As the song goes, “Sunrise, Sunset, swiftly flow the days, seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, blossoming even as we gaze.” When we hear it we may even find ourselves asking the next question, “I don’t remember growing older. When did they?” Last Friday evening, about 100 of us gathered at B’nai Emunah and witnessed the blossoming of a new, cultural flower, as “Sunrise, Sunset” opened with its first Shabbat Café. As I wrote for our BE blog, “The fresh coffee flowed, the community baked and variety of nosh was tasty, and the music was uplifting and transporting. From “Fiddler” to “Shalom Aleichem” and from Yiddish to Hebrew to English, Ben Brussell (mandolin, vocals) and Fred Lifsitz (violin), had us smiling, laughing, and clapping and singing along. It was an evening that deeply satisfied our senses, our spirits, and our souls. Can’t wait for the next cup!”
This new community building project is as I see it, a new Jewish “start-up,” and is more satisfying than even a full cup of my favorite coffee! Over the last year, the idea has been brewing and now the cup is half full with wonderful potential. One of the most common responses I hear as a Rabbi when I meet someone new, is, “Rabbi, nice to meet you, but I’m not religious. I like Jewish culture but the rest of it doesn’t work for me.” The Sunrise, Sunset Café is an innovative response not only to those who just treasure Jewish culture, music, food, literature and art, but it is a warm, welcoming, and friendly place for anyone seeking cultural connections.
The mission of Sunrise, Sunset is to be a new and relaxed gathering space for coffee, culture and community. The vision is to build community one cup at a time, to cultivate connections, and to give back. Among other functions, synagogues have always served in the following three arenas: as a beit t’fillah (“house of prayer”), as a beit midrash (“house of learning”), and as a beit k’nesset (“house of gathering.”) This latest project, which takes its name not only from the song in “Fiddler on the Roof,” but from our pristine location three blocks up from Ocean Beach in the Outer Sunset neighborhood, is a pivot towards creating an authentic and contemporary gathering place for Jewish culture.
Here are 4 ways that you can participate in this new cultural experience:
- “Make Minyan” – Collect a card each time you visit and after five cards you will receive a complimentary and commemorative “Sunrise, Sunset” coffee cup.
- Join the team of volunteer “mavens” – Bake a nosh. Staff the café. Create social action opportunities. Help build our social media. Share your cultural talent (art, literature and music). Cultivate partners and co-sponsors.
- Visit our blog and share it with friends – https://bejewish.wordpress.com/
- Find the “coffee basket” to support us with your “beans.”
With a full cup in hand, “L’chayim/To Life!”
Sunsrise, Sunset next opens on SATURDAY EVENING, JUNE 14, 7:30-9:30 pm, featuring LIVE JEWISH BLUES MUSIC WITH SAUL KAYE. Fresh roasted coffee, tea and hot cocoa will be served. Please bring a potluck dessert to share. We will do a short Havdallah at “3 Stars,” and Rabbi Meirah Iliinsky’s artwork will be on exhibit.
Open on the 2nd Saturdays of each month:
- July 12 – Anne Seeman and Charley Hagan, steel and rhythm guitar
- August 9 – Zeke Kossover, Science & Magic
- September 13 – Ralph Sinick, guitar/vocals, and Bonnie Lindauer, cello/vocals