Committees & Initiatives

Netivot Shalom has a wide range of programs and a diverse membership that welcome your participation! If you haven’t already joined us for services or one of our classes, we invite you to do so. One of our great strengths is the active participation of our members in all aspects of congregational life. We are a participatory, egalitarian congregation. Members lead services, plan classes and events, give drashot, and celebrate Shabbat, festivals, and lifecycle events together in our homes and at shul. This list of our committees and initiatives provides an overview of the many opportunities to participate in our community.

Click the arrow to view contact information and recent updates for our committees and initiatives.

ADULT EDUCATION
Adult Education organizes opportunities for the congregation to study together, from after-kiddush talks (may they come again speedily in our days), to Scholars in Residence, evening classes, and regular torah study and talmud study sessions. Help us come up with ideas for new classes and talks and then make them happen!
chair

Joel Gerwein

Email Us

torahstudy@netivotshalom.org

Current News

Check out our calendar for the Torah Study schedule.

Make sure to check out the calendar for new classes.

ANTIRACISM INITIATIVE
The Antiracism Initiative is a group of members dedicated to addressing social and economic injustice through antiracist learning and action. It is a community-wide project rooted in the question, “What does it mean to be an antiracist synagogue?” The initiative is led by a Community Council composed of community members which is accountable to the Board.
COmmunity Council
  • Co-Leads: R. Becky Joseph, Deborah Yager 
  • Board Liaison: Joel Biatch 
  • Adult Education Committee Liaison: Stephen Tobias 
  • Security and Access Committee Liaisons: Serena Heaslip, Joe Meresman 
  • Stop Antisemitism Committee Liaison: Dorit Dorenz, Moshe Gottlieb
  • Climate Tzedek Liaison: Shosh Blachman
Working Group Leads/Co-Leads 
  • Indigenous Peoples Solidarity: Lauren Callen, R. Dorothy Richman, Marit Doshi  
  • Reparations: Joan Bradus  
Email Us

antiracism@netivotshalom.org

Current News

Check out our newsletter here!

Upcoming Community Council (CC) Meetings (link here):
Wednesday, 12/29,  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, 1/26/2022,  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, 2/23,  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, 3/23,  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, 4/20,  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, 5/25,  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, 6/22,  7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Fordham University is offering a year-long webinar series, “Black Studies and Jewish Studies in Conversation” focused on conceptual connections and contrasts between the experiences of Jews and Black people, the interrelated histories, narratives, politics, and cultures. Although recent events have brought back awareness of the connections between antisemitism and racism, a point raised by W.E.B. Du Bois decades ago, as core characteristics of white supremacy, this series directs the lens on the intersections of Jewish and Black experiences, not just anti-Black racist and antisemitic ideologies. Begins Tuesday, 10/5, 1:00 pm. Full info and registration here.

Bystander Intervention Training by Hollaback Consider attending a free Zoom Bystander Intervention training workshop  through Hollaback.  In response to the rise in Anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment, we at Hollaback! partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC to adapt our free bystander intervention training as well as offering a de-escalation training adapted to support the AAPI community. To meet this moment and offer trainings to communities nationwide, we partnered with Asian American Advancing Justice| Asian Law CaucusAsian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago. Here is the list of the training offered. Click to jump directly to each workshop description:

Please be sure to take a close look at our compilation of Antiracism resources and actions. 

Do you have an idea for an anti-racism project? Submit a proposal to the Antiracism Coordinating Team. 

CHEVRA KADISHA
The Chevra Kadisha Committee (“sacred community”) tends to the deceased and to the mourners.
Co-chairs

Mary Breiner and Shari Rifas

Email Us

chevrakadisha@netivotshalom.org

CHRONIC PAIN SUPPORT GROUP
CLIMATE TZEDEK
Climate Tzedek is a coordinating committee that works to engage our Congregation Netivot Shalom community to address the climate crisis and promote environmental justice. We work to support education and action at the household, synagogue, local, state, national and international level to cut greenhouse gas emissions, including moving off of fossil fuels. This includes promoting a fair and just transition to 100% renewable energy and engaging in a range of other actions that nurture healthy and sustainable communities and ecosystems. Climate justice issues are also racial justice issues and we do this work as Jewish anti-racists. 
Co-chairs

Mark Schlosberg and Ariel Gold

Email Us

climatework@netivotshalom.org

COVID-19 RESPONSE TEAM
This committee develops Covid-19 protocols for the synagogue based on the requirements set by the City of Berkeley, the County of Alameda and the State of California. It also takes into account the health and safety of the congregation.
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE (Fundraising and Outreach)
Our community is stronger when we all participate. Our committee fosters connections by reaching out to our community to encourage support and encourage participation. Members of the congregation are encouraged to renew and to get involved. If you like getting to know our members, then you may enjoy serving on this committee to get to know others and help them give back to our community. In addition, the Legacy Committee is part of the fundraising committee.
Co-chairs

Betsy Ross and Jonathan Stern

Legacy Chair

Alix Derby Salkin

Email Us

developmentcommittee@netivotshalom.org

EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The Education Committee represents a cross-section of the congregation’s stakeholders in youth and family programming and education and serves as a liaison between the Youth and Family Education Director (YFED) and the Congregation. The committee acts as a sounding board and brainstorming group for developing program ideas. They help evaluate priorities and support the YFED in areas such as family engagement, recruitment, curriculum assessment, communications, event calendar, budget, and ritual life practice. The committee also supports fundraising efforts, as well as the implementation of youth and family events.
Chair

Ariel Feinberg Berson

FINANCE COMMITTEE
This committee oversees the monetary health of CNS.  This includes 1) monitoring current payables and receivables; 2) helping formulate and monitor the annual budget; 3) develop and approve financial policies and procedures; 4) participate in strategic/longer-range planning for the synagogue; and special projects (such as the evaluation of solar panels)
CHAIR

Norma Kaufman

Email Us

treasurer@netivotshalom.org

GEMILUT HASADIM (“bestowing kindnesses” such as caring for the ill)
Combined with Bikur Cholim. Provides meals, rides, visits, calls, etc. to members who need help.
HOUSE COMMITTEE
A great committee to be a part of – no meetings, no agendas! Just be on hand before, during, and after services every now and then to help open the building, set up chairs, etc. 
COORDINATOR

Serena Heaslip, Facility Manager

Email Us

facility@netivotshalom.org

KESHER COMMITTEE
This committee is charged with growing our paying membership at Netivot. We explore ideas, look for trends in data, advise staff, plan, and execute outreach strategies to transform prospective members into dues-paying members. As part of our work, we may evaluate or develop policies, processes, collateral, and/or events in the service of growing membership as well.

Our committee is comprised of people who are thinking about how to grow our paying membership at Netivot. We wonder: when a non-member expresses an interest in Netivot Shalom by attending services, participating in a program, by calling the office with an inquiry, etc., what can we do to transform that nascent interest into membership in our community? What are the most effective outreach strategies for bringing these folks in? How can event participation data help us develop an effective membership recruitment strategy? What policies, processes, collateral, and events will best facilitate the journey from non-member to member? What actions might we take to help grow Netivot’s membership?
Chair

Alison Schwartzbaum

Email Us

kesher@netivotshalom.org.

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MIKDASH MEMBERSHIP EXPERIENCE TEAM
Recognizing that creativity is required during the Coronavirus pandemic to keep our synagogue community connected and thriving and our members engaged, the Netivot Shalom “MIKDASH/ Membership Experience Team” serves to create positive member experiences. For the holidays and throughout the year, the MIKDASH/Membership Experience Team will (a) build relationships within the community, (b) develop new leaders, (c) create new “experiences” for engagement, while traditional services and gatherings are suspended and (d) establish a structure for building positive member experiences that will continue beyond this pandemic.
Coordinator

Rabbi Chai Levy

Email Us

rabbi@netivotshalom.org

RETREAT COMMITTEE
Help plan Netivot Shalom’s next retreat scheduled for spring, 2022.
CHAIR

Josh Gressel

Email Us

retreat@netivotshalom.org

RITUAL COMMITTEE
This committee discusses issues related to how ritual services/events operate and organizes volunteers to help coordinate these events.
Chair

Ron Sires

Coordinators

Alice Webber (Torah Reading/Leining), Cynthia Whitehead (Drash), Eugene Berg (Davening), Liora Brosbe (Gabbai)

Email Us

ritualchair@netivotshalom.org

leining@netivotshalom.org

drash@netivotshalom.org

davening@netivotshalom.org

liora.brosbe@gmail.com

SECURITY AND ACCESS COMMITTEE
The mission of the Security and Access Committee  is to enable all members, guests, and staff of the CNS community to feel safe, secure, and welcome, and that the building should be available to be used for all appropriate activities.  We oversee improvements to the physical security of the building, provide advice and consultation, develop policy and procedures, training for emergency response, needs assessment, grant writing, and documentation of security issues.
CHAIR

Lynne Yellenberg

Email Us

securitycomm@netivotshalom.org

CURRENT NEWS

Current priorities: updated emergency protocols for those using the building, planning for security improvements, including a new emergency exit path to Addison Street, resuming Incident Command System training, fundraising. We are looking for a few new SAC members to help us with those tasks.

STOP ANTISEMITISM COMMITTEE
The Stop Antisemitism Committee is dedicated to the education of our CNS Community and other Jewish community members about antisemitism so that we can work against the rise in antisemitism in all its forms.  We meet to plan educational programs and actions.
CHAIR

Dorothea Dorenz and Art Braufman

EMAIL US

stopantisemitismcommittee@netivotshalom.org

VZOT YISRAEL (“and this is Israel”)
The V’Zot Yisrael Committee The V’zot Yisrael Committee is dedicated to educating the CNS community about all aspects of Iife in Israel through presentations of talks, Israeli films, an Israeli author book group,  an Intermediate Hebrew chug and the celebration of Yom Atzmaot, Israel Independence Day, and Yom haZikaron, to honor the memory of those who fought in wars to defend Israel and those who died in terror attacks. Our goal is to strengthen our understanding and ties to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.
Chair

Dorothea Dorenz

Email Us

vezotyisrael@netivotshalom.org

Current News

Attend our monthly events on the first Sunday of the month.

Check the calendar to keep up with our other programs, such as film and lecture discussions.

Book Group meets on the second Tuesday of every other month from 7:30-9pm to discuss books by Israeli authors. Click here to see a list of books that we have read. Click here to see suggestions for future book readings.

Chug Ivrit meets the first and third Sunday of every month from 4-5:30pm.

YOUNG ADULTS
A home for progressive young adults with opportunities to serve, learn, and connect. For folks 18 and over.
Email Us

ya@netivotshalom.org

Current News

Sign up for our email updates here, and check out and follow our Facebook page for current event information. We are recruiting new committee members too, email us to help shape our beautiful community!

COORDINATORS (not listed above)
Many volunteers regularly coordinate programs and services for our communities outside of a committee or initiative. Click the arrow to view their contact info.

Beyond Small Talk – Karen Bovarnick Contact: owlioop@aol.com

Greeters – Lyssa Jaye Contact: lyssajaye@yahoo.com

Kiddush – Josh and Noga Gressel  Contact: kiddushcoordinator@netivotshalom.org

Knetivot Knits – Sandra Gore  Contact: slgore@maybug.com

Library – Barbara Bibel, Sandra Gore, David Stein Contact: cnslibrary@netivotshalom.org

Men’s Shelter – Katya Gerwein Contact: kgerwein@gmail.com

New Babies – R.Chai Levy Contact: rabbi@netivotshalom.org

Shabbat Schmooze – Caroline Taymor Contact: ctaymor@hey.com

Shabbat B’Yachad – Alex Diamant Contact: sby@netivotshalom.org

Wednesday Morning Minyan – R. Stuart Kelman Contact: stuart.kelman@gmail.com