Rodef Sholom: A Reform Jewish Congregation in Marin County, California

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Annual Meeting: June 14, 8 pm

Posted by: meredith

The annual meeting of the congregation will be held on Thursday, June 14th at 8:00 pm in the social hall. The agenda for the meeting will include:

  • Election of officers of the Board of Directors;
  • Report on the affairs of the congregation; and
  • Recognition of board members finishing their terms of service.


Annual Meeting notice: June 14

Posted by: meredith

The annual meeting of the congregation will be held on Thursday, June 14th at 8:00 pm in the social hall. The agenda for the meeting will include:

  • Election of officers of the Board of Directors;
  • Report on the affairs of the congregation; and
  • Recognition of board members finishing their terms of service.


Shake off the winter blues at Mexico in Marin:   Saturday, Cinco de Mayo (May 5), 7 to 10 pm, Social Hall

Spring is finally here and it is time to have a party! Bring your dancing shoes as we party to the sounds of congregant Ed Zimmerman and the Levytes Dance Band (with a special appearance from Dan Nichols). We will have fabulous Mexican food prepared by Jacquie Gribens and her team, beer, wine & margaritas, fine wine tasting with Sid Soll (for $18), a live auction consisting of 3 premium items, hourly raffle prizes & more! 

The cost is $36 per person if you RSVP to Pete at pete@rodefsholom.org or 479.3441 by Monday, April 30 or $40 per person at the door. This cost includes food and two drinks.   If you have questions or you want to help out, call Jacquie Gribens at 472.2777.


Last week marked the opening of the men’s homeless shelter at Rodef Sholom. For the fourth year we will be providing a warm meal and safe and warm place for 40 men to sleep on Wednesday nights. Last Wednesday we had over 12 adults and 20 Rodef Sholom religious school and midrasha students serving food and entertaining our guests. Jamie Weinstein is organizing this year’s volunteers and if you are interested in getting involved, contact her at dinyolla@gmail.com.

Furthermore, in appreciation for the outstanding dedication of our clergy, Rabbi Stacy Friedman will be taking a portion of her much-deserved sabbatical beginning in early December. By mutual agreement it was decided that dividing up a 6 month sabbatical this year into 3 shorter segments would be in the best interests of the congregation. From December to mid-January, Rabbi Friedman will be taking time for renewal and rejuvenation from her position as our Senior Rabbi. In the spring of 2013 she will complete her sabbatical time. We are thankful for the leadership, spiritual guidance, and vision Rabbi Friedman brings to Rodef Sholom and are happy we can provide this opportunity to her for spiritual renewal, regeneration and recreation.

I hope you will join me in counting the many blessings we have and give thanks for the loving and caring community we have here at Rodef Sholom.

L’shalom,

Marc Press, President Board of Directors


On Erev Rosh Hashanah, I shared my vision for working with you to raise our “Sacred Capital,” a reference from Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman’s book ReThinking Synagogues. I spoke about what you could do to help us raise Sacred Capital at Rodef Sholom by showing up with your heart, spirit, mind and soul to deepen the meaning and purpose of all that we do, and to support one another throughout the years. Since that time, and with the help of Rabbi Hoffman’s most recent book, Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary, the board of directors, clergy, and many congregants have begun a process to ensure that all of the great individual initiatives at Rodef Sholom—Mitzvah Kitchen, Nichum (comfort through connection, e.g., visiting the sick, delivering meals and comforting mourners) Moreh Derech (Jewish guides who welcome and engage new members), Kol Hamishpacha (whole family education) Mitzvah Day, Tzedek Circles (social action projects created to help people do what they believe in—together), and more—work together to create a visionary whole that is—as a whole—more relevant to you and to our community. This will undoubtedly be a long-term process, but a process with enormous dividends for all of us.

Although the board feels an inspired imperative to focus on the long term health of the congregation, we also have a responsibility to ensure that our current operations operate in an efficient and financially sustainable manner. Like so many in our community, our congregation has been hard hit by the economic downturn. After two years of revenue shortfalls, achieving a balanced budget has required painful cuts to programs and positions held dear. Nonetheless, in accordance with the bylaws and our consciences, we adopted what we believed would be a balanced budget, including a repayment to the reserves from which we borrowed to meet prior shortfalls. Yet in spite of our most diligent planning and difficult spending cuts, we are once again facing a revenue shortfall.

This year, 62% of our members asked for a scholarship with their annual membership. As you know, Rodef Sholom does not deny membership or religious school to anyone for an inability to make payment in full. This policy, forged with great thought and care by those who founded this sacred home, reflects our deep concern for the spiritual health of all who cross our threshold and our commitment to ensuring that our spiritual home is a fully welcoming one.

Yet this holy commitment has financial implications, particularly during a time like this when so many are in need for so many years in a row. It is with gratitude that I share how generously many of you have responded to help us address this shortfall. Through the Tradition of Giving and other gifts, you have kept on track the programs and people we all cherish. Thank you. I wish I could report that our work in this regard was done, but it is not. And we will continue to reach out to all of you to ask for your help.

Next month, the Voice will include an article from our treasurer, Jay Bellin, about the status of our budget discussions. Following that, our finance committee and board will be finalizing and approving next year’s budget. Many very difficult decisions will have to be made. 

Therefore, I have two urgent requests for you. First, please contact me and share with me your ideas for how to preserve what we have, grow to new heights and care for all those who need us. Second, when your membership renewal arrives in May, please consider thoughtfully whether you still need to receive every dollar of scholarship aid you have received in the past. If you do, we will be there for you. If you can do more, I assure you every dollar pledged makes an important difference.

Finally, on February 1, many of you were present at a funeral for a beloved member of our community, a young man who died suddenly, leaving behind a wife and young child. He grew up in our congregation and he taught at Rodef Sholom. Led by our clergy, more than 800 people gathered to support and carry his family through this time of indescribable grief.   It was a day where nothing short of Sacred Community would do and a day in which the Sacred Capital of our congregational home was abundant.   We need one another. And I am so very grateful to be entrusted with the job of ensuring we will be here for one another in strength, spirit and love now and for generations to come. 

L'shalom, 

Marc Press


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