Dear Beth Ami, Outrage competes with disgust as we read about our country’s current policy to forcibly separate children from their families..
I’m forwarding this message from Danny Grossman, CEO of the San Francisco Community Jewish Federation, to keep you appraised of our own Bay Area Community’s organized response. In addition, you may wish to take advantage of Danny’s enumeration of various
ways we can participate personally.
As members of the Jewish Community, we can feel a special measure of horror at a policy and rhetoric that brings back memories of our own tragic experience in Europe of the thirties and forties.
Chazak v’ematz – Be strong and of good courage!
Mordecai Miller

Dear community members,
Like many of you, we at the Federation are deeply concerned about splitting up families as they seek asylum in the United States. This contradicts the Jewish values of respect and fair treatment for all human beings, and is in opposition to the ethos of Torah and Jewish tradition. Therefore, we stand in opposition of separating children from their parents as they search for a safe haven or escape persecution.
On the eve of World Refugee Day, we are reminded that compassion toward others is a highly regarded and practiced trait in our community. As a people committed to tikkun olam (repairing the world) and hachnasat orchim (welcoming the stranger), we are obligated to speak up for those who may be mistreated.
One of our Federation’s priorities is helping the most vulnerable among us. As Jews, we are compelled to do all we can to promote our collective responsibility to condemn this trauma-inducing policy.
To ease the sense of helplessness, we stand in solidarity to effect change. There are many ways you can take action. For example, you can:
Add your voice for immediate action to end this practice by completing the form on the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Action Alert.
Participate in an Interfaith Vigil at Grace Cathedral this Thursday, June 21, at 6:15 pm, co-hosted by the San Francisco Interfaith Council and other faith partners.
Consider making a contribution directly or recommending a grant from your Federation Donor Advised Fund to organizations involved in addressing the issue, such as:
RAICES Family Reunification and Bond Fund, raising funds to pay the full amount of an immigration bond so that parents can be released from custody and reunite with their families.
Anti-Defamation League, striving to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all; they are calling to immediately reverse the policy.
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, working around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities.
American Civil Liberties Union, seeking a nationwide injunction against separating children from families and was working on the issue prior to the latest news.

Danny Grossman
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Sonoma County Pride Parade

Sonoma County Pride Parade, Santa Rosa, CA – June 2, 2018. “The unexamined life isn’t worth living.” So said the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates. Despite its age, the validity of this quote hasn’t tarnished.

The question remains, however, “When do we get the chance to ‘examine’ our lives?!” Given all our responsibilities – social, work or family related – it’s hard to find the time to engage in this kind of reflection.  Comes Shabbat and, if we’re willing or able to follow the commandment, we have a day in which to reflect on our lives and on life in general.

One issue that confronts us as humans, as Americans, and as Jews is the issue of class discrimination. Our Torah states in Exodus 23:9, “Do not oppress a stranger; you yourselves know how it feels to be strangers, because you were strangers in Egypt.” In fact, more than ten times the Bible points out how important it is not to oppress the stranger and protect their rights in the eyes of the law. In essence, the Torah is telling us to be sure to avoid any discrimination on the basis of class – essentially to make sure that we should eliminate treating people as “strangers”!

We are all painfully aware of those members of our community who have been made to suffer in various ways – from shunning to taunting to physical abuse. They have been denied employment and equal housing opportunity. True, much has been done in States to address these issues. Nevertheless, there seems to be a prevailing mood among some groups regarding the issue of Gay Rights to turn back the clock.

So this coming Shabbat morning, June 2nd, I invite our Beth Ami community to march in this year’s Parade. I’ve also made the decision, with the full support our Beth Ami president Henry Cohn as well as our Religious Practices Committee, to hold a Shabbat Shacharit Service at Cancer Survivors’ (Fremont) Park for those who would benefit from participating. We plan to start at 10:00 a.m. Siddurim (Prayer books), taleisim and kippot will be provided for anyone who needs one. I anticipate that the service will conclude at 11:00 a.m., which is the time when participants are asked to gather.

Given the times in which we are currently living, I feel a special need for our congregation to support our Gay community. In this way I believe we come closer to achieve the inner Peace that Shabbat brings into our lives.

With blessings of Shalom,

Rabbi Mordecai Miller

Social Action in Action

Another successful dinner at The Palms on Wednesday, March 25th. Thanks to everyone who helped by serving and preparing the food.  The residents really enjoyed and appreciated the meal.   We had plenty of help and food.  The chili is a huge success as well as the homemade desserts.   Our next dinner is June 13th. We are still working on a summer menu. If you are interested in participating in any way please contact our administrator Judy Gunnar, @ 360-3000 or Lyla Nathan @ 526-7438.
Great job everyone! See you soon,  lyla

USY’s Spring Activities

USY EVENT Sunday MAY 6th. We had a successful event this past weekend! The Earth/Israel event could not have been so amazing without the USY kids who helped set it up this morning and helped run some of the booths! Here is their draft schedule for May 6th. Please put it on your calendar and support their last activity for this year!!!!

Attached is a picture of the Bedouin Tent that USY kids created together Saturday Night!

DRAFT Schedule:

10:30: Meet at CBA with breakfast snacks (50 Minute Drive)

(carpool drive are Barb McGee, Laura Alexander, Judy Gunnar)

12:00pm: Arrive at North Salmon Creek

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch

1:00 – 1:30: Mini Beach Cleanup

1:30 – 2:30: Amazing Beach Races

2:30 – 3:00: Snack Break

3:00 – 3:15: USY Elections for 2018-2019

3:15 – 3:45: Free time or senior send off

3:45 – 4:00: Pack Up

5:00: Arrive back at CBA

Judy Kupfer
Director of Youth Education at Congregation Beth Ami, Santa Rosa

Photos from the Israel Independence Day celebration

A Musical Celebration of 70 years of Israel’s Independence. Sunday, April 22.

The concert starts at 11:00 and is preceded at 10:30 with a moving Memorial for Israel’s fallen.

The event, featuring Israeli musicians Noa Levy and Achi Ben Shalom, is free and open to all who love Israel, due to the generosity of the Beth Ami Israel Committee, the Sonoma County Israel Committee and is supported by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. Surprise performance by the local Hadassah chapter.  Bring the youngsters to attend an “Israel Faire” in the courtyard from 10:30- 12:30 with a petting zoo, face painting, and more, sponsored by the Nursery School.


Mitzvah dinner

The Social Action Committee will be hosting a dinner at The Palms , a housing complex for Veterans and Catholic Charities clients on Wednesday, April,25th. The dinner will be served at 4:30. We will be serving chili, salad, bread, desserts. This is our second dinner, the first one was well received. We served around 70 .
If you are interested in doing a mitzvah for the men and women living at The Palms, please contact either Judy Gunnar, administrator at Beth Ami 360-3000 or Lyla Nathan. 526-7438. We would love your help or participation in any way that you can. Thanks so much. SAC.

Passover Scavenger hunt with PJ Library

Passover Scavenger hunt with PJ Library. Sunday, March 25, 2018, 12:45 pm – 3:00 pm, Oliver’s Market , 560 Montecito Blvd, Santa Rosa

Come join us for an afternoon of Pre-Passover family fun as we explore Passover foods and symbols around Oliver’s Market! There will be a PJ Library story, music, snacks, and chance to win our raffle gift basket!

Meet and greet at the tables, outside the market, at 12:45. Storytelling at 1:00 pm. Scavenger hunt through the market at 1:30. Snacks and drawing to follow.

Rosh Chodesh Nisan

Rosh Chodesh Nisan: March 18 Women’s Gathering: All Jewish women are invited to a dairy/pareve potluck brunch on Sunday, March 18 at 11am at Congregation Beth Ami. We’ll learn about the new month on Nisan, talk about the upcoming big holiday of Pesach, share some traditions, and enjoy our ritual songs. Please join us! Questions? Contact Patty Bernstein at

Be Happy, It’s Adar

Our next Rosh Chodesh gathering will be on Friday, February 16 at 6:30pm at Beth Ami when we will participate in the Kabbalat Shabbat service by “usurping” Rabbi’s D’Var Torah. We can recite a poem ( … and have several women read the various stanzas), sing our song (and share song sheets with congregants), and learn about the “Essence of Adar” from the Ritual Well website (link attached:
If you’d like to participate, please let me know and I’ll put your name in the mix.
Save the dates:
Sunday, March 18: Nissan – 11am Dairy Potluck Brunch at Beth Ami (theme: Passover)
Monday, April 16: Iyyar – 7pm Israel theme (Do you have ideas for this? Please let me know.)
B’shalom, PattyB