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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Schedule Opening Celebration Parking Accessibility 

SecurityRentals Sustainability 


Q: When will the new building be open?
A: As of March 29, the staff has moved into their new offices, but there will still be minor finish construction going on for several weeks after.

Q: When will we start having Shabbat services in the new building? 
A: Our first gathering for Friday night Shabbat Services is set for April 5th. Please be patient as we live in a building still undergoing finishes!

Q: Can we go on a tour? 
A: We are not conducting tours in person until the Opening Weekend Celebration because there is still finish construction going on in the building.

Q: When will all the construction be finished?
A: There will be work happening for several weeks even into May.

Q: When is the opening celebration?
A: The opening celebration weekend and dedication ceremony will be the weekend of May 3-5.

Opening Weekend Celebration

Q: How will I park during the opening weekend with so many people coming?
A: We will have professional parking facilitators for the weekend and are assessing our needs and creating a plan. The lot in front of the synagogue will be reserved for people with mobility limits. In addition to the JCC lots, there will be overflow parking at Venetia Valley School, The Mormon Church and along North San Pedro Road. Full details and maps will go out in weekly emails just before the weekend.

Q: What is happening during “open houses”?
A:  The Open Houses are times for congregants to wander through and get to know the building. In each space there will be docents and printed collateral to explain the vision behind the space, the art and architecture, and the planned use of the space.

Q: Do we need to bring a vegetarian dish for the Friday night dinner?
A: No, the dinner will be supplied by the synagogue. It will be served from several buffet tables and congregants can eat at tables in the social hall, and spaces throughout the courtyard.

Q: What are the security plans for the opening weekend?
A: The Marin Sheriff will be a visible presence for the weekend, as well as our dedicated Campus Security team, which now includes multiple additional layers of physical, technological, and human elements.

Q: Should I come to all three days -- are they different?
A: Yes! If you are able, consider coming to all three days, which have different events:  Friday will be Shabbat services, dinner, and Shabbat Unplugged with Dan Nichols; Saturday night will have a wine tasting, crafts and thought-provoking activities in each space throughout the building followed by dessert and havdalah; Sunday will be a ceremony of dedication and gratitude for those who have made this new building possible.  All three days have open houses for congregants to get to know the space.

Q: What is happening Saturday night? 
A: Doors open at 7pm, and there will be wine and live jazz in the courtyard, with an open house that includes led activities like making your own Havdalah spice box and candles, braiding and baking mini-challahs, writing a six-word Jewish Memoir, and more, throughout the building. Finally we will celebrate Havdalah in the courtyard.

Q: What is happening Sunday morning?
A: Sunday morning will be a ceremony of formal consecration and dedication and the clergy and synagogue lay leaders will thank those who have been instrumental in making this transformation happen.

Q: Should I bring kids and/or is there a kids program during the weekend?
A: Our children will be an integral part of Friday night services, and we would love to have families come with their children on Friday. Saturday is more of an adult event, and Sunday morning is the last day of religious school for the kids, but we would love for parents to stay for the adult dedication ceremony right after family t’fillah.


Q: When will the synagogue parking lot be opened?
A:   The end of March.

Q: Now that the synagogue is bigger, will parking be even harder to find?
A: No, while the synagogue is now appropriately sized for our community, the parking lot footprint has not changed.

Q: Where can I park if there is no parking in front of the new building? What if I can’t walk far?
A: Accommodations will always be made to reserve spots right in front of the synagogue for people of limited mobility, and in addition to the regular JCC lots, there is overflow parking available at Venetia Valley School, the Mormon Church, and on North San Pedro Road.


Q: I heard the sanctuary is up a flight of stairs — what do I do if I can’t climb stairs?
A: There is a large capacity elevator next to the stairs for people who cannot climb stairs. The staircase is wide, and has several landings along the way for people to rest and also to sit and contemplate the ascent to the Sanctuary.

Q: What if the elevator breaks?
A: If the elevator is ever out of service, we can enter through the JCC, take the elevator to the second floor, and enter the sanctuary above the courtyard and through the walkway past the Youth Lounge and the Indoor and Outdoor Chapels.

Q: Are there bathrooms on both floors?  
A: Yes.

Q: Are there gender neutral bathrooms?
A: Yes, all bathrooms are gender neutral.

Q: Is there a better sound system/hearing assist devices?
A:  Yes. There are sets of high-quality speakers throughout the building, and there are dedicated hearing assist devices in the sanctuary. At services, there will be a staff member to assist with their use.

Q: Is the synagogue phone number and mailing address the same?
A: The phone number is the same, (415) 479-3441 and we are returning to using our regular mailing address of 170 North San Pedro Road.

Q: Are there ramps and handrails from the parking lot and in the courtyard?
A: Yes. The entire building is ADA compliant. 

Q: What are the plans for people with disabilities if the sanctuary had to be evacuated?
A: Our security team, staff, and congregant ambassadors have been trained in emergency evacuation procedures, including caring for those with limited mobility or other disabilities.


Q: Is there going to be a security guard in front of the new building?
A: Since 2021, we have had a full campus Security Team (seen presently at the JCC entrance). They will be visible at the entrance for major synagogue gatherings.

Q: What is the procedure for getting into the new building?
A: During Shabbat services, the doors to the synagogue will be unlocked, but there will be layers of human and electronic security leading up to the synagogue. During routine business hours, the synagogue doors will be locked, but there will be a staff member sitting at a desk in the foyer greeting and buzzing people in.

Q: Can we enter the new building from the JCC or Brandeis from the courtyard?
A: Yes. The courtyard was in part created to connect our community and our partner organizations -- the JCC and Brandeis will have full access to the courtyard.


Q: Is the Social Hall available for rentals for b’nai mitzvah, weddings etc? What is the pricing?
A: Yes, the Social Hall and other spaces in the synagogue are available as rentals. Contact Sofie for details and pricing at

Q: Are spaces other than the Social Hall available to rent?
A: Yes. The Chapel, Sanctuary, multipurpose rooms and Community Meeting Room are available on a limited basis. Contact Sofie for details.


Q: Is there solar energy being used in the new building?
A:  Yes, part of the remodel includes placing solar panels on the Brandeis roof and the synagogue roof. 

Q:  Is the building LEED certified?
A:  We did not pursue LEED certification due to the high cost of certification, but we have elected to voluntarily pursue the highest tier of green building code-compliance in Marin County. Many factors will contribute to a high-performing sustainable building and landscape: an energy-efficient building envelope, natural daylighting and solar shading, solar panels, high performance lighting, heating and cooling systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, air filtration systems, natural and non-off-gassing interior and exterior materials, drought-tolerant planting, a "smart" irrigation system and exterior pervious paving, bioswales for storm water treatment, and more.

Q: Is there air conditioning in the new building?
A: Yes, a state-of-the-art HVAC system is part of the new building, and it is fitted with an air filtering system to help reduce wildfire particulate matter and virus transmission from indoor air.


Tue, May 28 2024 20 Iyar 5784