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Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  ( has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.

Several months ago I was approached by a “Limmud Bay Area” organizer to join their all-volunteer staff and become the program’s “Rabbinic Shabbat Consultant” for their upcoming shabbaton to be held on the campus of Sonoma State University on the weekend of June 25-28.

It seemed that this would be a great opportunity for me to “get out there” and meet a whole bunch of SF Jews that I otherwise would never encounter. I therefore, gladly accepted the invitation. Since then I’ve been quite busy addressing a variety of Shabbat related issues such as: electronic keys; creating an Eruv; electronic sensors for toilets, sinks and lighting; catering related issues; and much more. It's been both challenging and fun. The people involved are a diverse bunch and share a love for learning about Jewish related topics.

Now that a significant part of the programming has been put into place to allow for a fully shomer Shabbat environment, I’d like to invite you to join me for an enriching Shabbat experience where we will have a great opportunity to share with and learn from others. The shabbaton can only accommodate around three hundred people and reservations are on a first come first serve basis – so don’t delay!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Or register online.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with “Limmud” let me give you a little background.

Limmud Bay Area is a gathering of Jews from all parts of the San Francisco Bay, from all walks of life, all Jewish backgrounds, all lifestyles, and all ages. A series of workshops, discussions, nature walks, text-study, art projects, performances and much more, in a retreat like setting – which is uniquely planned, produced and enjoyed by a network of “volunticipators”.

However Limmud isn’t limited to the Bay Area.

Limmud International

Limmud Bay Area is a link in the chain of more than 70 locations worldwide in which Limmud volunteers create Limmud festivals. The movement has grown from the original weeklong Limmud UK held each December at university campus into a principled yet diverse network of Jewish communities spanning North America, South America, Israel, Western and Central Europe, Former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia and Oceania. There are 18 Limmud communities in the United States and eight in Israel. In 2013 for the first time, Hong Kong, Peru, India and Montenegro. A movement like no other, Limmud is a recognized new worldwide Jewish phenomenon!

Who is invited to the Limmud Bay Area Experience 2015?

Everyone! Singles, couples, kids, parents, students, homemakers, executives, professionals, retirees and free agents; lawyers, teachers, techies, artists, executives, doctors, poets; observant Jews and cultural Jews; Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazic Jews and non-hereditary Jews; Russian, Israeli and Latin American Jews; non-Jewish partners in Jewish families; gay Jews and straight Jews; “affiliated” and not. Folks who have been Jewishly involved their whole lives, those who are just beginning to explore their Jewish journeys – if only they saw a place to start, and those who fit in both camps simultaneously. Every denomination, including “trans” and “post”. Every generation. Did we forget anyone? We hope volunticipating friends and family will extend the invitation!
In sum, Limmud Bay Area is…

an independent, grassroots nonprofit effort dedicated to celebrating Jewish life and learning in all of its diversity by bringing together Jews of all backgrounds and all ages for a uniquely Bay Area edition of the retreat experience that has already changed Jewish history in communities around the world.…us.

Commitment to Respect

We expect our participants to act respectfully to each other, including to all volunteers. We are committed to treating all of our participants, and all sessions presented, with equal respect. No-one is more important than anyone else.

Religious Observance

We recognize that in private areas people will behave as they choose, but we believe in the importance of enabling Shabbat and kashrut to be kept in all public areas as far as possible, so that Jews do not have to separate themselves one from another.