Mask & Linda

11 Ideas for Making Non-Jewish Guests Comfortable at Your Seder

Chances are that you’ve had non-Jewish friends over for Passover before. But you may be having someone over that you feel particularly sensitive to – a new date, the parents of a fiancé, a step-child, an adopted child. Here are some tips for making things go smoothly for everyone.

1. Give your guest a basic overview of the Passover story. One easy, accessible way to learn it is to watch the Disney film, Prince of Egypt.

2. Tell your guest what to expect at your Seder. How long will it be, are guests expected to participate, how will kids be engaged? If your practice is for everyone to read parts of the service be sure that your guests are comfortable doing so.

3. Being responsible for a part of the evening makes people feel needed and more at home. Ask your guest to bring a part of the meal. If they cook you can suggest something as simple as hardboiled eggs or give them a recipe. If they don’t cook, they can bring wine or matzah.

4. Pick a haggadah that is accessible. Consider lending your friend a copy ahead of time so they can be familiar with it before the Seder.

5. Explain each step of the Seder and encourage questions from everyone at the table.

6. Make the story of freedom relevant to all by inviting guests to share a struggle that concerns them – whether political, physical or psychological.

7. Have fun and entertaining props at the table from coloring books for little guests to symbols of the ten plagues: plastic insects, cotton balls for hail, finger puppets, and masks. Encourage adults to enjoy them too.

8. Don’t let people get hungry. Provide snacks during the Seder. A tray of fresh vegetables and dip, fresh fruit chucks, hardboiled egg slices, cheese chunks or tree nuts can sustain guests.

9. Consider changing the statement when you open the door for Elijah from “Pour out your wrath” to a blessing written by a rescued child, “Pour out your love on the nations who have known you and on the kingdoms who call upon your name. For they show loving-kindness to the seed of Jacob and they defend your people Israel from those who would devour them alive. May they live to see the sukkah of peace spread over your chosen ones and to participate in the joy of your nations.”

10. Give rewards for participation. Hand out candies or nuts to children and adults who ask questions during the Seder. Let everyone know at the start that questions result in prizes.

11. Create a festive mood. Sing some humorous songs, incorporate Jewish traditions from other countries like, swatting each other with scallions to symbolize the whips of the Egyptians, or put a bowl of water on the floor and have each guest step over it to represent crossing the Red Sea.

Frequently Seders taper off after dessert and don’t make it all the way to the last steps. Consider having a definite close – singing a last song, saying a last blessing. That let’s guests know that they are free to go home. You can always sit and visit longer if no one is too tired.

ONE LAST TIP: Relax. If you’re nervous it will be communicated to those around you. Include friends that make you feel comfortable. Share the workload. Remember that this is a holiday. Don’t run yourself ragged with meal preparation. Invite guests to bring food for your sake as well as theirs.

Posted by admin under Non-Jewish family, Passover
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community seder 4

FIRST NIGHT SEDERS

Community Passover Seder
Come join the OFJCC for our annual Community Passover Seder. This interactive, warm and welcoming event is perfect for the whole family!
Enjoy a delicious Kosher for Passover meal, singing and matzo decorating!
Special Note Regarding Registration:
This event is being subsidized by the OFJCC Annual Fund.
If you would like to make a donation to help keep this program affordable, please visit https://paloaltojcc.org/Donate and mention “OFJCC Community Seder” during the donation process.
Space is limited; please note that registration closes on Friday April 7 at 3:00pm.

Date: Monday, April 10
Time: 5:00–7:00 PM
Place: Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Cost: $18
For more info contact Marla Goodman, (650) 223-8631 or mgoodman@paloaltojcc.org
or register here.

First Night Passover Seder for Families with Young Children
Especially for children ages 2-7 and their families; younger and older children are also welcome. Bring the whole family and enjoy a kid-friendly, picnic-style ceremony and light meal. Rabbi Bridget and Eric will use music and “props” to help bring the Passover story alive for children. This is a great opportunity to meet new friends or invite families you know!

A vegetarian meal is available with RSVP.
No Jewish knowledge or experience is necessary.
Doors open at 4:30 and we recommend arriving early to get settled.

Date: Monday, April 10
Time: 5:00-6:15pm
Place: JCC of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley
Cost: $15 child (ages 2-13) / $30 adult (ages 14+)
Sign up here
For further info contact Rachel at the Jewish Community Center in Berkeley, 510-848-0237 ext. 142.

First Night Community Seder
Led by Rabbi Bridget Wynne and Musician Eric Schoen
Join us for a warm, lively, interactive celebration. All are welcome for a full seder including a meal with wine, chicken, and matzo ball soup.
Vegetarian option available with RSVP.
No Jewish knowledge or experience is necessary.

Date: Monday, April 10
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: JCC of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley
Cost: $15 child (ages 2-13) / $30 adult (ages 14+)
Sign up here.
For further info contact Rachel at the Jewish Community Center in Berkeley, 510-848-0237 ext. 142.

First Night Family Seder in Oakland
Join us for one of our favorite JCC traditions! We will come together for the first night of Passover with singing, storytelling, and a delicious seder meal. For people with children ages 2-7, our Family Seder is a kid-friendly event!
Cantor Shira Stanford-Asiyo will lead us through the night.

Date: Monday, April 10
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
Place: JCC East Bay, Oakland Branch, 5811 Racine Street, Oakland
Cost: $15 to $30, sign up here.
For further info contact Rachel (510) 848-0237 ext.142 or rachel.whittom@jcceastbay.org

First Night Community Seder in Oakland
Join us for a warm, lively, and social celebration for people of all ages. We will come together for the first night of Passover with singing, storytelling, and a delicious seder meal. Cantor Shira Stanford-Asiyo will lead us through the night.

Date: Monday, April 10
Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Place: JCC East Bay, Oakland Branch5811 Racine Street, Oakland
For more info contact Rachel (510) 848-0237 ext.142 or rachel.whittom@jcceastbay.org

SECOND NIGHT SEDERS

Second Night Community Seder
Our Seder is open to all — we welcome nonmembers, friends and family, and the larger community.
Sherith Israel’s lively and festive community seder is the congregation’s annual fundraiser for our Chicken Soupers and HaMotzi programs which benefit home-bound seniors, people with chronic illnesses, and adults and children at the Women’s Shelter of San Francisco and the Compass Family Center.
Our wonderful volunteers, who sustain these critical programs year after year will cater dinner, and our clergy, Rabbis Jessica Graf and Julie Saxe-Taller and Cantor David Frommer, will keep us all on the same page.
Join us as we celebrate Passover as a community: matzah ball soup, kosher chicken. Vegan options for the meal will be available. Your donation is tax-deductible.
Seder reservations: Adults, $36; post-b’nai mitzvah students, $18; children, $12; children under 5, free.

Date: Tuesday, April 11
Time: 5 to 7pm
Place: Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., San Francisco
More info: agreen@sherithisrael.org or register online here.
Deadline to RSVP is Friday, April 7.
www.sherithisrael.org

Temple Beth Hillel Passover Congregational Seder
The community is invited to a family friendly Congregational Seder on the Second Night of Passover. Join Rabbi Dean Kertesz and Cantor Fran Burgess in retelling the Passover story, singing holiday songs and sharing a complete ritual meal together (vegan option available). Celebrate the sweetness of freedom with family and friends.

Date: Tuesday, April 11
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central (Hilltop exit off I-80), Richmond
Cost: Non-Members: $35 for adults, $20 for children 7-12, $8 for children 3-6. Seating is limited.
Event information, flyer and reservation form here.

Traditional Second Night Passover Seder
Join our community for a family friendly service led by Rabbi Daniel Stein and Hazzan Risa Wallach. Menu includes Gefilte Fish, Roasted Chicken, Salmon or Vegetarian Entree, Kugel, Honey Carrots and Dessert

Date: Tuesday, April 11
Time: 6:15pm
Place: B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek
Cost: $54/Adult; $36/children (9-12); $15/children (5-8); children under 4 are free
RSVP: cbsmensclub@aol.com

Beth Am’s Annual 2nd Night Community Seder
Enjoy a delicious multi-course meal without having to cook, clean up or remember where you hid the afikomen. Cantor Jaime Shpall will lead this year’s Beth Am Community Seder.
Passover, the Festival of Freedom, celebrates the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt’s bondage more than 3,200 years ago. Each year at this time, Jews all over the world gather with family, friends and even strangers, to honor and remember our enslaved ancestors and rejoice in the freedom we enjoy today.

Date: Tuesday, April 11
Time: 6:00pm
Place: Beth Am Social Hall, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
Cost and Registration:
Cost $47 per adult; $27 per child (12 and under). Seating is limited. Please sign up for Beth Am’s Community Seder using the downloadable sign up form. Please mail in your completed reservation form by Friday, April 7, with a check made payable to “Congregation Beth Am” to: 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022, Attn: Emily Osterman. If cost hinders your participation, please contact Executive Director Rachel Tasch in confidence or call (650) 493-4661.

OTHER SEDERS

Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Passover Seder
Our kid-friendly (but not kid-centered) haggadah is secular and progressive with lots of singing. After the hour-long ceremony, we will share a potluck dinner. Please call Leah at 650-223-9073 to let us know you are coming and what you’d like to bring for the potluck. Vegetarian dishes are encouraged but not required. Invite a friend, too! We need to hear from you by April 11 so we can be sure to have enough eggs, charoset, celery, and wine.

Date: Saturday April 15
Time: 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Place: Bothwell Arts Center, 2466 8th St., Livermore
The suggested donation for non-member adults is $20 (and you can apply this towards membership). Kids and members are free. We are participating in a book drive to benefit the Jewish Coalition for Literacy. Please bring new or gently used books for ages 4-9 to donate if you are able. Thank you!

A Kehilla Community Passover Seder
The Exodus Continues: on Immigrants and Refugees – Led by Rabbis Burt Jacobson and David J. Cooper with Singer Julie Nesnansky – Guest speaker, Issa Hakizimana, refugee from Burundi
The Seder this year will continue our High Holy Day theme focused on immigrants and refugees. We will feature a delicious catered organic meal with vegetarian and gluten-free choices.

Date: Saturday, April 15
Time: 4:45pm
Place: Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont
Buy your tickets online here.

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Boiling water

Boiling water

Rabbi Milder is a Reform rabbi who challenges his congregants to think about whether and how they might keep kosher for Passover. He sent them this delightful guide.

Three Stages of Kashering for Pesach

Deciding how kosher to be for Pesach is a distinctly Reform concern. If one is traditionally observant, the rules, extensive as they may be, are relatively clear. But for those of us who choose our own level of observance, we are challenged to find a meaningful and manageable way to keep kosher for Pesach.

Why keep kosher on Pesach? Ridding ourselves of chametz is all about re-enacting the Exodus and making it a part of our lives. It is a symbolic, physical and emotional act of recapitulating our history. To remove the chametz is to get ready for the journey.

Here are three-plus levels of kashrut that you can use as a personal yardstick. Choose your point of entry.

Level 0: Eat some matzah. I don’t consider this kashering for Pesach, because you haven’t removed anything from the house. But you have fulfilled one of the mitzvot of Pesach.

Level 1: Undertake a personal practice of not consuming chametz
during Pesach. This means not eating any product made from the five grains of wheat, barley, oats, rye or spelt, unless it has first been transformed into matzah.

Level 2: Regard your home as a place where chametz will not be eaten during Pesach. Remove all the chametz from your refrigerator, and seal off the cabinets containing chametz for the duration of Pesach.

Level 3: Do a thorough cleaning of your home. Kasher surfaces with boiling water, kasher stoves and ovens by cleaning and super-heating them. Use a different set of dishes and utensils.

Of course, one could go into much greater specificity regarding all these details. The principle is to set a standard for yourself and your home, and to enter into the holiness of the holiday through spiritual discipline.

You can fulfill another mitzvah, feeding the hungry, by bringing your unopened packages of chametz and other non-perishable food to a food pantry.

Happy kashering!
Rabbi Larry Milder
Beth Emek, Pleasanton

Posted by admin under Jewish Culture, Jewish home celebrations, Passover
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Photo from Pixabay

Photo from Pixabay

Here we go – 2017! Our world has been shaken. I, for one, was stunned by the election results. The majority of my family and friends are in categories that feel increasingly unsafe. As a woman I have been subject to sexual harassment and as a Jew I have been told I wasn’t welcome (yes, literally asked to leave). But that feels small compared to my Muslim friends, my African American niece, my Hispanic nephew, my many LGBT friends, and friends who were brought to America as infants from Mexico and fear deportation to a land they’ve never seen.

I admit that I was paralyzed for several days. But then I remembered that I need to use my privilege to protect the vulnerable. The major faiths all state that we are responsible for our sisters and brothers – no matter their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. So time to get crackin’!

It is a whole lot easier to move mountains with your community that all alone. I hope you are involved with your synagogue, church or mosque. If you need to get connected just contact me. (dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org).

My job is still to help interfaith couples and families discover whether and how they can feel comfortable in the Jewish community. Call me anytime.

I LOVE it when I run into one of you out and about! Do always say hello.

EVENTS
Jacob and Wrestling and Finding Balance in the New Year (Oakland)
Tots ‘n Torah (Burlingame)
Jewish Overnight Camp Fair (Palo Alto)
Introduction to Judaism Winter 2017 (San Francisco)
Intro to Judaism Class: Israel and Texts (Berkeley)
The Book of Ruth (Oakland)
Ruach! (Spirit!) (Danville)
Mizmor Shir! Social Action Shabbat (Oakland)
Shabbatot (San Francisco)
Sababa Shabbat (Oakland)
Be a Fabulous Interfaith Grandparent! (Pleasanton)
It Wouldn’t Be Make Believe: A Sing-along Concert (Oakland)
Prayerbook Blues? (Danville)
Book Discussion: “Why Be Jewish?” (Palo Alto)
Family Learning Day: The Secret Life of Bees and Trees (Berkeley)
Wilderness Torah’s Tu B’Shvat in the Redwoods (Oakland)
Master the Interfaith, Intercultural, Multigenerational Seder (Pleasanton)

Jacob and Wrestling and Finding Balance in the New Year
A special musical Kabbalat Shabbat
Temple Beth Abraham’s singers have compiled a handful of songs to add to this week’s regular Friday evening service. Inspired by the stories of Jacob wrestling and Rabbi Bloom’s high holiday theme of balance, they invite you to start the new secular year with a mix of niggunim, contemporary Jewish tunes, traditional spirituals, jazz melodies as well as a Polish melody brought back from the congregation’s trip to Eastern Europe last summer.

Date: Friday, January 13
Time: 6:15 – 7:15 pm
Place: Temple Beth Abraham, in the chapel, 327 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland
www.tbaoakland.org

Tots ‘n Torah
Please join us for a musical and festive Shabbat service geared to preschool-age children.
Tots ‘n Torah is open to our entire community.
RSVP includes a light meal for parents and children ($5 for children, $10 for adults). The meal is usually immediately after the short service.
(We send out evites to get an RSVP count for each event. If you are not receiving these evites and would like to be added to the list, please email asteckley@sholom.org)
At dinner there will be a sign in sheet on your table, so there is no need to pay in advance, but please RSVP to the evite so we can order the right amount of food for all.

Dates: Jan. 13, Feb. 10, March. 10, April 14, May 12
Time: service at 6pm; dinner at 6:30pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Dr, Burlingame
PLEASE contact Rabbi Lisa at rabbidelson@sholom.org and let her know to expect you. She is concerned about having enough food.

Jewish Overnight Camp Fair
Are you interested in a Jewish overnight camp experience for your kids or teens? Come to the Fair where there will be LOTS of camps represented. Including:

Buck’s Rock Performing and Creative Arts Camp
Brandeis Pre-College Programs
Camp Alonim
Camp Be’chol Lashon
Camp Kimama
Camp Ramah
Camp Tawonga
Habonim Dror—Camp Gilboa
JCC Maccabi Sports Camp
URJ 6 Points Sports Academy
URJ Camp Newman

Date: January 15
Time: 4:00-6:00pm
Place: Osher Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
www.paloaltojcc.org

Introduction to Judaism Winter 2017
Join with Emanu-El clergy to learn about the breadth and wonder of Jewish tradition. This class is a pathway for the adult learner who wishes to discover or deepen Jewish knowledge, non-Jews who are marrying a Jewish partner, and those who are considering conversion to Judaism.

Date: January 17, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00pm
Place: Temple Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
www.emanuelsf.org
Details here.

Introduction to the Jewish Experience: Israel and Texts
Introduction to the Jewish Experience is a three-part series of classes to introduce students to Jewish culture and practice. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds: Jews who did not receive a Jewish education, Jews who wish to resume their education as adults, persons interested in conversion to Judaism, and others who wish to learn more about Judaism. The three parts of the series may be taken in any order. Please pre-register.

Dates: Wednesdays, January 18 – March 8
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: $105 for the public; $90 for members of Beth El and Temple Sinai.
Register here.

The Book of Ruth
This brief but fascinating text touches so many bases in our understanding of the Biblical world: daily life, family, clan and national identity, and the roles and limitations of women. This four-session class will delve into each of the four chapters of this brilliantly concise yet expressive text, both revealing the world of Ruth and linking its timeless meaning to our world.

Dates: Thursdays, January 19, February 2 and 16, March 2
Time: 7:00–8:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Cost: $50
Register here.
Co-sponsored with Lehrhaus Judaica.

Ruach! (Spirit!)
Please join us for this joyful, spirited service featuring music by the incomparable Dean Chapman!!
Ruach service is followed by Ice Cream Sundaes!

Place: Friday, January 20
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Beth Chaim, 1800 Holbrook Dr, Danville
www.bethchaim.com

Mizmor Shir! Social Action Shabbat
This year, Social Action Shabbat will feature poetry performances by 2015 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Tova Ricardo and two Slam Champions. We will hear their poetry during the service and have an opportunity to talk with them during the oneg. Youth Speaks, the organization who helped them develop their voices, will be with us as well. Join us.

Date: January 20
Time: 7:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
www.oaklandsinai.org

Shabbatot
Our new community-based, music, song, and story-filled Shabbat service and dinner.
3rd Friday of the month will include a short service at 6pm and an inter-generational dinner will be served at 6:30pm.
There is no cost for this program.
We would like our programs to be accessible to those with chemical sensitivities and allergies, and therefore support a fragrance-free environment.

Date: January 20 and Feb. 17
Time: Begins at 6pm. You can leave or stay for the 6:30pm dinner
Place: Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St., San Francisco
If you have questions, please contact Adam Pollack, Director of Engagement at adam@shaarzahav.org or at 415-861- 6932
Details here.

Sababa Shabbat
Join us for Sababa Shabbat, our special Shabbat program for young children (pre-school age through 2nd grade) and their families. Join us for pizza and salad dinner (Dinner price is $25 per family, please RSVP by Wed, Jan 18 here, No one shall be turned away due to lack of funds.) or join us afterwards at 6pm for a small child friendly, music-filled Kabbalat Shabbat service. We look forward to sharing Shabbat with you and yours!

Date: Friday evening, January 20
Time: 5:30pm for the dinner and 6pm for child friendly services
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Questions? Please contact Michael@oaklandsinai.org

Be a Fabulous Interfaith Grandparent!
Explore how to engage in Jewish activities with grandchildren without overstepping boundaries.

Date: Feb. 6
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
Cost: $8, no one turned away.
Register here.

It Wouldn’t Be Make Believe
A Sing-along Concert

The songs of Yip Harburg and Lorenz Hart. We’ll project the words on a screen. All you need is your voice (and maybe your glasses).
Recognized these songs:
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Over the Rainbow
My Funny Valentine
Join other people too shy to sing alone for a musical evening.

Date: Sat., Feb. 4
Time: 7:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland, a block from Broadway
www.oaklandsinai.org
Recommended Donations: $15 and for those under 30 and over 80 $10
Questions: Phil Rubin 510-547-8080

Prayerbook Blues?
Are you lost when you open a prayer book? Where did these prayers come from? Who wrote them? How did prayer develop? Join Jamie Hyams for a 3-session exploration of the history, development and purpose of Jewish prayer.

Dates: Feb. 9, Feb.23, March 2
Time: 7:30 – 9:00pm
Place: Beth Chaim, 1800 Holbrook Dr, Danville
Free
www.bethchaim.com

Book Discussion: “Why Be Jewish?”
Ruth Andrew Ellenson, author of The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt, and Ari Y. Kelman, Jim Joseph Chair in Education and Jewish Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, will discuss the late Edgar M. Bronfman’s book Why Be Jewish?
Ms. Ellenson was Bronfman’s literary collaborator on this compelling reflection on what it means to be Jewish in the modern age. The topics of Jewish identity, ritual, faith, secularism and the future of the Jewish world will be addressed. As the book jacket of Why Be Jewish? states, Edgar Bronfman “makes a compelling case for the meaning and transcendence of a secular Judaism that is still steeped in deep moral values, authentic Jewish texts and a focus on deed over creed or dogma.” The talk will be followed by a Q & A session.

Date: Thursday, February 9
Time: 7:00–7:30pm Happy hour schmooze
7:30pm Discussion begins
Place: Palo Alto JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, Room F-401
Cost: $10 Students | $12 Members and J-Pass holders | $15 General Public
One drink is included in the price of each ticket
Info: Ilanit Gal | (650) 223-8649 | igal@paloaltojcc.org

Family Learning Day: The Secret Life of Bees and Trees
The Secret Life of Bees and Trees: an Urban Shtetl community-wide, family Tu B’Shevat celebration! We welcome kids of all ages to come celebrate the new year of trees with learning, connecting, art, and games in our cozy sanctuary. A beekeeper will teach us secrets from the bees, plus enjoy stories from Joel Ben Izzy, art projects, honey making games and more.

Date: Sunday, Feb. 12
Time: 10:00-2:00pm
Place: Chochmat Halev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley
Cost: $40/family in advance; $50/family at the door
Sign up here.

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

Date: Sunday, February 12
Time: 10 am to 3:30 pm
Place: Roberts Regional Recreation Area, Oakland
Cost: See Wilderness Torah’s website for pricing details.
Register here by Thursday, Feb 9 – Advance tickets only, none available on site.

Master the Interfaith, Intercultural, Multigenerational Seder
What do you do when you have Muslims, Christians, atheists and Jews coming to your Seder? And they are all different ages, from toddler to senior? You make it fun and you make sure no one is succumbing to hungry before the meal.
We’ll discuss food planning, toys at the table, games ANYONE can play, and how everyone can have fun – even YOU!
Come discuss ways to engage people of different ages, cultures and religions in your Seder.

Date: Sunday, March 19
Time: 10:30am to 12noon
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
Free

Posted by admin under Community Activities, Passover
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Pesach tart (horizontal)

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

A few thoughts on this desperation.

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by admin under Couples, Passover, Relationships
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Community Seder

Community Seder

Typically the first night of Passover (Pesach) involves a family Seder at home. But there are some places where there are community Seders for those who don’t have a family to invite.

Second night community Seders have become very common at synagogues and there are lots of them! If you don’t see what you need below just Google the name of your city and “community Passover Seder.”

FIRST NIGHT SEDERS

Community Passover Seder
led by Rabbi Chaim Koritzinsky
The Exodus from Egypt is not only something that happened to us thousands of years ago, but also something we continue to experience in our lives today. Seder night is the time to identify and share these stories of liberation as we weave the national and personal narratives into a tapestry of freedom. Come and experience the seder as you’ve never experienced it before with probing questions, the sharing of stories, lively discussion, festive singing, games for kids, and an evening of surprises for the whole family.

Friday, April 22 at 6:00 pm
Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto
Click here to register – but hurry. The deadline is Sunday, April 17, at midnight. We won’t be able to accept reservations after that, as we have to give final numbers to the caterer.

First Night Family Seder in Berkeley
Rabbi Bridget Wynne of Jewish Gateways and Oakland musician Eric Schoen will lead us through the night. A kid-friendly event, our seder includes singing, storytelling, and a light meal served picnic-style.

Date: Friday, April 22, 5:00-6:15 pm (Doors open at 4:30 pm)
Berkeley Branch – 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley
Details here

First Night Family Seder in Oakland
Rabbi Mike Rothbaum (Co-Chair at Bend the Arc and Director of Education at Congregation Beth El) and notable Yiddish musician Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell will lead us in a social justice themed Passover celebration. A kid-friendly event, our seder includes singing, storytelling, and a light meal served picnic-style.

Friday, April 22, 5:00-6:15 pm (Doors open at 4:30 pm)
Oakland Branch – 5811 Racine Street, Oakland
Details and cost here

First Night Community Seder in Berkeley
Rabbi Bridget Wynne of Jewish Gateways and Oakland musician Eric Schoen will lead us through the night. Join us for a warm, lively, and social celebration for people of all ages.
Friday, April 22, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
JCC of the East Bay, Berkeley Branch – 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley
Cost and details here.

First Night Community Seder in Oakland
Rabbi Mike Rothbaum (Co-Chair at Bend the Arc and Director of Education at Congregation Beth El) and notable Yiddish musician Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell will lead us in a social justice themed Passover celebration. A warm, lively, interactive full seder celebrating the Festival of Liberation — for us and all people! Full seder meal to be served. All are welcome!

Friday, April 22, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
JCC of the East Bay, Oakland Branch – 5811 Racine Street, Oakland
Cost and details here.

SECOND NIGHT SEDERS

Peninsula Sinai Community Passover Seder
Join us for the 2nd Night of Passover at PSC. We will be hosting a seder on the 2nd night of the holiday, Saturday evening,April 23, at 6:30 pm. A great opportunity for people of all age. Kids and interfaith families welcome.

RSVP’s are due no later than April 15, 2016. Cost is $70 per adult and $25 per kid ages 3-12 (Kids under 3 eat for FREE). Vegetarian options available. This will be a great experience for the novice and the experienced at the seder table. Hope you can join us. Questions? Contact Rabbi Helfand at rabbi@peninsulasinai.org

April 23, 6:30pm
Peninsula Sinai, 499 Boothbay, Foster City
Please RSVP to by calling 650-349-2816 or emailinginfo@peninsulasinai.org
Details here.

Rodef Sholom’s 2nd Night Seder
Once again we are hosting a 2nd Night Seder. Join Rabbi Elana Rosen-Brown and Cantor David Margules, along with many of our own Rodef Sholom musicians as they host a beautiful, meaningful and musical Seder.

Saturday, April 23, 5:00 pm
Social Hall of Rodef Sholom, 170 No. San Pedro Road, San Rafael

RSVP to Molly at molly@rodefsholom.org by April 18. Prices for congregants are $50 for adults and $35 for children; prices for non-congregants are $60 for adults and $45 for children. Spaces are limited so RSVP soon!

Second Night Passover Seder
Join us for a warm, celebratory and multi-generational seder. We’ll share stories of slavery and freedom, join together in song, and enjoy a delicious Passover feast.

Saturday, April 23, 6:00 to 8:00pm
Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame
Cost: $50/adult, $32/child 12 and under. Make your reservation by Friday, April 15.
Details here.

Beth Am’s Annual 2nd Night Community Seder
Led by Rabbi Jennifer Clayman
Rabbi Jennifer Clayman will lead this year’s Beth Am Community Seder on the 2nd night of Passover. Enjoy a delicious multi-course meal without having to cook, clean up or remember where you hid the afikomen.

Saturday, April 23, 6:00pm
Social Hall of Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
Cost $47 per adult; $27 per child (12 and under). Seating is limited. Please sign up for Beth Am’s Community Seder by Friday, April 15. For more information, please contact Emily Osterman or call (650) 493-4661.
Details here

Temple Israel of Alameda’s Community Second Night Seder
Details here.
(seating is limited) Click here https://tialameda.payquiq.com/index.cfm?event=embedform&embedform=1&contentid=54F4776E-D741-4834-BEFD4B9E07C42957
or call the Temple office 510-522-9355

April 23, 5:00 – 8:00pm
Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda

Temple Sinai’s Annual Community Passover Seder
Let all who are hungry- for food and community- join us!
Join Rabbi Ruth Adar and Cantor Ilene Keys as we retell the story of Passover, enjoy delicious foods catered by Z Cafe, meet new friends and sing!

Saturday, April 23, 5:30pm (doors open at 5:00pm)
Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Please purchase tickets early as seats are limited and sell out every year.
Purchase tickets online here.

Sherith Israel’s Second-Night Community Seder
Let all who are hungry come and eat. We say these words every year as we sit down to tell the Passover story of the Israelites’ journey from bondage to freedom.
Once again, the festive Sherith Israel community Seder is the congregation’s annual fundraiser for our Chicken Souper and HaMotzi programs. They feed homebound seniors, people with chronic illnesses, and adults and children at the Women’s Shelter of San Francisco and the Compass Family Center.
Our wonderful volunteers, who sustain these critical programs year after year, will cater dinner. Joel Siegel will lead us in song. Rabbis Larry Raphael, Jessica Graf and Julie Saxe-Taller will keep us all on the same page.

Saturday, April 23, 5–8 pm
Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., San Francisco
Pricing and details here.

Oshman JCC Community Passover Seder Dinner
The Oshman Family JCC is holding a Jewish Passover Seder for all who would like to join us. The meal will be catered (Kosher for Passover).
Share your Jewish journey while sharing a meal with friends and family. Experience Passover in a warm and welcoming setting at a Seder which combines tradition and creativity. Meet people in the community and make new friends.

Date: Friday, April 22
Time: 6:30–9:00pm
Place: Palo Alto JCC, Room E-104, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Suggested donation of $36; subsidized places available for those in need
Contact: Robin Vasilakos | (650) 223-8791 | rvasilakos@paloaltojcc.org
Sign up here.

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Afikomen Treasure Hunt half size

I’m struck dumb with admiration! The Bible Belt Balabusta has come up with an Afikomen Treasure Hunt that will mollify the most ardent Easter Egg longings.

Here’s what she says about her 2015 hunt:

Here’s the first clue in this year’s Afikomen Treasure Hunt. Each guest had an origami frog place card (my index card hopping frogs) and after dinner, we were told to unfold it. Inside seven of our frogs was a single letter. The kid had to line up the letters and spell the right word, which happened to be ARMOIRE, and which happened to hold the next clue. Oh, how I love a good treasure hunt.

You can go to her website and read MORE about her staggering creativity here.

Posted by admin under Children, Passover
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Passover begins April 3

Passover begins Friday, April 3 at sundown. Most people will be cozily ensconced in a house well before the 7:34pm sunset time. If you are a member of a synagogue and have no where to go for first night you should contact your synagogue’s office. Most shuls are doing seder matching.

Almost all the bay area synagogues are offering Second Night Community Seders. If you are too exhausted on Friday night to go anywhere then hop onto a Saturday night Second Seder.

The one place I know of that is offering First Night Community Seders is the East Bay JCC. There will be Seders at both their Oakland and Berkeley sites. The Jewish Community Relations Council is offering a Seder on Thursday, March 31. Browse through your options below. If I have not listed a Seder near you, don’t despair. There are just too many for me to get them all! Call the synagogues in your city and ask. SIGN UP VERY SOON!

2015 Community Seders

19th Annual San Francisco Multicultural Passover Freedom Seder
Join a joyous gathering of friends, neighbors and fellow San Franciscans at our 2015 Multicultural Freedom Seder! All are welcome!

Date: March 31
Time: 6:30pm
Place: JCCSF, 3200 California Street, San Francisco
Purchase your tickets before Friday, March 27, 2015! Call the JCCSF box office at 415.292.1233 and avoid the service charge or buy online.
Cost: Seating is limited. Tickets are $40 for adults or $35 for JCCSF members, and $15 for children under 12.
Presented by JCRC, JCCSF and Congregation Emanu-El. This event is successful because of the many San Francisco organizations who co-sponsor each year. If you would like to learn more about how your organization can easily become a co-sponsor, or have other questions, please contact Joe Goldman at jgoldman@jcrc.org or 415.977.7418.

Kehilla Annual Passover Seder
Join us to celebrate Passover! With Rabbis David J. Cooper, Burt Jacobson & Diane Elliot, and special guest Rev. Deborah Lee, director of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Delicious catered vegetarian dinner. Pre-registration required.
The theme this year will be: Social Justice & Spirituality
We will enjoy a delicious catered organic, mostly vegetarian, mostly gluten-free meal featuring your favorite holiday ritual foods.

Date: April 4
Time: 4:45pm
Place: Kehilla Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave, Oakland
Details here.
www.kehillasynagogue.org

Second Night Congregational Seder
Join Rabbis Yoel Kahn and Rebekah Stern and Beth El members, old and new, in their annual Second Night Congregational Seder. We will enjoy a festive Pesach celebration and a delicious Kosher-for-Passover meal. Dinner will be catered by Lucy Aghadjian.
We are never too old nor too young to learn and retell the story of Passover. Through song, ritual and discussion, we will retell the ancient story, making connections to our own lives and our world.

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: Adults: (members) $48, (guests) $60
Seniors: $36
Young Professionals (30 and under): $36
Students/Youth/Children: $25
Through the generosity of anonymous Beth El members, no one will be turned away because of inability to pay. Kids are warmly welcomed to join in the seder and/or the parallel kids’ Pesach activities.
RSVP by March 31 here.

Beth Am’s Annual 2nd Night Community Seder
Rabbi Heath Watenmaker will lead this year’s Beth Am Community Seder on the 2nd night of Passover. Enjoy a delicious multi-course meal without having to cook, clean up or remember where you hid the afikomen. Cost $46 per adult; $26 per child (12 and under). Seating is limited.

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 6:00pm
Place: Social Hall of Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
Please sign up for Beth Am’s Community Seder by Friday, March 27 using the downloadable sign up for here.
For more information, please contact Emily Osterman or call (650) 493-4661.

THREE Second Night Seders at Emanuel in San Francisco
Look here.

Multigenerational seder guests

Second Night Multigenerational Seder
Join us for a warm, celebratory, and multigenerational Seder! We’ll share our stories of slavery and freedom, join together in singing songs old and new, and enjoy a delicious Passover feast. New this year: Sharing the Journey Visual Haggadah.

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 6:00pm
Place: In the Social Hall of Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Dr., Burlingame
Cost: $49 (adults); $32 (children under 12). Scholarships are available; contact Rabbi Delson atrabbidelson@sholom.org. Please join us; click here for more information.

Community Passover Seder
Rabbi Gutterman will be leading the Community Seder at B’nai Tikvah in Walnut Creek. The seder is being catered by Sunrise Bistro.

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 6:30 pm
Place: B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
Details here.
We regretfully cannot accept reservations after Tuesday morning, March 31.
www.tikvah.org or you can call the office at 925-933-5397

Two Second Seders at Etz Chayim
Join us for Second Night Seder. We’ll have two different Seders happening in different rooms at the same time. Both seders will offer the traditional songs and symbolic foods, a catered, gourmet dinner with a chicken or vegetarian option, and a wonderful community to share the celebration with.

For more information or to register go here.
But hurry – the deadline is Sunday, March 29th, at midnight. This will be enforced, as we have to give final numbers to the caterer.

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 5:30 pm, Kiddush begins at 6:00 pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto
www.etzchayim.org

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The Producers Zero & Gene

So many Jews identify as “secular” or “cultural” and want to take their non-Jewish sweetie to a non-religious Jewish event. That can be done! But keep in mind that many of Judaism’s religious activities have become a part of Jewish culture, like attending a Passover Seder. Is that religious or cultural? Only you can say what it is to you.

Below I am listing the 17 events that I sent out to my email list this week. Some are religious but most are not. I’m going to code them for you.

(A) Entertaining
(B) Intellectual
(C) Cultural (possibly religious, you decide)
(D) Religious
(Interfaith) One of my programs

Got questions, comments, additions? Just let me know. You can email me at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

(C) Scholars in Residence in Marin: Passover (San Rafael)
(B) Feeding Yourself and Your Children in the 21st Century (Oakland)
(A) They Tried To Kill Us, They Failed, Let’s Laugh (San Francisco)
(D) Tot Shabbat (Los Altos Hills)
(A & B) Movie Midrash (San Mateo)
(C) Passover Fair (San Mateo)
(A & B) An Evening with Michael Chabon and Ayalet Waldman (Palo Alto)
(D) Passover in Two Hours (San Francisco)
(Interfaith) Raising a Mensch (Alameda)
(C) 19th Annual SF Multicultural Passover Freedom Seder (San Francisco)
(C) Temple Sinai’s Annual Community Seder (Oakland)
(C) Community Second Night Seder (Richmond)
(C) Wilderness Torah’s Passover in the Desert: In the Wilderness (Death Valley)
(C) Late Night at The Jewseum (San Francisco)
(C, except that it precedes a Shabbat Service) Pi (π) Celebration (Piedmont)
(C) Fatherhood as a Spiritual Journey (San Rafael)
(Interfaith) Interlove Story: When Jews Love Non-Jews… and Judaism (Los Altos)

Scholars in Residence in Marin: Passover
Prepare for Passover with Rabbis Noam and Mishael Zion!
Join us for our Marin Jewish Community Scholar-in-Residence weekend with father
and son, Rabbi Noam Zion and Rabbi Mishael Zion, co-authors of the celebrated A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices. Both believe in revitalizing home holidays-Pesach, Hanukkah and Shabbat-to make Judaism inspiring, participatory and fun for all members of the family.

Dates: Friday through Sunday, March 13 – 15
Place:
For a schedule of times and events see the complete schedule here
Presented by Rodef Sholom, Kol Shofar and the Osher Marin JCC — here is the schedule of events taking place on this campus

Feeding Yourself and Your Children in the 21st Century
Where Jewish tradition meets Michael Pollan & Alice Waters with Adam Berman, Urban Adamah
What does Jewish tradition say about how and what we eat? Whose are the other voices we care about? How do we navigate food choices in a world as complex as ours? As the founder of the only urban Jewish Community Farm in the country, Adam will give us what to chew on and digest. Adam Berman is the founder and executive director of Urban Adamah, an educational farm and community center in West Berkeley.
Part of Exploring the World of Judaism Speaker Series

Date: Sunday, March 15
Time: 9:30-11:00am
Place: Temple Sinai, in the Albers Chapel, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free
www.oaklandsinai.org

They Tried To Kill Us, They Failed, Let’s Laugh:
Jewish Humor From Torah to Transparent
Join humor mavens Rabbi Sydney Mintz and Judi Leff as they deconstruct the whats, wheres, whos and whys (why nots?) of Jewish humor. Topics include Text and Humor: Torah and Talmud; Jewish Humor Through The Ages; Jewish Humor in American Radio, Film and Television; Why Are Jews So Funny – Burlesque, Vaudeville and Yiddish Theater; and a panel discussion with local Jewish comedians. Of course there will be a chance to develop and share your own Jewish humor – stories from your own Jewish experience.

Dates: Thursdays, Mar. 19, 26, Apr. 16, 23, 30, May 7
Time: 7:00 – 8:30pm
Place: Temple Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
Cost: Emanu-El Members $36, Non-members $50
Register here or call 415- 751-2535

Tot Shabbat
Join me, Rabbi Heath, and other Beth Am friendly families for an informal Shabbat evening with singing and blessings in the Sanctuary, followed by festive Shabbat dinner in Rooms 5 and 6. This is a great opportunity to connect with other families with young children! RSVP online by Wednesday, March 18 so we know how much food to order.

Date: Friday, March 20
Time: 5:15 pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org

Movie Midrash
The Invention of Lying is a very funny film that should not be approached lightly. It is sure to spawn a myriad of opinionated and enlightening debates that was clearly Ricky Gervais’ intention from day one.
Won’t you join Rabbi Callie and Matt Schulman for an evening of innovative filmmaking and involved (and provoked) discussion?

Date: Saturday, March 21
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
FREE
www.ptbe.org

Passover Fair
Beth El Women’s Gift Shop has all of your Passover seder needs. We have a wide selection of unique seder plates, matzoh covers, haggadahs and more. Don’t forget to shop for gifts for family and friends! All our gift shop proceeds directly support our synagogue programs.

Date: Sunday, March 22
Time: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
www.ptbe.org

An Evening with Michael Chabon and Ayalet Waldman
The Oshman JCC is pleased to present famed literary couple Ayelet Waldman (Love and Other Impossible Pursuits) and her Pulitzer Prize-winning husband Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen’s Union). Chabon has been touted as one of the most celebrated writers of his generation, publishing the critically-acclaimed novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay in 2001. Waldman writes about the changing expectations of motherhood and is the author of seven mystery novels in the series The Mommy-Track Mysteries.

Date: Sunday, March 22
Time: 7:30pm
Place: Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Cost: $25 JCCmembers, $30 general public
$35 at the door (space permitting)
For more information contact Jen O’Leary, (650) 223-8664, joleary@paloaltojcc.org
Buy tickets online here.

Passover in Two Hours
Learn the basics of Passover in this fast-paced and participatory workshop led by chef Rebecca Ets-Hokin and Rabbi Ryan Bauer. Whether you are conducting, cooking or attending, you will be ready!

Date: Tuesday, March 24
Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm
Place: Guild Hall in Temple Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
To register call Jennifer Goldstein at 415-750-7548 by March 22.
www.emanuelsf.org

Raising a Mensch
Compassion, generosity, respect and satisfaction are values shared by most religions. When do they become uniquely “Jewish” and why do that? Join other parents for a fascinating discussion that combines Jewish teaching and the current Science of Happiness to develop tools to raise a mensch. Warning: you may increase your own menschlichkeit (humanity) too!

Topic for March 29:
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme: Contentment & Tzedakah

Jewish tradition teaches, “Who is rich? Those who are content with their lot.” The marketing culture around us equates contentment with possessions; who ever dies with the most toys wins. How can we establish a family value of tzedakah? How does tzedakah (responsible giving) result in contentment?

Raising a Mensch is 4 sessions; come for one or more.
Dates & Topics:
March 29 Gimme, Gimme, Gimme: Contentment & Tzedakah
April 19 What’s in it For Me: Compassion for Others
April 26 I Can’t Get No Respect: Kavod in an Open and Free Society
May 3 Why Should I Care: Caring for Others
Time: 10:30am to noon
Place: Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Rd., Alameda
Cost: Free to Temple Israel members, $30 for the series, $18 per single session (please bring cash or a check.)
To register go here.
Co-sponsored by Temple Israel, Building Jewish Bridges and Lehrhaus Judaica.

19th Annual SF Multicultural Passover Freedom Seder
Join JCRC, JCCSF and Congregation Emanu-El for the 19th Annual Multicultural Freedom Seder at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.
During this multicultural and multifaith seder we celebrate freedom for all with songs, storytelling and a delicious kosher meal. All are welcome!

Date: Tuesday, March 31
Time: 6:30pm
Place: San Francisco JCC, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Cost: JCC Adult Member: $35; Adult Public: $40; All children under 12: $15
Purchase tickets here.
www.jccsf.org

Temple Sinai’s Annual Community Seder
Join Rabbi Yoni Regev and Cantor Ilene Keys as we retell the story of Passover, enjoy delicious foods catered by Z Cafe, meet new friends and sing!

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Please purchase tickets early as we sell out every year
Register online here.
Have questions? Call Lisa at the Temple Sinai at 510-451-3263.

Community Second Night Seder
Retell the Passover Story at Temple Beth Hillel’s Passover Seder
You are invited to a family-friendly Congregational Seder on the Second Night of Passover.
Join Rabbi Dean Kertesz and Cantor Fran Burgess in retelling the Passover story, sing holiday songs, and share a complete ritual meal. Enjoy the evening with friends and family.
Seating is limited so make your dinner reservations soon.

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 6:30 pm
Place: Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central (Hilltop Exit off I-80), Richmond
Cost: Non-Members: $32 for adults, $28 for children 7-12, $8 for children 3-6.
For reservation form and informational flyer look online here.

Wilderness Torah’s Passover in the Desert: In the Wilderness
Come Close to the One
Each year, we Jews retell our core story – our Passover journey from slavery to freedom. This spring, step into your Exodus experience and discover transformation and liberation with the expansive desert as your guide. Passover in the Desert is a 5-day journey in multi-generational village life, designed to help you connect more deeply with yourself, community, nature, and Spirit.
Register today for festival & avodah (work exchange).
Co-sponsored by Temple Sinai

Dates: Thursday, April 9 to Monday, April 13
Place: Panamint Valley, near Death Valley
http://www.wildernesstorah.org

Late Night at The Jewseum
Celebrate the last night of Passover with unlimited specialty cocktails, delicious bites, world-class DJs, photo booth fun, art-making, and more. 21+

Date: Saturday, April 11
Time: 9:00pm-1:00am
Place: Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., San Francisco
Cost: $75 general, 21+.
More information 415-655-7800 or online.

Pi (π) Celebration
Pre-Service “Pi” Celebration with Rabbi David Cooper. This is a once-a-century (but minor event) celebrating the ratio of the circle’s circumference to its diameter (called “Pi” or π) which comes to 3.14159265359… So on 3/14/15 at 9:26am at 53.56 seconds will be the one time this century that our calendar and clock will reflect this magical irrational number with an infinite number of decimals. We will gather in the Patio at 9:15 for an introduction and then mark the magic moment between 9:26 and 9:27. After that, pie will be served and Rabbi David will share some Jewish lore on math and physics. Then stick around for a great Shabbat service.

Date: March 14
Time: 9:15am – 10:00am; services follow at 10:30am
Place: Kehilla, 1300 Grand Ave, Piedmont
www.kehillasynagogue.org

Fatherhood as a Spiritual Journey
Attention, fathers of grade school children! Feeling inspired by your journey? Overwhelmed? Looking to connect with other dads who are parenting younger children? This lay-led group will gather monthly to take inventory of our journeys as fathers and to harness Jewish texts and traditions that might help us pay closer attention to this most sacred journey. It’s never to late to jump in!

Date: Sunday, April 19
Time: 9:15 – 10:15 am
Place: Rabbi Lezak’s office at Rodef Sholom, 170 No. San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
RSVP to Molly at molly@rodefsholom.org.

Interlove Story: When Jews Love Non-Jews… and Judaism
You are Jewish and you fell in love with a person who isn’t Jewish; now it’s up to you to make a Jewish home and raise Jewish children. How have other families managed Jewish commitment and interfaith love? We’ll begin with a tender film by the daughter of an interfaith couple (Interlove Story was her Stanford University Masters Film Thesis) and discuss the choices her parents made and what options we all have.
Join Rabbi Sarah Weissman, Dawn Kepler, and interfaith couples for a warm and open discussion.

Date: Sunday, April 26
Time: 9:15 – 11:00 am
Place: Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
Cost: $5 for the public; Free for members of Beth Am
Register here

Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart

Posted by admin under Community Activities, Parenting, Passover
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From my friend, Francisco, an addictive Passover dessert.

Chocolate Caramel Matzah

Chocolate Caramel Matzah

(In this batch Francisco substituted 2 1/2 cups of chopped up almond M&Ms for the chocolate & almonds the recipe calls for.)

Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers)

4 to 6 sheets matzo or approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.
Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzo or crackers, covering all parts. [If using matzo, you’ll need to break pieces to fit any extra spaces, which will be annoying because despite being perforated, it does not actually break in straight lines. I have some luck pressing a serrated knife straight down along a section between perforations, if that (hopefully) makes sense.]
In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.
Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The sea salt is great on matzo. On Saltines, it’s really not necessary.)
Once completely cool — I sometimes speed this process up in the fridge, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crack(ers) — break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week but I’ve never seen it last that long.

Posted by admin under Passover, symbolic foods
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