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Petaluma's Inclusive Center for Jewish Life

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!

6 Tammuz, 5781 | June 16, 2021

Weekly Shabbat Information

Friday, June 18
Friday Evening Shabbat Service via Zoom: 6:00 p.m.
Candle Lighting: 8:18 p.m.

Saturday, June 19
Torah Study: 9:15 a.m.
Shabbat Morning Service: 10 a.m.
Torah Portion: Parashat Chukat
Moving forward, we are offering hybrid Shabbat services, in-person and online via Zoom. Click here to see our guidelines for attending services in person.

BIJC & Community News

Shabbat Services Continue as "Hybrid"

B'nai Israel Jewish Center joins the State of California in ending many of the pandemic restrictions. Last month we began to open the Sanctuary to Shabbat services on alternate weeks. Starting this week on June 19, Shabbat Morning Service will be held in-person in the Sanctuary every week. Service will continue to be held via Zoom for those who wish to attend remotely. See our requirements for attending in-person services here.

Backyard Beautification

Many Thanks to All Who Have Contributed!
We are nearing our goal of reopening the renovated backyard. Since announcing the matching grant opportunity, many of you have stepped up to help. Now is the time to make the most of your contribution, so let's make it happen! No amount is too small and every donation goes directly to finishing the backyard. A big Thank You to all who have contributed!

To donate, click here or call the office (707) 762-0340 or BIJC President Stu Nissenbaum (707) 321-8921.

Meet Our New Teachers

Gan Israel Preschool is up and running at last. Bravo to Director Teri Porter and her teachers who have worked tirelessly to create a playful and loving space for the children. Meet our new teachers here.

And Thank You to Marsha Harris for sharing your challah-making expertise. Once again the aroma of fresh-baked challah will fill our shul every Friday.

We have room for a few more children in the Gan. Send your prospects to

A Welcome and the First of Two Essays

On Shabbat, June 5, 2021 we welcomed Madelyn McGrath and Laurice Levine into the community of the Jewish people. They had spent a period of study and participation and were ritually welcomed at the Mikvah on Wednesday, June 2.

As part of their preparations for conversion, they were asked to compose an essay about their spiritual journey to present to the three rabbis approving their welcome to our people.

They shared their essays on June 5 at services and have given their permission to share their words here. You can read Madelyn McGrath's essay here. Laurice Levine's essay will appear in next week's newsletter.

We invite you to discover their stories and feel the power of the Jewish experience as it unfolded in their lives.

Congratulations Andrea!

BIJC member and filmmaker Andrea Leland has won an Emmy award for her 30-minute documentary "Three Ocean Advocates."

The film follows Tess Felix, an artist living in California; Dick Ogg, a fisherman from Bodega Bay, CA; and Barbara Crites, an underwater photographer from St John in the US Virgin Islands, who are each taking actions that inspire hope for our ailing oceans.

Persons wishing to view the film may email Andrea. "Three Ocean Advocates" is part of a larger project entitled "Every Second Breath." Click here to learn more.

We Are Here

If you need help for medical, financial, spiritual or any other reason, or if you know someone who needs help, please contact Rabbi Ted Feldman or Rhonda Goodman of the BIJC Caring Community and we will 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.

Join us to care for our community by volunteering to help as much or as little as you want by making phone calls, writing notes, running errands, delivering a meal, driving people to appointments or visiting the sick.

Hineni - I am here 

Upcoming BIJC Events

Thursday, June 17, 7 p.m. - Ritual Committee Meeting
To be held via Zoom. Send us an email at if you are interested in participating.

Friday, June 18, 6 p.m. - Friday Evening Shabbat
Please join us and welcome the Shabbat with blessings by Rabbi Ted Feldman. Music by Miriam Dvorin Spross. The Zoom link will open at 5:45, service begins at 6. Send us an email at to join the Zoom session. Friday Evening Shabbat will be on hiatus during the month of July, resuming in August.

Sunday, June 27, 10 a.m. - BIJC Young(er) Adults Summer Hike
Expore nature and make connections! Please join us at Helen Putnam Regional Park. For more info, to arrange childcare, and/or to RSVP, please contact Hillary at

See our full events calendar

Upcoming Community Events

Morning Minyan at Beth Ami
Rabbi Mordecai Miller of Congregation Beth Ami in Santa Rosa invites those who wish to attend Morning Minyan services to join him via Zoom each morning, Sunday through Friday, at 8:00 a.m. Those wishing to recite Kaddish may do so. If you are interested in participating, e-mail Rabbi Miller for the Zoom link.

BIJC Clubs & Organization News


Monthly Social - Friday, June 25, 11 a.m.
Sistherhood's Monthly Social will take place OUTDOORS and IN PERSON for fully vaccinated members - sitting socially distanced. We sit near the 5th and H street corner in Wickersham Park, Petaluma. Bring a chair and a beverage. 

Sisterhood Drop-In Gathering - Thursday, June 17, 11 a.m.
Join the Sisterhood's Weekly Drop-in Gathering from 11 a.m.-Noon in Wickersham Park (corner 5th and H). We meet alternating Thursdays and Fridays. Please bring a chair and stop by!

  • 1st & 3rd Thursdays: Next one July 1, 11 a.m.-Noon
  • 2nd & 4th Fridays: Next one July 9, 11 a.m.-Noon

Book Club - Tuesday, July 20, 1 p.m.
We will be discussing Deacon King Kong by James McBride. The Zoom link will be sent to all Sisterhood members on Monday, July 19. If you are not a Sisterhood member and would like to join the discussion, please send an email to

Jewish Education

Gan Israel Preschool

Gan Israel Preschool Summer Camp
June 14 - August 20

Gan Israel Preschool will reopen for summer 2021, meeting daily from 9 AM–1 PM for children ages 3-5 with extended hours until 4 PM. Summer Camp goes for 10 weeks with themes including Down on the Farm: Circus Time Fun; Outer Space Adventures and more!

To register, contact Gan Israel Director Teri Porter at or (707) 763-5136.

Adult Education

To participate in any of the following adult education programs via Zoom, please email

Hebrew Reading Group - Mondays at 2 p.m. 
Learn how to pronounce the Hebrew letters and vowels, leading to essential Hebrew blessings and prayers used in the home and synagogue. Led by Rabbi Ted Feldman. This free class will meet every Monday at 2 p.m. via Zoom. The link will open at 1:45 p.m. and class begins at 2. For information email

Exploring the Talmud: Fridays at 11:30 a.m.
Rabbi Ted Feldman would like to invite you to join him in direct study of the text of the Talmud. The Judaism that has evolved to our day is rooted in these ancient texts which provide guidance, insight, and understanding of the spiritual and structured world of our people. Every Friday, join a foray into the section of the Talmud dealing with Berachot, blessings. This class is free and open to all interested members of the community. Send us an email at to join the Zoom session. If you are interested but not sure what to expect, please email ahead of time. The Rabbi will orient you to the context of the next class.

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:


Shelley Bauer – Backyard Beautification
Joe and Fran Piotrkowski – Backyard Beautification
Linda and Aaron Newman – Backyard Beautification
Esther Nichol – Backyard Beautification
Dru West – Backyard Beautification
Susan Richter – Backyard Beautification
Fredi Bloom – Backyard Beautification, In Memory of my mother, Miriam bat Chana v'Shaul haKohen
Mircea Rotenberg and Fanny Paz-Priant – Backyard Beautification, In Memory of Peter Bayerthal
Carolyn Kaufman – Backyard Beautification
Judy Miller – Backyard Beautification, In Honor of my friends Barry Sovel and Art Kusnetz
Sid and Gerry Lipton – In Memory of Gerry's mother, Esther Bornstein
Cynthia Weissbein Macken – Backyard Beautification
Jules and Marjorie Cohen – Backyard Beautification
Jules and Marjorie Cohen – In Memory of Marjorie's brother-in-law, Myer Zittin
Jules and Marjorie Cohen – In Memory of Marjorie's brother, Aaron Estrin
Judy Miller – In Memory of her beloved mother, Sylvia Friedman
Judy Miller – In Memory of her beloved son, David Howard Miller
Ellen Lustbader – In Appreciation of Alisa Goldberg, for her mentoring during my Torah portions
Joseph Luiz – Continued Support for Backyard Beautification
Ari and Teresa Piotrkowski – Backyard Beautification
Miriam Spross – Backyard Beautification
Marcus Webster – Backyard Beautification in Memory of beloved dog, Sammie
Ronald and Marsha Harris – Backyard Beautification
Abbey Levine – In Honor of Andrea Leland, for winning an Emmy Award for her documentary "Three Ocean Advocates"
Abbey Levine – In Memory of Nancy and Leo Tealdi's beloved cat, Boots
Doris Popky Mendell – In Memory of Preston Mendell
Doris Popky Mendell – In Memory of Jerome R. Popky


Thank you to the businesses who support our annual Golf Fundraiser! Please look here first for your goods and service needs.

Ace Promotional Specialties - Advanced Security Systems - Century 21 Bundesen - Eckhoff and Company CPAs and Advisors - Fishman Supply - Friedman's Home Improvement - O'Brien Professional Painting - Oil Stop - Out West Garage - Parent Sorensen Mortuary - Petaluma Eye Care - Petaluma Market - Quality Flooring Center - Naomi Richman, MFT - Spurgeon Painting - San Francisco Public Golf Alliance - Santa Rosa Tile Supply - Top Speed Data Communications

BIJC General Information

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Phone: (707) 762-0430
Rabbi Ted Feldman
Stuart Nissenbaum, President

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.

Fri, June 18 2021 8 Tammuz 5781