Groups, Committees & Chavurot

Whether you are exploring our community or looking for ways to get more involved as a member, you have arrived at the right place! Sha’ar Zahav sparks new friendships among people with different life experiences, and often times, 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.  

Sha’ar Zahav members organize chavurot (plural of chavurah, which means “a circle of friends”) with shared interests and they meet regularly to socialize, learn and celebrate Jewish life together.  We also have many committees and groups which are at the center  of our synagogue life.

Most of these groups and committee are open to Sha’ar Zahav members and non-members alike. If you are interested in exploring any of them or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact their leaders. 


Tikkun Olam (Service) Committees

Social Action Committee
John Lewis Voting Engagement Group
Racial Equity Group
Climate Action Committee

Kehila (Community) Committees

Hineni Caring Community
B’yachad Neighborhoods Connectors

Education Committees

Adult Learning Committee
Education Committee
B’mitzvah Committee

Spiritual Life Committees

Ritual Committee
Chevrah Kadisha

Life Stages & Affinity Groups

Baby Chavurah
Teen Chavurah
Kaf-Lameds (Young Adults Community)
Adult Orphans
Trans Gender Non-conforming Group
Multiracial, Multicultural & Multifaith Group
We also recommend exploring Nice Jewish Boys

Wellness & Leisure Chavurot

Theater & Movies
Remember When…
12-Steps Group

Learning Groups

Mussar Group
Torah Study Group
Book Club

Congregation’s Operations

Tech Corps
Disability & Accessibility
Building Committee
Security Task Force
Quarterly Newsletter (JGF) Committee

Congregation’s Management

Va’ad (Board of Directors)

The following committees are an integral part of our lay-led congregation. If you are a Sha’ar Zahav member and you are interested in volunteering your expertise through any of these committees, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

  • Nominating Committee
  • Bylaws Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Personnel Committee
  • Strategic Planning Task Force



Social Action Committee

Our Social Action Committee serves as a home base for community members looking for a way to engage in action, or for more support in work they’re already doing. We organize events, work in solidarity with affected communities, and participate in interfaith coalitions. Together, we will make our world more just, compassionate, and peaceful.

Contact: The committee co-chairs are Nancy Wecker and Neil Young.
Meets: The first Monday of the month from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 683 592 660 and Passcode: 949689.
Open to members and non-members.


John Lewis Voter Engagement Group

A sub-group of our Social Action Committee dedicated to advancing voting rights! From phone banking to post carding, to education sessions, you can be part of these efforts too.

Contact: Ruth Schoenbach
Open to members and non-members.


Racial Equity Group

Interested in working toward racial justice in and outside Sha’ar Zahav? Join us!

Contact: Larry Best.
Meets: The second Thursday of every month from 5:00 – 6:30 pm. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 843 7848 3476 and Passcode: 197880.
Open to members and non-members.


Climate Action Committee

Are you concerned about environmental degradation? Want to work with other Sha’ar Zahavniks against climate change? Come share your ideas, get support, and have fun while we work together on some of the most pressing issues facing the planet.

Contact: Deborah Levy.
Meets: The second Monday of the month from 5:00 – 6:30 pm. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 852 592 669 and Passcode: 353108.
Open to members and non-members.


B’yachad Neighborhood Anchors

Our member community is divided by zip code, forming neighborhood groups that meet and engage to build Jewish community with those who are physically closest. Each neighborhood group has at least one anchor who helps create cohesion through online and offline events, and supports the group as a whole.

Contact: Laurie Trupin, Tim Grant or Carey Averbook
Open to Sha’ar Zahav members only.


Adult Education Committee

Want to help Sha’ar Zahav create and promote learning opportunities for adults? We’d love to speak with you!

Contact: Rabbi Copeland
Open to members and non-members.


Ritual Committee

Interested in leading services, giving a d’rash (talk), helping develop new liturgy, or sharing your ideas? Then join RitCom! You can be a ritual expert or a newbie – we all learn together.

ContactEmery Cohen or Jo Ellen Green Kaiser
Open to members and non-members.


Baby Chavurah

Be a part of this monthly gathering of kids age 0-2 and their families. Connect about parenting thrills and fears, share tips and tricks, laugh and cry together.

Contact: Sue Bojdak.
Meets: The third Saturday of the month from 11:00 am – Noon. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 847 8132 2131 and Passcode: 950511.
Open to members and non-members.


Nice Jewish Boys of San Francisco

A welcoming group focused on fostering Jewish identity in an inclusive social setting for gay, bi, queer, and trans men. Creating social spaces and service opportunities that foster meaningful connections and generate a positive impact in our community. Check out for upcoming events.


Hiking Chavurah

Join other Sha’ar Zahavniks on monthly urban hikes – mostly in SF but we sometimes venture farther afield. This is a great way to get to know other Sha’ar Zahav members while exploring the city. The hikes usually last about two hours. We are following all Sha’ar Zahav’s pandemic guidelines, which currently includes masks and physical distancing.

Contact: Karen Schiller and Ellen Murland at [email protected].
Meets: Every month.
Open to members and non-members.


Meditation Chavurah

Our typical sessions include a short and longer silent sit, with chanting, movement, and a short teaching. Join us!

Contact: Michael Chertok.
Meets: The first and third Saturday of every month from 10:30 am – Noon. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 894 8009 6573 and Passcode: 839381.
Open to members and non-members.


Yoga Chavurah

We explore how yoga and Judaism integrate the mind, body, and spirit as we blend traditional yoga and Judaism, Jewish prayers and chants. Stuart Dick and Rabbi Mychal Copeland alternate leading.

ContactRabbi Mychal Copeland.
Meets: Meetings are paused until the end of the summer. Please contact Rabbi Copeland to be added to the group and be notified when our practice is re-instated.
Open to members and non-members.


Art Chavurah

Drop in for a joyful hour of free art-making and connection with other creative congregants. Everyone is welcome!

Contact: Paisha Rochlin, Barbara Cymrot or AJ Turpen Fried.
Meets: Weekly on Thursdays from 11:00 am – Noon. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 830 9329 4919 and Passcode: 634325.
Open to members and non-members.


Theater & Movies Chavurah

Would you like to watch plays and movies, and get together to discuss them with a lively and friendly bunch? If you answered yes, we are happy to have found you! Every month we decide the genres or themes together. Come anytime!

Contact: Yvette Adida.
Meets: The first Wednesday of every month from 6:00 – 7:15 pm. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 842 7621 7839 and Passcode: 586166.
Open to members and non-members.


Remember When… Chavurah

Hitch a ride on the wayback wagon for a trip down memory lane. Let’s reminisce about the 40’s thru the 70’s together! Different topics each month. Everyone is welcome!

Contact:Marv Lehrman.
Meets: The first Wednesday of every month from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 895 1828 5564 and Passcode: 522556.
Open to members and non-members.


Mussar Group

Mussar is a very practical and flexible spiritual discipline to help you balance soul-traits (Middah/Middot) such as Humility, Loving-Kindness, Generosity, and Silence. Come to learn with us. Drop-ins are always welcome!

Contact: Mark Pressler.
Meets: Weekly on Thursdays from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 893 4682 2203 and Passcode: 378114.
Open to members and non-members.


Torah Study Group

Study the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Copeland and lay leaders. For the first half hour, we’ll talk, learn and share thoughts about the portion. In the second half, we will practice our Hebrew reading skills in a compassionate environment! Join for either or both parts of the study.

Contact: Rabbi Mychal Copeland.
Meets: Weekly on Wednesdays from 8:30 – 9:30 am. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 959 8750 6446 and Passcode: 454331.
Open to members and non-members.


Book Club

Love reading and enjoy discussing ideas with others in a diverse, inclusive and friendly environment? Want to meet others in the community? Welcome to Sha’ar Zahav’s book club! We read a new book every six weeks. Contact us to learn about what we are reading, and drop-in anytime.

Contact: Ami Zusman.
Meets: Every six weeks on Tuesdays from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 835 2869 6091 and Passcode: 389616.
Open to members and non-members.


Disability & Accessibility Committee

Join to meet others with disabilities and work towards a more accessible Sha’ar Zahav. We also work towards starting programs and events centered around queer, Jewish, and disabled identities. Join us!

Contact: Eliana Smithstein.
Meets: The last Thursday of every month from 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 895 0343 8220 and Passcode: 510123.
Open to members and non-members.


Va’ad (Board of Directors)

Our Board of Directors is responsible for expressing the voice of the community. If you’re curious about Sha’ar Zahav’s behind the scenes work, come to a Va’ad meeting!

Contact: Marc Lipschutz.
Meets: The third Wednesday of every month from 7:00 – 9:30 pm. Join the Zoom meetings here or enter the meeting ID: 869 6903 4503 and Passcode: 641014.
Open to members only.


Recent blog posts

What’s Happening at Sha’ar Zahav

Learn to Read High Holy Day Prayers in Hebrew One hour evening class (4) sessions Tuesdays, August 30th through September 20, 7-8pm Welcome in Elul with a mini course of Hebrew and get prepared for High Holy Days! Have you sat in High Holy Day services wishing you had a bit more comfort with the…

Read More
Read more

Hybrid Services – In-person and on Zoom 02/2022

  An Update on In-Person Events and Services Dear Sha’ar Zahav Community, We hope that you are healthy and well. We would like to update you on Sha’ar Zahav’s plans regarding meeting in person at 290 Dolores. Our Reopening Task Force met again on Thursday, February 10 and had a spirited conversation about returning to…

Read More
Read more

Wingsong: for all the friends who died of AIDS

Wingsong: -Maggid Andrew Ramer      I carry you on my back I carry every one of you who has died on my back        You are not a burden      your weight is exalting      each one of you      is another feather      in my arched wings      You carry me     …

Read More
Read more