New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black background

The Spring 2015 line up of Building Jewish Bridges workshops and classes!

January

names in Hebrew

What’s in a Jewish Name?
Join B’nai Tikvah congregants for services on Friday January 9 at 6:30pm, when I will be speaking in the sermon slot. My subject is the special place name and naming rituals holds in Jewish tradition. This dovetails with the start of a new book of the Torah called Shemot, in which the Twelve Tribes of Israel are named. Whether you have a Jewish name or want to choose one for yourself or someone else, this presentation will get you thinking. Please join us!

Date: Jan. 9, 2015
Time: 6:30pm
Place: B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
www.tikvah.org

Are Our Children Jewish?
Patralineal 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 Patralineal Jews today.

Date: Friday, Jan. 23
Time: 7:30pm (the discussion will be a part of the Shabbat service)
Place: Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Rd, Alameda
Free
You can RSVP if you like here.

February

What Makes a Home “Jewish”?
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 Rabbi Glazer, Dawn Kepler and other curious couples for an enlightening discussion and go home with your own individualized plan.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Beth Sholom, 301 14th Avenue (near the corner of Clement Street), San Francisco
Cost: Free to members of Beth Sholom, $8 for a non-member individual, $12 for a non-member couple.
Register here.

Preparing for Bar/Bat Mitzvah for Interfaith Families
Planning a b’nai mitzvah is stressful enough if you had one yourself, but if you weren’t raised Jewish it can be truly nerve wracking. There are the questions of how the study process works, timing, sessions, amount to be learned, how to help your child succeed. Then there’s the non-Jewish partner and extended family. How do you include them, make them comfortable, and explain what is going on.
How does a non-Jewish parent participate? What part of the planning do they want to share? What if it’s all on you alone? What role does each parent play during the bar or bat mitzvah? Is this a service or a celebration of one child? Join other wondering parents of all backgrounds as we decipher this life cycle event!

Sunday, February 22, 2015
9:30 – 11:00 am
Temple Sinai
Free

How Dare People Say I’m Not Jewish!
My dad is Jewish, my mom is not.
I was adopted and raised Jewish.
My mom had a Reform conversion.
Why do people tell us we aren’t Jewish?
Are you annoyed, hurt, confused by challenges to your Jewish identity? Let’s talk about patralineal Jews, halachic Jews, Judaism, and how to handle other people’s opinions.

Date: Thursday, Feb. 26
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Lehrhaus, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Cost: $5
Register here.

March

This is a workshop I am doing for Temple Sinai. ANYONE is welcome to attend. It will have some relevance to you at any Reform synagogue.
The Non-Jew in the Synagogue
Temple Sinai 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 imposter? I don’t even know if 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 Temple Sinai. We can also touch on common practice at other shuls if you are anticipating visiting elsewhere for a family simcha.

Date: Wednesday, March 25
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free
An RSVP is appreciated.

Raising A Mensch:
What it Means to Raise a Jewish Child with Universal Values
Many families decide to raise their children Jewish but for the non-Jewish parent, what does that really mean? What are the expectations of both parents? Dawn Kepler will lead a conversation about this important topic with parents. Each session we will address a Jewish value. Parents will go home with tools, ideas and thought-provoking questions ensuring both parents are on the same page.

Dates: Sundays, March 29, April 19 & 26, and May 3
Time: 10:30am to noon
Place: Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Rd, Alameda
Cost: Free to Temple Israel members, $18 public per session or $30 for all four.
Register here.

April

Women in Interfaith Relationships: A Discussion for Girlfriends, Wives, Partners, Mothers and Grandmothers
Join other women, Jewish or not, to examine interfaith relationships in relation to culture and gender. What are the unique expectations and responses that a woman encounters as she creates a home and builds a family life in which her religion is not that of her partner? Join a multi-generational discussion, facilitated by Rabbi Lisa Delson with Dawn Kepler of Building Jewish Bridges, about the assumptions and possibilities surrounding our roles as sustainers of the family. Women in any stage of relationship, any sexuality, and any age welcome.

Date: Thursday, April 30, 2015
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame
Cost: Free to members of Peninsula Temple Sholom, $8 to non-members
Register here.

May

After the Play: Head of Passes
Join us again to explore Jewish values in the arts. Playwright, Tarell Alvin McCraney, author of Berkeley Rep’s Head of Passes, states that his play was inspired by both the biblical story of Job and Shakespeare’s Lear. “This play is about a literal discourse in faith.”

How does Judaism perceive Job, or tragedy? How do we in modern times, view the concept of faith? What is our internal guide? Is McCraney correct in saying that, “everybody needs to invent or hold onto some inalienable truth. Or at least that they feel is the truth.” Is there a core Jewish truth?

Join Rabbi Chester to explore Job, faith, and meaning.

Date: Thursday, May 21
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Lehrhaus, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Cost: $12
Register here.

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Children, Past Programs, women
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child with star

You’ve made the big decision – we’ll raise our child(ren) as Jews. Now what? Does this mean no Christmas or Easter? How do we interact with our non-Jewish family’s holidays? What synagogue should we join and how can we ask for specific support in our process? Is a lot of the effort falling on a non-Jewish woman who doesn’t have a gut feeling for Judaism; how can she be supported? Let’s talk about how to integrate non-Jewish family and their holiday expectations, what to say to parents and siblings, what you can expect from a synagogue community and how to support the non-Jewish parent.

(If the non-Jewish spouse is not Christian but a different minority religion like Hindi or Buddhist, a different set of issues arise. Living with two minority religions in America presents its own challenges. We can discuss this situation if it is impacting any of the participants.)

Sunday, Nov. 16
3 to 4:30pm
Peninsula Jewish Community Center, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City
Cost: $12 public, $10 for members of cosponsoring organizations
Register here.

Co-sponsored by Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Peninsula Temple Beth El, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Peninsula Temple Sholom.

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Christian child

The Christian spouse knows how to ‘do’ Christianity and is supported in this by our American Christian culture, but you may still want to introduce a concept of Jewish heritage to your child. We’ll discuss how to offer the concept of Jewish roots without disrupting your child’s Christian identity.

Also, if your child’s mother is Jewish then your child will be considered Jewish by the Jewish community. What should you tell your child about this belief about them by people they may know very peripherally?

Sunday, Nov. 9
3 to 4:30pm
Peninsula Jewish Community Center, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City
Cost: $12 public, $10 to members of co-sponsoring organizations.
Register here.

Cosponsored by Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Peninsula Temple Beth El, Peninsula Temple Sholom

Posted by admin under Children, Jewish Culture, Non-Jewish family, Parenting, Past Programs, Spirituality
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passover with children

What Religion Will We Pick for our Child?
Choosing a religious identity for a child is often feels like the hardest decision an interfaith couple faces. If both of you are attached to your religious/cultural heritage you may have gotten stuck in a circular conversation that nobody wins. Couples want to be fair to each other, but what if both feel strongly? What about doing both? How does that work? In this workshop we’ll discuss tools for making a decision, key elements to consider and how to test out your choice.

Date: Sunday, Nov. 2
Time: 3 to 4:30pm
Place: Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City
Cost: $10 for this single workshop or $25 if you choose to take the series of three. See full description here.

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grandparents and child

Join me for The Magic Power of Grandparents
Grandparents may not realize the special place they hold in the eyes and hearts of their grandchildren. Jewish grandparents are in a unique position to share their Jewishness with their grandchildren and to stimulate love and identity in the next generation. Join us for Shabbat services and a talk about The Magic Power of Grandparents. I’ll be speaking in place of a sermon so come for services! Sit with me if you like (just email me to look for you).

You are welcome to ask me any questions you like at the oneg after services.

Date: Friday, October 10
Time: Services begin at 8:00pm
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette
Free

Posted by admin under Grandparents, Intercultural, Parenting, Past Programs, Programs archive
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3 faiths

Do You Have One Jewish Parent?
Do you see yourself as Jewish, half-Jewish, part Jewish, Jew-ish? Were you raised as a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, some of this and that?
We are looking for people who have one Jewish parent and would like to talk about their experience, share their stories, their questions, their wisdom.
What was good? What was not so good? Will you try to duplicate your parents’ path? What would you like to ask of or tell to the “organized” Jewish community?
We will come together to discuss our shared experiences as well as our differences. What we want from life now and how we are going about making that happen.

Date: Sunday, October 12
Time: 11:00 am to 12:30pm
Place: Espresso Roma, 1549 Hopkins St., Berkeley
Free, please RSVP here.
For more information call Dawn Kepler at 510-845-6420 x11

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Past Programs, Programs archive
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boy with star resized

Interfaith Couples Raising Children:
Identity for Your Child & Your Home

Three Workshops, come to one or come to all of them

Choosing a religious identity for your child is often feels like the hardest decision an interfaith couple faces. If both of you are attached to your religious/cultural heritage you may have gotten stuck in a circular conversation that nobody wins. How can you get free and make a decision?
Or, perhaps you have made a decision, Christian or Jewish.* If only one of you is attached to your faith tradition it may be easy to pick that tradition. But having done so, what comes next?

What Religion Will We Pick for our Child? We Can’t Decide
Couples want to be fair to each other, but what if both feel strongly about their own tradition? What about doing both? How would that work? In this workshop we’ll discuss tools for making a decision, key elements to consider and how to test out your choice.

One of Us is Jewish but We’ve Chosen Christianity, Now What?
The Christian spouse knows how to ‘do’ Christianity and is supported in this by our American Christian culture, but you may still want to introduce a concept of Jewish heritage to your child. We’ll discuss how to offer the concept of Jewish roots without disrupting your child’s Christian identity.

Raising a Jewish Child in an Interfaith Home
You’ve made the big decision – we’ll raise our child(ren) as Jews. Now what? Does this mean no Christmas or Easter? How do we interact with our non-Jewish family’s holidays? What synagogue should we join and how can we ask for specific support in our process? Is a lot of the effort falling on a non-Jewish woman who doesn’t have a gut feeling for Judaism; how can she be supported? Let’s talk about how to integrate non-Jewish family and their holiday expectations, what to say to parents and siblings, what you can expect from a synagogue community and how to support the non-Jewish parent.

*If the non-Jewish spouse is not Christian but a different minority religion like Hindi or Buddhist, a different set of issues arise. Living with two minority religions in America presents its own challenges.

Come to one or the entire series.
Sundays, Nov. 2, 9, 16
3pm to 4:30pm
Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City
Cost: Series of three sessions: $25 for members of the sponsoring organizations; $30 for the public
Individual session: $10 to members of the sponsoring organizations; $12 to the public.
Register here.

Co-sponsored by Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Peninsula Temple Beth El, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Peninsula Temple Sholom.

Posted by admin under Children, Couples, Parenting, Past Programs, Spirituality
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Are you a crafter? Let’s do something fun and Jewish!

Homemade Rosh Hashanah Card

Homemade Rosh Hashanah Card

DIY Judaism: Jewish Greeting Cards
Hallmark shops don’t have cards for Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot. When it comes to the December holidays, can Jews send greeting cards in December? Should they be Chanukah cards? Can they send Christmas cards? What about solstice cards or those annual update letters? Join Dawn Kepler to discuss Seasons Greetings questions and make your own special Holiday cards while we talk. Plus we’ll have some card fixings to make your own unique cards for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Purim!

Date: Sunday, Sept. 14
Time: 2 – 4pm
Place: Private home in Oakland
Cost: $10

Register here.

Some of the beautiful cards that were made.

card by Louis

card by Natalie

card by Susan

Posted by admin under Holidays, Jewish holidays at home, Past Programs, Programs archive
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Little White Lie

Little White Lie

Here we are in the delightful summer months with long warm evenings full of crickets. This is when the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival fills theaters around the Bay Area with films that we pretty much won’t get a chance to see otherwise. I hope you have received the 2014 brochure in the mail and have had time to pour over the films to make your choices. This year Building Jewish Bridges is again co-presenting two films. They are El Critico and Little White Lie. I believe that the first one, El Critico, was given to us just to have a fun social time out. It’s a romantic comedy and from what I can see has very little to do with anything Jewish. But it will be fun and we can contemplate the question, does love conquer all? The second film, Little White Lie, is much more serious. It is a documentary made by a young woman who figured out at the age of 18 that she wasn’t the child of both her parents. It’s a fascinating and challenging story of identity, family, truth and secrets. I hope you’ll join me for one or both of them. If you can’t make it to one of ‘my’ films, do take a look at the whole lineup and fit a film into your summer. You can see the full program at www.sfjff.org.

EVENTS
Essential Jewish Knowledge: A Four Part Series with Rabbi David Kasher (Berkeley)
Shabbat Morning Learners’ Services (Berkeley)
Yad B’Yad (Hand in Hand) Tot Shabbat & Picnic (San Mateo)
Jewish Film Series Presents “Rashevski’s Tango” (Los Altos Hills)
Stop The Sirens In Israel: An Emergency Solidarity Gathering (San Francisco)
Mazel Tots! (San Francisco)
Chardonnay Shabbat Evening Service (Berkeley)
Oneg Shabbat: Saturdays Unplugged (San Francisco)
Welcoming Prospective Members (Los Altos Hills)
Let’s Go to the Movies! El Critico (Berkeley)
Tisha b’Av Text Study (San Francisco)
Israeli Folk Dancing with Allen King! (Kensington)
Let’s Go to the Movies! Little White Lie (Oakland)
Kabbalat Shabbat on the Farm (Berkeley)

Essential Jewish Knowledge:
A Four Part Series with Rabbi David Kasher

This July, Urban Adamah is pleased to offer a four-part evening workshop series exploring Judaism’s relevance to life in the 21st Century. These classes, led by our friend Rabbi David Kasher, is designed for both beginners and those with years of learning under their belts. Classes will be held Thursday nights in July, in our main tent.

July 17th: The Diversity of Jewish Beliefs
July 24th: Hallmark Jewish Practices
July 31st: The Making of the Jewish Family
Time: 7 to 8:30pm
Place: Urban Admah, 1050 Parker St. Berkeley
Cost: Join us for one class ($10 in advance, $15 at the door)

Shabbat Morning Learners’ Services
Starting on July 19, Rabbis Kahn and Stern will lead a series of learners’ services on Shabbat mornings. Attend any individual day or the entire month. Each week there will be a complete service, with an extended look at one section of the liturgy; we will learn about the prayers, music and meanings of a part of the service in depth. A light lunch at noon follows each of these intellectually and spiritually engaging mornings.
All are welcome! No need to RSVP.
July 19: The Preliminary Service – Entering Sacred Time & Space
July 26: Sh’ma and Its Blessings – Prayer as Ideology
August 2: Amidah – Prayer as Dialogue
August 9: Torah Service – Community & History
Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley 94709

Dates: Saturday mornings, July & August, beginning July 19
Time: 10:15 am
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
www.bethelberkeley.org

Yad B’Yad (Hand in Hand) Tot Shabbat & Picnic
Families with young children join for a short Shabbat service, followed by time to play, schmooze and to enjoy a beautiful morning together. We’ll provide snacks. Bring a picnic and stay.

Date: Saturday, July 19
Time: 10:00 am
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
RSVP to rabbisara@ptbe.org
www.ptbe.org

Jewish Film Series Presents “Rashevski’s Tango”
What does it mean to be Jewish? Three generations of the Rashevski family grapple with the question after the death of Rose, the secular matriarch who believed that the tango would make all troubles disappear. Charming and endearing, the characters confront issues of relationships, family, religion, love, romance and interfaith marriage. The film is in French and Hebrew with English subtitles. Rabbi Sarah Weissman will lead a discussion following the film. Free; refreshments will be served.

Date: Saturday, July 19
Time: 3:30pm
Place: In the Beit Kehillah at Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org
Sponsored by the Interfaith Outreach Committee of Beth Am.

Stop The Sirens In Israel: An Emergency Solidarity Gathering
Temple Emanu-El is hosting a mass gathering this Sunday, organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund and the Board of Rabbis of Northern California. Join us as we stand with the people of Israel during this difficult time. Learn more here.

Date: Sunday, July 20
Time: 4:00pm
Place: Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
www.emanuelsf.org

Mazel Tots!
Join other parents and little ones and welcome the new week with Havdalah and Mimi Greisman. This group will provide a wonderful opportunity to connect with other parents and create lasting friendships. We hope you can participate in this musical play group that focuses on parenting your baby or toddler. We will talk about language development, making friends, starting preschool, finding time for you, siblings, physical development, new-found autonomy, and any topic identified by the group. We will have guest speakers from time to time as well as celebrate Jewish holidays and traditions. Enjoy a relaxed setting filled with music, puppets, and more, while you and your little one can play and meet other parents and kids!

Dates: Mondays, Ongoing weekly drop-in, next Monday is July 22
Time: 9:30 – 11:00 am
Place: In Martin Meyer Reception room of Temple Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
www.emanuelsf.org

Chardonnay Shabbat Evening Service
Begin your Shabbat with hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine or juice before we join together in song and community to welcome the Shabbat. Everyone is always welcome at our services and programs (and like all our Shabbat services, childcare is available).

Date: Friday, July 25
Time: 5:30 pm Refreshments & Schmoozing • 6:15 pm Shabbat Service
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
www.bethelberkeley.org

Oneg Shabbat: Saturdays Unplugged
Sherith Israel is happy to partner with the JCCSF and other Bay Area Jewish organizations to bring you Oneg Shabbat: Saturdays Unplugged. Come for the play date, stay for the live music. Unplug and meet up with family and friends for a screen-free afternoon of fun activities and celebratory cocktails. Conclude the day with Havdalah, a sweet send-off for Shabbat and a welcome to the new week. Each week features a family-friendly concert; July 26 will host Isaac Zones and Melita Silberstein! Family Fun, Havdalah, and Happy Hour!

Date: Saturday, July 26
Time: 3:00 – 6:00 pm
Place: JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St, San Francisco
Free
www.jccsf.org

Welcoming Prospective Members
Beth Am is inviting their members to “Bring Your Friends, Family and Neighbors Interested in Beth Am.” You don’t need a friend to take you! You can just go check out Beth Am on one of the Friday nights in August. Want someone to meet you at the door and “take” you? Just let me know and I’ll arrange it.
Beth Am invite all prospective members to celebrate Shabbat with Beth Am in our Outdoor Chapel at 6:15 p.m. every Friday in August. After the service, prospective members are invited to get to know clergy and lay leaders and ask any questions they may have about our community. Prospective members are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner, and we will provide dessert and good company!

Dates: Fridays in August beginning August 1
Time: Service 6:15 p.m., Outdoor Chapel; Picnic and Oneg Shabbat 7:30 p.m.
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org

Let’s Go to the Movies! El Critico
Join us for the SF Jewish Film Festival! Building Jewish Bridges is co-presenting El Critico. The film runs from 6:50 to 8:30pm. We’ll go for ice cream afterwards.
El Critico
Víctor Tellez is jaded, emotionally repressed and arrogant. Not surprisingly, he is an influential but harsh film who especially detests Hollywood romantic comedies.One day while searching for a new apartment, he unexpectedly meets Sofía, a spontaneous and vibrant woman. She clearly does not fit with his conception of good taste. Víctor finds himself going soft and his movie reviews reflect this. He suspects that the movie genre that he hates the most is taking its revenge.

Date: Saturday, Aug. 2
Time: Film runs 6:50 to 9:00
Showing at California Theater, 2113 Kittredge St., Berkeley, between Oxford and Shattuck.
Get your ticket at the SF Film Festival site.

Tisha b’Av Text Study
Join Rabbi Jessica Graf for an evening of learning to commemorate the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. (This is an opportunity to meet the new rabbi at Sherith Israel!)

Date: Aug. 4
Time: 7:15-8:30pm
Place: Sherith Israel, 3200 California St., San Francisco
www.sherithisrael.org
Questions? RSVP? Contact rabbigraf@sherithisrael.org or 415.346.1720

Israeli Folk Dancing with Allen King!
Please join us for Kid’s Night at Israeli Folkdancing. The evening will feature easy-to-follow dances led by Allen, a beloved and experienced kid’s dance teacher. All ages and adults too are welcome for this fun annual family event. For more info, email Bronwyn at imogen@alumni.princeton.edu.

Date: Wednesday, August 6
Time: 8:00 pm
Place: Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Ave, Kensington
Cost: Kids are free, adults are $3 (or $6 if you stay until 11:30 pm) or pay what you can.
Hosted by Beth El in Berkeley.

Let’s Go to the Movies! Little White Lie
Join us for the SF Jewish Film Festival! Building Jewish Bridges is co-presenting Little White Lie. The film runs from 7 to 8:05pm. We’ll go for ice cream afterwards. Email me so I’ll know you’re coming and keep an eye out for you.

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity — despite the open questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. She believes her family’s explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different.

— Little White Lie manages to be both a particular family’s story of the price of living in denial, but also raises larger questions for us all: What factors—race, religion, family, upbringing—make us who we are? And what happens when we are forced to redefine ourselves?-Peter L. Stein

Date: Thursday, Aug. 7
Time: 7pm
Place: The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St, Oakland
Get your ticket at the San Francisco Film Festival site.

Kabbalat Shabbat on the Farm
Join Urban Adamah fellows and friends for a joyful community Kabbalat Shabbat service and dinner on the farm!
Kabbalat Shabbat was invented in the 16th century by the Jewish mystics. Today, it’s practiced in most Jewish communities as a spiritual and emotional doorway into our day of rest. Our version includes chanting, meditation, poetry, movement and quiet alone time on the farm. Drums, guitar and clarinet will carry us into the night.

6:30-8:00 pm: Kabbalat Service led by Adam Berman and the Urban Adamah staff
8:00 pm: Vegetarian potluck dinner! Please bring a vegetarian dish to share for the potluck dinner after the service.

Date: Friday, Aug. 8
Time: 6:30 – 8pm
Place: Urban Adamah, 1050 Parker St, Berkeley
This event is free and open to the public, but kindly register in advance here.

Overwhelmed by Argument: The Conversation I Want to Have Now
Convened by Josh Kornbluth
We care, and because we care, we despair. Will there be any outcome for Israelis and Palestinians, for Israel and Palestine, in which both Peoples are acknowledged and respected? Where one group’s national aspirations are not deemed unworthy? This is the conversation Josh wants to have, the conversation we believe we need. We need is as Jews. We need it as people. We need it as one People among many Peoples. Will there ever be a solution? We don’t know. We worry. Everyone suffers when some suffer. And so someone who cares is convening a loving, respectful conversation with a very clear mandate: More hope, More dignity, More love.

Here are the rules for the conversation Josh invites us to share:

1) If your position is that Israel should cease to exist as the Jewish Homeland, that is not the conversation we are going to have.
2) If you believe Jews are better than Palestinians, that is not the conversation we are going to have.
3) If you believe that only Jews have the right to a state, that is not the conversation we are going to have.
4) If you believe Israel’s concerns about security are imagined, that is not the conversation we are going to have.

The jumping-off-point for our conversations will be these two books:
The Crisis of Zionism, by Peter Beinart
My Promised Land, by Ari Shavit

Dates: 2 evenings: Wednesday Aug. 13 & 20
Time: 7:30pm-9pm
Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave, Berkeley
Class fee: $20 (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Registration is required – please register with Daniel at office@netivotshalom.org.

Tot Shabbat Services
Bring your tot to Tot Shabbat! Beginning September 5th, Temple Beth Hillel will hold Tot Shabbat Services the first Friday of the month,6:00 – 6:30 p.m., followed by a family potluck and Shabbat service at 7:30 p.m. Please join us!
Open to the Community.

Date: First Friday of the Month beginning September 5
Time: 6:00 – 6:30 pm
Place: Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central, Richmond
Questions/Information: www.tbhrichmond.org or 510.223.2560

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An Audience with Meow Meow

An Audience with Meow Meow

This fall, the Berkeley Rep presents An Audience with Meow Meow, about an international singing sensation and über-award-winning comedienne. In connection to the play, I’ll be offering a class exploring the music as a “degenerate” art form.

Degenerate, Forbidden, Suppressed. Music and Otherness in Fascist Europe
The attitudes displayed by European fascist regimes (especially Italy, Germany, and Vichy France, from the early 1920’s to the end of WW2) towards musical cultures of the “other” — including Jewish, Romani, North African, and African American music, as well as cabaret and popular song — ranged from unambiguous condemnation and suppression, to more nuanced tolerance and even inclusion. This class will examine Fascist rules about music, examples including Brech and Weill’s musical theater, Django Reinhardt’s “Gypsy Jazz,” Italian adaptation of American blues and jazz, and traditional music in colonial North Africa, exploring myths and facts about music history in the early 20th century.

This class will be taught by the fabulous Francesco Spagnolo
The class will be Wed., Sept. 17 from 7 to 8:30pm and will meet at Lehrhaus, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.
An Audience with Meow Meow opens Sept. 5th.

Our ENTOURAGE code, making tickets available at reduced rates will be forthcoming. Email me if you have questions.

Berkeley Rep’s publicity says:
Ladies and gentlemen, from the lights of London’s West End, the backrooms of Berlin, the sails of the Sydney Opera House, and the opium dens of Shanghai, please welcome…Meow Meow! The international singing sensation and über-award-winning comedienne—who’s wowed audiences from Paris to the Antipodes—finally brings her electrifying repertoire to our lucky shores. The “post-post-modern” phenomenon creates a musical world premiere of gargantuan proportions for Berkeley Rep’s audiences, featuring sizzling songs, sequins and satire, blow-torch wit, and divine mayhem! The captivating Meow Meow has rendezvoused with fellow superstars Mikhail Baryshnikov, Pina Bausch, and David Bowie. Now she’s entangled with the endlessly inventive director Emma Rice (The Wild Bride, Tristan & Yseult, Broadway’s Brief Encounter). Expect beauty, expect hilarity, expect heart. And possibly the splits. You are the perfect audience and she is…the extraordinary Meow Meow.

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