Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Just about everything you’d want to know about Congregation B’nai Shalom.
Welcome to Congregation B’nai Shalom, where you’ll find a dynamic blend of inclusiveness and egalitarianism, a commitment to Jewish Tradition and many opportunities to explore contemporary prayer alternatives. Our goal is to make B’nai Shalom the place where you can find your Jewish voice.
Are seats for High Holy Day services included in the membership dues?
Seats for High Holy Days are included in membership. For details, please contact the office at 925.934.9446.
Are our facilities handicapped accessible?
All our facilities are accessible to the mobility impaired. All new construction complies with applicable ADA requirements.
What is the role of women in the B’nai Shalom Kehilla?
Congregation B’nai Shalom practices egalitarian Conservative Judaism. Women are involved in all phases of religious life and rituals, including reading Torah and Haftarah, leading parts of services, and acting as Gabbai (Torah reading aide). B’nai Shalom welcomes and encourages the participation of women in our services.
How many member households does B’nai Shalom have?
Congregation B’nai Shalom currently has approximately 300 member households.
What is the B’nai Shalom pre-school like?
Gan B’nai Shalom is a five-day-a-week Jewish early childhood center for children two to five years old. This intimate, family-oriented program functions as an important part of the larger B’nai Shalom community. Gan means “Garden” in Hebrew, and, like a garden, our preschool program lays the educational seeds, waters them, and promotes the emotional, social, spiritual and cognitive growth of our children. Its ‘garden tools’ are the variety of stimulating experiences it provides in a respectful, loving, fun Jewish environment. Learn more about our preschool: Gan B’nai Shalom
What is the B’nai Shalom Religious School like?
At B’nai Shalom, we believe that Jewish learning should be a meaningful process that brings the individual into a relationship with God, history, tradition, and community. Our Torah School is a religious school that will speak to the heart, mind and soul of your child while providing a variety of formal and informal contexts through which to experience Jewish life. We strive to provide stimulating programs for all our students and their families. Our goal is to instill in our children a lifelong love of and commitment to Conservative egalitarian Jewish religious practice, principles and ethics. Learn more about our Torah School: Torah School
Please describe the Adult Education Program.
To meet your busy schedule, B’nai Shalom Adult Education offers learning opportunities at a variety of times and days. Classes and discussion groups are typically scheduled for Sunday afternoons, Wednesday mornings, or Friday evenings. Throughout the year, you’re invited to drop in Wednesdays at 10am for the vibrant discussion group with Hazzan Dinkin. Weekend opportunities can include informal discussion sessions after the Saturday Kiddush luncheon, as well as the regularly scheduled bi-monthly group discussion of the Torah portion of the week, Torah Plus, with noted scholar Nitziah Shaked, on alternate Saturdays at 9:15 a.m. If you are interested in learning Hebrew, join the Sunday morning Hebrew Chavurah. Learn more about Adult Education
What programming is typically offered by the B’nai Shalom Men’s Club and Sisterhood?
B’nai Shalom’s Sisterhood and Men’s Club were established in 1967 and are an integral part of our synagogue community. They provide both informal, social gatherings that help build the ‘social glue’ of our community, as well as purposeful programs that benefit B’nai Shalom and the world beyond its walls.
Learn more about our Sisterhood and its programs: Sisterhood
Learn more about the Men’s Club and its programs: Men’s Club
What kind of activities does the seniors’ group offer?
Hachamim—The Wise Ones—is a group for members who are at least 60 years of age or couples with one partner who is at least 60. Participants enjoy cultural, social and service programs and share an interest in supporting the synagogue and the larger community. Our group is affiliated with the worldwide Hazak movement of Masorti Judaism.
What if I can’t pay full dues?
We have a special committee whose function is to meet with members in a private, confidential setting to discuss possible temporary or permanent adjustments to the regular dues levels. No one is turned away for inability to pay dues.
What is the B’nai Shalom dues structure?
B’nai Shalom has a variety of dues categories to fit the various stages of our members’ lives. Click here to see our dues structure.
What are the new member incentives?
At various times we have offered special new member incentives. Click here to learn about our current incentives.
Is there a special dues rate for seniors?
There is a special dues category for our retired members. Click here to see our dues structure.