Location for ALL SERVICES Except 2nd Day of Rosh Hashanah: The Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave, Berkeley (conveniently located 7 blocks from the downtown central Berkeley stop of BART, one block north of U.C. Berkeley campus). (2nd Day of Rosh Hashanah at 951 Cragmont Ave. Berkeley).
Beyt Tikkun's services are filled with spiritual highs, joyous moments, psychological and intellectual sophistication. They are a wonderful way to meet new people, become a part of a welcoming community, and connect to the richness of the Jewish tradition, its music, its history, its constantly evolving theology and new rituals, yet still doing most of the traditional prayers and rituals, sometimes in Hebrew, sometimes in English. Many people bring non-Jewish friends to show them what is so exciting about Judaism as done with seriousness and joy at Beyt Tikkun.
High Holidays in the Trump years must address the reality we Jews are facing. Beyt Tikkun Synagogue Without Walls is the synagogue that last year organized a nonviolent "No to Racism and anti-Semitism-Yes to Love and Justice" demonstration and prayerful interfaith gathering the day before the right-wing extremists with their message of racism and anti-Semitism came to Berkeley, and this year helped initiate with Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives a national campaign of visible protest against the outrageous policy of taking children away from parents seeking refuge and asylum in the U.S. Our small community is made up of people who are activists and others who seek to build a world of love and justice, what Rabbi Lerner calls The Caring Society-Caring for Each Other and Caring for the Earth. The traditional High Holiday liturgy calls for a unity of all people on this planet around goals of healing and transforming our world (tikkun olam).
These holy days are meant to be the time each year Jews focus on the ways we as individuals and we as a society have "missed the mark," gone astray from that which is most holy and ethically coherent in us, and how to return to our highest selves. We call this process "teshuva" (return, or answering the call of the holy spiritual force of the universe, aka God). That fundamental transformation (both on the personal level and the societal level) is actually possible is what it means for us to believe in God as Yud Hey Vav Hey (pronounced Adonai)--the Force of Healing and Transformation. God is the Force that makes possible transcending all the messages of despair and cynicism so that we can become agents of the tikkun-ing (healing, repair and transformation) of ourselves and our world.
Our services on High Holidays are NOT only about healing our deeply troubled society. We'll also be celebrating --with awe and radical amazement -- the grandeur of the universe. Rosh Hashanah is meant to be a birthday party for the earth. That's another reason the Hasidim say one must be joyous on Rosh Hashanah! So we will sing, dance, meditate, have guided visualizations, go outside in the beautiful setting of Pacific School of Religion and there ask Earth for forgiveness for the way humanity has betrayed our obligation to take care of her, and in many other ways celebrate this new beginning that the High Holidays are meant to offer us and all humanity!! All humanity. Non-Jews are very welcome and often get quite a bit out of attending our services.
We will also be encouraging participants in our services to use the period from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur to take a serious look at where we are on our own path of inner psycho-spiritual growth and make plans for how to advance toward more fully being the beautiful embodiment of the God-energy of the universe that each of us already is (partially). We will supply you with a spiritual workbook to help guide you in this process.
In addition to holding a Friday night Shabbat celebration at the Rabbi's house or Torah study once a month, we come together to celebrate all of the major Jewish holidays with community celebrations in the Beyt Tikkun sukkah on Sukkot, on Chanukah with candle lighting and dancing and latkes, and a communal Seder on Passover, and enjoy cultural and educational outings. Memberships are offered at a sliding fee scale, so no one is excluded.
Sunday, September 9th 7pm, Rosh Hashanah Eve
Monday September 10th 9am, 1st day of Rosh Hashanah with Shofar blowing and a catered lunch
Tuesday, September 11 9:30am. 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah (if you sign up for one other Rosh Hashanah service, the 2nd day is free) Service is at 951 Cragmont Ave, Berkeley)
Tuesday September 18th 6:45pm, Kol Nidrey (eve of Yom Kippur)
Wednesday, September 19th 9:30am: Yom Kippur Including Torah reading, Yizkor memorial service for our departed relatives-and anyone else in your life whom you wish to remember), Isaiah's fiery Haftorah, the late afternoon reading of the Book of Jonah at 5:45 p.m., and the concluding service Ne'ilah followed by a vegetarian pot-luck break-the-fast meal at 8 p.m.)
JOIN AS A MEMBER:
Please consider joining our synagogue. When you become a member, you get High Holiday services for free (but tell us please which ones you will actually attend so we can buy the appropriate amount of food for the catered lunch on first day of Rosh Hashanah and for the pot-luck break-the-fast at the end of Yom Kippur).
Membership in Beyt Tikkun costs 1% of your annual household or family income, but not less than $400 for a couple and $300 for a single person. And of course,if you really really really can't afford that, but feel deeply aligned with us, then just tell us what you can afford--because our bottom line is not money but solidarity! So if you really really really can't afford these prices, just tell us your annual income and we'll work together tofind an amount you can afford. Call Chris at 510 644 1200. On the other hand, as a community that is without big donors, we'd deeply appreciate your making a tax-deductible contribution even if you are unable to be with us this year for services. If you are not ready to join as a member, for non-members there is a sliding fee scale.
If you are joining as a member, figure out how much you are willing to pay within our guidelines (or help us out now by making a significantly larger donation--Beyt Tikkun is a 501-c-3 nonprofit and your donations are tax-deductible), and send a check made out to Beyt Tikkun and sent to Beyt Tikkun, 951 Cragmont Ave, Berkeley, Ca. 94708 (and include a piece of paper telling us which specific High Holiday services you are planning to attend).
Since we follow the Jewish law about not dealing with money on the Sabbath, this is the only time in the year when we make an appeal for your financial help to Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls. So even if you don't join, but feel supportive of what we are trying to do, you can send a tax-deductible donation check to Beyt Tikkun, 951 Cragmont Ave, Berkeley, Ca. 94708. Or give your credit card info to Chris at 510 644 1200.
QUESTIONS: If you have read through the links on this website and have questions that are not answered, email Chris.email@example.com or call Chris at 510 644 1200.
WHERE: The Pacific School of Religion: 1798 Scenic Ave. Berkeley, CA (except 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah which will be held at 951 Cragmont Ave, Berkeley).
TICKETS: Anyone who really wants to pray with us will be able to come at a price they can afford. We have a sliding fee scale according to your household income. Our fees are far lower than most Bay Area Synagogue.
Services will be under the leadership of Rabbi Michael Lerner.
Rabbi Michael Lerner is a founder and editor of Tikkun Magazine, chair of the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives, rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue in Berkeley and author of eleven books, including: Jewish Renewal, The Politics of Meaning, Jews and Blacks (with Cornel West), The Left Hand of God: Taking back our Country from the Religous Right, and Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy for Middle East Peace.
Cat Zavis, a lawyer, mediator, and trainer of empathic communication, is the Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives.
Ami Goodman, MD has led services for many Bay Area synagogues and will be co-leading High Holidays with Rabbi Lerner at Beyt Tikkun this year.
Abby Caplin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician whose passion is to counsel and help people heal and live empowered lives.
The damage being done to the earth. We will discuss the ESRA--Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as a first concrete step to help save the life support system of planet Earth. And on Yom Kippur we will do a special ceremony in which we literally go outside, lie on earth, and ask the earth for forgiveness while re-affirming our commitment to protect her.
The horrendous treatment of refugees. Our Jewish values teaches us to love the stranger, welcome them, and care for them. The U.S. has been doing just the opposite.
The dismantling of programs to help the poor, the homeless, and middle income people while transferring wealth to the already wealthy.
The racism that manifests not only in discrimination but in overt acts of violence by racist hooligans and by racist police.
The continuing reality of sexism and homophobia (though here we also celebrate the emergence of the #MeToo movement that has had a profound effect in raising consciousness about the abuse many women and many LGBTQ people face on a daily basis).
The growth of reactionary forms of nationalism both in the U.S. and around the world.
The Occupation of the West Bank, after 51 years, continues, with continuing demolition of Palestinian homes and the grabbing of Palestinian lands for Jewish settlers, the blockade of Gaza which has led to starvation for some and a willingness on the part of others to risk their lives out of desperation at the conditions imposed on them by Israel. In July 2018 the Israeli government created a new law that effectively declares Israel a state for the Jews but not equally for the 2 million non-Jews (Palestinians, Druze, African refugees and many others). It also arrested a Conservative Judaism rabbi for performing a marriage ceremony (since only Orthodox rabbis are permitted to do so), banned the adoption of children by gays and lesbians, and the Netanyahu government abandoned its promise to give Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Renewal Jewish women equal ability to pray at the Wall and read Torah there. It is a shonda (disgrace) that this country continues to call itself The Jewish State when it tramples so solidly on Jewish values. Yet, we know that it is not anger but compassion that will change any of this, so we repent with love in our hearts and a recognition that our Jewish people are still suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from 2000 years of oppression, expulsion from our ancient homeland, expulsion from country after country, pogroms, discrimination, and genocide. While none of this should obscure the immorality of its current policies, we approach these problems with righteous indignation but also with compassion for all sides (including compassion for the suffering of the Palestinian people) and a recognition of how oppression and PTSD often leads people to act in irrational and self-destructive ways. So our outrage is mixed with sadness and grief at the way that Israel's hurtful and distorted policies has led many young Jews to distance themselves from Judaism out of perfectly correct moral outrage. While we are also critical of Palestinians for having failed to take the steps necessary to build on the moments when Israel seemed ready to take positive steps toward peace, we recognize that it is the right-wing forces in Israel that have kept Israel from making peace offers that would seriously deal with the suffering of millions of Palestinian refugees around the world, and that now, with the support of Trump, Putin, and a number of fascistic dictators around the world, has led to Israel taking steps that are being seen as ending the democratic and human rights supporting policies which Israel proclaimed in its Declaration of Indepdendence in 1948. With humility and frustration, with repentance and compassion, we recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to support the peace-and-justice oriented forces in both Israel and Palestine.
On High Holidays we take collective responsibility for each of the communities of which we are part, including the US, Canada or other Western societies of which we are citizens, and including Israel for which as Jews and Americans (our tax dollars directly and indirectly helping finance the Occupation of the West Bank). And the triumph of these forces in the U.S. is in part a product of the many failures of liberal and progressive movements (read our analysis of the Psychopathology of the 2016 Election and our New Strategy for Progressives and also our Path to a World of Love and Justice) to treat those who do not yet support our worldview with the respect that every human being deserves, allowing our totally righteous attack on racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, antiSemitism and xenophobia take the form of assuming that everyone who wasn't on our side must be an embodiment of these sicknesses of the soul. This, too, we repent.
If you have read through the links on this website and have questions that are not answered, email Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org or call Chris at 510 644 1200.