Registration is now closed for Mishpacha groups! If you have any questions, please email if you have any questions.

Dear Kehilla Community,

Have you missed chatting at kiddush? Attending classes? Do you long for connection with other Kehilla folks in these times of isolation?

We are excited  to let you know about a sweet and exciting opportunity during this unprecedented High Holy Day season. We are inviting the community to join a Mishpacha Group — a small “family-style” group of no more than 9 people that will meet either online or outdoors (with social distance protocols). Our purpose is to foster connection, community and focus leading up to and through the High Holy Days.

We’ve asked Kehilla members who have taken on leadership roles over the past year to convene a group and propose a topic or focus for the group. Below, you will find a menu of offerings that reflects the wide range of Kehilla’s interests and passions — from Talmud to meditation to art — along with the convener’s name, the proposed meeting time, and other pertinent details. We expect that most groups will meet once every other week between the beginning of Elul and the end of Sukkot.

Please follow your heart, and sign up for one of these groups. You may reconnect with people you’ve missed seeing at services, make new acquaintances, and  start the journey of awe in a newly formed “family”.

Take some time to consider taking this important step closer into the heart of Kehilla

If you’re interesting in forming a group, or have any other questions or concerns, please let Bracha Stone and Rachel Bloch know by emailing

Thank you for being part of building our beloved community in these uncertain times.


Rabbi Dev, Hazzan Shulamit, Rabbi David, Rabbi Burt, Sharon Grodin, Howard Hamburger, and Avi Rose

.Mishpacha Group Offerings

Mishpacha groups are for Kehilla members and others who intend to register for Kehilla High Holy Day Services. Register for High Holy Days here.

Most offerings are entirely online, those with potential in-person gatherings are specified. If a group attracts more than 9 applicants (or the number specified by the convener) we will do our best to create a second group.

Cherut! Freedom with Ruthie Levin
This will be a space to gather in POC community. Inspired by the concept of cheru, a Hebrew word that means “freedom,” we will actively pursue our liberation, share the ways we pursue self care, find support, and love each other up. This space is specifically for people of color.
When? Wednesday evenings.

Health Care Workers & Healers Mutual Support with Ann Finkelstein
A supportive space for all types of healers and health care workers to tell our stories, share readings and spiritual practices to help avoid burnout during this challenging time.
When? Friday evening, Shabbat day or Sunday; TBD by group.

Torah with Tadish Durbin
Let’s study the weekly parsha or Talmud together. No knowledge of Hebrew required.
When? Thursday evenings.

94619 Neighbors with Sharon Grodin
A brief Zoom to check in before Shabbat, could be while chopping vegetables! Our aim is to locate each other in space and time, and maybe physically walk around our zip code to wave at you during the High Holy Days.
When? Friday afternoons
Additional info: Open to those who live in or near the 94619 neighborhood to build community.

Teshuva in a Time of Turning with Rabbi SAM Luckey
Let’s support each others’ healing processes inside (self) and outside (relationships, community, society) amidst a swirling changing world. We will weave in some breath/body/voice work.
When? Monday Evenings

Parents of Young Children Drop-In and Chat with Jen Banta Yoshida
An opportunity for parents of kids 5 and under to connect, break the isolation of parenthood and come together in community, with or without their kids present! Looking forward to input from other parents as well.
When? Saturday or Sunday mornings; tbd.

Writing for the Days of Awe with Rabbi Chaya Gusfield [FULL]
Description: Online writing group to explore themes of HHD in preparation.
When? Sunday evenings
Additional info: We especially invite people who have not studied with Rabbi Chaya yet to join, but all are welcome.

Movement and Torah Study with Sandra Razieli
A blend of movement, Torah Study and warm discussion
When? Tuesday or Wednesday, afternoon or evening, TBD.

Shmooze with Shoshkie (Shoshana) Finacom
What is your relationship with Kehilla, with Judaism and the High Holy Days? Let’s get together and learn about one another and support each other on this journey into the new year and in these times.
When? Time TBD by Group

Focus on High Holy Days in the Context of These Troubling Times with Barbara Cohen
A “support” group focused on preparing for the HHD in the time of Covid, explicit and implicit
racism, personal losses and fears. A chance to connect, hike, talk about what the group, through discernment, thinks is important. Online and in person with social distance.
When? Sunday afternoons
Additional Info: This group is led by a white person and most participants are likely to be
white based on Kehilla membership. All are welcome.

Books for Middle Grade Readers with Rachael Reiley and Eric Silverberg
Thankfully, middle grade literature has exploded in recent years with diverse new talent that extends well beyond Judy Blume and Harry Potter. Come learn about new books that speak to our kids’ current experiences and share your favorites. Eric is a BUSD school librarian and Rachael is a school bookfair & children’s specialist at Books Inc. They will share some of their recent favorite books and you’ll leave with a lot of new ideas as well as adding your favorites to the mix.
When? Weekday afternoon or evening, TBD.

Elul Practice With Support and Company with Jane Hoberman and Ruth Minka
Weekly meeting for folks who are committed to a personal daily high holiday (Elul) practice of 20 minutes of mediation, reading psalm 27 and journaling. Meetings will be based on themes associated with the high holidays and our machzor. We may do occasional socially distant walking mediation outside together.
When? Wednesday afternoons

Reflections on the Year and the High Holy Days with Julie Litwin
An informal small group to meet in-person (socially distanced and with masks) outdoors in order to reflect on the year and the upcoming High Holy Days. Limited to 4 participants.
When? Weekday afternoons; specifics tbd by the participants

Art, Writings and Sharing to Respond to This Time with Barbara Petterson
Each of us will have art materials at hand. The mishpacha leader will provide a few quotes or short writings as prompts, but hopes participants will contribute some too. We’ll read a quote at the beginning of each meeting, discuss it all together or in small groups, make art and/or write, and come back together to share.
When? Saturdays  1 1/2 hours starting at 10 or 10:30am.

For Those of Us Who Feel We Don’t Know Enough with Marjorie Cox
As Jews who don’t know “enough” to feel comfortable at services we will look at what we
think we “need” to know and how to come to terms with our own expectations. Should be liberating and fun.
When? Afternoons on Mondays, Or the first and third Thursdays of the month; specifics tbd by group

LGBTQ+ Writing and Possibly Hiking with Ali Cannon
An LGBTQ+ writing group that will also on occasion be open to a social distance hike
When?  Mondays and/or Wednesdays; time of day tbd by group

Somatic/movement/Feeling Centered Group with Karen Rachels
Sharing our lives during these times, focusing on somatic/movement and experiential
explorations. Group will start online and may move to in person depending on members’ comfort level
When? Day and time tbd by group
Additional Info: Group will start online and may move to in person depending on members’ comfort level

Living Through Turmoil with Rachele Kanigel
Coping with the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism. We’ll discuss our feelings, coping strategies, actions we’re taking to make a difference. Hoping to stretch emotionally and delve deeply.
When? Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings, TBD by group.
Additional Info: This group is led by a white person and most participants are likely to be white based on Kehilla membership. All are welcome.