When Ramadan fell over Hanukkah we had some Muslim friends over. They made a fried honey cookie and I made Bimuelos!

Photo credit: Israel Jewish News blog

Photo credit: Israel Jewish News blog

Bimuelos

2 packages yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 egg
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp melted butter or margarine
3 c. flour
Canola oil
Honey syrup

In large bowl mix yeast and 1/3 cup warm water; let stand to dissolve yeast – about 5 minutes.
Add egg, salt, ½ tsp of the cinnamon, and the butter and beat to mix well. Add flour alternately with remaining warm water and mix the batter well. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let stand in a warm place until it doubles in bulk, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
In a 4 quart pan heat an inch & ½ of oil to 425 degrees. Drop dough by the tablespoon at a time into the hot oil. Don’t over crowd the pan. Turn bimuelos to brown on both sides. Cook until golden brown and puffy – about a minute.

Lift out bimuelos with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

Honey syrup
In a 1 qt pan combine 1 cup honey and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour hot over the bimuelos.

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Afikomen cards

EVENTS
Chanukah Party (San Leandro)
Community Chanukah Celebration at The Village (Corte Madera)
LatkeFest! (Berkeley)
Kol Emeth Community Chanukah Party (Palo Alto)
Community Menorah Lighting (Redwood City)
Making Room for Shabbat: Chanukah Edition! (Palo Alto)
Rockin’ Shabbat Shira (Redwood City)
DIY Judaism: Let’s Practice Havdalah! (Oakland)
Sam Glaser Concert: “The Promise Tour” (Palo Alto)
Film: From Lone Soldier to Filmmaker (Walnut Creek)
Why Pray? (Lafayette)
DIY Judaism: Let’s Make Challah (Oakland)
Jewish Birth Preparation Class (Palo Alto)

Chanukah Party
Lots of fun, concert with Yonat Mayer, games, delicious homemade latke dinner sponsored by the Sisterhood, candle lighting, and quality time with family and friends. Bring your family’s favorite Chanukiah and 5 candles to light. Everyone is welcome at this fun, free event.

Date: Sat., Nov. 30
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Temple Beth Sholom, 642 Dolores Ave., San Leandro
www.tbssanleandro.org

Community Chanukah Celebration at The Village!
Come join Rodef Sholom, Chabad, and the rest of the Marin Jewish community for a Chanukah Festival of Unity as we light the Chanukah menorah together and celebrate one of the most important messages of Chanukah – the right to religious freedom. You won’t want to miss the festivities, the treats, the crafts, or the singing!

Date: Sunday, December 1
Time: 5:00 pm
Place: The Village, 1618 Redwood Hwy, Corte Madera
If you have questions, call Rodef Sholom, they gave me the info, (415) 479-3441

LatkeFest!
Join us for our congregation’s annual Chanukah celebration, filled with music, latkes and lights. Our LatkeFest will be held on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend to gather as a community and celebrate this holiday of miracles.
The Men’s Club will be busy making their delicious latkes as a grand finale to Thanksgiving weekend. There will be activities for participants of all ages, as well as a wonderful opportunity to light our chanukiot (festive candleholders) together. Bring your chanukiah and candles; we will provide the community and the ruach (spirit).
Please bring with you an unwrapped gift for a teen in Oakland and/or canned food for the Alameda County Food Bank.

Date: Sunday, December 1
Time: 5:00 pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford, Berkeley
www.bethelberkeley.org

Kol Emeth Community Chanukah Party
Join us for a grand Chanukah celebration! Sing Chanukah songs, watch our courtyard glow with a spectacular community candle-lighting, and win prizes in an exciting game of Chanukah Bingo! Enjoy a delicious Chanukah dinner, including traditional latkes and fresh donuts. We’ll have festivities for all ages to enjoy, and this celebration is open to the whole community!

5:35-6:10 School Chanukah Assembly
6:10-6:25 Community Candle-lighting & Songs (please bring your family’s menorah!)
6:30-7:00 Chanukah Dinner with Latkes & Fresh Donuts
6:45-7:30 Fun Chanukah Activities, including Bingo, Dreidel, Arts & Crafts, and more!

Date: Dec. 3
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Congregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave, Palo Alto
Cost: $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
Families and community members are all invited! Sign up here
Questions? Email Ruthie at ruthie@kolemeth.org

Community Menorah Lighting
Join the fun Community Menorah Lighting – a menorah made out of LEGOs! Donuts, latkes, crafts and music.

Date: Tuesday, December 3
Time: 5:00 pm
Place: 2200 Broadway Street, Courthouse Square, Redwood City
More info call 650-232-0995

Making Room for Shabbat: Chanukah Edition!
Celebrate the warmth and light of Chanukah with a festive Shabbat family service, gourmet dinner, and fun activities for kids. We’ll begin with special Chanukah activities for families with tots, followed by a festive Shabbat evening for all ages to enjoy!

4:30 Tot Chanukah Activities & Early Dinner
5:30 Shabbat Family Service
6:30 Gourmet Chanukah Dinner for All Ages
7:00 Oneg & Schmoozing, with Fun Activities for Kids (grades K-7)

Date: Friday, Dec. 6
Time: 4:30pm
Place: Congregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave, Palo Alto
Cost: $10/adults ~ $5/kids (age 5 thru 7th Grade) ~ kids 4 & under eat free!
RSVP as soon as possible, as space is limited. All RSVPs must be received by Tues, Dec 3rd!
RSVP online
Questions? Email Ruthie at ruthie@kolemeth.org

Rockin’ Shabbat Shira
Come to this much-loved first-Friday musical Shabbat service and dinner! Rockin’ Shabbat is a multigenerational spiritual and social experience, enjoyed by members and friends from newborn to 90+!

Date: Friday, December 6
Time: Service at 6:15 pm Dinner after services – Dinner reservations are required by
Wednesday, December 4.
Place: Congregation Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City
You can make your reservation online here
650-366-8481.
www.bethjacobrwc.org

DIY Judaism: Let’s Practice Havdalah!
Havdalah is a wonderful ritual that ends the Sabbath on Saturday evening. It’s a time that gathers loved ones together with a little wine, a candle, and some spices to look forward to a new week. It’s a nice way to spend family time, or to connect with friends. It also affords each of us a moment of awareness to reflect on what we want from the coming week.

Date: Saturday, December 7
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Place: Private home in Oakland – friends, it’s at my house.
Cost: $20 per family, $10 per person
Register here

Sam Glaser Concert: “The Promise Tour”
Sam Glaser’s soulful music has become part of the fabric of Jewish life in communities worldwide. Named one of the top ten Jewish performers in the US by Moment magazine, he has appeared at such venues as L.A.’s Greek Theater, Universal Amphitheater, Staples Center and Dodger Stadium as well as on Broadway and at the White House.
Sam’s energetic style and passionate delivery never fails to ignite the spirit of audiences of all sizes and age groups. Don’t miss his live performance!

Date: Saturday, Dec. 7
Time: 7pm
Place: Congregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave, Palo Alto
Cost: $5/kids, $8/adults. Family discount: $20 for a family of 4. Tickets sold at the door.
Concert co-sponsored by Congregation Beth David & The Bernard H. and Ruth E. Raskin Educational Endowment Fund at Congregation Kol Emeth

Film: From Lone Soldier to Filmmaker
Filmmaker and former “lone soldier” Ilan Benjamin left Lafayette for Israel when he joined the Israel Defense Forces. Upon completion of his army service, he began studying film at USC. He will read from MASA, his powerful collection of short stories
chronicling his life in the IDF, and screen two of his short films.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 12
Time: 7:30pm
Place: Social Hall of B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek
General admission is $7; students free. All are welcome.
www.bshalom.org
A program of the Contra Costa Jewish Book & Arts Festival with author/filmmaker Ilan Benjamin.
Co-sponsored by Congregation B’nai Shalom, Diablo Valley Hadassah and Friends of the Israel Defense Force.

Why Pray?
Jewish prayer has been around since biblical times. With the destruction of the second Temple in 70 CE, prayer became a more formal way for Jews to offer “avodah” (worship/sacrifice) to God as a community. That being said, many Jews find the experience of prayer today to be alienating, frustrating, challenging, boring, or all of the above. In this class, we will address the philosophy and theology behind Jewish prayer and wrestle with our own personal ways to answer the questions “Why pray (in general)?” and “Why pray as a community with fixed liturgy at fixed times?”
Taught by Rabbi Nicki Greninger.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 15
Time: 11:15am
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette
RSVP here
Free of charge.

DIY Judaism: Let’s Make Challah
Everyone loves the smell of baking bread or the taste of warm homemade bread from the oven. Do you wish you could make delicious challah for Shabbat, but don’t consider yourself a baker or are short on time?
Join us in the kitchen, and we’ll quickly put your mind at ease. We’ll talk about the secrets of baking, the power of food as a part of ritual, and favorite recipes for challah.
Experienced bakers are welcome to come and brag about their fabulous recipe. Just be sure to bring copies of the recipe for everyone. Everyone will go home with a loaf of bread, a packet of ideas, and the confidence to bake challah like a professional.

Date: Sunday, December 15
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Place: Private home in Oakland
Cost: $20/person
Register here

Jewish Birth Preparation Class
The birthing class with a Jewish twist! The class will cover information related to the birth process (anatomy, stages of labor, pain management, etc.) and Jewish rituals and traditions around birth and babies (planning a welcoming ceremony, choosing a name, parenting from a Jewish perspective, etc.). The class is designed to be a one-stop shop for expectant parents and can take the place of a birthing class offered by local hospitals and birthing centers. Become informed and make friends!

Date: 6 sessions beginning Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014
Time: 6 to 9pm
Place: Parents Place, 200 Channing Ave., Palo Alto.
Cost is $200 per couple.
To register for the class please go here. For more information, please contact Program Director, Jen Wolosin at jen@jewishbabynetwork.org.

Jewish Funeral Customs
What are the traditional customs of a Jewish funeral? How do we deal with them, and with mourning practices, if we are an interfaith family? Why should we plan far ahead of the time? What should we consider in planning? What if we want cremation or other elements that are not in keeping with Jewish tradition? How do we get started?

Robert Malinow, Beth Am member and the Peninsula/South Bay’s Managing Funeral Director at Sinai Memorial Chapel will join Rabbi Sarah Weissman to address such questions in a relaxed, pressure-free setting. You will be encouraged to ask any questions you may have. You will also have time to begin a personal worksheet that can help you with the decisions to be made.

Date: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: Beth Am, Rooms 5/6,
Co-Sponsored by Gesharim, the Interfaith Outreach Committee, Building Jewish Bridges, and Lehrhaus Judaica

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From the Maggie Semple blog

From the Maggie Semple blog

Here it comes, the holidays! The time that songs tell us is “the happiest time of the year.” Which raises the question, what makes us happy? American capitalist culture has a perpetual campaign to answer that question with THINGS! Things will make you happy! Cars, electronics, toys, whatever they are selling, THAT will make you happy. The trouble is, it doesn’t. Many people feel empty during or shortly after Christmas because it didn’t live up to the hype.

Did you know that there are universities around the country that now study happiness? UC Berkeley has a center, The Greater Good Science Center, that focuses on the things that make us happy – and it turns out much of what makes us happy is how we behave. People who express compassion, gratitude, and empathy are actually happier! People who have relationships – friends, a community – are happier. Being with others, doing things together, creates happiness. That means you are more likely to enjoy and remember serving food at a shelter or ice skating with your kids than what gifts you opened.

Here’s an interesting blog post, A Very Greedy Christmas on a fashion blog of all things, articulating the challenge of unwanted gifts and concluding that it’s those utterly unique gifts that are remembered. True, but we just can’t pull those off every year for everyone we know. So what can we pull off every year? It is possible to create and sustain rituals that make us happy. Like what, you ask. Like having a Games party with good friends or a latke making gathering with your favorite neighbors or cookie making day with your kids. There is something about winter that puts my family in the mood for games. Since they were little the approach of dark evenings signaled game nights galore!

Create a ritual, something you do every year; you’ll be surprised how meaningful it will become and how much those who share it with you will come to depend on it.

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With all the hype about Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapping I decided to try making a pumpkin challah. I was a bit suspicious since I love pumpkin and wasn’t sure it would be good as bread. But boy was I wrong! IT IS DELICIOUS! Here’s the recipe – as I modified it to be a better loaf, according to my preferences. Give it a try. As I usually do, I’ve given you a bread machine option. I just think it’s faster and easier on a busy Friday (or any day) to use my bread machine.

Pumpkin Challah makes the party!

Pumpkin Challah makes the party!

Pumpkin Challah

1 package yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (Or 1/4 tsp ginger & 1/4 tsp allspice)
3 3/4 cups white flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg (+ 1 egg for glaze)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Combine yeast and warm water; let stand until foamy (about 7 minutes). Stir gently to combine.

Put flour and spices in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in yeast mixture. Gently mix some of the flour into the water–just enough to form a soft paste. (Don’t try to completely incorporate–there should be a lot of dry flour left around the dough.) Cover bowl with a towel and let it get foamy, about 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, egg, and salt. Pour into the flour mixture and mix well. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is pliable. (If it’s too wet, keep adding flour a tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry keep adding pumpkin puree a tablespoon at a time.)

OR put the dough into your bread maker and set the machine to ‘dough’ and start.

If you are kneading by hand continue here:
Let dough rest 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly oil the bowl, put the dough in it and re-cover with the towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until it has tripled in size, 2-3 hours. Punch down dough, knead it a bit more.

If you are using the bread maching continue here.
When the dough setting has finished the dough take it out.

If you want two loaves, divide the dough in half. If you want one large loaf keep the dough as one lump.
For each loaf you want to make divide the dough into three parts and braid them.

Spray oil on a baking sheet and place the braided dough on the sheet. You can spread some olive oil on the loaves to keep them moist.

Cover and let rise again. Let bread rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Brush the loaves with a beaten egg yolk. Bake at 350° F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Dreidel glass  - flat

A non-Jewish friend of mine loves to decorate for holidays so when she married a Jewish man she got busy finding the appropriate decorations. She told me that she, ‘doesn’t have much’ but you decide. Here are some of her decorating and party-making items.

menorahs
blue table cloth
many votive candle/tea lights
Chanukah garland (blue and silver) – Looks great running down the middle of the table or wound in the chandelier
Happy Hanukah banner
variety of dreidels
a couple dreidel games
Latke Bingo
101 Chanukah Activities
The Chanukah Box of Questions
Dancing Rabbi
Chanukah CD
Colorful Chanukah candles

Most of this she bought at places like Michael’s Crafts and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Decoration options

Decoration options

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Buzzfeed.com Thanksgivukkah

Buzzfeed.com Thanksgivukkah

This year Hanukkah begins on Thanksgiving! That has given way to fun, silly words like Thanksgivnukkah. How can you blend your second night of Hanukkah with Thanksgiving? We’ll introduce you to some new recipes that are right for both holidays – like sweet potato latkes and pecan rugelach.

Want to plan a Hanukkah Party? We’ll tell you how to put together a Latke Bar Party with unique California cuisine touches.

What about decorations? Wishing for a little more glitter and sparkle? Come see examples of home and table decorations that you can get locally or make yourself.

Interfaith families are especially welcome! Come join the fun – cooking, crafting, eating and preparing for the holidays ahead!

Date: Sunday, Oct. 27
Time: 1 to 4pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
Cost: $35/person
Register here.

Buzzfeed.com rugelach

Buzzfeed.com rugelach

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We’ve done this one before and this year we are adding Hanukkah Party planning & recipes! This year Hanukkah begins on Nov. 28, the same day as Thanksgiving. We’ll talk about what that means for us THIS year but also how to balance Hanukkah and Christmas in future years.

Beth Am group

Food plays a big part in Jewish culture and holidays. What if you’re not Jewish but want to create a wonderful festive meal for your family and friends? What if you are Jewish and you want to make the holiday more joyous, meaningful and delicious? Then come cook and chat with us!
Food alone doesn’t make a family meal or holiday complete. You have to put more into the day. Recipes and rituals come together to build memories and strengthen family bonds. We’ll discuss the ways to use food to build those relationships and happy memories. Join us to make latkes & other delicious holiday dishes that are perfect for a dinner or a Hanukkah party!

Date: Sunday, Oct. 27
Time: 1 to 4pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
Cost: $35/person
Register here

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There are Hanukkah events going on all around the bay. Find some of the below. Email me with others you want to share. Light some lights! Have some fun!

Light It Up! Casino Royale Style
Join hundreds of young adults for the most rockin’ Hanukkah party in the South Bay!
The evening will feature DJ, dancing, delicious treats, dreidel, blackjack, and an open bar!

Black Tie Affair
DJ & Dancing
Raffle Prizes
For young adults 21 + with ID

Date: Sat., Dec. 8
Time: 9pm
Place: Hillel at Stanford, 565 Mayfield Avenue, Palo Alto
Cost: $15 pre-registration; $20 at the door

Congregation B’nai Shalom Hanukkah Blast!
Come celebrate Hanukkah together! Community candle-lighting; please bring your own hanukkiah. Dinner prepared by the Men’s Club – latkes galore! Soup, salad, sides and more!
Art Show, displaying the art of Gan B’nai Shalom preschoolers, Community Singalong: Performances and songs led by our students.
After dinner, the celebration continues…
Crafts and carnival games for children and families
Wine tasting with Brett Drucker
And…dessert! Reservations required.

Date: Sunday, December 9
Time: 4:00pm to 6:30pm
Place: Social Hall of B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek
Cost –$18 per adult; $12 teens 14 and older; Free for children 13 and under.
To RSVP, please call Barbara at the synagogue office at 925-934-9446 or send an email to officeassist@bshalom.org
Because of planning and preparation, we regret that we are unable to issue refunds after December 4th.

Kol Emeth Annual Chanukah Party
Join Kol Emeth Religious School for a Grand Chanukah Celebration this Tuesday, open to the entire community!
Sing Chanukah songs, watch our courtyard glow with a spectacular community candle-lighting, and rejoice with Israeli dancing.
Enjoy an authentic, homemade Persian feast alongside traditional latkes. We’ll also have piping hot gourmet donuts from a vintage donut-making machine, compliments of Harvey’s Donuts!
From Israeli dancing to olive oil making, to art projects and more, we’ll have festivities for all ages to enjoy!
Schedule:
5:35-6:10pm School Chanukah Assembly
6:10-6:25pm Community Candle-lighting (bring your own menorah!)
6:30-7:00pm Gourmet Persian Feast with Latkes & Fresh Donuts
6:45-7:30pm Fun Chanukah Activities for all ages!

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 11
Time: Starts at 5:35pm
Place: Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Avenue, Palo Alto
Cost is $10/person in advance, $12/person at the door.
To RSVP, sign up at: tinyurl.com/KEParty2012!

The Festival of Lights
Food for Purchase! All are Welcome! Join the Osher Marin JCC for the most festive and fun Hanukkah party in the Bay Area!
The Festival of Lights will include games, crafts, shows, stories and songs. We’ll have an Artisan Marketplace where you can buy jewelry, Judaica, and more.

Date; Sun., December 9
Time: 9:30am to 2:30pm
Place: Marin JCC, 200 N San Pedro Road, San Rafael
FREE
More details here: http://bit.ly/WvO2tr

Hanukah Festival of Light
Join the JCC East Bay for latkes, menorah-making, arts & crafts, and storytelling for the whole family. Come sing and dance with Isaac Zones at noon. Please bring new or gently worn athletic shoes to donate to our partner, the World Wear Project.

Date: Dec. 9
Time: 10am-2pm
Place: JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St, Berkeley
www.jcceastbay.org

Festival of Lights Community Hanukkah Party
ICC and OFJCC Preschool invites you to bring the family and join us on the third night of Hanukkah for candle lighting, songs, driedel games and traditional Israeli jelly donuts and Latkes.
Whether it’s your first Hannukah experience or your 50th, come enjoy its traditions and camaraderie as well as a concert for the whole family with Isaac Zones and Melita Silberstein. This event is open to everyone.
We invite you to bring your own menorah and candles to help us light up the night!
Arts and crafts activities at a nominal fee from 5:30-6:00PM

Date: Monday, Dec. 10
Time: 5 to 7pm
Place: Palo Alto JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Free
www.paloaltojcc.org

Hanukkah for Adults
Come together to light holiday candles, participate in stimulating workshops, make menorahs, and enjoy live music, drinks, and dessert! Join us for an evening of Hanukkah pleasures.

7:00 – 7:15 Candle lighting & Song (You are welcome to bring your own menorah & candles and join in the lighting!)
7:20pm Workshops. Choose from:
* Dawn Kepler – The Scents & Tastes of the Holidays: Hanukah and Christmas
* Zvi Bellin of Moishe House- Chanukah: The Holiday of Inner and Inter- Revelation
* Adam and Alli of Hazon – Sweet potato, Purple potato, Parsnip, Carrot, Turnip, Vegan Latkah Making and social justice in the food system.
* Rabbi Bridget Wynne of Jewish Gateways – Fanatics or Freedom Fighters: The Real Story of Hanukah!
8:15-9:00: Israeli Folk Dancing, Hot and Cold alcoholic drinks, and Middle Eastern desserts.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 13
Time: 7 to 9pm
Place: East Bay JCC, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley
Suggested donation: $5 to $10
For more information contact me at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org
Co-sponsored by, Building Jewish Bridges, Moishe House, Jewish Gateways, the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay and Hazon.

The Subterranean Arthouse’s 3rd annual Chanukah party!
For three years local singer Heather Klein has worked together with Bay Area communities, local artists and musicians to present “Hungry for Yiddish; A Mitzvah Project.” Several klezmer bands, Yiddish singers, classical, and world musicians pitch in to present a series of concerts to raise money and awareness for the Bay Area’s homeless and hungry population. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Berkeley Food Pantry, which provides hunger relief in Berkeley and Albany.
This year featuring:
Heather Kleins’ Inextinguishable Trio – Yiddish song
Anthony Mordechai Russell – Yiddish song
Bruce Bierman – Yiddish dance
Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Orkestar – klezmer dance band
9-10pm: Yiddish song with Heather Klein’s Inextinguishable Trio and Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell. Both Heather and Anthony bring a captivating deep artistry and operatic technique to Yiddish song. Their voices call audiences to rapt attention, their songs deep with history infused with new life.
10pm on: klezmer dance party! The Bay’s favorite Yiddish dance instructor and instigator Bruce Bierman will lead dances.

Date; Thursday December 13
Time: 9pm
Place: Subterranean Arthouse, 2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Cost: $10-$20 sliding scale donation, no one turned away for lack of funds
Advance tickets here http://klezmer.brownpapertickets.com/

Shabbat Sha-Boogie: Chanukah Shabbat
Join your friends at Beth Am for a special rockin’ high-energy Chanukah Shabbat service. Come sing and pray with us in a special Shabbat Service — a Chanukah celebration for all ages! Please bring your chanukiyot with you to the service for a special candle lighting. Then, if you want join us after the service for a delicious dinner click on the link to sign up for dinner. Start here: http://www.betham.org/node/2455

Date: Friday, Dec. 14
Time: 6:15pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills

Celebrate Shabbat and Hanukkah in the Sephardic & Oriental Style
Join Cantor Ilene Keys and the Temple Sinai Adult Choir with Middle Eastern instruments for Jewish Music of the Middle East: The music of the Sephardic and Oriental Jews.

Date: December 14
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free and Open to the public!
www.oaklandsinai.org

Hanukkah Farm Fest & Open Mic
Join the farming folks at Urban Adamah for a Hanukah celebration. Open Mic! Fresh food, candlelighting and a gift exchange.
Here’s the schedule:
7:00pm Light dinner of hearty soups, cob-oven fired flat breads, herbed olive oil bar, homemade chai and more
7:30pm Candle lighting – bring your own menorah and candles
8:00pm Open Mic – sign up to perform music, poetry, stories, spoken word, puppetry or another talent, limit 3 songs per person
In the spirit of holiday gift giving, we will also have a gift exchange. If you would like to participate, please bring something with a value of less than $10 you’d like to share

Date; Saturday, December 15
Time: 7pm
Place: Urban Adamah, 1050 Parker St., Berkeley
Cost: $10 in advance; $12 at the door.
Go here to order tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4761735479

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Come together to light holiday candles, participate in stimulating workshops, make menorahs, and enjoy live music, drinks, and dessert!

7:00 – 7:15 Candle lighting & Song (You are welcome to bring your own menorah & candles and join in the lighting!)

7:20pm Workshops. Choose from:
* Dawn Kepler – The Scents & Tastes of the Holidays: Hanukah and Christmas
* Zvi Bellin of Moishe House- Chanukah: The Holiday of Inner and Inter- Revelation
* Adam and Alli of Hazon – Sweet potato, Purple potato, Parsnip, Carrot, Turnip, Vegan Latkah Making and social justice in the food system.
* Rabbi Bridget Wynne of Jewish Gateways – Fanatics or Freedom Fighters: The Real Story of Hanukah!

8:15-9:00: Israeli Folk Dancing, Hot and Cold alcoholic drinks, and Middle Eastern desserts.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 13
Time: 7 to 9pm
Place: East Bay JCC, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley
Suggested donation: $5 to $10
For more information contact me at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org
Co-sponsored with Moishe House, Hazon, Jewish Gateways, and the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay.

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Chocolate Mousse from www.kveller.com

Kveller is a website that describes itself as “A Jewish Twist on Parenting.” After the glut of oily foods for Chanukah they offer a switch to chocolate with this Chocolate Mousse recipe.

8 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Melt chocolate with water and sugar in a double boiler. Stir until velvety and thoroughly blended.
2. Set in a pan of cold water.
3. Add egg yolks and vanilla. The mixture should be semifluid–if it’s too firm, add up to 5 tablespoons of tepid water.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into chocolate.
5. Spoon into individual dessert cups.
6. Chill 4-6 hours.

They have other recipes! Check them out here.

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