Lehrhaus Judaica - This is Bay Area Jewry: Seidlitz-Smith

This is Bay Area Jewry:
Photo Essays on the Changing Nature of Our Community

Beth El, Lehrhaus Judaica and Building Jewish Bridges present a photo essay exhibition showcasing the range of diversity in our community. The exhibition features 21 intimate portraits of individuals and families (including Beth El congregants, Renee Passy-Zale and Seidlitz-Smith family) from a variety of backgrounds and levels of religious observance. The project is a combination of photographs and written profiles, shedding light on the unparalleled Bay Area Jewish community.

The exhibition will be on display until March 31, 2018.
Closing Celebration: Saturday, March 17 — details to come.

For more information you may contact Congregation Beth El, 510-848-3988 or Building Jewish Bridges, 510-845-6420 x111. Or email Dawn at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org

Posted by admin under Community, Current Programs, Jews of Color, LGBT
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High Holidays at Emanu-el, San Francisco

High Holidays at Emanu-el, San Francisco

Our Jewish community is increasingly multiracial, raising multiracial Jewish children is a relatively new phenomenon. Not many parents have the example of their own parents. Parents of multiracial kids have to consider:

What is it like growing up Jewish if you consistently told “you don’t look Jewish”
What comments and behaviors impact a multiracial child’s sense of their Jewishness
How can parents acknowledge the existence of racism and stereotyping while still supporting their child’s identity
All of us want to know: what can we, as friends, neighbors and fellow Jews, do to support and affirm the children growing up among us?

Join a panel of parents and teens from multiracial Jewish families who will address successful strategies and positive behaviors.

Date: Feb. 22, 2018
Time: 7:30 – 9pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
RSVP by emailing dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org to let me know you are coming! I look forward to seeing you there.

Posted by admin under Children, Current Programs, Jews of Color, Parenting
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Gammy & family

How to be a Fabulous Grandparent in an Interfaith Family
Your child has married someone not Jewish. You love their new spouse, but you worry. Will my grandchildren be Jewish? Will I say the wrong thing if I express my concerns and feelings? Should we invite the non- Jewish in-laws to Jewish celebrations at our home? Can we do Jewish activities with the grandchildren without over stepping our children’s boundaries? Which holidays will they celebrate and how? Join other parents and grandparents to explore how to be terrific grandparents to your intermarried child and their family.

Date: Sunday, Feb. 18
Time: 10:30am to 12 noon
Place: Temple Israel of Alameda, 3183 Mecartney Rd, Alameda
https://templeisraelalameda.org

Posted by admin under Current Programs, Grandparents
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One of the hardest things about getting assistance with your interfaith relationship is making the move to ask for that assistance. What the devil will it be LIKE to talk to someone? I thought it would be helpful for you to hear what other folks have said about the experience of working with me. One note, if you are not in the San Francisco Bay Area that’s OK, we can “meet” by Skype or phone. If you do live in the area, we can meet in person OR Skype or phone.

I find it helps to know what someone looks like, so I’m including a photo of myself.

Me with the President  (I thought you should know that I have a sense of humor.)

Me with the President (I thought you should know that I have a sense of humor.)

It is also nice to know what their voice sounds like. If you’d like to hear my voice you can listen to my podcast on finding a rabbi for your wedding. It’s short. Here’s the link.

And now people’s comments on working with me.

COMMENTS

I sought out Dawn’s services after I got engaged because my fiancé, who was Catholic, and I were having trouble navigating what it meant to have a Jewish household and a Jewish wedding. While he had agreed to have a Jewish family, while planning the wedding it became clear that there was not a clear understanding of what that meant and we were having trouble communicating about it. Dawn created a safe space for us to be able to talk about our expectations for raising a family and what it meant to incorporate beliefs and customs that were important to each of us. She provided us with great resources, including books, events, and people to talk to. The experience was invaluable, and I can’t thank her enough for the clarity she brought to the relationship. I would recommend her services (which I have) in a heartbeat!
H, San Francisco

Thanks Dawn. You were such a big part of us growing in our relationship. I can’t say that the time before being engaged was easy. Ah, waiting and not knowing where we were headed and trying to figure out some major stuff. Phew, it was intense at times. But I know I speak for both me and Mike, you really helped us navigate some hard questions and know how to talk about them with each other. There were so many times we just didn’t even know what questions to be asking but wanted to be proactive in exploring deeper in our relationship. You really challenged us and allowed for more open honest discussion.
H & B, San Francisco

We wish we were closer to your classes and could have meet in person, but the phone calls did work great. We are so glad we found you via the web.
Now we are so excited to get married and glad we talked through so much early on. It really helped all the holiday drama and concerns we had. Not that this past year was all smooth sailing, but we were more equipped to talk it through and find a solution we both felt comfortable with!

K & M, Colorado

Dawn, I love how you challenge people to be their best selves. I am attending services more regularly – thanks for all you did to help me reach this point.
L, El Cerrito

We miss you so much, Dawn! We wish there were two of you so Denver could be blessed with your presence as well. If you do know of a counterpart to Building Jewish Bridges in Colorado, please send us the info. I have found a few things online but nothing as good as what we had with you.
Love, S & P – from Berkeley, now in CO.

I want to personally thank you for all that you do to make people like me feel welcome at the “Jewish table.” Words cannot describe what a difference it has made. In fact, part of why we wanted to have a child was to bring another Jew into the world. We’re excited to learn about Judaism ourselves, so that we may teach our kiddo.
I & S in San Francisco

Thank you for the meeting yesterday. You really provided us with incredibly helpful context and perspective. We have much to sort through but feel that we now have many more guideposts. We also appreciate your open style, from welcoming us into your home, to being direct and sharing personal stories.
B & N Oakland

Posted by admin under Current Programs, Finding a Synagogue, In their own words, Weddings
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2 adults talking

Are you interested in an interfaith/intercultural couples discussion group for couples not planning to have children? I’m planning a group in the Berkeley/Oakland area. Call if you’re interested in participating.

Dawn – 510-845-6420 x11
4 Sessions

Exchange ideas about such issues as:
Holiday Observances – Which holidays will be celebrated in our home?
Dealing With Our Families – How will we talk to our families about our choices?
Spiritual Concerns – How do we satisfy our needs and recognize our Partner’s?
Cultural Differences – How do communication styles and familial expectations impact our relationship?
This is one of the most meaningful and powerful things you can do for your relationship. I encourage every couple to participate in a couples group.
There is a sliding scale. NO ONE turned away. Tell me you work evenings but don’t tell me it’s the money because we can make it work.

Posted by admin under Couples, Current Programs
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Love Valentine

Some people just are not “group” people. They want to have the same conversatons about the key questions in an interfaith/intercultural home but they want to have that conversation in private. For those of you in this category Let’s Talk “Interfaith” is a better option. The two of you meet with me, Dawn, for three 1.5 hour sessions to cover topics like: How will we interact with our families? Where will we go for which holidays? Which holidays will we have in our home? How do we feel about each other’s religious and/or cultural tradition and how will we share them? What about children? We will focus on the topics you feel are most important to you.

Cost is $120 for the three sessions. Or we can schedule individual one hour sessions and see how many meetings you want. These are $50 a meeting.

The first session is always free so you can determine whether this is something you want to do and whether you feel comfortable. I also do skype sessions with people who are unable to come in. No one turned away for lack of funds. Sessions to be scheduled to fit your home and work life.
Call or email me.

profile

Thanks Dawn. You were such a big part of us growing in our relationship. I can’t say that the time before being engaged was easy. Ah, waiting and not knowing where we were headed and trying to figure out some major stuff. Phew, it was intense at times. But I know I speak for both me and M, you really helped us navigate some hard questions and know how to talk about them with each other. There were so many times we just didn’t even know what questions to be asking but wanted to be proactive in exploring deeper in our relationship. You really challenged us and allowed for more open honest discussion.

We wish we were closer to your classes and could have meet in person, but the phone calls did work great. We are so glad we found you via the web.
— K & M, Colorado

Posted by admin under Couples, Current Programs, In their own words
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