Emanu-El In The Neighborhood
Emanu-El in the Neighborhood is drawing national attention for its innovative approach to community building. Our goal is to let our neighbors know they are not alone and facilitate opportunities to meet, celebrate, and care forone another in our neighborhoods, as well as at the Temple. To be Jewish is to be in community.
Whether your community is a minyan, a study group, the Friday night service regulars, or those with whom you do mitzvot, we are brought into relationships with other people. These relationships create community. We soften one another's sorrows when we share them. We strengthen one another when we mark joys and sorrows together, and support each other in times of celebration as well as in times of grief. As a congregation, as a community, we can do so much to offer hope, strength and comfort to one another.
If you do not see a Neighborhood Liaison listed in your zip code, please check back soon! Haven’t heard from your Neighborhood Liaison? Contact Community Engagement Director Sandy Rechtschaffen.
Find Your Group
Meet Your Neighborhood Liaison
Will You Host a Potluck Celebration for Your Neighbors?
Emanu-El in the neighborhood is one way to connect our members with one another. Invite your neighbors to share a potluck havdalah, shabbat dinner or brunch or a Chanukah celebration. If interested, please contact Sandy Rechtschaffen at email@example.com or (415) 751-2541 x177.
It’s Easy to Be a Host
“We just hosted a Shabbat Dinner at our home two weeks ago and had an absolutely fabulous time. We felt blessed to be part of such a vibrant Jewish community, and to do our part in helping that community grow. It was also great to meet new people in our neighborhood, and to know a few more people at Temple.
Overall, a top experience that we hope to repeat in the near future. I couldn’t be more effusive in my recommendation to host one of these dinners.“
—Nick Josefowitz, 94109
Celebrations in Your Neighborhood
Not receiving communications from your Neighborhood Liaisons about congregant celebrations in your area? Please email Community Engagement Director Sandy Rechtschaffen.
Pictures from 2012 EIN Chanukah Parties (Flickr)
I have been a Neighborhood Liaison for Group 9 in the Marina since the inception of Emanu-El in the Neighborhood 18 months ago. This leadership role has given me such pleasure and joy allowing me to share my passions of caring for others and cooking meals when needed. But what really makes this exciting is that I'm not in this alone. I have a co-liaison to help as well as many willing neighbors who also cook for those in need of support through www.mealtrain.com as well as generously opening their homes so we all have a place to go for break the fast, havdalah and shabbat. This is a natural fit for me, kind of like just doing a bit more of what I already love to do. —Jorun Shragge
Last week I had the opportunity to bring dinner to an Emanu-El family I didn’t know. I received a Mealtrain email from my neighborhood and a link to a family I didn't know was in the midst of grieving. I looked at the circumstances: someone around the corner had lost her husband, someone under the same roof lost his Dad. I immediately felt the overwhelming sense of how little there is to do in the face of so much loss and suffering. I looked at the list of dates and the things other people planned to bring. I wondered about what to bring. I wondered what “Shabbat dinner” meant to them. What if I got it wrong? What if they didn’t like what I brought? What if they ate the same chicken potpie and salad last night? What if they wanted a home cooked meal and not the take out food I knew I’d bring in plastic packaging? What if I have nothing to say at the doorstep? When I remembered that Judaism doesn’t require us to know what to say, only to know what to do I felt better.
Taking part in the Emanu-El in the Neighborhood program reminded me of the all the meals brought to us when we came home from the hospital without our son who was in the Neo-natal ICU, and the meals that continued to arrive even after he came home. What I remember so vividly was bringing Daniel home in the rain on a Friday night, his first Shabbat out of the hospital and in the world, and finding that someone had left a Shabbat dinner for us at a time when we were not able to make it for ourselves. Together with my parents, we huddled around the bassinet with candles lit and eating a dinner someone had brought from a store in the neighborhood. It helped. It mattered. A simple challah tethered us to our tradition and to a reality beyond the trouble we were in. There is so little to do when one is facing illness or grief. Just being reminded that the larger world exists, that we weren’t alone and to be nourished, can carry a person from one moment in a narrow place to a more spacious place of connection. Nothing anyone would have said was going to relieve our worry or our fears but the anonymous congregant who fed us that first night made a meaningful difference and we remain grateful.
Unclear About Supporting a Mourner?
Please read this on our website: www.emanuelsf.org/shiva