Jewish Learning Program: Beit Sefer Phyllis Mintzer

Sha’ar Zahav offers families an innovative education program that emphasizes the positive power of diversity and affirms the special worth of every person and every family.

Our first teacher, Phyllis Mintzer (z’’l), saw and celebrated the sparks of holiness within every person. Our Beit Sefer (school) is named after her and guided by her spirit.


For Children and Their Families

Beit Sefer Phyllis Mintzer is for children in kindergarten through 7th grade whose families are seeking to come as they are and create their own pathway to Judaism with their children.

Rooted in our history as San Francisco’s LGBTQ synagogue, we welcome and celebrate a diversity of families including interfaith, single-parent, same-sex parents and multicultural families.

Our Programs

Beit Sefer

The program is designed to create rich educational opportunities to support children discovering what it means to engage with Judaism personally with authenticity, and collectively with respect and joy. We believe children learn this best:

  • in small, mixed-aged groups
  • through arts-infused, project-based learning
  • and by providing individual accommodations

We meet on Saturday mornings and our time includes Opening Circle, mixed aged-level Group Time, Recess, Maker Space and Reflection & Closing. Students work in groups of 6-12. You can learn more about the 2023-2024 school year and registration here.

Hebrew Program

Our Hebrew program also provides beginning level Hebrew instruction in small groups beginning in 5th grade and in preparation of our B’Mitzvah program. Beginning level Hebrew meets for an hour on Saturdays from noon-1pm. Year two Hebrew class sessions meet in a small group on zoom for an hour/week and arranged on weekday afternoons or evenings.

Our Faculty

Our project-based, intimate learning program is led by a mix of experienced teachers and congregant volunteers working together with our Director of Education, Rabbi Q.

Our Community

Sha’ar Zahav’s open and supportive community fosters our youth with a deep sense of shared responsibility. We also partner intentionally with parents to develop their children’s identities within our diverse Jewish community, grounded in unconditional love and social justice.

Learn More

If you have questions about the program, want to meet about your child, or would love to “test drive” Beit Sefer before committing, please be in contact with Director of Education, Rabbi Q today.

You can register for the 2024-2025 school year here.


Rabbi Q

Rabbi Q (she/her) is our new, half-time Educator, working with our Beit Sefer Phyllis Mintzer. She will be running our school, tot and teen programming. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and was ordained at Hebrew Union College, where she also completed a Master’s in Jewish Education. As a Reform rabbi and Jewish educator, she is passionate about building inclusive, values-based communities and utilizes Jewish texts, rituals, and traditions that offer us so many ways to survive, thrive, and make meaning in our lives. Rabbi Q comes to us with over 20 years of experience in Jewish education and school administration. We can also sense her competence, warmth, and playful spirit. She has already begun her work with us, and can be reached at [email protected] for Beit Sefer matters. We will call her Rabbi Q, but her full name is Lisa Levenberg.

Youth Learning Program Registration

Weekly, we provide children K-7th grade with a Jewish education that includes Torah, ethics, ritual, Hebrew, history and Israel with an emphasis on Jewish diversity and social justice in an LGBT/queer-positive community.

Register your Child Today