Special Events

Join us for one-of-a kind opportunities to connect and engage with your fellow congregants! 

aipac AIPAC Forum - What's in the Iran deal? 
 Tuesday, August 4, 7:00 pm, SF Jewish Community Center 
 Must register to attend 



Dear congregants, 

The proposed treaty between Iran and the P5+1 nations has caused a lot of angst in our community. As rabbis who care deeply about supporting Israel, we are concerned about several aspects of the agreement. However, what we most want is peace and the de-escalation of tension. Therefore we have chosen to reiterate the statement of the SF Jewish Community Relations Council (JRCR) and the SF-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund (JCF). Please read their joint statement. 

We will be learning as much about the proposed deal as possible in the weeks ahead. We also encourage our congregants to attend the AIPAC community briefing on Tuesday, August 4th at 7:00 pm at the SF Jewish Community Center. AIPAC has published a 20-page booklet that provides a comprehensive analysis of the agreement. Although AIPAC is on record as opposing the deal, the sessions they are sponsoring have encouraged spirited debates on the topic. We hope as well to schedule a forum that represents a Jewish position in favor of the treaty. 

Thank you for your interest in this topic. We care passionately about Israel and will be praying for her continued protection.

Rabbis Beth and Jonathan Singer


farewell partyThe Farewell Party  
Thursday, August 6, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Martin Meyer Sanctuary

The Israel Action Committee invites you to a viewing of The Farewell Party. Winner of a number of international Film Festival awards, The Farewell Party is a unique, compassionate and unlikely funny story of a group of friends at a Jerusalem retirement home who decide to help their terminally ill friend. When rumors of their assistance begin to spread, more and more people ask for their help, and the friends are faced with a life and death dilemma. The film has adult themes but is suitable for age 12 and older. 

Register now!

 Men's Group Gathering

 Sunday, August 16, 9:30 am, private residence in San Francisco (provided upon registration)
 Cost: Free to attend 

 Men of Congregation Emanu-El enjoy a monthly opportunity to socialize and study with a member  of the clergy at a private home. This cross-generational group provides a small group experience  so important to building community.  


Judy MillerValues Through Life Storytelling - Hosted by Congregant Julie Miller and Rabbi Beth Singer

Tuesday, August 18, 7:00 pm, Chapel

Jews are a storytelling people. The very survival of our tiny tribe has depended on the passing on of our story to the next generation, L'dor V'dor. This workshop, hosted by congregant Julie Miller, and Rabbi Beth Singer, offers a non-judgmental venue for reflective and even transformative life storytelling. Participants will define the most meaningful stories in their own eyes, recalling and interpreting positive and negative, joyous and sad memories. 

Participants will leave with:

  • The ability to be reflective, which will support self-examination and spiritual deepening during the ten days of awe - starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur;
  • The ability to overcome the tendency to let past experiences limit present possibilities;
  • The ability to take a first step in the journey from where they are to where they want to be;
  • Inspiration to see their life story as a valuable legacy worthy of recording or passing on with values expressed in the form of an ethical will or legacy letter; and 
  • A deeper sense of community.

Read an article that quotes Julie Miller and discusses the importance of lifestorytelling here.

Register now!

The Chuppah and Beyond: The Relationship Education Series for Couples in a Jewish Context

Thursdays, August 6 - September 10, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Are you an engaged or newly married couple? Then this series is meant for you. The Chuppah and Beyond helps participants cultivate the foundational tools for a successful life together while simultaneously building a community of peers. Emanu-El clergy co-facilitate each class along with Yael Melamed, psychotherapist and relationship expert.

Topics covered:

  • Assessing the challenges of communication
  • Develop skills for conflict resolution 
  • Financial Planning
  • Maintaining intimacy
  • Lessons from a successful marriage

$150 per congregant couple; $200 per non-congregant couple.


Questions? Contact Jennifer Goldstein at (415) 751-2541 x171

We are excited to offer a brand new, optional addition to our Chuppah series on Interfaith Couples: Joining Two Traditions on Thursday, September 17, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Chapel. Led by Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Executive Director of Interfaith Family.  More details below.

Marcia FalkReturn Again: Poetry writing workshop on Teshuvah with esteemed poet Marcia Falk

Saturday, September 5, 7:00 pm

Marcia Falk, noted poet, painter and Judaic scholar will be speaking about her book The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season, and discussing new ways of looking at Selichot.

7:00 pm Dessert
7:30 pm Havdalah
7:45 pm Teshuvah poetry writing workshop
9:00 pm Selichot service

This event is cosponsored by Chochmat HaLev.

rivaaelyonInterfaith Couples - Joining Two Traditions

Thursday, September 17, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Chapel

Are you part of an interfaith or intercultural couple? With other couples and the director of InterfaithFamily, explore how to fit religion, spirituality, and heritage in your relationship. This opportunity promises to offer a supportive environment to discuss interfaith/intercultural options for your future. The discussion will focus on how you can navigate weddings, raising children, relationships with in-laws, and harmonious holidays while living with multiple identities in your home. 

Open to all engaged or newly married couples who identify as interfaith. Led by Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Director of InterfaithFamily/Bay Area

While this gathering is an optional add-on to The Chuppah and Beyond, couples who did not take the course are also welcome to attend.


hunting groundThe Hunting Ground, Film Screening  
Thursday, October 15, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Martin Meyer Sanctuary
Save the date!

The persistence of sexual assault on college campuses is a fundamental failure of civil society and this documentary is an indictment of our country's learning institutions' inability to address the problem. The Hunting Ground serves as a companion peace to Director Kirby Dick and Producer Amy Zierin's earlier documentary, The Invisible War, and zeroes in on the same crime: rape. This film identifies a glimmer of hope in the form of ground-up movements, spearheaded mainly by young female college students who have survived assault and are starting their own campaigns for change, after their universities ignored them. Two survivor stories are focused on raising awareness not just through their subsequent grassroots organization and support network formation. The survivors also examine the possibility of legally challenging their universities by involving the U.S .Department of Education, according to Title IX protection, which states that: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

After the screening, there will be a Q&A session with Amalia Bob-Waksberg, Outreach Coordinator at Shalom Bayit. Founded in 1992, Shalom Bayit is the Bay Area's resource center for Jewish domestic violence prevention and response. Shalom Bayit's mission is to foster the social change and community response necessary to end domestic violence in the Jewish community. A Jewish survivor of sexual assault will also be part of the Q&A. 

We recommend this film to all parents as well as both adolescent males and females ages 16 and up.

Questions? Contact Director of Adult & Adolescent Education Ariana Estoque or Community Engagement Director, Sandy Rechtschaffen

Barakfarewell partyAn Enchanted Evening of Song and Tribute in honor of Cantor Roslyn Barak  
Sunday, October 18 

Congregation Emanu-El invites you to honor Cantor Roslyn Barak for her years of dedicated service to our community. Patrons and their guests are invited to an elegant, pre-concert cocktails and supper party beginning at 5:30 pm in Guild Hall followed by a 7:00 pm evening of song and tribute in the Main Sanctuary. Supporters of the evening and their guests will receive valet parking and reserved concert seating.

In addition, general, non-patron unreserved seating for Emanu-El congregants and community friends for the 7:00 pm concert of song and tribute will be available online starting at $36.00 per ticket beginning in September. Invitations will be mailed to all Congregation Emanu-El members in September. Proceeds raised will go to support music within all vital temple programs. 

For more information, email Director of Development
Lani Zinn or phone: 415.750.7557 

panama pacific expositionResurgent, Resplendent San Francisco
The Jews and the Panama - Pacific International Exposition of 1915

Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Martin Meyer Sanctuary

Less than a decade after the devastating Earthquake and Fire, and a year after the opening of the Panama Canal, the City regained its place as the major metropolis of the American West. The symbol of that revival, and in some ways its engine, was the dazzling PPIE, perhaps the greatest world's fair before or since. Sprawled over 635 acres in the Marina District, the magnificent exposition bequeathed the Palace of Fine Arts to San Francisco and left a legacy both of resilience and grandeur. The group most responsible for this landmark event was the city's powerful German-Jewish elite. 

Join us as historians of Bay Area Jewry will discuss the meaning of the PPIE and the outsized Jewish role and contribution to this celebrated time and event.

Speakers include:
Fred Rosenbaum, author of the Cosmopolitans and Visions of Reform
Frances Dinkelspiel, author of Towers of Gold
Dr. Ava Kahn, author of Jewish LIfe in the American West and (with Marc Dollinger) California Jews
Ann Harlow, Independent Scholar: Albert Bender and Anne Bremer

Co-presented by the California Historical Society, Congregation Emanu-El, and Lehrhaus Judaica

Admission is free. For more information, please contact Judi Leff, Director of Arts and Cultural Programming



© 2012 Congregation Emanu-El 2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: (415) 751-2535
Fax: (415) 751-2511