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Our Synagogue

On April 29, 2007 we dedicated our new synagogue on a hilltop overlooking Santa Rosa, California. 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.

Our Playground

In August, 2017 our dream of a new playground became a reality.  Thanks to many generous donations, our children now have a safe, fun place to play during Religious School, after services and other events!

 

Our Outdoor Chapel

Congregants occasionally enjoy a small gathering under the majestic oak in our Outdoor Chapel. Follow the gravel path next to our playground to visit this special location on our campus.

 

Our Tzedakah Box

A Labor of Love, CST’s New Tzedakah Box Combines Art, Beauty and Charity

More than a year in the making, Shomrei Torah’s newly installed Tzedakah box is now accepting donations. The box was designed by CST member Linda Weiss in collaboration with Rabbi George Gittleman and Ben Benson. It was handcrafted by Weiss, a noted silversmith, and by cabinetmaker Greg Zall. The colored glasswork is by Dr. Charlie Catlett.

Our new Tzedakah box was conceived as a gift from the congregation to Rabbi George on the occasion of the 18th anniversary of his rabbinate–his “chai” year. The 18-inch tall box is made of natural cherry wood and depicts an olive branch on each side made of inlaid argentium sterling silver. In addition to symbolizing peace, the olive branches are a visual link to the nearby Heritage Cabinet, the bima furniture, and the signature olive tree on the patio just outside the building entrance. The colored glass panels on either side of the box, illuminated by interior LED bulbs, correlate to the twelve tribes of Israel. Next time you enter Shomrei Torah, please take a moment to admire this work of art, and consider making a donation, 100% of which will directly benefit those in need.

 

Kir HaKavod Wall

Visit the Kir HaKavod wall, located in Shalom Hall.  This special wall commemorates special occasions; honoring special life-cycle events, and remembering our loved ones.

Members as well non-members may purchase pomegranates and leaves to be displayed on this wall. You, too, can add a pomegranate or leaf, download the form HERE.

 

Our Sanctuary

Aytz Chaim – The upward-lifting sidelights to the Aron Hakodesh (the ark that holds the Torahs) depict the theme “It is a tree of life.”

The random array of Hebrew letters or Tohu V’vohu (primoridal chaos), represent the raw material of the universe billowing outward on the winds of creation.

On the left side, the Tohu V’vohu spell out the passage from Genesis 28:16; saying “…Surely the Lord is present, and I did not know it…”, from Jacob’s dream. The letters highlighted in gold leaf read “Tzeddek,” which means righteousness. On the right side, the Tohu  V’vohu spell out part of Bereshit, the creation story.  The Hebrew word “Ahava,” highlighted in gold leaf, means love.

Also in these sidelights are depicted Biblical fruits. Grapes and figs are a symbol of redemption, as it is said, “For they shall sit everyone under their grapevine or their fig, with no one to disturb their peace.” The almond tree, the first tree to flower in the spring here in Sonoma County, is the traditional symbol of the Tabernacle. These windows also depict native Sonoma County plants including the California poppy, the California live oak and native wild strawberries.

A pomegranate tree bearing eighteen pomegranates decorates the Aron Hakodesh doors in a setting of the Biblical Garden. Over the Aron Hakodesh, the stars align to spell the word Echad, meaning one, and reminding us of the oneness of God. The twelve “jewels” on either side of the ark represent the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

Yahrzeit Memorial Wall

May they be remembered for a blessing.

Our Yahrzeit memorial wall is located in the back of our sanctuary.  Our yahrzeit memorial wall signifies a traditional act of remembrance, commemorating the loss of those we love.

Members as well as non-members may purchase a yahrzeit memorial plaque for our wall, please fill out the form HERE.

 

Shalom Hall Windows

“These are the obligations without measure, who’s reward, too, is without measure.”

 WINDOW 1: HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER

A father, a mother, and a child are a family, which looks at the world in a Jewish way.  In a global age, we live in the whole world.  We see the world for what it is and we honor our parents by honoring the traditions which sustained them.

WINDOW 2: PERFORM DEEDS OF LOVE AND KINDNESS

According to the Rabbis, the pomegranate contains 613 seeds. For this reason, it has become a symbol of Torah, which contains 613 laws. God gave us the Torah, but it takes our hands to shake out the mitzvot and to give them life and action in the world. This is the essence of the holy collaboration, which defines the relationship of the Jewish people to God.

WINDOW 3: ATTEND THE HOUSE OF STUDY DAILY

In the Yeshiva, it is traditional for the Rabbis who are in training there to engage in a type of head-to-head study, called pil pul, in which they sit across the table from each other trading interpretations of the same text.  This process of imagination, introspection, confrontation and investigation is at the  base of all Jewish learning.  Note that the text on the page lists the ten obligations without measure.

 

WINDOW 4: WELCOME THE STRANGER

Welcoming the stranger is an action.  It’s about grasping the idea of equality.  It’s about touching other people; it’s about pulling people up.  It’s about holding on to your own humanity by reaching out to those whose humanity is under assault.

WINDOW 5: VISIT THE SICK

There is hardly anything simpler than a flower, or anything more infinitely complex and beautiful.  People need simple things, especially when they are feeling low and vulnerable, because people are also infinitely complex and beautiful.

WINDOW 6: REJOICE WITH THE BRIDE AND GROOM

God gives us the grape and we make the wine. With this wine we bless every occasion of our lives. With the bride and groom, we are commanded to raise our cups of wine and to tip them back.

 

WINDOW 7: CONSOLE THE BEREAVED

The ragged edge of torn cloth is a symbol of Jewish mourning; it depicts a distinct and razor sharp edge between life and the unknown.

 

WINDOW 8: PRAY WITH SINCERITY

Some things, which initially appear to be separated, might actually be connected, once you can see the entire picture.  This tallit (prayer shawl) symbolizes Jewish worship, through which we, with kavanah (intention), seek to connect to the maker of the entire picture.

WINDOW 9: MAKE PEACE WHERE THERE IS STRIFE

The olive branch, heavy with fruit, symbolizes peace and plenty.

 

WINDOW 10: THE STUDY OF TORAH IS EQUAL TO THEM ALL

In this image, the viewer is looking up at the Torah, which is very clear and simple, compared with the delicately carved tool, which we use to read it with, the yad (which means “hand”). This yad points to us.

 


The Making of our Torah Mantles


AED (Automatic Emergency Defibrillator)

Located above the drinking fountain near the temple bathrooms. If someone is unconscious, having a heart attack or another medical emergency, call 911 first! But don’t be afraid to get the AED. It is simple to use: JUST TURN IT ON! It will tell you what to do. It literally can save a life, though we hope it never needs to be used.

Thu, July 9 2020 17 Tammuz 5780