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		                                    Welcome		                                </span>
		                            <span class="slider_description">Etz Chayim is an independent congregation
located in the heart of Silicon Valley</span>
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		                            	Learn More		                            </a>

Happening at Etz

All Events
  • Sunday ,
    DecDecember  11 , 2022
    ETZ Talk: Jews and Chocolate: An Unexpected Journey into the World of Cacao with Alex Voynow (in-person and online)

    Sunday, Dec 11th 10:00a to 12:00p
    Alex Voynow, self-proclaimed as the world's only professionally-trained Jewish Food Educator and Chocolate Maker, will guide us through the winding historical and ethnobotanical story of how we've ended up giving out gold-wrapped chocolate gelt on Chanukah. We'll discuss the botany of cacao, the intricacies of the chocolate-making process, the history of the Spanish inquisition and Sephardi diaspora, the creation of cacao as a new world cash crop, and the origins of Chanukah gelt. This ETZ Talk is complemented by a hands-on bean-to-gelt workshop offered by Alex later that day.


  • Sunday ,
    DecDecember  11 , 2022
    Bean to Gelt Workshop with Alex Voynow (in-person)

    Sunday, Dec 11th 12:30p to 2:30p
    This workshop is a hands-on exploration of chocolate, Judaism, and the sweetness of Hanukkah. Participants will learn and participate in all of the steps of the chocolate-making process, from sorting raw cacao beans to wrapping their handmade gelt in foil, and everything in between. This program is intended or ages 9 and above, all children must be accompanied by an adult. Younger children who are part of a family are welcome. Attendance at the ETZ Talk is encouraged, but not required to participate in the hands-on workshop. Click through for more info and registration.


  • Monday ,
    DecDecember  12 , 2022
    Getting to and Beyond "Agreeing to Disagree" (Library)

    Monday, Dec 12th 7:00p to 8:30p
    We live in a polarized society in challenging times. These circumstances are not new to the Jewish people. Indeed, there is great Jewish wisdom from the ages to help us navigate and thrive in this kind of environment. Abra Greenspan will lead us in Getting to and Beyond “Agreeing to Disagree”, a multi-session adult learning series that will explore how our tradition approaches constructive disagreement.


  • Friday ,
    DecDecember  16 , 2022
    Kabbalat Shabbat Service with D'var Torah and special presentation from Rachel Urman of AIPAC

    Friday, Dec 16th 7:30p to 9:30p
    This is the next conversation in a series that aims to bring speakers from different perspectives on Israel to talk with our community and foster open dialogue in our community. You are invited to attend Etz Chayim's Kabbalat Shabbat services on Friday, December 16 for a special presentation and conversation with Rachel Urman, Pacific Northwest Synagogue Initiative Director at AIPAC. Click through for more information.


Everyone is welcome!

We are Jews who were raised Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Orthodox, or Secular. We are Jews who have or have not been Bar/Bat Mitzvah. We are Jews by choice or part of an interfaith family. Our common thread is that we are all interested in furthering our spiritual life, singing, Jewish education and community participation.  We invite you to come to a service or one of our activities.

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


About Us

Located in Palo Alto California, Congregation Etz Chayim is a vibrant Jewish community, participatory and egalitarian, independent and inclusive, which melds elements from Judaism’s different branches to create our own practices. Together with our spiritual leader, Rabbi Chaim Koritzinsky, our congregants are exploring what it means for each of us to identify as a Jew (or a part of a Jewish family).



Learn More

If you seek a spiritual experience within a diverse Jewish community that emphasizes worship, singing, learning, service and community, Etz Chayim may be a good fit for you. If you want to talk to someone, simply stop by or phone or office at 650-813-9094.


Experience Etz

Shabbat Services

Shabbat evening services are held every Friday at 7:30 p.m. and last about an hour. Shabbat morning services are held every Saturday at 10 a.m., and with Torah reading, last about two hours. Everyone is welcome to attend either service, including services that celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

Adult Learning

At Congregation Etz Chayim, we view adult learning as a stepping stone to deeper knowledge and understanding of the rich Jewish tradition. We offer diverse intellectual, creative and spiritual programming to strengthen connections among congregants and help us integrate Judaism into our lives.


Are you a teenager looking for ways to broaden your involvement with Jewish life in the Bay Area or to make new friends or lend a hand in your community?  Are you a parent thinking about the next steps of Jewish engagement for your teenager? There are many opportunities for teens, and we can help you identify the right one for you.

Youth & Family Education

We offer learning opportunities for families with children as young as two years old through high school. Building community is a cornerstone of our philosophy and mission, and our youth learning programs reflect that value.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

We are exceptionally proud of our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program and how students and families experience the process of preparing for and celebrating this important life event. Our program is rigorous, meaningful and individualized, and serves to build community and connections among the students and families.

Community Responsibility

What inspires you to get up in the morning? What keeps you up at night? Could you answer these questions about the person you live with? Work with? Pray with? When we ask what we as a congregation wish to do in the area of Tikkun Olam, a first step is to have one-on-one conversations to strengthen relationships with one another.

Interest Groups

Etz social groups are member driven. We currently have groups who hike together, read together, sing together, and knit together, among many other activities. Have another interest? Members are always free to start their own groups.

Next Gen

Next Gen is a Jewish community of adults in their 20's and 30's affiliated with Congregation Etz Chayim. We participate in the life of the Etz Chayim community by holding member led events to explore our connections to Judaism and each other. Everyone is welcome. No affiliation or membership to Etz Chayim or any other organization is necessary.  Email to learn more.


Since 1995, our diverse Jewish community has gathered to worship, celebrate, learn, and share life’s joys and sorrows. We invite you to become part of this community.


Wed, November 30 2022 6 Kislev 5783