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Update - December 26, 2021

As we enter another period of uncertainty related to the latest variant of Covid-19, we are continuously monitoring the situation and making necessary adjustments to our programming to protect the health and safety of our community, and to do our part to help prevent viral spread.

As such, for the first half of January, we are moving as many programs as possible to online-only. Several programs were already scheduled to be online-only. Other programs will be adapted to be held remotely. A few programs will be postponed.

We anticipate that by early January we will have a better understanding of Omicron’s impact in our area and will be well placed to decide when and which in-person events ought to return from the second half of January onwards.

For now, the following events will be online-only:
  • Friday night Shabbat services through January 21st
  • Wednesday Evening Adult Ed Programming
  • Saturday Morning Torah Study
Additionally, the JCAL spring semester start-date has been delayed until Sunday, January 23rd.

For latest information and updates, please see our regular weekly eScribe, other email messages, and our website

If you or family members are in need of assistance or pastoral support please contact Sue Penn at

Please stay safe and healthy and have a Happy Secular New Year.

Update - October 1, 2021

All are welcome to join us on campus again for services and programs as listed in our weekly eScribe (click here to subscribe). While masks remain optional for our vaccinated members, we request that all unvaccinated adults and children (over the age of 2) wear a mask upon entering the building. For events outside masks and social distancing are encouraged but optional.

Update - August 2, 2021

In view of new information coming to light about the Delta variant and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to limit in-person TBY events on campus to Shabbat and Holy Day observances and lifecycle events.
For the time being all other classes and gatherings, including meetings with clergy will be held via zoom only, or will be rescheduled to a later date.
It is our hope that this will enable us to be together for our holiest moments while continuing to contribute to public health efforts to reign in this latest surge of cases.
We still look forward in just a few weeks to welcoming you for High Holy Day services in-person (for those who are vaccinated and so choose), or online.
We are watching events closely and will continue to respond as necessary and keep you informed in a timely manner.

High Holy Day Services Announcement - July 30, 2021

With the Rosh Hashanah just over 6 weeks away, I’d like to share an update on where we are in our planning.

I want you to know that we are striving to provide something meaningful and engaging for all our members, of all ages. Whether you chose to come in person or enjoy the Holy Days from the comfort of your own home, we look forward to seeing you, engaging with you, and ensuring that you have the High Holy Day experience you are looking for.

This year we are offering three ways to engage with our High Holy Day services, plus exciting options for our youngest members.

First, we are thrilled to welcome fully vaccinated individuals into the Sonenshine Family Sanctuary to celebrate the in person.

We trust our members to only attend in-person if fully vaccinated.  The only exception to the vaccine requirement will be in the case of children under 12 years of age who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated and are accompanied by a vaccinated older family member. These unvaccinated children will be required to wear a well-fitting mask at all times. For all others, at this time, masks will be optional.

Second are our two digital options. This option is best for those who are eligible but are not yet vaccinated and anyone else who would feel more comfortable staying at home.

The first of the two digital options is for our members only, through Zoom. Zoom enables us to see each other and message with friends and family, as well as participate in Honors or be spotlit during the services. TBY members will receive the private Zoom link in the lead up to Rosh Hashanah.

The second way to engage from home is to enjoy the service via one way streaming. This can be done directly through our TBY website.

Child Care and enrichment opportunities will be available on a reservation basis during our main morning services.

And as promised, we have some exciting options for our families with young children who will be welcomed to our campus on Rosh Hashanah afternoon for an innovative, outdoor, fully masked journey through the new year. If you have little ones – you won’t want to miss this fun, meaningful experience that will include apple picking, honey tasting, hearing the Shofar blowing and more.

On Yom Kippur afternoon, there will be a fully masked children’s service held outdoors in the new Shuster Family Courtyard. That children’s service will be streamed for those who choose to remain at home.

We are watching the COVID situation closely and are following the guidance of the relevant health authorities and getting input from experts in our congregational family.

If you are eligible to be vaccinated and have not yet done so, I urge you to go ahead and get vaccinated.

It is often said that if you have two Jews you get three opinions. Given the impossibility of making everyone happy all the time I hope you recognize that we are striving to balance the needs of everyone in our Temple family at this time.

Whichever way you wish to join us over these High Holy days I certainly hope you will find these high holy days to be meaningful and uplifting. We are greatly looking forward to spending them with you.

Please stay safe and healthy and may we all have a Shanah Tova, Umetukah.

A good and sweet new year.
Rabbi Gersh Zylberman
Senior Rabbi

Update - June 15, 2021

As the cases of Coronavirus stay on a steady decline, we are excited to invite guests to join us in-person for Shabbat Services! 

Reservations are not required to attend Shabbat Services beginning Friday, July 2nd (Red, White & Jew Shabbat). If you would like to attend Friday Shabbat services on either 6/18 or 6/25, please email Hilary at and provide the number of guests attending with you.

We will continue inviting those observing Shiva, Shloshim, and Yahrzeit in advance via email and we ask that you register to attend your designated service upon receiving that invitation. If you would like to change the date you observe a yahrzeit, please email Hilary at

If you are coming to Shabbat to celebrate something or someone special, or if it is your first time joining us, we invite you to give us advance notice by completing the form below (scroll down to the bottom of the page). We will continue to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays on the first Shabbat of each month. 

Although reservations are not required, we will continue to send a confirmation email prior to services to those who have indicated in advance that they will be joining us.

Seats will no longer be assigned. 

While both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals may attend, we urge as-yet unvaccinated people to consider participating in services from home for the time being. Masks are not be required after June 15th, however we encourage you to continue wearing them if you wish.

We will continue to provide hybrid services with streaming via ZoomFacebook, and our website at

We thank our members for the support they have provided us over the last year of Zooming services and are ecstatic to welcome everyone back, we missed you!

Questions? Email Mark Gulner, Executive Director at

Update - March 12, 2021

One year later, welcome back!

This shabbat marks a calendar year since we, along with much of the country, transformed our lives in response to this once in a century pandemic. It is perhaps no coincidence that the name of this week’s Torah portion is Vayakhel-Pekudei because Vayakhel – gather the people - is what G-d instructs Moses to do, and it is what we have done in new ways throughout this past year.

Our congregation, our Kehillah (which is a form of the word Vayakhel) has gathered online and supported one another through a year unlike any we have ever seen. And now that we mark the one-year anniversary of going online we are thrilled to share a roadmap for gathering again in person.

As case numbers continue to drop and vaccination rates go up, we are planning for a careful and graduated reopening to in-person Shabbat services in the Warsaw Family Amphitheater beginning Friday night April 16th.

More specific information will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, I can share that we will initially limit attendance to 36 (double chai) individuals, who will be invited to make a reservation. Opportunities for attending will be given first to the Bar or Bat Mitzvah family for a given Shabbat and to those who are observing a yahrzeit or are recently bereaved. While both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals may attend, we will urge as-yet unvaccinated people to consider participating in services from home for the time being. We anticipate that, with improving health metrics in the weeks and months that follow, we will be able to expand the number of in-person attendees.

Please know that throughout the gradual return to in-person services (and most likely forever!) we will continue to provide a meaningful and engaging online option for those who wish to attend remotely for any reason.

When we read of G-d’s instruction to Moses to gather the people (Vayakhel) this year more than ever we are aware of the power of gathering, online and especially in person.  

May our gatherings be safe and may our kehillah always be holy.



Update - August 23, 2020

Back on March 8th we celebrated our Purim Carnival in person. As the reality of COVID-19 was dawning on us, attendance was light and only days later our state was plunged into a lockdown. Since then, we have celebrated lively Passover Seders, Shavuot festival learning, and meaningful weekly Shabbat services online. And since Spring we have been thinking about and planning for the Fall in the hope that the pandemic would be sufficiently under control to make it safe and sensible for us to gather in our beautiful Sonenshine Family Sanctuary to celebrate the arrival of 5781.

Over the past several months we considered various creative ways to meet in person, depending on the state of play as the High Holy Days approached. Now, as we are squarely in Summer and less than two months from the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe), it is clear to us that it is neither safe nor sensible to meet in person in our sanctuary to celebrate Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. So, what will we do? As our people have done for millennia and as we have done over these past months, we will adapt and we will innovate. We will make this a High Holy Day season like no other!

What can you expect? Our High Holy Day services will be conducted by our TBY rabbis and cantors live on Zoom. In addition, a small number of pre-recorded segments, clips from High Holidays past and some member cameos will also be included. Considering the reality of Zoom-fatigue, we are aiming to keep services to approximately one hour each, which will require us to focus our attention on the most unique and meaningful elements of each of the holy day services.

Enjoying the High Holidays at TBY is one of the true benefits of being a member. Please note that only TBY members and paid guests will be able to access the Zoom service, so I ask you to complete your membership renewal and join me and the rest of your TBY family for what is sure to be an unforgettable 5781.

As always, no one will be turned away due to financial need and we are aware that many members are struggling financially under the current circumstances. If you need assistance with your dues, please contact Mark Gulner for a confidential discussion.

Although this year’s High Holy Days will be different, as always, we will join together in the spirit of community, tradition and growth. I look forward to seeing you soon on one of our regular Zoom programs or Shabbat services and in the weeks and months ahead I pray that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

To learn more about our High Holy Days, CLICK HERE.

Update - May 27, 2020

Dear TBY family member, 

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, in fulfillment of the Jewish value of Pikuach Nefesh (saving lives) and in keeping with the directives of state and county authorities, we have refrained from gathering in person. Nevertheless, our temple has been and continues to be open, providing meaningful and essential opportunities to learn, worship and connect with each other from the safety of our own homes.

On Monday, May 25th, the State of California released guidelines (see below) advising religious organizations on how to safely return for in-person programs. The guidelines make clear that in-person worship services still represent a relatively high risk for transmission of the virus and that online alternatives should continue whenever possible. Where in-person gatherings are to be contemplated, strict measures are advised including significant limitations on number of attendees on campus, the maintenance of a minimum of six feet distance between individuals, the recommendation for all participants to wear face masks and the avoidance of speaking or singing. 

While we are eager to be together in person as soon as possible, we do not believe that it is safe enough to do so yet.  

The State of California has committed to reviewing and adjusting the guidelines after 21 days. During this period the Temple Bat Yahm Reopening Task Force, consisting of staff, lay leaders and health professionals,  will be developing a plan using these guidelines to: safely get people in and out of both indoor and outdoor spaces, procure PPE and other sanitation needs that will be required, train staff and determine how we will invite members back to campus as we know our maximum capacity will be limited. The plan will need to be able to both be scaled up or down depending on the next update.

Please be assured that we are keen to be back in person as soon as it is safely possible to do so and that when we do finally resume in-person gatherings, we will continue to offer online zoom options for the foreseeable future so that those who are uncomfortable returning in person can continue to participate remotely. 

We look forward to seeing and speaking with you soon via our many online offerings or by phone or email at any time. 

Wishing you and your loved ones a chag Shavuot Sameach and may you stay healthy and safe! 

Rabbi Gersh Zylberman      Mark Gulner                           Coby Sonenshine
Senior Rabbi                          Executive Director                President


Update - March 16, 2020

Staying connected to our members during this time is one of our top priorities. With this in mind we will be sending out the eScribe on Mondays detailing the different digital options we have for you each week. If you don't receive our weekly eScribe, CLICK HERE.

We plan on utilizing Zoom online conferencing as much as possible. If you need assistance getting set up with Zoom, please watch the video above. More help can be found by visiting their website's Help Section by clicking here. All streams will begin 10 minutes before the scheduled start time.


Every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday at 11:45 am (stream opens at 11:35am), Rabbi is hosting a member check-in and TBY update. This is your opportunity to connect with other members in support and share with us how you are doing. It will be a time for Rabbi to offer a brief teaching from our tradition and for us to come together in prayer during this challenging time. It will also be a time for Rabbi to share with you any news about TBY. Check-ins will start this Tuesday the 17th. This link below will be the same for every check-in for the duration of our closure so bookmark it for future use.


Wednesday with a Rabbi this week will feature guest lecturer Prof. Paul Liptz. Prof. Liptz was recently the CSP Scholar in Resident and attracted over 200 community members to TBY for his engaging lecture. You can join this and every Wednesday beginning 11:45 am (stream opens at 11:35am) by clicking the image above. This link will be the same for every Wednesday with a Rabbi for the duration of our closure so bookmark it for future use.

On Wednesday evening Book Club will be discussing Inheritance by Danny Shapiro beginning at 7:00pm (stream opens at 6:50pm). This was described as a short read so you still have time! Click the image above to join the conversation.


Next check-in (every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) beginning at 11:45am (link opens at 11:35am). Link is above.


Enjoy a Shabbat message from our clergy delivered directly to your inbox on Friday morning. We also invite all to join us for digital Erev Shabbat Live beginning at 6pm (stream opens at 5:50pm). This Zoom link will be the same for every Shabbat for the duration of our closure so bookmark it for future use. We loved seeing you all last week and look forward to seeing you all again as we connect as a community and welcome Shabbat. You can also join us on our Facebook Page for a Live Stream of our Friday Night Shabbat Services. You don't need to have a Facebook profile to follow along.

Please find a free digital copy of our prayer book by clicking here or for the Kindle edition, click here.


Shabbat Morning Torah study begins at 9:00am (stream opens at 8:50am). The link will be the same for every Torah Study for the duration of our closure, so bookmark it for future use.


Next check-in (every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) beginning at 11:45am (link opens at 11:35am). Link is above.

Should you be in need of pastoral care, please continue reaching out to Debbe Katz at or call the TBY After Hours Emergency Line at (949) 697-7618.


March 12, 2020

We learn in a famous Talmudic phrase “Kol Yisrael arevin ze ba-zeh” – which means “We are all responsible for one another” (Sanhedrin 27b). This has particular relevance in a pandemic like the one we are currently experiencing, when most people who become infected have few, if any, symptoms, yet nevertheless become vectors of transmission to others. This situation poses a particularly serious risk for those whose age or underlying health make them especially vulnerable. 

It is our concern for others – and not just our own personal health – which should motivate our actions. 

At TBY we have already chosen to cancel a number of programs.  We have been in constant communication about these cancellations and have made decisions with the best interests of our members in mind.

Starting tomorrow at 3:00 pm, all TBY Religious Services, Schools, activities, programs, and meetings will occur online or will be canceled.

This decision was made with a sense of responsibility to do our part as a congregation to protect all our members and the broader community.

We understand that it is important for our community to hear from our Clergy during this time. As such, each week prior to Shabbat TBY will provide all members with a link to a video. The content of this video will vary from week to week.

Effective today, the plan for other activities, programs and meetings is as follows:

All committee and board meetings – online/conference call
Monday and Thursday Mah-jongg 
Play Rehearsal online beginning March 15th
Weekly Torah Study online only beginning March 14th
Wednesday with the Rabbi online only beginning March 18th
March 14th - Jewish Movie Night CANCELLED
March 15th - JCAL CANCELLED through April 26th (online options beginning March 22nd)
March 18th - Book Club online
March 19th - Bar/Bat Mitzvah training online only
March 26th - Jewish Mindfulness CANCELLED
March 27th - JCAL Shabbat & Pre-Party CANCELLED
March 29th - Cantors Concert CANCELLED
April 1st - Security Event CANCELLED
April 9th - Community Passover Seder CANCELLED
April 19th - WTBY Blood Drive CANCELLED
April 25th - Movie Night CANCELLED 

We are still working through the digital options for these events (some will be via video conference/streaming and others will be teleconference only).  Please look to our weekly announcements for details and updates.

Our Temple members are one part of our TBY family and the staff that makes the programming and education happen are another big part. As of today, I have asked all non-essential employees to work from home. We will still have a receptionist on duty during business hours and staff will diligently respond to emails. Below please find a complete list of staff with email address.

Of course, our rabbis and cantors remain available throughout to provide pastoral care through this challenging time.  

Rabbi Gersh Zylberman, Senior Rabbi –
Rabbi Rayna Gevurtz, Associate Rabbi –
Rabbi Miriam Philips, JCAL Director –
Cantor Jonathan Grant –
Cantor Elisa Waltzman, Associate Cantor –
Debbe Katz, Clergy Administrative Assistant – 

Administrative Staff
Mark Gulner, Executive Director –
Efrain Banuelos, Facilities Manager –
Susan Gunawan, Finance Manager –
Lesa Hodgkins, Accounting Clerk –
Orly Levy, Development Assistant –
Joy Orbase, Office Manager –
Hilary Rosen, Communications & Marketing Specialist –
Beth Swift, Office Receptionist –

TBY Preschool/JCAL/Youth
Laura Gramling, TBY Preschool Director –
Laurie Nada, TBY Preschool Administrative Assistant –
Melissa Seidner, JCAL Administrative Assistant –
Melinda Weiss, Assistant Director of Education & Youth Engagement –

Should you need immediate service during business hours please call the office at 949-644-1999. If this is a medical emergency, please call 911. If you need to get a hold of someone at Temple Bat Yahm and it is after hours please call the emergency number, (949) 697-6718.

With blessings of health for all in our community and beyond,

Rabbi Gersh Zylberman      Mark Gulner                           Coby Sonenshine
Senior Rabbi                          Executive Director                President

Wed, December 6 2023 23 Kislev 5784