This common question for this time of year came to me via my Mixed and Matched column in the Jweekly.

Congregation Emanu-el, San Francisco

Congregation Emanu-el, San Francisco

I am getting serious about my boyfriend (who is not Jewish) and I want him to understand what’s important to me about being Jewish. I’m thinking that this year I should take him with me to High Holy Day services. Chabad has free services and I was always treated kindly by the Chabad rabbi on my college campus, so I thought about going there. I was raised Reform; do you think I’ll be able to follow the traditional service and explain it to my boyfriend?
Wondering

My reply:

Dear Wondering: I appreciate your growing awareness that your boyfriend deserves to know more about what Judaism is and especially what it means to you. However, starting with the High Holy Day services is really pushing him into the deep end of the pool. I don’t recommend it.

In the 20-plus years I’ve been working with interfaith couples, I’ve seen exactly two people, both practicing Christians, who liked High Holy Day services. Two!

If you have grown up going to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, you are acclimated to the length of the service, the language and the atmosphere. But for your boyfriend it is utterly unknown and probably uncomfortable. The liturgy is unique; so is the music. The intention is to jolt Jews into a heightened state of awareness. Additionally, the reference to sins is heard by most Jews as “missed the mark,” but to most people raised in American culture, it can sound like the precursor to a quick trip to hell.

I suggest you take your boyfriend to a regular Shabbat service. At this time of year, many synagogues have outdoor services or services that include a picnic dinner or lots of music. Since you were raised Reform, I suggest you help him get familiar with a Reform environment. That is going to be most comfortable for you, and your comfort level will significantly influence his.

I would not recommend a Chabad or Orthodox service as his first experience because, for one, you would be sitting on opposite sides of the mechitza, which would preclude you from sharing a prayerbook and explaining things. Additionally, there are parts of a traditional Shabbat service that the Reform movement has deleted, so you too would be a bit confused.

I understand the concern about the cost of High Holy Day tickets, and I have a few suggestions. Rosh Hashanah starts the evening of Oct. 2. A couple of weeks before the holidays, this newspaper will print a long list of free services in the area (last year’s list at http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/75582 could give you a lead). Additionally, look at websites of Reform synagogues near you; many have lower prices for students, military and young adults. Or feel free to call me at (510) 845-6420 ext. 11; I can help you find options near you.

I also want to reflect on this idea you’ve formed: wanting your boyfriend to understand what is important to you about being a Jew. This is very important and he deserves to know. And you are doing the right thing by making this effort.

I want to you to consider the best way to go about assisting him. First, it is best if you and he learn together. Don’t make this a job for him with you as boss. Look for a basic Judaism class that you could attend together. Since most adult Jews haven’t studied Judaism since their teens, you’ll find yourself able to take in more of the details and the subtleties of Jewish history, practice and theology.

Many synagogues offer basic courses, and certainly Lehrhaus Judaica offers classes throughout the Bay Area, including an online option if you are located far afield.

Should you take him to services? Yes! But go easy. Find a service that is a bit shorter and has a lot of music. And, if you can, go with friends. Also, prepare a Shabbat dinner at home for him. Explain the elements of Shabbat at home. Demonstrate how Judaism is, in fact, a home-based religion. It is likely that the Jewish activities you will want him to do with you are home-based: Shabbat, Hanukkah, Passover. Have fun and be prepared to do this together.

Posted by admin under Couples, High Holidays, Mixed & Matched, Non-Jewish family, Relationships, Rosh Hashanah
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Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, CA

Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, CA

Here’s a comment I get frequently – I’m going to take my non-Jewish sweetheart to the High Holy Days this year. Here is one woman who posed it as a question —

I am getting serious about my boyfriend (who is not Jewish) and I want him to understand what’s important to me about being Jewish. I’m thinking that this year I should take him with me to High Holy Day services. Chabad has free services and I was always treated kindly by the Chabad rabbi on my college campus, so I thought about going there. I was raised Reform; do you think I’ll be able to follow the traditional service and explain it to my boyfriend? — Wondering

Dear Wondering: I appreciate your growing awareness that your boyfriend deserves to know more about what Judaism is and especially what it means to you. However, starting with the High Holy Day services is really pushing him into the deep end of the pool. I don’t recommend it.

In the 20-plus years I’ve been working with interfaith couples, I’ve seen exactly two people, both practicing Christians, who liked High Holy Day services. Two!

If you have grown up going to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, you are acclimated to the length of the service, the language and the atmosphere. But for your boyfriend it is utterly unknown and probably uncomfortable. The liturgy is unique; so is the music. The intention is to jolt Jews into a heightened state of awareness. Additionally, the reference to sins is heard by most Jews as “missed the mark,” but to most people raised in American culture, it can sound like the precursor to a quick trip to hell.

I suggest you take your boyfriend to a regular Shabbat service. At this time of year, many synagogues have outdoor services or services that include a picnic dinner or lots of music. Since you were raised Reform, I suggest you help him get familiar with a Reform environment. That is going to be most comfortable for you, and your comfort level will significantly influence his.

I would not recommend a Chabad or Orthodox service as his first experience because, for one, you would be sitting on opposite sides of the mechitza, which would preclude you from sharing a prayerbook and explaining things. Additionally, there are parts of a traditional Shabbat service that the Reform movement has deleted, so you too would be a bit confused.

I understand the concern about the cost of High Holy Day tickets, and I have a few suggestions. Rosh Hashanah starts the evening of Oct. 2. A couple of weeks before the holidays, this newspaper will print a long list of free services in the area (last year’s list could give you a lead). Additionally, look at websites of Reform synagogues near you; many have lower prices for students, military and young adults. Or feel free to call me at (510) 845-6420 ext. 11; I can help you find options near you.

I also want to reflect on this idea you’ve formed: wanting your boyfriend to understand what is important to you about being a Jew. This is very important and he deserves to know. And you are doing the right thing by making this effort.

I want to you to consider the best way to go about assisting him. First, it is best if you and he learn together. Don’t make this a job for him with you as boss. Look for a basic Judaism class that you could attend together. Since most adult Jews haven’t studied Judaism since their teens, you’ll find yourself able to take in more of the details and the subtleties of Jewish history, practice and theology.

Many synagogues offer basic courses, and certainly Lehrhaus Judaica offers classes throughout the Bay Area, including an online option if you are located far afield.

Should you take him to services? Yes! But go easy. Find a service that is a bit shorter and has a lot of music. And, if you can, go with friends. Also, prepare a Shabbat dinner at home for him. Explain the elements of Shabbat at home. Demonstrate how Judaism is, in fact, a home-based religion. It is likely that the Jewish activities you will want him to do with you are home-based: Shabbat, Hanukkah, Passover. Have fun and be prepared to do this together.

This letter is from the monthly column, Mixed and Matched, in the Jweekly.

Posted by admin under Couples, High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah, Synagogues
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Shana mom and dogs

Growing Up Interfaith
First Person Stories | Current Findings | Best Practices

What is it like to grow up in an interfaith family? For the first time we are asking young adults, “What was that like for you?”

At this program adults raised in interfaith families will talk about:

Taking charge of their Jewish identity
Making choices – the same or different from their parents
What really supported them in creating and maintaining their religious or cultural identities
How did being part of an interfaith family make them more open to differences in others
How much Jewish education is needed
Does it matter whether your Jewish parent is your father or your mother

Other workshops will cover:

Balancing the needs of your relationship with the needs of your child
How parents can support their children’s identity development
Should you let your child decide their religion or just give them one
Reform, Conservative, Orthodox – where does it all fit for the adult with a non-Jewish parent

May 22
1pm to 5:15pm
Everyone is welcome to come early for a tour of the photo exhibit, This Is Bay Area Jewry, and/or stick around for wine & cheese with the speakers afterwards.

The half day conference will be at Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland, where there is plenty of parking.
The conference is free but you must sign up. Do so here.

Got questions? Email me, dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org or call me at 510-845-6420×11.

Caroline Taymor with Torah

Posted by admin under A meaningful life, Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Community Activities, Couples, In their own words, Programs archive
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Pesach tart (horizontal)

Have you noticed that when we go without leavened foods we kind of freak out? Suddenly people need cups and cups of sugar to make it all up to them. These same people may eat very little leavened food as part of their regular diet but the forbidden-ness seems to do things to our brains.

A few thoughts on this desperation.

1. Embrace it! Give yourself a day, a couple days, a week, to actually think about this deprivation you are feeling and ask yourself, do I really care that much? Is going without a few food items for a few days SO terrible? Might I use this time to consider how refugees around the world are feeling? Or the poor people in this country who go to bed with very little food, and would happily have a box of matzah.

2. Can I be creative? What if I cook and eat “clean” for a week. That means no processed foods, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and stick to food you cooked yourself.

3. I want to be kosher for Passover and I WANT a rich dessert! OK, OK! Here’s a dessert that one friend has described as, very much like bread pudding. So you get your non-bread dessert and sort of get bread too! Best Passover Apple Cake

4. It isn’t just the food it’s the whole big deal; I just couldn’t pull it off this year. That’s OK. There’s always next year and you have 12 months to figure it out. First, ask for some help. See if you have friends with whom you could do a joint Seder. Look for a Community Seder, pay your money and let them do all the work. Talk to your rabbi. Talk to me.

5. It’s my spouse; he/she isn’t into it/doesn’t like it/won’t help. This is a bigger issue and my first question would be, how do you know? Have you asked your partner or just assumed it? Have you been guests at a Seder and was that OK? How much do you and your spouse know about Seder? If your spouse has experienced one horribly long and boring Seder you can’t blame them for now avoiding all Seders. But the good news is that there are lots of short, fun, delicious Seders out there and possibly your spouse would be willing to give it one more try. Let’s talk.

Posted by admin under Couples, Passover, Relationships
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Sasha_Saman-852

Growing Up Interfaith

What would happen if instead of telling people what they feel, we asked them? That’s the novel idea behind this gathering. In a qualitative study, Dr. Bruce Phillips and Dawn Kepler asked young adults who had one Jewish and one non-Jewish parent about their experiences, feelings and choices. On May 22nd the preliminary findings will be shared and discussed. Additionally, we will hear from experts. Many of those experts will be the individuals who grew up in an interfaith family.

Workshop leaders will include:

Dr. Bruce Phillips, a leading researcher in the sociology of American Jewry for over three decades and author of the 2004 San Francisco Jewish Population Study will discuss data now available about adults from interfaith families.

Dr. Joel Crohn, author of Mixed Matches: How to Create Successful Interracial, Interethnic and Interfaith Relationships and Beyond the Chuppah: A Jewish Guide to Happy Marriages, will discuss balancing your responsibilities as a partner and a parent.

A panel of adults raised in interfaith families will share their diverse experiences and well as their recommendations for intermarried parents and Jewish institutions.

A therapist who grew up in an interfaith home will discuss a therapist’s view of religious issues.

Rabbi David Kasher, Senior Rabbinic Educator for Kevah, will speak on An Orthodox View of Intermarriage, Patrilineal Jews and a Torah Life.

Rabbi Susan Leider, Rabbi of Kol Shofar of Tiburon, will discuss the options and opportunities for interfaith families in Conservative synagogues.

Jonathan+and+Francisco

Date: May 22
Time: 1 to 5:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

Lehrhaus and Building Jewish Bridges will present This Is Bay Area Jewry, a photo exhibition showcasing the range of diversity in our community. The exhibition at Temple Sinai will enhance your conference experience.

List of Co-sponsors to date:

Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs in the Conservative/Masorti Movement, Rabbi Simon
Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael
Jewish Family and Community Services of the East Bay
Jewish Community Center of the East Bay
Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Foster City, Rabbi Lavey Derby
Coffee Shop Rabbi, Rabbi Ruth Adar
Beth Am, Los Altos, Rabbi Marder
Beth David, Saratoga, Rabbi Alexander
Beth Sholom, SF, Rabbi Glazer
B’nai Shalom, Walnut Creek Rabbi Drucker
B’nai Tikvah, Walnut Creek, Rabbi Gutterman
Kol Emeth, Palo Alto, Rabbi Booth
Kol Shofar, Tiburon, Rabbi Leider
Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, Rabbi Creditor
Peninsula Sinai, Foster City, Rabbi Helfand
Sherith Israel, SF, Rabbi Larry Raphael
Temple Beth Abraham, Rabbi Bloom
Temple Sinai, Oakland, Rabbi Mates-Muchin

This event is supported by the Ingrid D. Tauber Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Federation and Foundation and the Koret Foundation.

Posted by admin under A meaningful life, Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Couples, In their own words, Programs archive
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Serial (Bad) Weddings

Serial (Bad) Weddings

In this comedy sensation from France, we meet Marie and Claude Verneuil who pride themselves on their open-mindedness. But their lifestyle—they are affluent, church-going Catholics—is put to the test after three of their daughters marry men from vastly different ethnic and religious backgrounds. When their fourth daughter announces her engagement to a man from the Ivory Coast, they try to sabotage the interracial wedding, only to discover that the groom’s parents harbor prejudices of their own.

Tuesday, March 8
10:00 am
Century 16 Theatres, 125 Crescent Drive, Pleasant Hill
Tickets and details here.

Stay after for a brief discussion of the film.
Who is happy in a “happy ending”? Can anyone be “too” different? Are there any positives to cultural and religious homogeneity? Why did they change the name of the film for an English speaking audience?

Posted by admin under Couples, Film, Intercultural, Programs archive
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Kimberlee in Scotch plaid

When Jews love Non-Jews and Judaism

In 1994 Anne was a graduate student at Stanford University in the Film Department. For her Master’s Thesis she made a short film (9 minutes) about her parents’ intermarriage and titled it Interlove Story. In it she uses old family movies and current interviews with her parents to tell the story of their Catholic – Jewish marriage, the choices they made regarding religion in their home and the advice they gave her regarding her own relationship with a non-Jewish man. In her film, Anne does not propose any answers. She opens questions and relates choices, the choices that have brought her to be who she is.

There are some statements that jump off the screen – whether you agree or disagree, you’ll have an opinion.

Sunday, February 28
10:00 – 11:30 am
B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
$5 for the public; Free for members
Register here.

Posted by admin under Couples, Programs archive
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New Years Day

Happy 2016! This is a great time to commit to increase your understanding of your spouse/partner, learn more yourself and get to know others on the same path. Now is the time to consider what role your non-Jewish spouse will have in Jewish life. Time to think about how to balance your love of Judaism and your love of someone who isn’t Jewish. Time to ask, if the Jewish parent is Dad, how will our child be perceived & what can we do to strengthen their confidence in their own authenticity. And, of course, it’s always a good time to cook up delicious food and EAT it! I hope to see you at one of these events!

Bnai Tikvah bema

The Non-Jew in the Synagogue
Our synagogue is blessed to have many interfaith couples as members, many of whom are very involved. That involvement has led to some common questions. How should I behave in services; should I do what the Jews are doing – bow, recite the Hebrew? How should I deal with lines like, ‘thank you God for making me a Jew’ when I’m not a Jew? I wonder if I’ll be offending anyone by ‘acting’ like a Jew or by saying Shabbat Shalom or Shana Tovah. Does that make me an impostor? I’m not sure whether I’m allowed to touch the Torah.
For better or worse, every synagogue has its own customs. Come learn about the customs and traditions at B’nai Tikvah. We can also touch on common practice at other shuls if you are anticipating visiting elsewhere for a family simcha.

Date: Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016
Time: 10am to 11:30am
Place: B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
Cost: Free to members of B’nai Tikvah, $5/public
Sign up here

chelsea Clinton smaller

Interlove Story: When Jews Love Non-Jews and Judaism
In 1994 Anne was a graduate student at Stanford University in the Film Department. For her Master’s Thesis she made a short film (9 minutes) about her parents’ intermarriage and titled it Interlove Story. In it she uses old family movies and current interviews with her parents to tell the story of their Catholic – Jewish marriage, the choices they made regarding religion in their home and the advice they gave her regarding her own relationship with a non-Jewish man. In her film, Anne does not propose any answers. She opens questions and relates choices, the choices that have brought her to be who she is.
There are some statements that jump off the screen – whether you agree or disagree, you’ll have an opinion.

Date: Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
Time: 10am to 11:30am
Place: B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
Cost: Free to members of B’nai Tikvah, $5/public
Sign up here.

Jew dictionary definition

Patrilineal Descent, Reform Judaism & Those Other Jews
In 1983 the Reform movement officially recognized children of Jewish fathers as Jewish. But if you read the statement it says that every child of a mixed marriage, whether the mother or father is Jewish, must establish their identity as a Jew “through appropriate and timely public and formal acts of identification with the Jewish faith and people.” What are those acts? Do we really expect all kids from interfaith marriages to do so? What role do non-Reform Jews play in our lives and those of our children? Join Dawn Kepler for an exploration of Patrilineal Jews today.

Date: Sunday, March 13, 2016
Time: 10am to 11:30am
Place: B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
Cost: Free to members of B’nai Tikvah, $5/public
Sign up here.

Challah by Margee

Cooking Jewish Whether You’re Jewish or Not: Shabbat!
Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the central observance or holy day of Judaism. Just about everything gives way before Shabbat – including Yom Kippur. Because it is the day that God gave us for rest and enjoyment, it should be a day of joy. It’s a great time to put something absolutely delicious on the table for Shabbat. How about warm bread, roasted chicken, a savory kugel, and a mouthwatering dessert. We won’t stop at the food. We’ll share lots of secrets for making Shabbat something worth staying home for, even if you have teenagers.

Date: May 1
Time: noon to 4pm
Place: Beth Am Congregation, in the kitchen
Cost: $35
Sign up here.

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Couples, Finding a Synagogue, Programs archive
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Christmakah

You may have heard me tell this story because it had a deep impact on me – years ago in a workshop a non-Jewish wife told me that she waited all year for Christmas. She described herself as “a pressure cooker waiting to let off steam.” She recounted her love of the rituals of Christmas. She didn’t identify as Christian and she had considered conversion but she felt deeply attached to Christmas and her annual festive BANG.

It didn’t seem to me that she needed to convert; I thought she needed to have more than one day, one season, of celebration. Since she was married to a Jewish man and raising her children Jewish I suggested that she try adding the observance of Jewish holidays. I conjectured that her husband might be more engaged and participatory and that that would improve her celebrations/holidays quota. I even suggested she try Shabbat.

Two years later I saw her in the lobby of a JCC. She dashed to my side and in glowing terms told me that she had indeed begun observing Jewish holidays including Shabbat. She felt that her needs for ritual, spirituality and celebration were being met at last.

I have never forgotten that image of a pressure cooker. How very hard to have to “save up” your emotions for one holiday. What if this year Christmas doesn’t live up to your expectations and needs? I know that there are lots of people in danger of that happening. If you have set your heart on a bang-up Christmas please identify a few easy to accomplish activities. You might even plan them for after Christmas. You could have:

A games night with your kids & friends
A sing-along
A cookie bake-athon
A volunteer day at an animal shelter
A walk in the woods
A drive through the most Christmas decorated blocks in your town
Go out to dinner and a movie
Watch an old, beloved movie in pjs with popcorn.

Do one or more of these things with people that you love. Being with loved ones perks up any day of the year.

I wish you a Merry Christmas if you celebrate Christmas and to those who don’t, you can still schedule one or more of these activities.

EVENTS
Mu Shu & a Movie, Starring Uncle Yu’s and ‘Deli Man’ (Lafayette)
Chopshticks (Palo Alto)
Chinese Food and a Movie! (San Francisco)
Early Shabbat Service & Vegetarian Chinese Food Dinner (Palo Alto)
New Year’s Eve Stand-Up Comedy Show & After Party (San Rafael)
DIY Jewish Home traditions: Empower Yourself! (San Rafael)
Modern Jewish Literature (Los Altos)
A Walk Through the Many Levels of Tu B’Shevat (San Francisco)
2016 Community-Wide Mitzvah Day (Palo Alto)
Tu B’Shvat in the Redwoods with Wilderness Torah (Oakland)
Jewish Film Series (Los Altos)

Mu Shu & a Movie, Starring Uncle Yu’s and ‘Deli Man’
It’s become a Jewish tradition that almost rivals hot pastrami on rye. While Santa makes his global deliveries on the eve of December 24, deliver yourself, your family, and your appetite to Temple Isaiah for Mu Shu and a Movie!
Feast on a delicious Chinese “take in” buffet by Uncle Yu’s Restaurant in Lafayette, and then savor – what else! – ‘Deli Man’, a sweet, juicy movie about Jewish delicatessens that features Larry King, Jerry Stiller, and plenty of haimishe maykholim (Yiddish for ‘home-style cooking’). Jingle Bells, Fortune Cookies, Corned Beef and Matzah Balls! Bubbe might plotz, but we’re eating it up.
Dinner includes that gourmet buffet, movie snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. You may bring and share your own wine and beer.

Date: Thursday, December 24
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Place: Temple Isaiah Adult Lounge, 945 Risa Rd, Lafayette
Cost: Non-Members: $25 (Adults/Teens), $17 (12 & under)
Questions? Please contact Bob Coleman at rccod@comcast.net
Sign up here http://www.temple-isaiah.org/mushu

Chopshticks
Enjoy Chinese food and gut-busting comedy at our annual holiday laugh fest! Our guest comedian this year is Wayne Federman, a comedian, actor, author, comedy writer and musician.

Date: Thursday, December 24
Time: Dinner at 7:45p | Show at 8:45p
Place: Schultz Cultural Arts Hall, Palo Alto JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Cost: In advance: $60 General Public | $55 Member
$65 at the door, space permitting
Contact: Robin Vasilakos | (650) 223-8791 or rvasilakos@paloaltojcc.org
Sign up here http://paloaltojcc.org/Events/chopshticks

Chinese Food and a Movie!
What better way to spend Friday night, December 25th! Plan to join us for Chinese food, an abbreviated Shabbat service, and a movie.
Dinner at 6:30 pm, Erev Shabbat service at 7:30, and a screening of the film, Yentl following the service.

Date: Dec. 25
Time: Begins at 6:30p
Place: Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St, San Francisco
Cost: Adults: $10 and Children under 12 free.
Reservations for dinner will be accepted until 12:00pm on Wednesday, December 23rd.
Please call the Congregation Sha’ar Zahav office at 415-861-6932 for details.
Register here http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ebzipusm43aa6f5e&llr=l9calgcab

Early Shabbat Service & Vegetarian Chinese Food Dinner
We’ll be mixing things up a little this Shabbat – the service will start at 5:30 followed by a vegetarian Chinese food dinner hosted by Rabbi Chaim. The dinner is free and open to all, but an RSVP by Wednesday, December 23, at noon is required so that we can order appropriate quantities of food. No RSVP is necessary if you are coming to the service but not staying for dinner.

Date: Friday, December 25
Time: 5:30 pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto
Free but you must sign up by 12/23
Sign up here https://etzchayim.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=9845

New Year’s Eve Stand-Up Comedy Show & After Party
A New Year’s Eve celebration made easy & funny. The 6th Annual Stand-Up Comedy Celebration is the perfect experience for New Year’s Eve in Marin. Group tables allow folks to bring their Party to a great comedy show with nothing to clean up. The evening is timed with maximum flexibility so attendees can enjoy an early dinner at a favorite restaurant, go elsewhere for the stroke of midnight, or stay for the festive After Party with the Comics, featuring complimentary bubbly and a big-screen countdown!
Smart, funny and clean stand-up comedy from 5 comedians in ONE hilarious show with a rare Bay Area appearance by Kevin Meaney.
Osher Marin

Date: Thursday, December 31
Time: 9:00pm-12:00am
Place: Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael
Register here. http://www.marinjcc.org/events/2015/12/31/performing-arts/the-6th-annual-new-year-s-eve-stand-up-comedy-show-after-party/9282/
www.marinjcc.org

DIY Jewish Home traditions: Empower Yourself!
A Creative Jewish Traditions Series with Rabbi Elana Rosen-Brown
There are so many beautiful Jewish traditions, stories, rituals, recipes and songs that are intended entirely for the home and take place outside the walls of the synagogue. But what are they? Where do they come from? And how can you feel empowered to create these traditions for yourself or your family in a way that is uniquely your own?
If you’re looking for guidance on how to create a meaningful Shabbat experience with your family, celebrate the Jewish holidays in creative ways, or how to incorporate simple Jewish teachings into daily moments then this class is for you! You will leave the class with many tools and resources for creating new Jewish traditions for yourself and your family.

Dates: Second Friday of the month, next date is Jan. 8
Time: 11:30 am – 12:30pm
Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
RSVP to Molly atmolly@rodefsholom.org.

Modern Jewish Literature
Taught by Rabbi Marder and Dr. Joyce Penn Moser
This five-session seminar explores fascinating works by American, European and Israeli Jewish writers that illuminate the human condition. Come prepared for a lively discussion!
For book details and/or to register for this course, download and complete the signup form (coming soon) and return with a check to “Congregation Beth Am” attention Sheba Solomon.

Dates: Sundays, January 10, January 31, February 28, March 13 and April 17
Time: 9:00-11:00am
Place: Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
Suggested donation: $36 per person (includes bagels, cream cheese, juice and coffee).
Registration required. Find details and sign up for here http://www.betham.org/learning-adult-education/event/modern-jewish-literature-class-1

A Walk Through the Many Levels of Tu B’Shevat
Tu B’Shevat is the first of the four new years in the Jewish calendar and is known as the “new year for the trees.” It celebrates the signs of life returning to earth in the form of green sprouts and blossoms. According to Kabbalah, it is the Tree of Life itself that is the ultimate source of this celebration.

In preparation for Tu B’Shevat seder join congregant Shulamit Sofia for a workshop exploring such Kabbalistic aspects as the four cups of wine, the four species of fruits and nuts, and the overarching context of the Four Worlds. To learn more about Shulamit, visit: www.soulstrengthseminars.com

Date: Tuesday, January 12
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Temple Emanu-El, Room 56, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco
www.emanuelsf.org

2016 Community-Wide Mitzvah Day:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Join hundreds of your neighbors for a community-wide day of “tikkun olam” (“repair of the world”) as part of a National Day of Service to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This inter-generational event will feature a range of hands-on service projects; participants will work in small groups on projects addressing issues of poverty, hunger, housing and homelessness, aging, the environment, and more.
Come on your own or with your family and friends! We ask that any volunteers under the age of 15 be accompanied by a parent. We look forward to working with you to promote Dr. King’s legacy of tolerance, peace, and equality and increase our community’s commitment to service & justice. This fun and inspirational day will leave you feeling accomplished and energized!

Monday, January 18, 2016
Time: 8am to 7pm
Place: Osher Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Details here http://paloaltojcc.org/Events/2016-community-wide-mitzvah-day-martin-luther-king-jr-day-of-service

Tu B’Shvat in the Redwoods with Wilderness Torah
Come to the redwoods to celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the unseen awakening of spring. In the tradition of the Tsfat mystics, we gather in the forest to create an experiential Tu B’Shvat seder that connects us to the trees and the elements. Morning seder, kids program, and afternoon workshops!

Date: Sunday, January 24, 2016
Time: 10 am to 3:30 pm
Place: Roberts Regional Recreation Area, Oakland.

Register here for Festival & Avodah (work exchange)
www.wildernesstorah.org

Jewish Film Series
This month’s Jewish Film Series presents When Comedy Went to School in the Beit Kehillah. Come see this saucy and spirited documentary about this country’s greatest generation of comics — the generation that includes the likes of Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason, Mort Sahl and Jerry Stiller, all of whom make appearances in the film, sharing hilarious and personal experiences. With charm and wit, When Comedy Went to School seeks to answer why there are so many Jewish comedians.

This program is free, the community is welcome and refreshments will be served.

Date: Saturday
Time: 3:30p
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org

Posted by admin under A meaningful life, Christmas, Community Activities, Couples, Holidays
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bread wine & candles

A Jew may ask their spouse to agree to have a “Jewish” home. But what does that mean?
To a non-Jewish loved one it may mean simply that some of the people in the house say they are Jews. But our partners deserve a more in-depth answer. One Jew may say, a Jewish home has Jewish ritual objects – a menorah, Shabbos candlesticks, a ketubah on the wall. Another may add, but you need to do Jewish things in a Jewish home like observe Shabbat weekly or build a sukkah on Sukkot or recite the Shema before bedtime. Yet another will say we must act like Jews, give tzadakah, attend synagogue, refrain from eating pork.
Each Jewish partner will have their own ideas about what they need in order to feel that their home is “Jewish.” Or, they may have no clear idea at all! Every non-Jewish spouse deserves a clear statement as to what they are signing up for. Join other curious couples for an enlightening discussion and go home with your own individualized plan.

Date: Sunday, Oct 25
Time: 9 to 10:30am
Place: Peninsula Temple Sholom 1655 Sebastian Dr., Burlingame
Cost: $8/public; free to Peninsula Temple Sholom members
Register here

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Couples, Jewish holidays at home, Programs archive
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