study Session with Rabbi Stacy Friedman
12:00 a.m. Study Session with Rabbi Leider

Shavuot Services

Sun, June 12, 9:15 a.m.
Mon, June 13, 9:15 a.m. (Yizkor)

Passover 2016/5776

Passover Seders, Preparation, and More!

During Shabbat and other holidays, our food-laden tables replace the sacrificial altar in the Temple of Jerusalem. In a world where the Temple no longer exists, our community meals become our sacrifice to God.

But Passover beckons us home in a way unlike any other Jewish holiday. It reminds us that all people are created equal; no group has the moral right to subjugate another. With rich symbolism and experiential moments, Passover lures us to identify with our people and with the Jewish endeavor.

While our Passover tables are festive, the tables themselves reflect preparation that happens in “spiritually-cleanses kitchens,” a symbol for our spiritually cleansed hearts. This preparation takes time and planning in advance to help us reach the spiritual heights that are within our reach at Passover.

We also invite you to learn more about both of our Passover Seders: 
Our Family-Friendly Intergenerational Seder will be held on Sat, Apr. 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. It is open to all ages! Join for the inaugural interactive 2nd night Passover Seder. Bring the whole family to celebrate with a fun and food-filled experience, led by Jonathan Emanuel, Director of Youth Education & Family Engagement. Learn more and RSVP here.

The Contemplative Passover Seder will also be held on Sat, Apr. 23, 7:30 p.m. sponsored by the Center for Jewish Spirituality. Sink into the transformative spiritual message of Pesach. This seder will be deep and accessible…and joyful! This seder is geared towards adults and a delicious kosher-for-Pesach meal will be served around 9:15 p.m.; abundant karpas/vegetables will be available earlier. There will be sharing and opportunities to participate, so please sign up in advance for participation!

Passover Preparation

What is Hametz?
Hametz is a mixture of flour and water that has been allowed to rise and that comes from wheat, rye, barley, oats, or spelt. For the eight days of Passover, a Jew may not eat or own hametz. Matzah is made of flour and water that are mixed and baked so quickly that it is not allowed to rise. Only products that are kosher l’Pesah (kosher for Passover) may be eaten on Passover. Many stores put “Jewish products” that are not kosher for Passover on display at Passover time, so please check for a kosher l’Pesah label (hekhsher).
If you have hametz to sell, complete this form and return it to the Kol Shofar office.

Passover Timeline for 2016

For all candle lighting times, please consult Hebcal.

Now through April 21
Begin the process of removing hametz and utensils related to its preparation and serving. Kasher kitchen as outlined above.

Thursday, April 21
By evening, complete removal of hametz and utensils related to its preparation and serving.

Friday, April 22
First Seder
Finish eating and dispose of all hametz, 11:00 a.m.
“Sell” your hametz by noon. Download the form here.

Saturday, April 23
Second Seder

First Day of Passover
9:15 a.m. Shabbat Passover Services; we refrain from working
5:00 p.m. Family-Friendly Intergenerational Seder
7:30 p.m. CJS Contemplative Passover Seder
Click the links above to secure tickets. Your advance RSVP is needed!

Sunday, April 24
Second Day of Passover

9:15 a.m. Passover Services; we refrain from working until night

Tuesday, April 26
Fourth Day of Passover

6:50 a.m. Daily Minyan services

Thursday, April 28
Sixth Day of Passover

6:50 a.m. Daily Minyan services

Friday, April 29
Seventh Day of Passover
(CKS Administrative office closed)

9:15 a.m. Passover Services; we refrain from working
Evening: light candles; refrain from working until Saturday night

Saturday, April 30
Shabbat and Eighth Day of Passover

9:15 a.m. services including Yizkor; refrain from working
8:45 p.m. we are permitted to eat hametz and work, and to “reclaim” our hametz and hametz-related items

Got Seder?
Congregation Kol Shofar matches those who have room at their table with people looking for a seder to attend. If you have room or need a seder, please contact Alli Pemerl at (415) 388-1818, ext 106.

On behalf of HIAS, we offer you ways to help bring redemption to the refugees around the world who are still oppressed with this Passover Resource.

As you bring the wisdom of Jewish tradition to life in your homes though the Festival of Passover, may you bring freedom to a world so sorely in need of it. Let our Passover tables be a beacon for freedom for all.

חג כשר ושמח
May you be blessed with a kosher
and joyous Passover!
Rabbi Leider & Rabbi Chai

Complete Passover Preparation Guide

Kosher for Passover Food
Foods that must be purchased before and during Passover without a special hekhsher: fresh kosher meat and fish, eggs, fresh fruit, and vegetables.

Foods that may be purchased before noon on the 14th of Nisan without a Passover hekhsher but require one if purchased later include: milk, butter, cottage cheese, non-processed cheeses, pure fruit juices, pure coffee, unflavored pure tea, salt and pure natural spices without additives, sugar, 100% tuna in water and salt with no additives, and frozen vegetables or fruit containing no additives.

All other foods require a hekhsher whether bought before or during Passover. These include processed foods such as baked products, matzah, oils, vinegar, wine, liquor, and candy.

Ashkenazic (of European descent) Jews have a thousand year-old tradition of not eating kitniot on Pesah. This category includes: beans, peas, lentils, rice, millet, sesame seeds, and corn. The reason is that flour that was made out of kitniot could be confused with hametz. Even though the original reason no longer applies, some argue that not eating kitniot is a strong custom that should be maintained. Others argue that eating kitniot should be permitted, especially for vegetarians who deem them vital for health. Some who do not eat kitniot do eat derivatives of kotniot, such as soybean oil.

Removal of Hametz

Change Dishes: Dishes, cookware, and utensils used during the rest of the year are put away in a cabinet that will not be opened during Pesah.

We are not allowed to own hametz during Pesah. Therefore, all leavened grains such as breads, pastas, and any foods that are mixtures of hametz and other food should be given away or sold. Foods that don’t contain hametz but contain traces of it (canned or processed foods) should be placed in a cabinet and sold. Legumes, rice, and other types of kitniot are not hametz and need only be placed in a cabinet that will not be opened during Pesah.

Ovens: Self-cleaning ovens can be koshered by running the cleaning cycle. Other ovens, and their sides, racks, and broiling pans should be cleaned with an oven cleaner. Then the oven, with the racks and pans, can be koshered by turning the oven to the highest temperature for half an hour. Microwave pans should be thoroughly cleaned and a glass of water should be heated in it until it boils and a mist fills the inside of the microwave.

Stoves: The grates of the stove should be cleaned thoroughly and then replaced on the burner, which should then be turned on to full heat for an hour. Never leave your home while koshering a stove! The stove top should be opened and cleaned underneath, and the top of the stove should be thoroughly cleaned underneath.

Refrigerator and Freezer: Clean refrigerator with warm water and detergent, scrubbing bins and any stuck-on food. Defrost and clean the freezer. Some choose to line the racks of the refrigerator with foil or plastic.

Sinks and Counters: Metal sinks should be cleaned and then koshered by pouring boiling water down the sides and into the sink. The water for this and for all other koshering should be boiled in a pot that has not been used in the last 24 hours. Clean the drain carefully. For a non-metal sink, clean it and put in a liner or basin. Counters should be cleaned and covered with foil or contact paper.

Cabinets: Seal up your non-Pesah cabinets with tape; they may not be opened during Pesah. Cabinets that will be used for Pesah should be cleaned thoroughly.

Bedikat hametz, the search for leaven: Conducted on the 14th of Nisan, the evening before the day before Pesah, this symbolic search is the final cleaning of hametz from the household. It is customary, but not necessary, to place 10 pieces of hametz around the house and to search for them with a candle (a flashlight may also be used) with a feather and a wooden spoon with which to collect the found hametz. A blessing is recited that may be found at the beginning of most haggadot. The search is conducted in silence after the blessing is said. The hametz is collected in a bag and burned the next morning. After the search, a declaration is made that any remaining hametz is null and void. This declaration, often found in the haggadah, is also made the next morning at the burning of the hametz.

Selling hametz: Reasoning that it would be a financial harship to dispose of all hametz, the sages created a legal process of selling hametz so that Jews would not own hametz during Pesah. Each household authorizes a rabbi to sell ther hametz to someone who is not Jewish for the duration of Pesah by way of a written contract.

Kashering Dishes and Utensils: Many people have dishes and utensils specifically reserved for Passover use. However, some dishes and utensils may be kashered before the 14th of Nisan after being scoured and set aside for 24 hours. Metal can be koshered by immersion in boiling water. Silverware or small pots may be koshered by placing them in a pot of boiling water. Frying pans cannot be easily kashered; invest in separate ones for Passover. Plastic handles must be removed where food might accumulate. If the handle is welded to the post so that the food cannot accumulate, the post can be koshered together with the handle. Knives with wooden handles cannot be kashered. Porcelain dishes cannot be kashered not can stoneware or ceramic mugs. Utensils with a nonstick surface such as Teflon can be kashered.

Kashering Glass and Pyrex: Glass may be kashered by simple washing, according to the Sephardic custom. Ashkenazim kasher glass by soaking it in water for 72 hours, changing the water every 24 hours. Pyrex, Corningware, Corelle, and other modern ovenproof ceramics are considered the same as glass.


Yom Kehillah Community Purim Celebration: 2016

View the pictures here!

High Holy Days

Sermons and Speakers from 2015

High Holy Days 2015/5776

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5776 Traditional Service: Rabbi Chai
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Choose Life by Rabbi Chai
Rosh Hashanah: Choose Life by Rabbi Chai Levy

Rosh Hashanah 5776: Rabbi Leider
Monday, September 14, 2015
Sermon- Rosh Hashanah Rabbi Leider

Rosh Hashanah 5776: Steve Tulsky, Board President
Steve Tulsky: A Community of Jews by Choice by Steve Tulsky

Rosh Hashanah 5776: Keren Cahn
Rosh Hashanah 5776 Personal Journey, Keren Cahn

Rosh Hashanah 5776: Judy Zimmerman
Rosh Hashanah 5776 Personal Journey, Judy Zimmerman

2nd Day Rosh Hashanah 5776 Traditional Service: Rabbi Leider
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Walking in the Darkness by Rabbi Leider
Sermon- Walking in the Darkness- 2nd Day Rosh Hashanah 5776 Rabbi Leider

2nd Day Rosh Hashanah 5776: Stuart Daphne
2nd Day Rosh Hashanah 5776: Stuart Daphne

Kol Nidrei 5776: Jeff Hyman
Kol Nidrei 5776 Personal Journey, Jeff Hyman

Kol Nidrei 5776: Joan Levison
Kol Nidrei 5776, Joan Levison

Kol Nidrei 5776: Jaqueline Levitan
Kol Nidrei 5776: Jaqueline Levitan

Erev Yom Kippur, Musical Meditation- September 22, 2015
Yom Kippur, Traditional Service- September 23, 2015
Sermon by Rabbi Leider
Sermon Yom Kippur Rabbi Leider

Yom Kippur 5776 Musical Meditation & Traditional Service: Rabbi Chai
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
It’s a Metaphor by Rabbi Chai
Sermon- Yom Kippur 2015 Rabbi Chai Levy It’s a Metaphor

Yom Kippur 5776: Ron Brown
Yom Kippur 5776 Personal Journey, Ron Brown

Yom Kippur 5776: Julia Daniel
Yom Kippur 5776: Julia Daniel

Yom Kippur 5776: Rob Greenberg
Yom Kippur 5776 Personal Journey, Rob Greenberg

Messages from High Holy Days 2014:

2014 Yom Kippur Keep On Giving, Rabbi Leider
2014 Erev RH You WILL Be Inscribed, Rabbi Leider
2014 Rabbi Chai Levy’s Rosh Hashanah Sermon, Second Day
2014 Rosh Hashanah Study Notes, Rabbi Levy
2014 Rabbi Chai Levy’s Yom Kippur Sermon
Rosh-Hashanah-2014-Judaisms-Triple-Threat, Rabbi Leider
The Torah of Admiral Stockdale, Steve Tulsky, President