Come learn, sing, pray, and celebrate with us

Located in Palo Alto California, Congregation Etz Chayim melds Reform and Conservative traditions with elements from across the spectrum of Judaism. We focus on spirituality, lifelong learning and service, and offer a warm, inclusive egalitarian community. + More


Today's Date

Fri, 05/22/2015
4 Sivan 5775 until sunset
ד סיון התשעה

Upcoming Events

A STAri Celebration

A Weekend with Rabbi Ari Cartun
May 29th - 31st


Join us as we celebrate Rabbi Ari's retirement after 19 years of leadership in our community.  The festivities will include a variety of activities - come for one or come for all.


Fifth Friday Shabbat, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. We celebrate Ari's love for music at our Fifth Friday Shabbat service, with specially selected melodies. The oneg will be hosted by board members from years past.


Torah Study, May 30 at 9:00 am.  Ari has created a community of passionate Torah scholars at Etz Chayim. The weekend continues with Shabbat morning Torah study at 9 a.m. where we will be privileged to be joined by visiting scholar and former student of Rabbi Cartun, Rabbi Rachel Mikva, Associate Professor, Herman E. Schaalman Chair in Jewish Studies, Director, Center for Jewish, Christian and Islamic Studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary in Illinois. Click here to let us know you're coming so we can plan for appropriate quantities of chairs & materials.


Shabbat Services and Kiddush Lunch, May 30 at 10:00 am. Ari will lead our regular Shabbat morning services at 10:00 a.m., which will be followed by a kiddush lunch. The service will be characteristically participatory with home-grown Torah and Haftarah readers and song leaders. Click here to let us know you're coming so we can plan for appropriate quantities of food.


A St-ARI Night-- The Party!!  May 30 6-10 pm. Ari is as comfortable in a room full of Silicon Valley's scientists and engineers as he is in a conference full of rabbinic scholars. On Saturday night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., we will celebrate “Ari Cartun: Y0Universal Rabbi” with a catered kosher dinner, entertainment, presentations, Havdalah, and star gazing.  Click here to make reservations.  But hurry, this event is by reservation only, and the deadline is May 22nd at midnight, as we have to give final numbers to the caterer.


Midrash and Mimosas, May 31 10 am. On Sunday morning at 10 a.m., Ari will share his newly revised, original weekday siddur during “Midrash and Mimosas.” We'll study and learn with Rabbi Rachel Mikvah about "The Fabric of the Universe, the Nature of Humanity, and Other Humdrum Questions of Existence.” As the title of this event suggests, morning libations and brunch will be provided. Click here to let us know you're coming so we can plan for appropriate quantities of food.

All activities for the Weekend Celebrating Rabbi Ari Cartun will be held at Congregation Etz Chayim. To volunteer with any of the programs, contact Karen Kennan at

Religious School Registration is Now Open

For Fall 2015

It is time, once again, to register your children for next year's Youth Education program.  Why so early?  Even though religious school just ended for this year, we are already planning for next year.  To give us time to arrange appropriate faculty, space and materials, please register your children for next year by May 31st.  If you had children in the program this year, you will be mailed forms (unless you've already picked them up).  Otherwise, click here for a form.  Hurry - fees go up by $100 per student on June 1.

Fifth Annual Neshama Women's Retreat

 Traveling without a Map: Embracing Our Journeys 

Where are you now?
Sojourning in a contented place?
Perching on the edge of a transition?
Preparing to embark on a new adventure?
Join us as we explore and learn in community while we map the experiences of our lives. Come for a restful weekend and take stock of where you are now. You'll have the opportunity to meet new women and reconnect with friends; to sing and pray; to study and learn; to laugh and dance. There is time for quiet and time to leisurely sit with friends.
When: July 17-19, 2015 (Friday late afternoon to Sunday lunchtime)
Where: Presentation Center, located just off Highway 17 in Los Gatos, 23 miles from Etz. The center has beautiful wooded grounds, a newly remodeled pool and labyrinth, and quality vegetarian and fish meals. Our rooms are in a series of cottages, many with sitting areas and forest views.
Scholar-in-Residence: Rabbi Chai Levy. An experienced congregational rabbi, Rabbi Chai is also a musician and dancer who will lead us in prayer, singing, study, and meditation. You can learn more about her here. Click here to register.

Introducing Our Next Rabbi

We are delighted to announce that the Etz Chayim Board of Directors has chosen Chaim Koritzinsky as our new Rabbi, starting July 20, 2015.

Since 2008, Rabbi Koritzinsky has been living in Santiago, Chile, where he is the founding rabbi of Ruaj Ami, an independent congregation that under his watch has grown to 130 families from just six founding families.  Rabbi Koritzinsky was ordained at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts, where he was part of the first class of the school's non-denominational rabbinic training program.  A native of Madison, Wisconsin, he is a 1996 graduate of Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he majored in Russian studies.  He is fluent in Russian, Hebrew and Spanish.  You can see his full resume here.

During his visits to Etz, Chaim struck almost everyone as exceptionally warm and engaging, especially in one-on-one encounters and small groups. In the congregational survey conducted in advance of the search, when congregants were asked to identify the qualities that mattered most to them in a rabbi, they cited approachability, friendliness, energy, humor and compassion. This is a word-for-word description of Chaim.

Make your Dues Commitment to our Community

It is time to make your 2015-2016 dues commitment to our community.  Paper forms have been mailed, but there's no need to look for a stamp - you can complete your renewal on line by clicking here.  We'd really like to hear from you before the beginning of our new fiscal year on July 1.

קהילת "עץ חיים" הינה מקום מיוחד במינו. בית חם, פתוח ומקבל אשר אינו משתייך לזרם דתי כלשהו ומורכב מחילונים, מסורתיים, רפורמים וקונסרבטיבים, משפחות יהודיות ומעורבות, ישראלים ומקומיים המנהלים ביחד חיי קהילה יהודית עשירים.


If you are looking for a place of worship, we invite you to visit. With about 300 member households, we are small enough to know everyone, yet large enough to provide a full array of programming.  We offer regular Jewish services and festival celebrations.  Everyone, member or not, is always welcome.

- Friday Evenings 7:30 pm 
- Saturday Mornings 10:00 am
- Torah Study 9:00 am
- Contemplative Service 10:00 am third Saturday of each month

- Fifth Friday Special Celebratory Services 7:30 pm in months with five Fridays.



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