Affinity Groups

Sha’ar Zahav (CSZ) sparks new friendships among people with different life experiences, people who might never meet outside of our community. We find unity in difference and our Jewish community is strengthened by our diverse beliefs and identities.  

CSZ members organize chavurot (chavurah means “a circle of friends”.  A CSZ chavurah is a group of members and friends with shared interests who meet regularly to socialize, learn and celebrate Jewish life together.  

Check out our chavurah offerings below.  If you have an idea for a chavurah that’s not listed there, please contact the Connections Task Force at
Hiking | Meditation | East Bay | Food | Theater

Hiking Chavurah

Contact: Karen Schiller,
3rd Saturday of each month, 10 am – noon

We weave a close-knit and inviting community around hiking where everyone feels celebrated for who they are. We’ve hiked from the Ferry Building to Coit Tower, climbed the hills of Glen Park, Noe Valley and Mt. Davidson, explored the Inner Sunset, the Presidio and the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, and ventured to Treasure Island, Sausalito and the East Bay Regional Parks. Meeting location and hike leader changes monthly, so contact Karen to find out where we’re going next!

East Bay Chavurah  

Contact: Elana Story,

2nd Friday of each month

Sha’ar Zahav members and their guests are invited to our East Bay Chavurah where our evenings begin with blessings and a vegetarian/vegan potluck. At 7:30 pm, adults and teens continue our Shabbat experience with some meaningful text-based Jewish dialogue. To RSVP, host a future event or get more information, please contact  Elana Story.

Meditation Chavurah   

Contacts: Richard Weiner, and Andy Schwartz,

1st Saturday of each month

Sha’ar Zahav offers a peaceful sanctuary from the demands of modern life, and our Meditation Chavurah is an offering towards that end. Everyone is welcome! A typical gathering includes a short and longer silent sit, often including a guided portion, chanting or movement, and a short teaching. We usually meet at a member’s home in the Castro. For more information, contact Richard Weiner or Andy Schwartz.

Food Chavurah

Contact: Paul Cohen,

Members may volunteer once a quarter or more often

At Sha’ar Zahav, we come together with open hearts to learn and grow with each other, to spark new friendships.  Delicious and attractive food is the medium for building relationships. As a Food Chavurah member, you’ll shop and/or bake sweet and savory  foods for our Friday night oneg (after-service celebration) and Saturday morning kiddush (after-service snack) .  Staff helps chavurah members determine how much to buy, and provides a general  shopping list to guide you. For more information, contact Paul Cohen.

Theater Chavurah

Contact: Ami Zusman,

Sha’ar Zahav sparks new friendships between people with different life experiences, people who might never meet outside of our community. The theater chavurah attracts members and friends who are drawn to great Jewish and LGBTQ theater. Afterwards, we have fun by eating, schmoozing and talking about what we just saw. It is a great way to meet new friends and escape the demands of daily life. For more information, contact Ami Zusman.