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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. On Tuesday afternoon, the staff at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life will host conference attendees; together they will explore “In Twilight: Ori Sherman’s Creation 1986-1988.” 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 leave from the conference hotel by 3 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)

Groups will be able to visit:

  •     • The Holocaust Center: 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.

  •     • Sherith Israel: 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. 

  •     • Haas-Lilienthal House: 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, as told by descendants of the Haas and Lilienthal families, and will learn about the Jewish cultural experience on the West Coast.

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 by 10 AM on their own transportation. The day should conclude by around 3 PM.

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.