Kehilla Activist Invokes Art to Spur Societal Transformation and Economic Justice

by Bill Lazarus Greeting cards might seem to be the last place to create new consciousness. Hallmark, after all, largely dominates the field, and typically speaks to a suburban, white-picket-fence mindset tied to traditional values, while leaving so many people, perhaps most people, feeling varying degrees of alienation. But for Kehilla member and activist Eveline […]

The January Leadership Retreat: Pointing Towards Renewing Our Future

by The Leadership Planning Team:  Malka Stover-Kemp, Marcie Rubel, Anna Martin, Joel Kreisberg, Rabbi Dev Noily and Michael Saxe-Taller During the first weekend of February, a group of almost 70 Kehilla members gathered for the first Leadership Retreat. With the four stated goals of making connections, creating a shared narrative, better understanding leadership, and envisioning […]

An Interview with Kehilla Member Anna Couey

by Bill Lazarus [Editor’s Note: We will, from time to time, be publishing interviews with Kehilla members, so we all can get to know each other better.  If you know of a member who you think would be a good interview subject, please let us know!  Contact Sasha at or (510) 547-2424 x100.] Kehilla […]

Darkness, My Home

by Lynn Bravewomon   My/our heart beats, into the expanse of dark warm pulsing, Spreading, reaching into the possibility, extending into and within the infinite Living spirit in dreams, pulsing into dreams, birthing visions of the yet to come.   Into fecund darkness of our sacred seasons and always, May our candle light be not […]

Board Member SAM Luckey Enrolls in Rabbinical School

by Laird Harrison Managing what Kehilla has faced in recent years – the stress of the financial crisis, civic strife from the Bay Area to the Middle East, and three changes of executive directors – has demanded the skills of an acrobat. It’s a good thing we had one. SAM Luckey finished her last performance […]

Report Back from Kehilla Activist Student & Her Social-Justice Arrest

[Note from Rabbi David: Rosa Petterson has been a part of Kehilla from birth. She was a high school activist on LGBTQI issues and during that time, she gave an inspiring High Holy Day sermon to the congregation. Child of David Lee and Barbara Petterson, Rosa has continued her activism into University of California Santa […]

A Spark of the Messiah: A Message for Passover

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson Enslavement is not just external. The Ba’al Shem Tov taught that it was not only the bodies of Israelites who were enslaved, but their consciousness, their awareness as well. What does this mean? It means that the people had internalized their slavery and had come to accept it. And this internalization […]

Eulogy for Susan Schacht

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson Losing Susan has been a shocking blow to all of us who were privileged to know her. I am so glad that family and friends have assembled here today to remember and honor her memory. I’d like to share with you some of the significant details about her life. I want […]

Niggun Contemplation by Rabbi Burt Jacobson (High Holydays 2013/5774)

Good evening and L’shanah tova . . . This High Holy Day season we’ve been emphasizing the notion of teshuvah, the process of personal change and transformation. But teshuvah is not always good or praiseworthy. There are some harmful ways of attempting to change. Let me tell you a Hasidic story about a simple man […]

A Sermon for High Holydays by Rabbi Burt Jacobson (5774/2013)

The Ba’al Shem’s Teshuvah               As you probably know, the Hebrew concept of teshuvah has to do with personal and communal change and transformation. This afternoon I’d like to speak with you about the place of teshuvah in the life of the Ba’al Shem Tov. Many of you know who the Ba’al Shem Tov […]