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Petaluma's Inclusive Center for Jewish Life

Adapting to Our New Normal

In light of COVID 19 and the safety measures now in place, all Shabbat services, programs and community activities, including the Community Seder, are suspended through May 1, 2020. We plan to resume Shabbat services at BIJC on Saturday, May 2, 2020. You will continue to receive the weekly newsletter by e-mail every Wednesday (it will also continue to be posted here on the website by end-of-day every Thursday).

Shabbat Services Continue on Zoom

Our "new normal" will include, among other things, 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.

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. 

BIJC Joins the Blogosphere!

In consideration of the rapidly changing times in which we live, we have created a special blog, a place where our members, families and friends can stay connected and support each other through writings and other media. You can read it and sign up at

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!

14 Nisan, 5780 | April 8, 2020

Passover Information

Wednesday, April 8 
Candle lighting at 7:23 p.m.
Passover beings at sundown

Thursday, April 9
Passover Day 1
Passover Zoom service, 10 a.m.
The Zoom session will open at 9:45 a.m.

Thursday, April 9
Virtual Passover Seder, 6 p.m.
The "virtual room" will be open at 5:30 p.m. as an opportunity for people to catch up with each other. The Seder will begin at 6.

Wednesday, April 15
Passover, Day 7
Service via Zoom at 10 a.m. 

Weekly Shabbat Information

Friday, April 10
Candle lighting at 7:25 p.m. 
Passover Day 2 begins at sundown

Saturday, April 11
Passover Day 3 / Shabbat Chol HaMoed
Shabbat Zoom Service at 10 a.m. 
Virtual Teen Seder, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Sponsored by Sonoma Regional Jewish Teen Initiative.

Friday, April 17
Zoom Friday Night Shabbat Service at 7 p.m.

Thoughts on the Shabbat Reading

Chol HaMoed Pesach
Exodus 33:12-34:26; Numbers 28:19-25
Ezekiel: 37:1-14

Chol HaMoed are the intermediary days of two multi-day holidays: Passover (Pesach) and Sukkot, spanning from the third to the sixth day of Passover, and on Sukkot, from the third day until Shemini Atzeret (8th day of Sukkot). In Israel, Chol HaMoed for both Passover and Sukkot begin on the second day.

The Torah reading for Shabbat Chol HaMoed is taken from Parasha Ki Tisa - in the aftermath of the Golden Calf, as Moses resumes his dialog with God to plead for Israel's reconciliation and pardon. God reveals himself, not physically ("Man cannot see me and live"), but by the nature of his relationship with humanity: merciful but just (The 13 Attributes, Ex. 34:6-7). The additional (maftir) reading describes the sacrifices for Passover. The prophetic reading (haftarah) declares Ezekiel's ecstatic vision of bringing "dry bones" back to life, symbolizing national regeneration after the Babylonian exile.

Yahrzeits for April 11-17, 2020

Check back on Friday for this week's Yahrzeits.

Mourner's Kaddish

Exalted and hallowed be God's great name
in the world which God created, according to plan.
May God's majesty be revealed in the days of our lifetime
and the life of all Israel - speedily, imminently,
To which we say: Amen.

Blessed be God's great name to all eternity.

Blessed, praised, honored, exalted,
extolled, glorified, adored, and lauded
be the name of the Holy Blessed One,
beyond all earthly words and songs of blessing, praise, and comfort.
To which we say: Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and all Israel.
To which we say: Amen.

May the One who creates harmony on high, bring peace to us and to all Israel.
To which we say: Amen.

BIJC & Community News

Upcoming Meetings

All board and committee meetings through at least May 1 will be conducted through Zoom, telephone or other electronic methods. Contact Rabbi Ted Feldman for info.

  • Friday, April 17, 10 a.m. Program Committee meeting

PASSOVER 5780: A Virtual Seder Experience

Thursday, April 9, 6 p.m.
Join us for our first-ever Virtual Seder experience on Zoom! Starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9, Rabbi Ted Feldman will lead the one-hour service with music by cantor Fredi Bloom. It will focus on the pre-meal portion of the Passover Haggadah. This new format is still in the planning stages, and we hope to include ways to make the experience interactive. Participation is limited to 95 addresses, though each address may have multiple viewers.

The "virtual room" will be open at 5:30 p.m. as an opportunity for people to catch up with each other. The Seder will begin at 6.

Talking with Rabbi Ted

While live programming has been suspended, Rabbi Ted Feldman's bi-weekly radio program will continue with featured shows from the archives. The next episode will be re-run on Thursday, April 9, 10-11 a.m. on Petaluma Community Access radio KPCA 103.3 FM. You can also catch up on the entire broadcast history of the last two years on Apple Podcasts and I Heart Radio.

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 

Upcoming BIJC Events

Programming and events will resume after May 1

See our full events calendar

Upcoming Community Events

Saturday, April 11 - Virtual Teen Seder
The second annual (and first-ever virtual) Teen Seder will be held over Zoom from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on April 11. Sponsored by the Sonoma Regional Jewish Teen Initiative. For more information or to RSVP, please e-mail

Community Opportunities and Events

Send a Seder Sack This Passover

Join Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco in our community-wide mitzvah to brighten the holiday for hundreds of neighbors!

Show homebound seniors, people with disabilities, and families in crisis that their community cares by donating a Seder Sack for delivery by JFCS volunteers.

Your gift of $18 will provide one household in need with a delicious assortment of foods to celebrate Passover. Offer a Chai Five for $90 and fill five Seder Sacks!

Make your gift in honor or in memory of someone dear to you, and we'll send a Passover greeting or memorial card on your behalf.

Please donate today! Donations can be made online here, or by phone at 415-449-1206. Or, mail your donation to:
Attn: Seder Sacks, JFCS, PO Box 159004, San Francisco, CA  94115

Other Opportunities and Events

  • 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 due to COVID-19. 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!

Ongoing Sisterhood Events

  • BIJC Community Cookbook on sale for $19.95 until all copies are gone. Info: / 707-559-5090.
  • Sisterhood Mahjong - canceled until further notice
  • Sisterhood Book Group - Meets bimonthly, open to all BIJC members and guests. Upcoming meetings canceled until further notice due to COVID-19. Info: / 707-559-5090.

Jewish Education

Gan Israel Preschool

The preschool is closed due to COVID-19. For information, contact Program Director  Leslee Lauritzen

Summer Program
June 16-August 20
Learn more and download our application here.

Shabbat Connect

Shabbat Connect meets two Saturdays per month. Free to all members and prospective members. For more information, contact Hillary Fox, Outreach and Programming Director.
Learn more.

Adult Education

Israel From Many Perspectives: Adult Ed Lecture Series
The final installment of this lecture series has been postponed due to COVID-19. Please watch this space for rescheduling information.
Learn more.

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:


Deborah Breiner Grund - In Memory of Irwin Miller
Ellen and David Lustbader - In Memory of Palani Velloo
Judy Miller - In Memory of her brother-in-law, Aaron Miller
Carol Newman and Barry Sovel - In Memory of Barry's mother, Rae Sovel, and grandmother, Gussie Sovel
Aaron and Linda Newman - In Memory of Palani Velloo
Joanne Kahalas - In Memory of Irwin Miller
Sid and Gerry Lipton - To the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund
Rhonda Goodman and Martin Hymowitz - In Memory of Barry Gordon
Rhonda Goodman and Martin Hymowitz - In Memory of Palani Velloo
Rhonda Goodman and Martin Hymowitz - To the Backyard Beautification 
Anne Gilbert - In Memory of Palani Velloo
Anne Gilbert - In Memory of Irwin Miller
Anne Gilbert - To the Backyard Beautification
Fran and Joey Piotrkowski - In Memory of Palani Velloo
Rick Gorman - To the Online Auction
Steve and Anna Heffron - In Memory of Barry Gordon
Steve and Anna Heffron - In Memory of Irwin Miller
Steve and Anna Heffron - In Memory of Palani Velloo
In Grateful Acknowledgement of Contributions from the Community Seder: Louise Leff, Sela & Stu Nissenbaum, Brendon Kelly, Jim Stern, Heather Muir, Abbey Levine, Karen Chambliss Abraham, Carolyn Kaufman, Esther Nichol, Judy Miller, Ellen Lustbader, Bill Cordell, Erica Stuart, Linda Newman, Dru West, The George Flynn Family, The Beauhaire Family, The Wilson-Seppa Family, The Coopersmith Family, The Newberger Family, Stan and Hedda Gold, Anne Gilbert, Gayle Alvarez
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - In Memory of Barry Gordon
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - In Memory of Irwin Miller
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - In Memory of her brother, Robert Chambliss
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - In Memory of her mother, Julia Ramona Chambliss
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - In Memory of Palani Velloo
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - In Memory of Rae Sovel
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - In Memory of Gussie Sovel
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - In Memory of her first cousin, Rita Labovitch
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - In Honor of Rabbi Ted Feldman for "going the extra mile"
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - Happy Birthday to Liora Feldman
Karen Chambliss-Abraham - Happy Birthday to Nancy Tealdi


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.

Thu, April 9 2020 15 Nisan 5780