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Thursday, June 5, 2014 | return to: news & features, local


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No more Havdallah bonfires at night in S.F.

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The Yeashore Community’s 18-year run of marking Havdallah with a nighttime bonfire at Ocean Beach in San Francisco once a month appears to be over.

The National Park Service has enacted a ban of fires on the beach after 9 p.m., effectively eliminating the group’s ability to have a Saturday night bonfire after Shabbat ends.

Maggid Raja Anderson, who runs Yeashore, said the group will likely switch to Sunday afternoon Havdallah bonfires, though no plans for such an event had been made as of early this week.

“You can have Havdallah up until sunset on Tuesday,” Anderson told J.

The new Golden Gate National Recreation Area rule quietly went into effect on May 23. Ignoring the regulation isn’t part of the plan, Anderson noted.

“We do not want to subject people who would like to join us for Havdallah, singing and storytelling to the possibility of police citations,” he wrote in an email.

Attendance at Yeashore’s beach bonfires — usually held once a month, but sometimes twice if the weather is nice — ranges from 20 to 120. In the last few years, the average has been 60 people. For the past 14 years, Yeashore has also been staging Havdallah bonfires in the East Bay.

No date for a June bonfire has been posted. For information, visit http://www.yeashore.org.


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