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About Congregation Shomrei Torah

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

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, 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.

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 programKIDdish for tots, youth activities including Chaverim) 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. You may still view Rabbi Stephanie's Blog and Rabbi Stephanie's Sermons.

 


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 Bagel ClubSocial 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.

 

Check our calendar for a list of services and activities!

Wed, August 4 2021 26 Av 5781