Workers at Tel Hashomer Hospital, which was converted to receive the Israelis who were under quarantine on the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan due to the spread of the coronavirus, Feb. 20, 2020. (JTA/AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Workers at Tel Hashomer Hospital, which was converted to receive the Israelis who were under quarantine on the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan due to the spread of the coronavirus, Feb. 20, 2020. (JTA/AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Local Jewish groups cancel trips, services, other events

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As of Monday, March 16, we have stopped updating this page. As of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, six Bay Area counties will begin instituting a stay-in-place policy, asking that people only leave their homes for essential purposes and that most businesses close.

Check here for our full coronavirus coverage. For national and international updates, check with this running list of updates from JTA.

Friday, March 13

Bay Area JCCs and community and family services are altering their day-to-day operations, including some closing their facilities entirely. Click here for full information.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco has closed for the foreseeable future. Click here for full information.

Thursday, March 12

Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto is canceling school for two weeks starting today. All extracurricular activities, including athletics practices and games, will also be canceled.

Minyan Dafna in Berkeley is canceling Shabbat morning services on March 14 and Friday night services and potluck dinner on March 20.

Berkeley Hillel is canceling all community events through March.

SF Hillel will be live-streaming its April 5 annual gala.

Congregation B’nai Shalom in Walnut Creek is postponing its gala honoring Howard and Susan Geifman to June 7.

Graduate Theological Union’s Center for Jewish Studies is postponing its “Storytelling and the Making of Jewish Culture” conference on March 16.

The Kitchen in San Francisco is canceling services and all other in-person gatherings “for the foreseeable future.”

Wednesday, March 11

Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco is suspending all programming until March 24, including Torah study, committee meetings and other programs. Friday night services will be live-streamed.

Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto is canceling its Spring Soirée on March 29.

The Jewish Film Institute is postponing its March 26 event “The Politics of Representation: Where women stand in Hollywood and Independent Film.”

Hebrew Free Loan‘s March 23 Business Circle Luncheon featuring Cragslist founder Craig Newmark is postponed.

Tuesday, March 10

The Jewish Community Relations Council is canceling its 24th Annual San Francisco Multicultural Passover Freedom Seder on March 24. Those who ordered tickets will get a refund.

The Jewish Community Library in San Francisco has canceled five events: “Glimpses of Persian Jewry with Rabbi Tarlan Rabizadeh and Ron Lezell” on March 12; “A Slippery Slope: Jews, Schmaltz, and Crisco in the Age of Industrial Food with Rachel B. Gross”; “Drop-In Book Club: The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen” on March 15; “Roots of Yiddish Comedy with Jeanette Lewicki” on March 19; and “A Russian Immigrant with Maxim Shrayer” on April 23.

The Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos is canceling all events and classes that expect more than 50 participants and where arms-length distance cannot be maintained through April 3. All programs for seniors will be canceled, even if there are fewer than 50 participants. In addition, all events with more than 100 attendees expected will be canceled. Fitness classes will continue, as well as preschool, after-school enrichment classes and smaller programs for adults.

Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco will instead be live-streaming its Friday night services on March 13 and 20, including “One Shabbat” and “Young Adult Late Shabbat.” The congregation has also canceled a number of other events as well.

JCC East Bay in Berkeley is canceling or rescheduling any events or gatherings over 50 people through March 27. For ticketed events, participants will receive information via email regarding refunds and rescheduling.

The Jewish Community Relations Council is canceling its March 15 event with Consul General of Israel Shlomi Kofman.

Hebrew Free Loan of San Francisco is offering loans to people who are experiencing financial hardship because of the coronavirus, such as healthcare costs or lost income. “We want to help people who are struggling [with] financial effects related to this,” executive director Cindy Rogoway said. For more information, contact Aimee Gruber at 415-546-9902.

Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley is canceling its Shabbat services for the next two weeks. Classes and meditation sessions will still be held.

The San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society is canceling its meetings for the next two months.

The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco has canceled its March 16 event, “India, Israel and Berkeley.”

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco is postponing its March 12 opening celebration for “Predicting the Past: Zohar Studios, the Lost Years.” In addition, all tours, programs and events through March 22 have been postponed or canceled.

Monday, March 9

The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living has placed significant restrictions on visitors, and the Moldaw Residences in Palo Alto has suspended communal dining. Read our full story on how local Jewish senior homes are handling coronavirus for more details.

JCCSF is canceling or postponing 21 events, including several upcoming events in its signature Arts & Ideas series: Colum McCann and Isabel Allende on March 11, Madeline Levine on March 16 and “Lavash, The Bread that Launched 1,000 Meals” on March 18. Though the gym will remain open, massages will not be available; the sauna and steam room will be closed; and some group fitness classes have been canceled. Read the entire list of cancellations here.

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art & Life at UC Berkeley has postponed its Spring Celebration event on March 12. The museum will remain open during regular hours.

Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies is canceling “Israeli Women in Combat” with military historian Ayelet Harel-Shalev on March 31.

The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living announced that no visitors will be permitted until further notice. In addition, staff and essential personnel will be screened before being allowed into the facility. Meetings and outside groups have been postponed for two weeks. “We know that these protocols will be challenging for everyone involved, but safety is our ultimate concern,” spokesperson Marcus Young said in a statement.

The Jewish Community Relations Council is canceling its Behind the Scenes 2020 event on March 11.

Karaite Jews of America in Daly City is canceling its Megillah reading and Purim party on March 10.

The Kitchen in San Francisco is canceling its Esther Loves Disco party on March 9.

Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco is postponing its Purimpalooza event on March 9. Morning and evening minyan will be held as usual.

Congregation B’nai Emunah in San Francisco is canceling its Harry Potter Purim Party on March 9.

The Department of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University has canceled all of its March events.

JIMENA in San Francisco is canceling all March events.

Congregation Beth Israel Judea in San Francisco is canceling its Purim spiel on March 9. However, Congregation Ner Tamid, which often cosponsors events with BIJ, will host a Megillah Reading on March 9 at 7 p.m. that BIJ members are invited to join.

Jewish Community High School of the Bay in San Francisco canceled all four of its class trips to Israel, Los Angeles and New Orleans.

Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley and Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont are canceling their Purim Like It’s 5780 event on March 9.

Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto is canceling “Purim Parodies and More: A Musical Comedy Show” on March 10 and “The Golden Age of Soul” on March 24.

The Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco is canceling its event with activist Simone Zimmerman on March 19.

Stanford University’s Taube Center for Jewish Studies is canceling its Celia Dropkin Symposium on March 10.

Or Shalom Jewish Community in San Francisco is canceling its Purim Shpiel and Megillah reading on March 9.

Israel will require all travelers from abroad to complete a 14-day quarantine. The decision capped days of open deliberations about how far Israel would to go to stop the disease’s spread.

Sunday, March 8

Chabad Jewish Center of Novato is canceling an upcoming trip to Israel this week.

HAMAQOM | The Place (formerly Lehrhaus Judaica) is canceling its 2020 Gala honoring Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan on March 15.

Saturday, March 7

Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco is canceling its March 9 Purim celebration. While Shabbat services and meetings are not canceled, the synagogue did say it “will be making final decisions in the days ahead and will communicate with you if we do.”

Friday, March 6

Peninsula JCC in Foster City is canceling its “Shabbat Unplugged Purim” celebration on March 7. All other programs are operating as usual.

Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto is canceling school on March 9 and 10. The campus will be deep cleaned and sanitized during this time.

Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos is canceling its Purim carnival and dinner but not its Purim or Shabbat services.

JCC East Bay in Berkeley is canceling its March 8 Purim celebration that includes Jewish Gateways.

Temple Emanu-El in San Jose is canceling all events through March 9, including Shabbat services and Purim activities. “The Temple Senior Staff and leadership will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any changes for future services and events,” an email to congregants said.

Kol Hadash, the Northern California Community for Humanistic Judaism in Berkeley, canceled its annual community seder scheduled for April 11. “As our community is predominantly senior, we felt it better to err on the side of caution,” President Alana Shindler said in an email.

Chabad of Fremont Jewish Center canceled a community trip to Israel scheduled for next week. “I believe that to postpone this trip until things calm down is the smart and responsible decision, yet it is still disappointing,” Rabbi Moshe Fuss said in an email to congregants.

Congregation Kol Tefillah in Santa Cruz canceled a March 15 concert with Robyn Helzner, a Washington, D.C.-based Jewish vocalist and storyteller.

The Reboot Ideas Festival, which was to be held in San Francisco March 26-29, has been postponed. Organizers said they are working on creating online content from some of the scheduled presenters.

Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto is canceling upcoming concerts, lectures and this weekend’s Purim celebrations. The organization did so at the direction of the Santa Clara County Health Department’s newly released guidelines, which recommended that organizations that primarily serve older people should cancel mass gatherings. Two overseas trips to Poland and Israel for the spring and summer are being rescheduled. Other programs at the OFJCC are not canceled, including their preschool, the Club J afterschool program, the Sports and Wellness Center and smaller classes.

Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos is canceling any event that has 50 or more people for “a couple weeks out,” according to a spokesperson from the organization.

Ronald C. Wornick Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City said two trips, one to Atlanta next week and another to Washington State at the end of March, will not depart as scheduled.

Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills canceled Shabbat services and a Torah study this weekend, in addition to a number of Purim parties. (The Friday service will be live-streamed here at 6:15 p.m. PST). The congregation also canceled an upcoming congregational trip to Israel and Greece. However, Bar Mitzvah service and Torah minyan on Saturday, as well as a Sunday program, are not canceled.

El Al canceled a flight to San Francisco and a number of European cities. Flights going to San Francisco were combined because of low passenger turnout, according to the Times of Israel.


March 5: Coronavirus on Peninsula — Congregation Beth Am cancels events, others wait and see

March 3: Jewish senior homes, others prep for possible outbreak

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler was a staff writer at J. from 2019 to 2021.