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Congregation Shomrei Torah

Our Mission

  • To worship God in accordance with the beliefs and teachings of Reform Judaism.
  • To cultivate and nurture in ourselves and our children a love and understanding of Jewish heritage.
  • To develop a sensitive, caring and supportive congregational community where all are welcome and included.
  • To act with responsibility and compassion in our community.
  • To support the principles of equality, freedom and shalom among all peoples.
 

Congregation Shomrei Torah is the home of progressive Reform Judaism in Sonoma County. Blending the traditional with the innovative, we are a diverse, inclusive and socially conscious community that provides a doorway to Jewish life through worship, study, social action, fellowship, and play.

Our congregation is a welcoming community for households of every variety. Our clergy are available to marry interfaith and same-sex couples, and our facilities are available to host weddings and other life-cycle celebrations. Click here to read about interfaith families at Shomrei Torah.

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A Bit of History

Shomrei Torah was founded in 1974 by a group of eleven Sonoma County families.

The name they chose for their new congregation translates as “Keepers of Torah” in honor of our Holocaust Torah, which was rescued from Strakonice, Czechoslovakia, and is on permanent loan from a foundation in Westminster, England. Click here to watch "Fom the Ashes: The History of Our Czech Torah".

In 1989, the congregation engaged Rabbi Michael Robinson as its first permanent rabbi.

With his focus on social justice and good works in the community, Rabbi Michael extended his reputation as a social activist, tirelessly advocating on behalf of Sonoma County’s homeless population and in favor of gun control, among other pressing issues. During his tenure, Rabbi Michael built bridges between Shomrei Torah and other faith groups in the area and guided the congregation as it more than doubled in size.

In 1996, Shomrei Torah engaged our current and first full-time rabbi, Rabbi George Gittleman.

Rabbi George’s extraordinary energy, spiritual passion and intellectual fervor have led us to start and strengthen many programs, expand our presence in the local faith community, and build Shomrei Torah’s presence as a leading regional religious institution.

In 1998, we opened our own Religious School to share and pass on our heritage and Reform traditions to the next generation.

Since our Religious School opened, we have enjoyed significant growth. We also offer an Early Childhood program for the youngest members of our congregation family. In 2001, we launched Chaverim, our youth group, to serve the needs of our teens as well as young people from throughout the larger Jewish community.

On April 26, 2007 we opened our new synagogue on Bennett Valley Road.

In 2004, after sharing space for many years with Christ Church United Methodist, we began construction of our current home on a beautiful 6 1/2-acre site overlooking Santa Rosa. Building our new home was truly a community effort. Members and friends contributed hundreds of hours of volunteer labor in planning, planting, building fences, cleaning, and moving.

In 2011, Rabbi Stephanie Kramer joined Shomrei Torah as Associate Rabbi & Education Director.

Rabbi Kramer oversaw all aspects of congregational education, including STaRS Religious School, the B’nei Mitzvah program, KIDdish for tots, youth activities, and Lifelong Learning. In July 2021, we said farewell to Rabbi Stephanie as she began her new journey as Senior Rabbi for a congregation in Kansas. 

In June 2024, Rabbi George Gittleman will retire as our Senior Rabbi and we will welcome Rabbi Andi Berlin as our Interim Rabbi. 

Read more about our Rabbinic Transition here.

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You are Welcome Here

Today, the 450+ member households of Shomrei Torah comprise the largest Jewish congregation in Sonoma County, and the fastest-growing congregation in the North Bay.

We have an active Social Action CommitteeLifeLong Learning programs and many active Chavurah groups. We take pride in welcoming new members and visitors from all styles of families, economic levels and social and spiritual interests, ages, races and abilities. Welcoming interfaith families, people who are single, and LGBTQ+.

Learn about Membership at Shomrei Torah.

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Please, No Scents... It just makes sense.

To protect our attendees and staff, CST is a fragrance and scent-free facility. For some, perfumes, colognes, scented body lotions or hair products can cause headaches, migraines, asthma attacks, difficulty breathing, and skin reactions. You never know who will end up seated next to you, so please choose scent-free products when visiting. Thank you for your consideration to others. Concerns about scents or odors should be directed to the office.

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Masking

We want you to feel safe and comfortable at Shomrei Torah.

Congregation Shomrei Torah continues to seek to minimize any health threat to elderly and medically vulnerable members of our community and our guests:

-Masks are optional but welcome.  Bring your own or feel free to take a disposable one from the basket on the welcome table.

-Air purifiers are located in primary meeting spaces.  Note that they are capable of circulating the air throughout the entire room, including the central areas.

-A dispenser for hand sanitizer is available at the back on the sanctuary.

-Feel free to move chairs for distancing or ask for help to rearrange seating. Our staff and volunteers welcome requests for assistance. 

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Thu, April 25 2024 17 Nisan 5784