Welcome to Kehillat Haverim. Kehillat Haverim is Hebrew for a community of friends. We are based in the Tri-Valley (Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, Dublin and Livermore) on the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. I am creating this blog as a way to grow my community and as a safe place to explore ideas among friends at a time when the world feels so chaotic.
My recent 6-year journey through rabbinical school was powerful and exhilarating and transformative. But what I learned in the classroom was only part of the story. As my thinking expanded, I talked to you, my friends and family, and together we explored these ideas in more depth. I loved the conversations we had on our bikes, on our walks and at our dinner table.
Much of what enriches my life happens at our Friday night dinner table, in our backyard sukkah, at our Academy Awards party, on bike rides, and on the beach. For me, an authentic Jewish life is less about strict adherence to Jewish law and more about living our lives in community and engagement with Jewish ideas. Over time, I am hoping that Kehillat Haverim will grow into a community of friends, living our lives in community under the umbrella of Jewish values and nurtured by Jewish tradition. I hope many of us will gather on a monthly basis for Shabbat dinner to mark the end of the work week; to enjoy each other’s company; and of course, to partake of really good food. And as opportunities arise for other gatherings (gourmet potlucks in the sukkah, Passover cooperative dinners, Havdalah wine tastings), I’ll post that information too.
Regarding our chaotic world, what is happening to our society today is not o.k. I need your help as I determine where to put my energy in response. I’ve never been an activist but to quote Hillel “If not now, when?”
So, let’s get this party started. What do you think?
Jamie Hyams was ordained in 2021 as a rabbi by the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles (AJRCA) and serves as a Rabbi at Congregation P’nai Tikvah in Las Vegas. She is a member of OHALAH, the Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal and is hoping to join the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Assembly. AJRCA is a trans-denominational, pluralistic institution dedicated to the training of rabbis, cantors, chaplains, and other Jewish communal leaders who are uniquely qualified to meet the needs of the 21st century American Jewish community.
Judith Markowitz adds warmth and joy through song and melody to our gatherings.