Michael Chertok

Categories: Va'ad

Sha’ar Zahav is more than my community; it’s my chosen family. I joined twenty years ago after attending High Holy Day services. I was so struck by how these rituals celebrated a diversity of beliefs and identities that were consistent with my values—and offered deeper meaning in my life and my Jewish experience.

Over the years, I have changed and the community has changed with me. Now, I find myself connecting most deeply with the meditation chavurah and the joyous music and dancing that accompany our Shabbes beat services. I bring the high I get from these services with me in my work as a social entrepreneur, serving on a management team of a social business that employs youth from poor families in Cambodia, Laos and Kenya–and veterans and military spouses in Virginia.

I’ve also found community through volunteering on a range of Sha’ar Zahav committees, task forces and events. Before starting my term as President, I was especially focused on our identity work and how we support our membership to become more engaged.

I believe we find holiness in our connections with others.  Sha’ar Zahav has helped me to become a better self. I am deeply grateful to our clergy and to so many members for their mentorship and support.

Recent blog posts

The Bay Area Reporter: LGBT Jewish synagogue celebrates 40th anniversary

Read some of the latest articles about our community! LGBT Jewish synagogue celebrates 40th anniversary   Poll finds many LGBT people eschew religion

Read more

Religious School Year 2017-2018

2017-2018 School Year Registration

Read more

Membership Renewal

click here to make dues payment now

Read more