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Elul is the last month of the Jewish year and the final month prior to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. This is a month in which to spiritually prepare for the High Holiday season of reflection and repentance.

Elul is traditionally a time of introspection and personal stock-taking, known in Hebrew as cheshbon hanefesh — literally “an accounting of the soul.” This process is conducted in preparation for Rosh Hashanah when, Jewish tradition teaches, all of humanity is called to account and a divine judgment is issued. The customs associated with Elul are all intended to help cultivate the proper mindset for this preparation.


B'nai Havurah Elul Programs

We are grateful to the CBG Family Fund for making these Elul learning opportunities available. 

Writing and Reflection Prompts for Elul
Daily, August 18 - September 15

Rabbi Katie Mizrahi

Writing can be a profound spiritual practice. In the days of Elul, leading up to the High Holy Days, use these questions each day as a way to practice the soul accounting essential to teshuvah.

Find your daily Elul writing and reflection prompts HERE.  


Jewels of Elul
Elul 1 (August 18) through Elul 28 (September 14)
On Facebook and Instagram

Are you following B'nai Havurah on Facebook and/or Instagram?

We are happy to share a post a day during the month of Elul called Jewels of Elul, on both of these social media platforms starting Elul 1 (Friday, August 18th).  Jewels of Elul is a journey coordinated by artist Craig Taubman.  Last year, he chose the  theme of “On Their Shoulders,” for the daily readings and this led to some wonderfully intimate stories that have been read by people around the world.

Jewels of Elul is an initiative of the Pico Union Project, a non-profit dedicated to building and uplifting community. If you were moved by these stories that we will be sharing with you over the next 28 days, you can find more inspiration at

Each "Jewel" will be accompanied by a video made for us by  B'nai member Ted Levin.  He will be blowing the shofar to remind us to pay attention each day.   Ted's shofar video will set the mood for your daily Jewel of Elul.

You will find us on Facebook at and Instagram at We hope you will visit one of these sites every morning during the month of Elul for your daily Jewel. 



Starting the New Year with Health and Vision: 
A Guide to the Simanim on Rosh Hashanah 

Monday, August 21
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
On Zoom only

Joan Wallis, Chair, B’nai Havurah High Holiday Committee

Learn to make a delicious simanim salad.  This salad incorporates many significant simanim, symbolic foods that we eat on Rosh Hashanah in the hopes of being blessed with a sweet and fruitful new year. .

View the recipe HERE.  

Registration required:  CLICK HERE.  

Kol Shofar:  Wake Up!

Saturday, August 26
After Shabbat Services (approximately 11:30 AM)

In person only at B'nai East

A Kiddush lunch sponsored by our CBG Family Fund will be served after services and  before our program.  

Debbie Goodman, B'nai Havurah Program Coordinator

The shofar is one of the most notable and meaningful symbols of the High Holiday season.  The significance of the shofar blasts has been a topic of discussion in the Jewish tradition for centuries.  In the modern era, questions have arisen around some of the traditional practices related to the Shofar, including whether the Shofar can be sounded on Shabbat.  In this session we'll explore both traditional wisdom, as well as some contemporary thinking about the shofar.    

Ongoing Conversations on Experiencing Aging -- Facing Mortality and the High Holy Days

Thursday, August 31
1:00 - 2:30 PM
In person only at B'nai East

Rabbi Katie Mizrahi, B'nai Havurah

This month, our conversation on aging will be facilitated by Rabbi Katie and will focus on the themes of mortality as they arise in High Holy Day liturgy and teachings.  We will use some traditional texts as a starting point for our sharing and discussion.   

The program will begin with social time and a nosh.  

Registration required:  CLICK HERE.  


Malchuyot for Feminists and Atheists:   Approaches to Divine Sovereignty for Those Who Struggle to Call God King

Friday, September 1
11:00 AM

On Zoom only

Rabbi Katie Mizrahi, B’nai Havurah

Have you ever struggled with the idea of God as King?  Has the language of traditional liturgy ever left you feeling alienated rather than inspired? If so, you are not alone, particularly among Reconstructionists.  Our home grown High Holy Day prayer book at B’nai Havurah goes a long way to bring forward poetic alternatives, but questions remain.  Why did our ancestors choose this way to imagine God and what are the implications of doing so?  Is there anything redeemable to the idea of God as King? 

Join Rabbi Katie online for a discussion and text study session in which we will explore the real problems with the idea of God as the King of Kings as well as the possibility that such a theology poses a radical challenge to human authoritarianism, and invites us to consider the limits of our own power and understanding.  

CLICK HERE to register.  

Bubbe and Zayde? The "New" Jewish Grandparent

Thursday, September 7
6:00 - 7:30 PM
On Zoom only

Rabbi Richard Address, Director, Jewish Sacred Aging

How have Boomers impacted grandparenting?  This session will include a look at the first national survey of Jewish grandparents and how we can benefit from the findings.  We will discuss some of the issues that this generation of grandparents now deal with:  grandchildren of interfaith marriages, trans grandchildren, changing relationships with adult children, our own changes in relationships, losses, challenges, legacy and love.  

To register, and for more information and the Zoom link, CLICK HERE

Sat, April 20 2024 12 Nisan 5784