Purim Mask

Purim Mask

Purim
We are a few days from Erev Purim! I hope you have a costume planned and a place to go for the Purim Schpiel. Purim is one of those “different” holidays. There’s the kids’ level – a story of Queen Esther saving the Jews, and the adult level – where there’s a lot of killing, beginning with Vashti. I don’t suggest that you start with the dark story with kids. But it is worth the time to learn the full story and to investigate the rabbinic teachings on this story in which God is never mentioned.

Here’s a somewhat sanitized version of the story from My Jewish Learning.

Here is a more complete and darker version from Chabad.

On the light side, go here to download a printable template for a Purim crown from Chai and Home.

Of course, you’ll need to eat! So here are some Hamenashen recipes.

Trouble Times
Many of you are aware that I have a multiracial, interfaith, multiethnic family. I’ve been more frightened of my own government that ever before. What has helped me is to become part of the activism that is growing rapidly. A friend told me about an app that will send you a “Daily Action” https://dailyaction.org I have attended services at synagogues and churches. I have marched and will again. Don’t just sit there and get depressed! Look into your conscience and act on behalf of those who are vulnerable. Every major faith believes in protecting those who are unable to protect themselves.

Bomb Threats
Yes, there have been a lot of bomb threats to Jewish buildings, especially JCCs and Jewish schools. But guess what? A number of Muslim veterans have tweeted that they want to guard Jewish organizations! Many Muslim organizations have reached out to offer compassion and support to the Jewish community. Our own Palo Alto JCC was threatened and a local group of Muslim-Jewish women sent them this letter of support.

EVENTS
Purim Carnival (Walnut Creek)
Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Purim Celebration (Livermore)
Shushan County Fair (Saratoga)
This Shabbat Rocks! (San Mateo)
Wendy Mogel “Blessing of a Skinned Knee” (Los Gatos)
Beyond Bubbie: Taste of the Old East (Berkeley)
An Evening of Learning About Jewish Mindfulness (San Mateo)
Jewish Women’s Theater presents Exile: Kisses on Both Cheeks (San Rafael)
Passover Second Night Seder (Walnut Creek)

Purim Carnival
Join us for a fun filled afternoon with Pony Rides, Laser Tag, Giant Inflatables, Face Painting, Midway Games, and Fun Prizes. Hot dog lunch and carnival treats for purchase.

Date: Sunday, March 12
Time: 11:00am – 1:30pm
Place: Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek
Cost: $18 per child includes all games; $20 at door per child
RSVP office@bshalom.org

Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Purim Celebration
Tri-Valley Cultural Jews will be holding a secular Purim celebration! We will make hamantaschen, have crafts, games, and fun for all ages, and present our annual Purim skit. Attendees are welcome to come dressed as their favorite Purim character.

Date: Sunday, March 12
Time: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Place: The Bothwell Arts Center, 2466 8th St., Livermore
Cost: Free for TVCJ members, and costs $10 for non-members (which can be applied to a membership if someone wishes to join).
For more information email maluba2@yahoo.com

Shushan County Fair
Come One, Come All, to the Shushan County Fair!
Fun for all ages.
Featuring the Klezmer band “Hot Kugel”
Pony Up Petting Zoo
Rides and Inflatables Including a 20’ Slide
Haman Haunted House
Games, Food, Entertainment
White Elephant Sale and Auction
Exhibit Hall, Contests and Prizes
Demonstrations: Robot pancake maker, Shaving soap & candle making, Yarn spinning, 3D printer and more.

Date: Sunday, March 12
Time: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Place: Beth David, 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga
Cost: Pre-purchase a wristband for access to all inflatables and games plus a $5 voucher for food! Online or call the office 408-257-3333. $30 before March 3rd and $36 at the door. Individual tickets for games and rides will also be available for sale at the event. Buy tickets online.

This Shabbat Rocks!
This joyous Shabbat service will awaken our bodies and souls with a prayerful shake, rattle, and roll. Come and experience this vibrant service with The Band and you’ll find yourself exclaiming, “this Shabbat rocks!”

Date: March 18
Time: 9:00am – 9:40am
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
www.ptbe.org

Wendy Mogel “Blessing of a Skinned Knee”
Dr. Wendy Mogel, clinical psychologist, parenting expert, and New York Times best-selling author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B-, will be giving a parenting talk.
Dr. Mogel’s books address the question of how to raise resilient children in the face of trends toward anxious parenting and over-parenting

Date: March 23
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Place: Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos
Cost: General admission is $18, JCC members $10. JCC members get a special early bird price of $7 when you buy tickets online by 3/15.

Beyond Bubbie: Taste of the Old East
with Reboot and JIMENA
Join us for an immersive Sephardic culinary experience where participants will get a taste of traditional North African and Middle Eastern Passover recipes and stories from JIMENA speakers. Guest chefs will each prepare and demonstrate a traditional Sephardic dish from their country of origin. These chefs and other members of the community will share their stories and the family histories that go along with them. Come for the food, stay for the conversation.

Date: Thursday, March 23
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: JCC East Bay Berkeley Branch, 1414 Walnut St, Berkeley
Cost: $12 (presale, student, senior, member); $15 (at the door)
Tickets here.

An Evening of Learning About Jewish Mindfulness
with Rabbi Jeff Roth
Rabbi Roth offers a contemporary approach to Jewish meditation. He focuses on the practice of mindfulness/heartfulness, combined with the teachings of Torah, to offer a path to liberate us from alienation, awaken us to the truth of the present moment, and open us to a sense of the Divine Presence.

Date: Thursday, March 23
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
Sponsored by Or HaLev, the Center for Jewish Spirituality at Peninsula Temple Beth El.
This program is free, but please help us plan: RSVP to cserbin@ptbe.org by March 21.

Jewish Women’s Theater presents Exile: Kisses on Both Cheeks
Come for an evening of salon-style theatrical entertainment with professional actors performing contemporary stories in intimate settings. Exile: Kisses on Both Cheeks explores the Sephardic legacy of family, community and country, looking for home more than 500 years after the expulsion from Spain. It is a Jewish immigrant story that is rarely told on stage. Until now.

Date: Sunday, April 2
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Place: Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael
http://www.marinjcc.org
Cost: $18 Members; $25 Public and same-day tickets. Purchase tickets here.

Passover Second Night Seder
Join us second night for a family friendly service led by Rabbi Daniel Stein and Hazzan Wallach. Please call Alyssa at 925-934-9446 x102 to get all the details and to tell her what entrée you want.

Date: Tuesday, April 11
Time: 6:30pm Service
Place: Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek
Cost: $54 per adult 13 and up; $36 per child ages 9-12; $15 per child ages 5-8; Free for children 4 and under
RSVP office@bshalom.org by Tuesday March 28th

Posted by admin under Community Activities, Jewish Culture, Purim, symbolic foods
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purim-family-carnival

Though Purim is a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, it is widely observed and a favorite of children. According to the scroll of Esther 9:22, we are to observe Purim as a time of “feasting and gladness.” The holiday is marked not only the by reading of the scroll, but by Purim plays (spiels) and the wearing of costumes. A festive meal is eaten (se’udah) on Purim afternoon. These led to the rise of carnivals, incorporating these traditions and often adding games for children. In Israel, Purim is joyfully observed by parades and people of all ages dressed in costumes.

(From ReformJudaism.org, read more on their website.)

Posted by admin under Jewish Culture, Jewish Learning, Purim
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Gan Shalom's Purim bag

Gan Shalom’s Purim bag

Mishloach manot, (translation:sending of portions) are commonly referred to as Purim baskets. These baskets or pretty bags are filled with food and given to friends and family, teachers and coworkers on Purim.

The commandment to give these gifts comes from the Book of Esther (which contains the story of Purim) and is intended to ensure that everyone has food for the Purim feast. They are also said to increase the love and connection between Jews – and for our purposes – between people.

I find that homemade goodies are especially appreciated and so much fun to make.

Make some hamentashen (recipe here) and perhaps another cookie you love. Get children, grandparents, and friends into the act. Add some nuts and tangerines and you’ve got a lovely gift.

Or you may want to buy some baskets. Many schools sell Purim baskets to raise funds for their institution.
This year Beth Israel of Berkeley’s preschool Gan Shalom is selling organic, fair-trade, Mishloah Manot. They have this to say about their baskets.

The Mishloach Manot packages include: Flamous Brands falafel chips, Barefruit apple chips, Ecoteas, Organic and fair trade chocolate from Chocolove, Yummy Earth lollipops, and Fresh-baked organic Hamentaschen. The packages are $28 if they are going to be picked-up or delivered in Berkeley, Albany, or Kensington. They are an additional $10 if we are shipping them. We ship anywhere in the US.

Go here to learn more and to order. http://cbiganshalom.wordpress.com/

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Homemade Bollywood costume

Purim is coming! Along with it comes the commandment to Be Happy, Have Fun and Get Drunk! OK, you don’t actually have to get drunk but you are supposed to really whoop it up. Every synagogue is holding a Purim Shpiel – that is telling the Purim story. Many synagogues pick a musical theme and tell the story to the tunes of their theme. Themes from past years include: Les Miserables and Beauty and the Beast, the Beatles, Elvis Presley and the Muppets.

Learn about the holiday here:
My Jewish Learning
Union for Reform Judaism
Jew FAQ

Here are answers to 8 common Purim questions.

It is part of the fun to dress up in costumes. Cross dressing is encouraged because you should be unrecognizable. Sometimes a wig and a mask is enough to baffle your friends. This is a great time to pull out those Halloween costumes for the kids; why not get another use out of them? Spiderman pjs are just fine too.

Here’s a link to some fast & easy homemade costumes.

Be Happy! It’s Adar (the Jewish month),

Dawn

Purim at Netivot Shalom

Posted by admin under Community Activities, Jewish Learning, Purim
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Here’s a list of eight commonly asked questions on Purim. Plus a fun fact! Take a look.

Purim masks half size

Purim commonly asked questions

Posted by admin under Holidays, Jewish holidays at home, Purim
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Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in? You were the ‘other’?
There are many reasons for feeling, I’m out of place, or as a dear friend of mine says, I feel like an onion in a petunia patch. Here are some: I’m Catholic in a Jewish family; I’m Chinese and Jewish; I’m gay; I’m married to a non-Jew; my dad is the Jewish parent; I don’t know Hebrew; I converted; I’m adopted, Black, Jewish and converted. Then here is something to contemplate. In the Bay Area Jewish community only 5% of the community is made up of a white heterosexual couple, both born Jewish, raising kids who were not adopted. That’s right, my friends, we are the new normal. That doesn’t mean that you don’t feel out of place sometimes. So let’s talk about it. And let’s discuss our strengths, our gifts and give each other support.

See below: When YOU Are the ‘Other’ Monday, March 5 as part of the Purim for Adults. Yes, you get to drink!

Love is good for all ages
A friend of mine has a son who just turned fourteen. Every time we talk she says, “Dawn, I am just trying not to kill him.” Teens can be so HARD. My friend and her son were very close until recently. Now he is individuating and he’s doing it big time.

Today I came across a lovely, short video by Rabbi Janet Marder of Beth Am in Los Altos about blessing one’s children on Shabbat. It is short and basically non-denominational. She comments that even teens need to hear that they are loved. Here are the words of the blessing – yes it is a traditional act for Shabbat.

May God bless you and keep you; may the light of God shine upon you; may God be with you always and give you peace.

Take a look at Rabbi Marder’s video and hear her thoughts about children, love between family members and how Shabbat is an excellent time to reaffirm them.

EVENTS
Purim for Adults: The Jewish Mardi Gras! (Berkeley)
Do you have plans for Purim? (Berkeley)
Purim Dinner, Spiel and Megillah Reading! (San Rafael)
Young Adult Purim Ball (Palo Alto)
PurimPalooza (San Rafael)
The “Purim” Follies (San Francisco)
Freedom Fest: Come Liberate your Passover Experience! (Berkeley)

Purim for Adults: The Jewish Mardi Gras!
A festive evening of cocktails, crafts, comedy, and conversation. All those 21+ are welcome to celebrate this wild and crazy holiday! No Jewish experience necessary.
7pm – brief and boisterous telling of the Purim story by comedian Joshua Walters!
Then choose from four stimulating conversations:
• When YOU are the Other – Dawn Kepler**
Interfaith couples, converts, multiracial Jews, patralineal Jews, non-Jews – many people have times when they feel they are “other.” Join people like yourself to discuss your strengths.
• Conceal or Reveal? – Rabbi Bridget Wynne
• Unmasking How You Give – Julia Malkin
• Yentl, Tootsie, & the Nanny: Jewish Gender – Sasha Goldberg & Rabbi David Dunn Bauer
8:15 – gather for cocktails, crafts, photo booth, and games with Moishe House!

Date; Monday, March 5
Time: 7-9:30pm
Place: Jewish Community Center of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley
Admission: Suggested donation $5.
Co-sponsored by Jewish Gateways, the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay, Building Jewish Bridges, EastBayJews, Moishe House, Nehirim, and Keshet.

**When YOU are the “Other”
I hear plenty of comments from people who feel uncomfortable for one reason or another in Jewish community. Yes, there are some thoughtless, inappropriate things said to us – for being gay, Asian, adopted, having the ‘wrong’ parent be Jewish, not knowing enough, and more. But guess what? This is the future! Did you know that only 5% of the bay area Jewish community is a straight white woman & man married to each other, born Jewish, with children that are not adopted? Yup, we are the 95%! Let’s talk!

Do you have plans for Purim?
Come dine with the Queen (& King)!
Come to the Purim Dinner for your Enjoyment and Nourishment! Bring your friends too!
Meal prepared by Arnon Oren of Oren’s Kitchen

Date: Wednesday March 7
Time: 5:15pm
Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley
Cost: $15 adults, $6 kids
NEW This Year: Express line for those who pre-pay!
Please RSVP for the dinner: office@netivotshalom.org
There are 3 options to make payment- either pay online at netivotshalom.org and use the “Make a Donation” Tab and put “Purim Dinner” in the description field or send in your check to Congregation Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94702 and write “Purim Dinner” in the memo line. Or pay at the event.

Purim Dinner, Spiel and Megillah Reading!
We’ll start the night with a dinner in the social hall, followed by a wild and crazy service as we read the megillah. Come in costume ready to laugh so hard you’ll be crying!

Date: Wednesday, March 7
Time: 5:45 pm Pasta dinner* 6:30 pm Megillah reading & spiel
Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 No. San Pedro Road, San Rafael
Cost: $5 per person or $20 per family (gluten free option available).
*Reservations needed for dinner by March 5th by contacting Pete at pete@rodefsholom.org.

Young Adult Purim Ball
Join us for the Young Adult Purim Ball at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto!
Start planning those costumes, the Young Adult Purim Ball will have a costume contest.
Open Bar (21+ – ID required)
Costume Contest:
*Out of the Box (individual)
*Best (individual, duo, or group)
DJ, Dancing, Light Nosh
This event is open to Jews and non-Jews, all genders welcome.

Date: Sat., March 10
Time: 9pm
Place: Palo Alto JCC, 3921 Fabian Way Palo Alto
Cost: $10 before March 8 at http://www.jvalley.org/svyad and $15 at the door
Brought to you by Hillel of Silicon Valley, Jews’ Next Dor, Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, Silicon Valley Young Adults Division of the Jewish Federation, Hillel at Stanford, and TKEYA.

PurimPalooza
Don’t forget to put PurimPalooza on your calendar! We will be partnering with the Osher Marin JCC and others in the community to provide carnival games, live entertainment, delicious food and a costume parade. Come in costume and stop by and say hello to our CRuSTY teens, who will be working to help your kids have fun!

Date: Sunday, March 11
Time: 11:30–3 pm
Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 No. San Pedro Road, San Rafael
Info: 415.479.3441

The “Purim” Follies
The entire community is invited to our annual sketch comedy show, the “Purim” Follies, for another hilarious evening! The comedy begins with a reception from 6:00 – 7:30 pm featuring drinks, hamantaschen, and dinner for sale (falafel and pita sandwiches, under $10 each). Then the show MUST go on at 7:30 pm!
(Parental Advisory: the show is rated PG-13 for crude humor, usually from the mouths of Jewish mothers.)

Date; Saturday, March 17
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Place: Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St
Babysitting is available for children ages 1 – 10. Children under 1 may sit with their parent(s) during the show.
Sign up here: http://bit.ly/zBoDQ2
Want to party into night? Sign up for the PurimPalooza that goes until 1:30am!

Freedom Fest: Come Liberate your Passover Experience!
Have you ever wondered how to engage all ages in the Passover celebration? Do you want to make Passover more hands-on and meaningful? Then join us for a morning of Passover-focused workshops for everyone. A variety of workshops will be offered by our community’s talented rabbis and educators. Free childcare by advance registration; workshops will include options for everyone –seasoned Seder leaders, novices and families who want to learn together.

Date: Sunday, March 18
Time: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
Place: JCC East Bay; 1414 Walnut St. in Berkeley
To register for childcare, please email: debra@bethelberkeley.org

The Building Jewish Bridges workshopwill be at 10am:
Juggling the Multi-generational Seder
Freedom Fest is co-sponsored by the JCC East Bay, Congregation Beth El, Congregation Netivot Shalom, Congregation Beth Israel, Building Jewish Bridges, Urban Adamah, Jewish Gateways, Lehrhaus Judaica, Fair Trade Judaica, PJ LIbrary, Wilderness Torah and the Jewish Federation of the East Bay.

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Holidays, Jews of Color, Past Programs, Purim
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Purim will begin Wednesday evening, March 7. That’s the night that synagogues typically hold their Purim Schpiel – the retelling of the Purim story. Sometimes the story is chanted from a simple scroll and many times there is a comical play telling the story. It is popular to pick a theme – like Purim according to the Beatles. Then the story is put into songs and sung to the familiar tunes of, in this case, the Beatles. I’ve also heard Purim set to Elvis, Motown and other musical genres.

This is the one holiday when you are actually supposed to get drunk, extremely drunk. So drunk you can no longer tell the difference between the names of the hero and the villain. I don’t know anyone who does that. Non-traditional Jews simply don’t drink that much. Traditional Jews take a nap. That’s right, you are supposed to be in a state of unconsciousness and sleep works just fine for that!

Learn more about Purim at one of these links:
http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Purim/Purim_101.shtml
http://urj.org/holidays/purim/
http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday9.htm
http://holidays.net/purim/

EVENTS
Wilderness Camp for Kids (Oakland)
Purim: The Jewish Mardi Gras! (Berkeley)
Being a Jew in the 21st Century (Oakland)
Purim! (San Rafael)
Women in Interfaith Relationships (Palo Alto)
Purim Spiel and Carnival (Oakland)
Pagan and Mystical Roots of the Jewish Calendar (Oakland)
Religion for Atheists (San Francisco)
Shabbes Beat (San Francisco)
Passover Made Easy (Tiburon)
Jewish Identity Development for Multiracial Jews (Oakland)
Tot Shabbat (San Mateo)
The Sacred Table: Ethical Food Choices & Options (Oakland)

Wilderness Camp for Kids
BaMidbar, In the Wilderness
Bring to life the lessons of the Jewish people wandering in the wilderness as your kids develop important community and wilderness survival skills in the forest, including foraging, tracking, shelter-building, fire-building, and lost-proofing.
Their skill-building will be embedded in Torah stories as they travel through the Jewish calendar from Tu B’Shvat: the New Year of the Trees, toward Passover: the day of our liberation from slavery into wilderness!

Dates: 10-week session, March 4 – May 13th, Sundays 10 – 1pm
Place: Redwood Regional Park in Oakland
Children grades 3-5: 10-1pm | Children grades 1-2: 10-1pm
FEES: $400, $350 sibling discount | Scholarships available.
www.wildernesstorah.org

Purim: The Jewish Mardi Gras!
Join us for a stimulating evening of cocktails, crafts, comedy, and conversation! All adults (21 and over) are welcome to celebrate this wild and crazy holiday. No Jewish experience necessary.

7:00 – Brief & boisterous telling of the Purim story by comedian Joshua Walters
7:30- Choose from four exciting conversations:
*Sasha Goldberg of Keshet & Rabbi David Dunn Bauer of Nehirim: Yentl, Tootsie, and The Nanny: The Private Parts and Public Performance of Jewish Gender
*Dawn Kepler of Building Jewish Bridges & Young Adult Leaders: When YOU are the Other: Jewish Diversity, Identity, and Belonging
*Rabbi Bridget Wynne of Jewish Gateways: Conceal or Reveal?: The Power of Our Hidden Selves
*Julia Malkin of EastBayJews: Unmasking Tzedakah and How You Give

8:15 – Cocktails, crafts, snacks, photo booth,and games with Moishe House

Date: Monday, March 5
Time: 7:00pm-9:30pm
Place: JCC of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley
http://www.jcceastbay.org/
FREE!

Being a Jew in the 21st Century
In many different ways we are identified with particular groups – by our sexual orientation, our political affiliations, our family status, our careers, and more. In this workshop Rabbis Straus and Mates-Muchin will lead us through a discussion about what our Jewish identity means to us. What does it mean to be a “good Jew” or living in a Jewish family? What does it mean to be part of the tribe? Are there legitimate expectations that the community has of me or that I have of the community? In this age of assimilation, why should I be Jewish? Why should I be part of a synagogue? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions – just an opportunity for us to better understand our relationship with the Jewish community. Free and no advance registration required.

Dates: Tuesdays, March 6 – March 27
Time: 8:15pm to 9:15pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
www.oaklandsinai.org or call 510-451-3263.

Purim!
Purim is around the corner! Join us on Wednesday, March 7, 5:45 pm Spaghetti dinner*, 6:30 pm Megillah reading. Be prepared for a wild and crazy service as we read the megillah in our Sanctuary. Come in costume ready to laugh so hard you’ll be crying! Bring a box of macaroni & cheese (any brand will do) to use as a grogger to drown out Haman’s name- we will collect them to donate to Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ Food Pantry!

Date: March 7
Time: 5:45pm
Place: Congregation Rodef Sholom, 170 North San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
*Reservations needed for dinner by March 2nd by contacting Pete at pete@rodefsholom.org or 479.3441.
Cost is $5 per person or $20 per family; gluten-free option available.

Women in Interfaith Relationships
A discussion for girlfriends, wives, mothers, & grandmothers
Join other women, Jewish or not, to examine interfaith marriage 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 about the assumptions and possibilities surrounding our roles as sustainers of the family.

Date; Thursday, March 8, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto
Cost: $18 public, free to Etz Chayim members, register here
No one turned away for lack of funds.

Purim Spiel and Carnival
Join us at the Purim Spiel, “The Megillah According to Vashti,” and carnival afterwards in Stern Hall. We’ll have challenging games, thrilling prizes, delicious food and lots of fun! These events have no admission charge. Tickets for activity booths and food during the carnival are available for pre-purchase in the Education or at the carnival.

Date: Sunday, March 11
Time: Spiel at 10:30am in the Sanctuary
Carnival for kids K-2nd Graders – 9:30am to 10:30am
Carnival for kids 3rd Grade and higher – after the Spiel
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
www.oaklandsinai.org

Pagan and Mystical Roots of the Jewish Calendar
Christianity has been described as Jewish wine in a pagan vessel. Likewise, the classical monotheistic grapes of Jewish history and law were grafted on to hardy mythic and magical rootstock, the agricultural year as a mirror of heaven. The medieval Kabbalists were able to link their mystical understanding of Jewish belief to these ancient pagan roots in ways that deepened the meaning of our traditional holidays and observances. Mystical texts like the Zohar did this not just for the mystics themselves, but for the average devout Jew who found cold comfort in Jewish philosophy. This workshop will explore the magical, numerological, astrological and mystical depths hidden within our own normative Jewish practice with the intention of reconnecting us to the life of the earth.

Dates: Wednesdays, March 14 – March 28
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Tuition: $35 for the public, $30 for members
Register here: http://catalog.lehrhaus.org/course/2012/winter/P150-TS/

Religion for Atheists
The popular philosopher and bestselling author of The Consolations of Philosophy and How Proust Can Change Your Life presents a deeply provocative argument for benefiting from the wisdom and power of religion – without having to “believe” in any of it. De Botton, a non-believer himself, offers a surprisingly useful look at religion for atheists as the source of best practices for living and arranging our societies, building communities and sustaining relationships.

Date: Thursday, March 15
Time: 8:00 pm
Place: San Francisco JCC, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Tickets range in price, $20 to $25: https://tickets.jccsf.org/public/show.asp

Shabbes Beat
It’s all about that Shabbes groove. Rock, jazz, Latin, and blues.
Cantor Sharon and the Shabbes Beat band and chorus. Sing, dance, and pray. . . Joy up, relax, breathe, and sway . . . every 3rd Friday 7:30pm March-June.

Date: March 16
Time: 7:30 to 10:30pm – (you don’t have to stay the whole time)
Place: Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, San Francisco
Info: 415-861-6932

Passover Made Easy
Not everyone who holds a seder grew up with Passover traditions. Dawn will share tasty Passover recipes, shortcuts, and tips for engaging children (and spouses) of all ages in the holiday.

Date: Thursday, March 22
Time: 9:30 – 11:30am
Place: Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon
Cost: $20
To register, please call the Osher Marin JCC at 415-444-8000 or visit the JCC website here: http://bit.ly/xrGQgf
Kol Shofar’s phone: 415-388-1818

Jewish Identity Development for Multiracial Jews
With Dr. Jerry Diller & Rabbi Mates-Muchin
Children experience life quite differently than adults. We will address what it is like to grow up Jewish if you don’t look Jewish. What comments and behaviors impact a multiracial child’s sense of their Jewishness? What happens to a child whose Jewish parent is ambivalent about their own Jewish identity? We will discuss what we can do/say to support those around us and will contemplate when is silence golden.
Join Dr. Jerry Diller, emeritus professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley and psychotherapist who has focused extensively on identity development for multiracial people, and Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin, rabbi at Temple Sinai and a Chinese Jew, in conversation about developing healthy and happy identities in multiracial families and communities. Dawn Kepler of Building Jewish Bridges will moderate the conversation and facilitate Q&A from the audience.

Date: Wednesday, March 28
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Cost: $18/public; free to Sinai members. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Register here: http://catalog.lehrhaus.org/course/2012/winter/A350-TS/

Tot Shabbat
This Shabbat experience is designed for newborns through pre-schoolers, is held monthly at 9:00 am. Celebrate Shabbat with a morning service filled with songs and stories, an Oneg Shabbat snack, and time on the playground.

Date: March 31, April 28, May 26 and June 16
Time: 9am
Place: Peninsula Beth El, 1700 Alameda De Las Pulgas, San Mateo
www.ptbe.org

The Sacred Table: Ethical Food Choices & Options
You will eat, you will be satisfied, and you will bless upon the good land that God has given you (Deut. 8:10)
Eating is one of those ordinary experiences which Jewish observance makes holy. Traditionally, we bracket our eating with blessings before and after, for the food and for the satisfaction which the food has given. Even those Jews who do not observe Jewish dietary laws are conscious of the fact that in the book of Leviticus, the mixing of meat with milk is forbidden and certain meats are forbidden altogether as food.
We need food to survive. Food can also be a way of expressing love. It can be the object of addiction or of simple pleasure. Beyond the issue of Jewish dietary law, what ethical issues come up for the Jew who wishes to be a true mensch?
In this class we will use the essays in the collection The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic (ed. Mary L. Zamore, CCAR Press) as food for thought as we chew on the meaning and implications of our choices. Bon apetit!

Dates: Wednesdays, April 11, 18 and 25
Time: 10am to 11:30am
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Cost: $30 public, $18 Temple Sinai members
Register here

Posted by admin under Holidays, Purim, women
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Join us for a stimulating evening of cocktails, crafts, comedy, and conversation! All adults (21 and over) are welcome to celebrate this wild and crazy holiday. No Jewish experience necessary.

7:00 – Brief & boisterous telling of the Purim story by comedian Joshua Walters
7:30- Choose from four exciting conversations:
*Sasha Goldberg of Keshet & Rabbi David Dunn Bauer of Nehirim: Yentl, Tootsie, and The Nanny: The Private Parts and Public Performance of Jewish Gender
*Dawn Kepler of Building Jewish Bridges & Young Adult Leaders: When YOU are the Other: Jewish Diversity, Identity, and Belonging
*Rabbi Bridget Wynne of Jewish Gateways: Conceal or Reveal?: The Power of Our Hidden Selves
*Julia Malkin of EastBayJews: Unmasking Tzedakah and How You Give

8:15 – Cocktails, crafts, snacks, photo booth,and games with Moishe House

Date: Monday, March 5
Time: 7:00pm-9:30pm
Place: JCC of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley
http://www.jcceastbay.org/
FREE!

Posted by admin under Holidays, Past Programs, Purim
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Cooking together for Purim

Like many other Jewish holidays, there are specific foods and activities for Purim, and of course, there is also the story of Purim. How can we combine food and family practices to make this holiday meaningful? What if you’re not Jewish but you’re responsible for your family’s holiday celebrations? Or, maybe you are Jewish, but you never celebrated Purim growing up. Join us for cooking and sharing recipes, ideas, and activities to make a fabulous holiday for you and your loved ones!

Sunday, Feb. 4
12noon to 3pm
Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
$25/person
Register here.

Posted by admin under Holidays, Programs archive, Purim, symbolic foods
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Want to help out by volunteering at the JCC East Bay Purim Carnival?
The JCC would love to get a few volunteers to be at some of the booths. You would arrive by 1:45pm and check in with Samantha. Then from 2 to 4:30pm you’d “sell” your wares and games for the price of various numbers of tickets. It is fun and wild! If you’ve never worked a carnival before, you really should do it once in your life.

Embrace the child in you and work at one of the carnival booths, like: ring toss, milk bottle throw, fishing booth, etc. Other activities include the photo booth, face painting table, and arts and craft tables. And of course, the prize tables!

The Whole Megillah
A troupe of mainly non-Jewish actors takes on the story of Purim. Come join the fun!
One of my favorite people (and someone on this list) is a member of the comedy team, Killing My Lobster.

Dates & times: 8 p.m. March 17 and 18; 7 and 10 p.m. March 19
Place: Jewish Theatre, San Francisco, 470 Florida St., San Francisco
Cost: $15-$20.

Read this article about them in the JWeekly:
http://bit.ly/hniY8z

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