Panim Hadashot Home Shabbat: 5th Night of Sukkot

One of the several Sukkot events.

A Sukkot Singalong in Mercer Island at the Konikow Residence

Panim Hadashot Home Shabbats are unique gatherings. Our team at Panim Hadashot-New Faces can come to your home to enhance a Shabbat gathering with music, singing, storytelling, Torah study, and an engaging conversation on a compelling topic.  We are looking for hosts to join with us in doing Shabbat hospitality.

If you would like more information about this event or would like to host,  please write to or call 206 739-9924

Tashlich, Havdallah, and Music of the High Holidays

Missed the Heart of Shabbat’s Music for the holidays? Come to this special High Holiday musical event and get another Tashlich opportunity as well.

Join the Kehilah Havurah of Woodinville for a unique event around the High Holidays.

The gathering will include



The Heart of Shabbat Ensemble of Panim Hadashot will present melodies of the High Holidays.

This event is free.

For more information, contact organizer, John Lukas, at

A “Self Care” Shabbat for Family Caregivers of Loved Ones Living with Mental Illness

If you care for someone with a mental illness, check out this special experience that will bring you some rest.

Rabbi Dov Gartenberg, a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a NAmi Family Support peer facilitator and Family to Family teacher, is introducing self care experience for family caregivers of a loved one with a mental illness. He is holding a Shabbat(Sabbath) dinner gathering for caregivers. In Jewish tradition Shabbat meals are part of a day of rest and joy.  The Sabbath meal is a time for good food, singing, and elevated conversation.  In a way it is a very old “self care” practice.

On Friday, September 14th, NAMI Eastside Family Caregivers are invited to a potluck vegetarian Shabbat dinner from 6:30 at the Bellevue at WeWork at 10400 NE 4th St, 5th Floor, Bellevue 98004 from 6:30 to 9pm.  The Shabbat dinner will feature

  • Lauren Simonds, Executive Director of NAMI Washington and will update us on Advocacy initiatives of our state organization.
  • A Shabbat Singalong of Jewish and American Folk Melodies brought to you by the Heart of Shabbat Ensemble. Rabbi Dov is a vocalist in the ensemble.
  • A vegetarian potluck of shared dishes from everyone who participates.

Participation is limited to so sign up early.  This event is cosponsored by NAMI Eastside.   There is no charge for the event.  This event is open to all, regardless of faith and culture.  Jewish traditions will be shared and explained, but the main idea is to rest, relax, and meet fellow caregivers. The signup is below.

Havdallah and Outdoor Campfire Singalong

Chava Mirel and Rabbi Dov lead a campfire singalong, following Havdallah on the Eastside.

Led by Chava Mirel, we will sing from the Jewish Songbook, bring out Shabbat, and enjoy a fun campfire.

Click this link for details.

Teshuvah-Repentance? Is There an App for That


The other day I attended a morning minyan at a synagogue. At the minyan I used a siddur app that was on my mobile phone. The app makes the letters large and easy to read.  I noticed as I logged on that there was an option on the menu called “Map of Users”. When I clicked on it I could see all the places around the earth where people were using the app. There were green dots all over the world.

This online map of daveners intrigued me.  What if there could be a map of people doing Teshuvah during the month of Elul all over the world. While such an app seems unlikely it would have one great benefit. You could find someone attempting to do Teshuvah as well. It takes two to Teshuvah.

Teshuvah for me is not purely internal, but relational. We make Teshuva with an other, whether it is person or God. The key to Teshuvah is finding another person who is participating in doing Teshuvah as well, especially one you are in relationship. May we open the gates of Teshuvah by finding a willing Teshuva partner during this great month of reflection.


Rabbi Dov Gartenberg

Seattle, Washington


This piece will appear in the Mussar Institute Blog

Would You Share Shabbat with your Affinity Group?

A Preview of of Panim Hadashot Home Shabbats in the Web Launch, August 30th.

Shabbat Experiences for Your Affinity Group

At the end of August 2018, we are launching a new website for Panim Hadashot-New Faces. We will be introducing  “Panim Hadashot Home Shabbats” which will include an expanded list of Shabbat experiences we can bring to your home.  Not only do we offer musical and singing Shabbats, but we will offer personalized Shabbat experiences for affinity groups.

I want to share with you a Home Shabbat that I am doing for my own affinity group. It may give you ideas about doing a Shabbat experience for your own affinity group, whatever it is.

I do a lot of volunteer work with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, known as NAMI.  NAMI is a national organization facilitating support, education, and advocacy for people living with mental illness and the families that take care of them.  I got involved because members of my family live with mental illness that has deeply impacted their lives and all of us who care for them.  NAMI helped me to learn how to help my loved ones and to better understand their unique challenges. NAMI also made it possible for me  to connect with other family caregivers who were struggling with the difficult issues of supporting a loved one with mental illness.

As a volunteer peer leader/teacher for NAMI, we talk a lot about self-care for people caring for a loved one living with mental illness.   We often talk about mindfulness meditation, yoga, and other techniques.  As a Rabbi I have been thinking in recent years about how Jewish tradition offers relief and self-care for fellow caregivers.  I wanted to create a Shabbat space of rest and joy as a unique spiritual respite for caregivers.

Next month Panim Hadashot will offer a Shabbat experience for family caregivers in my home.  Here are some of the elements of this Shabbat experience that is being planned for September (on a Shabbat near the Holidays).

  • The Shabbat meal which will take place on Friday evening is limited to 18 or so people and will take place in my home.  Jewish and non-Jewish people are welcome.
  • I will reach out to my Jewish friends and acquaintances who are caregivers and invite them personally so we have a core of Jewish participants who have experienced Shabbat.  We are also sending out an invite to members of NAMI Eastside as well.
  • My plan is to hold a veggie potluck. I have found that potlucks create a more participatory mood and a sense of stake-holding for everyone who comes. I use a potluck app to make this easy.
  • Unlike the support groups I lead, we will not talk about our “tzuris”, but will spend time getting to meeting the new faces gathered in our living room.
  • The meal will be anchored by a 45 minute singalong of Jewish and American melodies led by members of the Heart of Shabbat Ensemble. Singing together is not only therapeutic, it is spiritually powerful, unifying, and easy for people to participate in.

Are you a participant in an affinity group? Can you think of how a Shabbat experience would enhance your group cohesiveness or create an opportunity for unique discussion?  Let me know if you are interested in having Panim Hadashot bring a beautiful Shabbat experience to you special group.



Shanah Tovah, Rabbi Dov Gartenberg

A Preview of the Panim Hadashot-New Faces Website Launch

Dear Friends,

I wish everyone a Rosh Hodesh Tov-a good new month. It is the month of Elul which precedes the onset of the Days of Awe (the real name for the High Holy Days).  It is a time of reflection, renewal, and repentance. May this month be a time of insightful reflection as you prepare for the holidays.

I am using the many hours of preparation that I would have used preparing for High Holiday services to work on major improvements to Panim Hadashot-New Faces for the coming year.  Those improvements will be officially announced in our new website that will come online on August 30th.  The website will feature a redesign and streamlining of our present offerings.

What is Panim Hadashot?

Here is a summary of what Panim Hadashot-New Faces offers.  Our updated tagline, “Renewing the Tradition of Shabbat Hospitality” describes our focus and our program. We serve the entire Jewish community, both affiliated and non affiliated Jews. We are led by a Rabbi Dov Gartenberg who was trained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of the Conservative movement.  We are non denominational Jewish organization committed to pluralism in the Jewish community and in the larger society.  We primarily serve Reform, Conservative, Renewal, Secular, and Cultural Jews including non-Jewish partners.

Our core innovation which we offer to you:  We support hosts and hospitality by bringing a special Shabbat experience to your home or community room if you reside in apartment.  These Home Shabbat experiences include live music, song leading, or discussion around a meal which you host and invite friends, family, and new faces. 

Improvements Reflected in the New Website

Below are key improvements to our program which will be featured in the new website that is coming online at the end of August.

  • The name for our innovative initiative will be Panim Hadashot Home Shabbats.  Prospective hosts can choose from three types of supported Home Shabbats. We want to give hosts an opportunity to shape a Shabbat experience which is meaningful and exciting for them.

Music and Singing Home Shabbats

Study and Conversation Home Shabbats

Home Shabbats for Affinity Groups

  • We have reduced our recommended number of people for supported Home Shabbats to seven including the hosts (It used to be 10 guests not including the hosts.). This number was chosen for several reasons. By reducing the invited guest threshold we wanted to make it easier to host, especially for first timers and people living in smaller places.


  • We will continue to offer our Monthly Musical Shabbat Table on the 3rd Friday of the month which is open to everyone in the community, but at a new location.   We will be holding these monthly events at WeWork Co-working Sites in Bellevue and Seattle. WeWork offers us larger spaces and more flexibility.  Rabbi Gartenberg will work and hold classes at WeWork in Bellevue. Our mailing address will remain the same.

We are excited about these improvements and hope you are too. Most of all we hope you will consider hosting or attending in the coming year.  Stay tuned for the website change and more postings about the changes.  Feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions, 206  739-9924 or


Shavua Tov,

Rabbi Dov Gartenberg

High Holidayless in Seattle: A Message from Panim Hadashot-New Faces

Dear Friends of Panim Hadashot,

After much consideration and a full discussion with the Panim Hadashot-New Faces Board, I have decided as Director to not hold High Holiday services this year.  While I felt that the services we offered last year were spiritually meaningful and beautiful, the amount of work to prepare the services and the music distracted me from our core mission to renew the traditions of Shabbat Hospitality. The past two years have seen a tremendous growth of Shabbat activity for Panim Hadashot. We have decided to keep our focus and expand our Shabbat Home Hospitality offerings as you will soon see in the redesigned web site by the end of the summer.

Fundamentally, Panim Hadashot-New Faces is supportive of the efforts of synagogues to provide a full range of worship services including the High Holidays. There are many choices across the gamut in Seattle. However, there is only one organization that is focusing on focusing on Shabbat home hospitality and the fellowship of shared Shabbat meals. That’s us.  We believe this practice is so important, that it is imperative we retain our focus and capacity to enhance this core Jewish tradition in our community.

Below is a description of Panim Hadshot-New Faces which articulates what we are and what we are not.  This will help the community better understand our role and what we contribute to Jewish life in the Pacific Northwest.  Thank you for understanding and I wish you a Shanah Tovah U’metukah,  A good and sweet New Year. We also appreciate your continued financial support to enable us to make progress in renewing the tradition of Shabbat Hospitality.

Rabbi Dov Gartenberg,

Convener and Director of Panim Hadashot-New Faces


What is Panim Hadashot-New Faces?

Panim Hadashot-New Faces is not a synagogue. We do not function as a traditional congregation such as offering regular worship services and a religious school program. We do not have membership dues, a common feature of most synagogues.

Panim Hadashot-New Faces is also not affiliated with a specific Jewish movement.  We are pluralistic in our outlook.  Our Shabbat hosts come from Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Secular backgrounds.  Our work is primarily with the Liberal and Secular Jewish communities since use of live music to enhance Shabbat singing is not permitted by the Orthodox rabbinic authorities. 

While Panim Hadashot-New Faces is a very innovative model within the Jewish community, it does have precedent in Jewish tradition.  We see ourselves as a “Gemach”.  The word Gemach is an acronym for the Jewish term gemilut chasidim (acts of loving kindness).  Jewish tradition views hospitality as one of the most praiseworthy acts of loving kindness. (Other acts of loving kindness in Jewish tradition include, Visiting the Sick, Burying the Dead, and Dowering the Bride)  Many of the people involved in our Gemach share a love for Shabbat hospitality or who want to see this particular act of loving kindness become more pervasive in our Jewish community. 

Our Gemach, Panim Hadashot-New Faces promotes Shabbat hospitality with a singular passion.  Our work in the community centers around encouraging people to host gatherings at their homes.  We help both hosts and guests to adopt Shabbat hospitality as a “spiritual practice in their lives” by modeling the special activities that can be shared around a table such as music, song, Torah study, elevated conversation, and the empathy of hospitality. 

How do people get involved in our Gemach?  Many connect by hosting Shabbat in their homes. Others connect to Panim Hadashot-New Faces by attending our monthly Community Shabbat Gatherings. A new way for people to get involved is to be trained as a Shabbat Animator as a teacher, singer, story teller to “animate” Shabbat table gatherings.  Another way to connect to Panim Hadashot is to support this initiative through a financial contribution or a subscriptions. Your gifts enable us to offer our “Animated Shabbat Gatherings” across the community.  

Many synagogue affiliated Jews have volunteered to serve as hosts. They see Panim Hadashot as a valuable supplement to synagogues.  We also attract many nonaffiliated Jews who find our emphasis on Shabbat hospitality to be a meaningful expression of their Jewish identity.  Ultimately we see our Gemach as a vehicle for acts of loving kindness, specifically sharing Shabbat with new faces.  

Musical Shabbat in the Woods of Carkeek Park

A beautiful evening culminating with sunset and a musical Kabalat Shabbat in the woods of Carkeek Park.

We welcome you to come to Panim Hadashot’s Musical Shabbat in Carkeek Park on Friday, July 20, 2018.  This event is free. We ask everyone coming to bring a dairy, veggie, or fish dish to create a Shabbat picnic feast. If you have a special dietary need, please provide a comment so we can accommodate your needs.

Here is the schedule

6:30-8:00 Shabbatluck dinner and ending singing session with Heart of Shabbat Ensemble

8:00-8:45  Roving Musical Kabbalat Shabbat through the woods culminating in a sunset ending to the service.

We are child friendly. A free childrens’ activity group with a “Spilt Milk Nanny” or accredited babysitter will parallel the main Shabbat activity.

Click HERE to signup to bring a dish and the children’s program (if applicable).


Please don’t forget to bring blankets and outdoor chairs.  Dress is summery.  In case of very inclement weather we will email you an alternate location.  Pets are welcome, but need to be leashed at all times as per park rules.

Location: Carkeek Park, Pipers Creek picnic area, tables 34 and 35.  Click for a Map at Carkeek Map Directions