Kol Nidre Sermon by Rabbi David Cooper: “God, the Covenant, and the Inside-Outsider”

Ellis Island Story Referenced in Sermon Introduction to Hagar & Ishmael Torah Excerpt (Genesis 21:9-21) A few years ago, I was dropping my son Lev off at college. I helped set up his part of the dorm room and it was time for me to leave. I turned to look at him and I thought, […]

Yom Kippur Reflection by Scott and Rose Gelfand

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in High Holy Days, High Holyday Sermons | No Comments

Scott: Good morning everyone and happy New Year. I am deeply honored to be here, along with my daughter Rose, and also eternally grateful to Kehilla for creating a sanctuary and community for all of us. We were given the task to speak this morning about home and exile, and about our family journey. In […]

Rosh Hashanah Sermon by Rabbi Avi Rose

During the past year, I along with all of us, have been immersed in images of people fleeing, escaping war and persecution, crowding into barely habitable places where they aren’t welcome, casting their fate to flimsy boats crossing dangerous waters, crowding across borders, risking everything for an uncertain future. This is not a new story. […]

Kol Nidre Sermon 5775/2015 by Rabbi David J. Cooper

Shibboleth Words, Labels, “Commonsense” & Resistance During these Holy Days we have examined the power of words as part of our spiritual journey. Tonight I want to examine that the way we use words and hear words connects to our politics and to our values. I want to consider that words can mean so much […]

Yom Kippur Day Sermon 5776/2015 by Ruthie Levin

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in High Holyday Sermons, Sermons | No Comments

Withholding One’s Words When I read the theme in preparation for this year’s High Holiday Services it made me think about the words we say and do not say to one another. The theme made me think of the vitriolic discourse of our current presidential hopefuls, and it made me think of the hateful words […]

Yom Kippur Day Teaching 5776/2015 by Rabbi Burt Jacobson

Judging Others Israel Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of the 18th century Hasidic movement, was not only a mystic and a spiritual teacher; he was also a shamanic healer, and he would travel from town to town in southeastern Poland offering his services to people with physical or psychic ailments. His reputation was widespread and […]

Rosh Hashanah Day Sermon 5776/2015 by Howard Hamburger

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in High Holyday Sermons, Sermons | No Comments

Get comfortable; I’m going to talk for a little while. Later in the morning, Rabbi David will lead us in the Torah service; we’ll chant how the Torah describes the creation of the universe. Traditionally, we treat Rosh Hashanah as the birthday of the world, a day of beginnings. This year, our High Holiday theme […]

Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon 5776/2015 by Rabbi Dev Noily

Standing Together, Right Smack in the Middle of the Torah   Speech as Spiritual Practice When my partner Sara and I were younger and first together, probably in our late 20s, around “Glitter”[1] age, we used to go to Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco on Friday nights. There were lots of interesting people, and […]

A Sermon for Kol Nidre by Rabbi David J. Cooper (High Holydays 5774/2013)

Tzedakah, Right Conduct, and the Face of the Other Unetaneh Tokef, a prayer only said on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur morning is a really scary prayer. I remember almost 30 years ago Rabbi Burt and I preparing for some High Holyday service and talking about the love hate relationship we had with it and […]

“Embracing Uncertainty: A Sermon for Kol Nidrey Night” by Rabbi David J. Cooper

The energy of attempt is greater than the surety of stasis Mary Oliver   In late June, I was in New York and I had my first opportunity to go to the Pride Parade in Manhattan. Marilyn and I sat on the sidewalk on 5th avenue with her friend Mimi. For some reason, as my […]