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 journey through rabbinical school is powerful and exhilarating and transformative. But what I am learning in the classroom is only part of the story. As my thinking expands, I talk to you, my friends, and together we explore these ideas in more depth. I am loving the conversations we are having 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 is a 5th-year rabbinical student at the Academy of Jewish Religion in Los Angeles (AJRCA) and serves as the Student Rabbi at Congregation P’nai Tikvah in Las Vegas. She is a student member of OHALAH, the Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal. 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.
Jenifer Zetlan is an Embodied Spiritual Facilitator through Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal