Special Events

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

madinas dreamMadina's Dream 
Wednesday, September 2, 6:30 pm, Letterman Digital Arts Center
(1 Letterman Drive, SF)

Featuring one-of-a-kind footage and gripping testimonials to explore the human cost of conflict, the film offers a stirring portrayal of the crisis in Sudan, where the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has long sounded the alarm about the threat of genocide. Civilians in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan are facing the disastrous consequences of the ongoing war between the Sudanese government and rebel forces. The Sudanese government's daily indiscriminate bombing raids have killed scores of civilians and have targeted civilian infrastructure. The government is purposely blocking necessary humanitarian assistance and preventing international peacekeepers from protecting civilians.

In order to call greater attention to this largely underreported and forgotten crisis, Humanity United and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide worked with award-winning filmmaker Andrew Berends to support the production of "Madina's Dream."

Watch the trailer.

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.

This event is cosponsored by Chochmat HaLev.

beach in HagbahLimonata and Learning in Marin

Wednesday, September 9, 4:00 - 5:30 pm, Book Passage, Corte Madera

Join Rabbi Jonathan Singer for a special learning opportunity, Limonata and Learning, offered exclusively for our congregants in Marin. We will meet for happy hour at Book Passage in Corte Madera while discussing text from the Torah. Please register so we know to expect you.


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.


seniors at homeSeniors At Home - JFCS
Wednesday, September 30

12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: Jewish Family and Children's Services, 2150 Post Street, San Francisco

Join Seniors At Home - JFCS for their Aging with Style Series, an educational program that addresses your needs. It's not about growing old; it's about experiencing life to the fullest. Their September program, "Befriending Ourselves: The Art of Possibility," will be presented by Alison Bonds Shapiro, MBA. In 2002, when she was 55, Alison suffered two devastating brain stem strokes, 24 hours apart. Today she is an inspirational speaker, teacher, author, artist, and recovery coach. 

She will be sharing her story and leaving the audience with the question, "when challenges come our way, where do we turn?"

Please RSVP by Friday, September 25: 415-449-3777, or info@seniorsathome.org


baby blessingBlessing of New Babies 
Friday, October 2,  6:00 pm 

Please join us for the Family Service on Friday, October 2 at 6:00 pm, which will include a group blessing of all babies born during the past year. An optional, reserve-ahead, Simchat Shabbat dinner will follow. Join us for the first dinner of the year!

Registration is required. Because of the expected number of participants, we will not be able to accommodate those who do not register in advance.



seniors at homeWrestling Jerusalem (co-sponsored by Congregation Emanu-El) 
Saturday, October 3

7:00 pm
Location: Marines Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter Street, San Francisco

Wrestling Jerusalem is a riveting 90-minute solo performance, following one man's journey to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is a personal story that grapples with the complexities of identity, history and social justice. Aaron Davidman, former director of the Traveling Jewish Theatre, gives voice to seventeen characters, including Israelis, Palestinians and American Jews. Mr. Davidman's brilliant rendition of these perspectives convey the conflicting narratives of what seems to be an endless conflict in the Holy Land. 

Wrestling Jerusalem, Performance & Film Shoot

October 3rd, Marines Memorial Theatre
Followed by interfaith panel discussion
Tickets range from $50 - $125, with $35 discounts (Balcony) & $60 discounts (selected orchestra sections) for groups of 10 or more
Tickets will go on sale in mid-August through cityboxoffice.com, 415-392-4400
For more information on group discounts, contact Deena Levine, Outreach and Community Manager (925)-451-3556 or deenalevine@mac.com

Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter Street. Walking distance from Powell St. BART. Convenient parking around Union Square. 


statelessStateless, Film Screening  
Wednesday, October 14, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Martin Meyer Sanctuary

Join us in watching a special showing of Stateless, a compelling documentary about Jews emigrating from the former Soviet Union during the politically charged climate of the late 1980's. At that time, the USSR was home to the largest Jewish population in all of Europe. Under political pressure, including that of U.S. Jewry, the Soviety government opened its borders and allowed Jews to leave the country. This time, migrants had the freedom to choose their destination, but those who hoped to make the United States their home had to prove "a reasonable fear of persecution." For those born into a climate where discrimination was the norm, this was difficult - without any information or a political voice. They were frequently denied refugee status, thousands were left stranded in Italy - Stateless. The movie's narrative is guided by first-hand accounts from emigres. 



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.

Register now

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 28 years of inspiring service to our community.  

General, unreserved seating for Emanu-El congregants and community friends for the 7:00 pm concert in the Main Sanctuary will be available online at $36.00 per ticket beginning in September. 

Concert Patrons and their guests are invited to an elegant, pre-concert cocktails buffet reception beginning at 5:30 pm in Guild Hall followed by the 7:00 pm evening of song and tribute. Patrons of the evening and their guests will receive valet parking and reserved concert seating.

Proceeds raised will go to support music at Congregation Emanu-El. 

For further information, please contact:
 (415)-751-2541 ext. 116 or development@emanuelsf.org 

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


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

6 classes occur on Thursdays, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Upcoming session to take place in spring 2016, dates to come

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.


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