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Offsite Programs

Please note: These offsite programs are optional and require advance registration.

Sunday, December 17: Volunteer Opportunity

HaMotzi at Sherith Israel

Tuesday, December 19: Tour the Magnes

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Wednesday, December 20: Tour Three Cultural Gems

The Holocaust Center
Sherith Israel
Haas-Lilienthal House

Volunteer at Sherith Israel: HaMotzi

Sunday, December 17, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

This volunteer opportunity stemmed from a rabbinic plea during the High Holy Days in 1993 to feed the hungry. Since then, over 150,000 well-balanced meals have been prepared for individuals and families looking for a fresh start.

On Sunday December 17 at 9:00 am volunteers (adults and children are welcome) will spend approximately three hours in the Newman Hall Kitchen preparing 100 meals that will be delivered to two shelters in San Francisco.

Sherith Israel is looking for 8-10 volunteers willing to prep, cook, and clean (plus an additional four volunteers with cars to aid with deliveries.) If you are interested in serving the community as part of your conference experience, please email Nancy Sheftel-Gomes by December 3, 2023.

Cultural Days

The AJS is proud to partner with local organizations to bring 1.5 days of curated cultural outings to AJS conference attendees and their families.

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Tuesday, December 19

You may have noticed that the AJS used San Francisco artist and illustrator Ori Sherman’s work in the 2023 AJS conference materials. The artwork is part of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. 

On Tuesday afternoon, the staff at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life will host conference attendees; together they will explore Cities and Wars: Roman Vishniac in Berlin & Jerusalem 1947/1967 and other current exhibitions, as well as introduction to The Magnes, a private view of collection highlights that follow the collecting history of The Magnes since the 1960s, and tour of collection storage. Participants in this outing will also experience Jewish art and material culture through the Magnes’ innovative approach to collection access and display. The tour is limited to 20 participants. $10/person

Participants are responsible for their own transportation arrangements and should plan to arrive at the Magnes by 4 PM.

Please note: The tour is currently full. To register for the waitlist, please complete this form.

Wednesday: Tour Three Bay-Area Cultural Gems

Wednesday, December 20, 10 AM – 3 PM
$60 (includes kosher lunch)

Participants will discover key chapters of the Jewish legacy of the City by the Bay. The professional tour guide will share stories about the most prominent Jewish pioneers and entrepreneurs who helped transform San Francisco into a thriving city and establish the second largest Jewish community in the US. Tour guests will find out how this community produced many Jewish civil leaders, philanthropists and cultural icons.

As part of the tour, participants will hear about the Haas-Lilienthal House, home-museum of one of the most famous Jewish dynasties of San Francisco.

    • Built in 1886, the 11,500 sq. foot house embodies the spirit of San Francisco’s pioneers and the grand architecture of the time. Guests will hear stories of life in this Victorian-era home, and will learn about the Jewish cultural experience on the West Coast. (Note: the house was recently closed to the public so the group will be unable to tour the inside of the house.)

They will also view the newly restored sanctuary of one of the oldest SF Congregations - Sherith Israel. (Lunch will be served at Sherith Israel as well.)

    • The tour will highlight the art and architecture of this 118 year old treasure of American synagogue design. Guests will learn about the craftsmanship of the sanctuary, the Judaic frescoes that line the ring of the dome, and the stained glass windows, including “Moses Presented the Ten Commandments to the Children of Israel” in which the Jewish people are gathered at the gateway to California.

The tour will conclude at the Holocaust Center, with time for guests to meet with Holocaust Center staff.

    • Guests will have the opportunity to explore the material cultural items from their Shanghai Ghetto collection and the community archive. Additionally, the Center is a rich source of tools for those engaged in ethnic studies, American history, Jewish history in Asia, the Holocaust, and Pedagogy. Staff will discuss ways scholars might include these resources in their teaching and scholarship.

The Wednesday tour group is limited to 30 participants. Cost for Wednesday’s tours and kosher vegetarian lunch is $60. Participants will need to be at the first stop of the tour (Lafayette Park) by 10 AM (finding their own transportation.) The day should conclude by around 3 PM. The walk is on flat, paved ground.

To participate, please place the tour(s) in your shopping cart when you register for the conference.** The tour fees will be added to your total at checkout.

* Please note: If you have already registered for the 2023 AJS Conference, please email Melinda Man to add Wednesday's program to your conference registration.