Sign In Forgot Password
Petaluma's Inclusive Center for Jewish Life

When We Gather in Person

We at B'nai Israel Jewish Center are very aware that our county health officer has now permitted the opening of synagogues and other religious institutions. The leadership at BIJC has chosen to proceed with an abundance of caution during this yet-precarious time. As the weeks ahead unfold, we will let you know what is happening for us and how we will take steps to ensure that when we do gather, it will be as safe as possible for all of us.

Shabbat Services Continue on Zoom

Until we are able to gather together in person again, regular Shabbat services on Zoom. All members of the community are welcome and invited to join with Rabbi Ted Feldman every Shabbat for Torah study, prayers and Mourner's Kaddish. 

In order to protect our members and the integrity of our Shabbat service, we will not be sharing the Zoom links publicly. The link to our Zoom Shabbat services will be sent via email to our members in the e-mail version of the weekly announcements (sent on Wednesdays) and again in a separate e-mail on Fridays.

Zoom Help is Here

If you are having any problems using Zoom, please email and we will be happy to assist you.

We are here to help, now more than ever

If you, or someone you know, needs help for any reason, from picking up groceries or childcare, to helping making ends meet or just a non-judging listener, please contact Rabbi Ted Feldman (707-765-2937) or BIJC President Stu Nissenbaum (707-321-8921) so that we may reach out. 

Weekly Announcements

Our weekly bulletin is issued every Wednesday and is typically uploaded to our website by end-of-day Thursday. Want to have it sent straight to your inbox? Sign up here!

15 Av, 5780 | August 5, 2020

Weekly Shabbat Information

Wednesday, August 5
Tu B'Av 

Friday, August 7
Candle lighting at 7:57 p.m.

Saturday, August 8
Torah reading: Parashat Eikev
Shabbat Zoom Service at 10 a.m.

Tu B'Av

Today, August 5, is T B'Av, the Jewish festival of love. It falls one week after Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the Jewish year. But Tu B’Av is a day of celebration, particularly of romantic love. It is celebrated outside of the walls of the city, away from the Temple Mount, the site of the destruction. In Israel it is a popular day for weddings. Learn more here.

Thoughts on the Shabbat Reading

Parashat Eikev – Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25
Moses continues his charge of the Israelites in Parashat Eikev — a word related to akev “heel” and translated as “because” or “coming on the heel of.” Moses tells the people, “because" they obey God’s commandments, they will be blessed with land, food and prosperity. He reminds them how God saved them in the wilderness with manna and that their hardships were a test of their faith. The first part of the parasha concludes (8:20) with, “If you follow other gods, you shall perish, because (eikev) you did not heed God’s word.” Moses prepares the people for encountering the giant Anakites by saying that God will subdue the Anakites not because the Israelites are virtuous but because the Anakites are wicked. Moses recalls in detail each “stiff-necked” incident in the wilderness, going back to the Golden Calf and before. Moses reminds the Israelites that they owe their very lives to him for intervening with God on their behalf (9:26). Moses poses the question: What does God want from us? The answer, our love. God can control everything in the natural world, but only humans can choose to love God.

BIJC & Community News

Rabbi Ted Feldman is off this week through Friday evening. The Friday evening Shabbat services have been rescheduled for next week, August 14. He will be lead Shabbat Services on Saturday morning, Aug. 8

Welcome to our newest members,
Martin and Ilana Slonim!

Outreach and Membership Committee

As we begin the new fiscal year, B’nai Israel renews its commitment to serving the Jewish community of Petaluma and surrounding areas. We are looking for a few people from current membership who are willing to help with outreach through events including community fairs and socially distanced gatherings. Having new members join our Center will ensure the continuation of B’nai Israel as a meeting place for Jews since 1871. If you would like to learn more about the Outreach and Membership Committee please email BIJC President Stuart Nissenbaum or call (707-321-8921).

Siddurim on Loan  

Have you wanted to have a prayer book at home for personal use during the pandemic? Now you can borrow a copy of Eit Ratzon siddur from BIJC and have it delivered to your home.

Copies will be quarantined for at least seven days prior to delivery, packed, and delivered by masked and gloved volunteers.

Contact Ritual Committee member Alisa Israel Goldberg to arrange for delivery.

Let's All Pitch In: The Need is Real

Our heartfelt thanks to all those in our community who have contributed to the Covid-19 appeal. The loss of revenue is very real, and of the $90,000 shortfall, $51,335 has been raised to date. 
If you haven't had a chance to make a donation, please click here to contribute online (write "Covid-19" in the payment notes section), or send your check to Office at BIJC, 740 Western Ave., Petaluma, CA 94952.

With gratitude and appreciation,
Stuart Nissenbaum
President, B'nai Israel Jewish Center

Thank You, Recent Covid-19 Appeal Donors

Fredi Bloom
Anthony Leuin
Ari and Teresa Piotrkowski
Jill and Lyle Chinkin
Rhonda Goodman and Martin Hymowitz
Carol Newman and Barry Sovel
Rae Molinsky –The Center will always be my home. I have so many great memories from my childhood and yes, even my adult years. The best to you and your family. And to your fund raiser.
Judith Helman

We are here to help

A Message from Rabbi Ted Feldman and BIJC President Stu Nissenbaum
If you are in need of help, or if you know someone who is in need of help - whether for medical, financial, spiritual or any other reason - please contact Rabbi Ted Feldman (707-765-2937) or BIJC President Stu Nissenbaum (707-321-8921), so that we can reach out. The strength of our community depends on the strength of our relationships with each other, and how we care for those in need.

Hineni - I am here 

Community News

Food Pantry Update: A Message from Ilene Mattison-Shupnick
For the past five years, I have managed the BIJC portion of the Westside Food Pantry. Last year I asked Chata Barajas to become the onsite manager and I stepped back into the role of offsite manager. Four years ago, I heard from a member of the Islamic Center of Petaluma that they were trying to be more visible in the community. So I approached them about partnering with us for the 4th Thursday pantries. They accepted and our partnership began. They have been active members of our team every month when it is our pantry night. They never hesitated to lend a hand when asked. Our two communities have worked beautifully together and I have said countless times that I wish we could send that out into the world as a model.

Now, the Islamic Center must step back as our formal partner. Their community is very small and many of their congregants are elderly and unable to be at the pantries to help. A few people from there will continue to work as individual volunteers.

I would like to recognize the Islamic Center of Petaluma and to say thank you for your partnership for the past four years. I honor you for your participation with us.

I have made the decision to step down as the offsite manager because I will be doing the distance learning instruction for our three Petaluma grandkids, Jaxson, Alaska and Zoey. Lani Slonim has graciously accepted the job. Lani is already bringing new energy to her new role. Lani and her husband, Martin, are new members of BIJC and already jumping in. A hearty thank you to Lani!

Upcoming BIJC Events

Wednesday, August 5, 2 p.m. - Culinary Arts Class on Zoom
"Chicken, again?" you ask. Never fear, Judy Miller has it covered. Each dish starts with a cornflake-rolled chicken breast that is baked with a variety of easy and delicious sauces, elevating this humble bird into something special. Click here for the recipe. The Zoom link will open at 1:45 p.m. Class begins at 2. Send us an email at to join the Zoom session!

The cooking class will be "on vacation" August 12. Got any Rosh Hashanah recipes you'd love to share? Contact Hillary to share a recipe or nominate the next guest chef.

Thursday, August 13, 11 a.m. - Sisterhood Zoom Get-Together
Ellen Lustbader will host. Contact for the Zoom link.

Friday, August 14, 7 p.m. - Friday Evening Service via Zoom
Welcome Shabbat blessings into your life with Rabbi Ted Feldman and singer Anna Leemon. The Zoom session will open at 6:45 and service begins at 7 p.m. Send us an email at to join us!

See our full events calendar

Upcoming Community Events

Let's Support Our JCC Sonoma County! 

Virtual Fundraising Event

Dr. Marc Dollinger: Jews and the Black Power Movement
Thursday, August 13, 7 p.m.
Benefits JCC Sonoma County's Covid-19 Response

The Covid-19 crisis has forced many JCCs into closing. JCC Sonoma County remains open and and dedicated to serving the Jewish community. However, as a result of Covid-19, they have lost much of their programming revenue.

Please take this opportunity to help JCC Sonoma County by attending a virtual fundraiser with Dr. Marc Dollinger who will talk about his newest book, Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s.

Ticket prices start at $36. A Zoom link will be sent by email once payment is received. Info and tickets here.

Community Opportunities

  • Sonoma Regional Jewish Teen Initiative: Formed this year to further opportunities for Jewish teens throughout Sonoma and Napa counties to connect to each other and Judaism. We meet monthly to eat, talk and celebrate holidays in unique ways.
  • Interfaith Food Pantry: Join our volunteers from BIJC every fourth Thursday to set up and distribute free groceries from Redwood Food Bank to persons in need. Approximately one hour of your time helps so many. Meet at 4:45 p.m. at Elim Lutheran, just one block east of BIJC at 504 Baker Street. 
  • The Jewish Community Free Clinic, located at 50 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, provides a wide range of free medical services to persons who are uninsured. Info: (707) 585-7780.

BIJC Clubs & Organization News


Gift Shop Hours 
Gift shop is closed until further notice. Our regular hours are M-F from 9:30am-1:30 pm. See Leslee Lauritzen or give Linda Baraz a call at 765-1926 and she will meet you there!

BIJC Community Cookbook
Can't go out shopping? Let Sisterhood send a B'nai Israel Cookbook straight to you! It's a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries, or just because you care. We will mail it to you, gift-wrapped and with a gift card. 

The cost is $26.00, which includes sales tax, shipping and handling. To purchase, please contact Judy Miller by phone (978-660-3080) or email:

Every cookbook sold benefits both the Sisterhood and Gan Israel Preschool.

Sisterhood Book Group
Our next Book Group meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday, August 6 at 1 p.m. We will be reading Camino Winds by John Grisham. For our September 10 meeting, we'll be reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck. All who are interested in joining any of these sessions are welcome. To receive an invitation to join the Zoom link, please email before 5 p.m. the day before the discussion. 

Jewish Education

Gan Israel Preschool

The Board of Directors of B'nai Israel Jewish Center has made the difficult decision to not open the Gan Israel Pre-School for the 2020 Summer session. We have been closely following the advice of our state and county public health authorities and the time has come to take this step. We look forward to reopening for the Fall session.

For information about Gan Israel Preschool, contact Program Director  Leslee Lauritzen

Shabbat Connect

Shabbat Connect completed its first school year in May. We are off for the summer; watch this space for information about our fall session! Learn more.

Adult Education

Watch this space for infomation about upcoming adult education classes.

BIJC Fundraising

Your Donations Make a Difference!

If you'd like to donate or volunteer to support BIJC, you can learn about our various opportunities here. Special thanks to our donors this week:


Marlene Slutsky - In Memory of Palani Velloo
Marlene Slutsky - In Memory of Dr. Mark Feldman
Judith Miller - In Memory of her beloved son, David Howard Miller
Ellen Lustbader - In Memory of her father, James Tobin
David Lustbader - In Memory of his mother, Anna Lustbader
Barry Nitzberg and Diane Bellas - In Celebration of Sid and Gerry Lipton's June Wedding Anniversary and their years of service, devotion and friendship to the Petaluma Jewish Community.
Karen Tabachnick - In Honor of the BIJC community and support for its services
Carolyn Kaufman - In Memory of her mother, Patricia Kaufman
Donald Torrey – Donation to BIJC
Liza Ravitz – In Memory of her father, Norman Ravitz
Vreni Schnirman – In Memory of her husband, Irving Schnirman
Bob Berner – In Memory of his mother, Margaret Berner
Ruth and Brian Wilson – In Loving Memory of Ruth's father, Edwin G. Dudley
Ruth and Brian Wilson – In Loving Memory of Ruth's mother, Marion B. Dudley
Carol Stuart – In Loving Memory of her mother, Margit Friedlander Stuart
Erica Stuart – In Loving Memory of her mother, Margit Friedlander Stuart
Margaret Viguie – Week of Sharing
Abbey Levine – Week of Sharing
Carolyn Kaufman – Week of Sharing
George Flynn – Week of Sharing
Lucille Libicki – Week of Sharing
Ilene and Mark Mattison-Shupnick – Week of Sharing
Barry Sovel and Carol Newman – In Memory of Barry's father, William Sovel
Barry Sovel and Carol Newman – In Memory of Carol's father, Herbert Newman
Jim Stern – In Memory of his father, Manuel Stern
Cynthia Weissbein Macken – In Memory of her mother, Dossie Weissbein
Shelley Bauer – In Memory of her mother, Ann Weinstock
Judith Miller – Week of Sharing
Rhonda Goodman and Martin Hymowitz – Week of Sharing
Leo and Nancy Tealdi – Wishing a speedy recovery to Gayle Alvarez
Leo and Nancy Tealdi – Wishing a speedy recovery to Hedda Gold
Terry and Nathan Piotrkowski – In Memory of Bill and Rae Sovel
Barbara Lesch McCaffry – In Memory of Edith Newman
Joan Roman – In Memory of her father, Max Rosenberg
Sela and Stuart Nissenbaum – In Memory of Sela's mother, Shirley Rosenzweig
Sela and Stuart Nissenbaum – In Memory of Stuart's mother, Rhoda Nissenbaum
Leo and Nancy Tealdi – Week of Sharing


Be sure to patronize the following businesses in appreciation of their support!

Ace Promotional Specialties, Inc. - Advanced Security Systems - Century 21 Bundesen - Coast Guard and Forest Service - Brian and Marion - EAC-CPA's and Advisors - Bill and Maggie Fishman - Friedman's Home Improvements - Hermann Sons Lodge, Petaluma - Lace House Linens - Love and Golf - O'Brien Painting - Oil Stop - Out West Garage - Parent-Sorensen Mortuary - Petaluma Eye Care - Petaluma Market - Quality Flooring Center, Petaluma - Naomi Richman - San Francisco Public Golf Alliance - Santa Rosa Tile Supply - Spurgeon Painting -  SRJC Supports B'nai Israel - Jim Stern - Top Speed Data Communications

BIJC General Information

Shabbat and Yahrzeit/Yizkor candles are available for purchase in the office. Yahrzeit/Yizkor candles are $2.17 each (with tax). Boxes of 72 Shabbat Candles are $7.58 each (with tax).

BIJC Commemorative Shopping Bags are available for $3 (including tax) in the office. Please stop by during office hours and get your bag!

Lost and Found

There is a LOST and FOUND box in the office. Please note: Items will be donated after a period of one month. If you have lost something or have found an item please contact the office at 707-762-0340.

Newsletter Contributions

Share Your News With the Community!

Do you have news to share (a birth, graduation, award, etc.)? Please e-mail Ruth by noon the Friday before delivery:

We want to hear about what you are doing!

If you would like your event to show up in the newsletter, the deadline for the weekly Wednesday E-News Announcements is the preceding Monday at noon. Please e-mail any additions or corrections to the Ruth at AND COPY Rabbi Feldman at

To subscribe to the mailing list and receive these announcements in your e-mail every Wednesday, click here.

For further information about any of the above items, please call the Center office at (707) 762-0340. Rabbi Ted Feldman may be reached at (707) 765-2937.

Sun, August 9 2020 19 Av 5780