This is it my friends, the High Holy days are over and the entire Jewish community springs to life!  If you’ve been thinking of taking a class, now it the time to figure out what you want to take and where.  If you have any particular interest, feel free to contact me for help.  Take a look at  The classes are located all around the bay area and cover many topics.



Sukkot will arrive on Friday night at sundown

Come to my Sukkah on Sunday!

This is one of my FAVORITE holidays!  Yesterday  my husband is constructing our sukkah.  Tonight I get to decorate it!  Super fun!  Again, I invite anyone who would like to, to come to my sukkah on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 3pm.  I’ll be having some friends over and you are welcome to come.  Just email me at and I’ll send you the details.



Learn more about Sukkot here: (Click on Sukkot or just look at the images at the top.)  Lots of great details.


Decorating your sukkah or taking decorations to someone else’s sukkah

Traditionally a sukkah is decorated with fruits of the fall harvest but in modern times people don’t want to waste food when so many are going hungry.  So you can make paper chains (remember them!), cut out paper images of fruit and veggies.  Many people string their Rosh Hashanah cards and hang those.  You can drape fabric across the ceiling to make it look like a tent.  Let the kids go crazy on this one.  Invite your friends to come up with fun ideas.  Some years we’ve made paper tissue flowers and strung them together.


Set a table inside to hold your meals.  This can be a card table or any portable table you’ve got.  Invite friends to join you for a meal.  This weekend looks to be warm so it’s a great time to eat outdoors.



October/November Workshops

Let me know if you are coming to any of my workshops. Email me at



Women in Interfaith Relationships (in Oakland, one session)

A discussion for girlfriends, wives, mothers and 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:    Oct. 11

Time:    12noon

Place:   Private home in Oakland

Cost:    $7/public; free to Temple Sinai members

Co- sponsored by Temple Sinai and Building Jewish Bridges.

To sign up and get directions call Dawn at 510-845-6420 x11


Women in Interfaith Relationships (in Palo Alto, two sessions)

A Discussion for Girlfriends, Wives, Mothers & Grandmothers

Are you raising a child with a partner of a different (or no) religious tradition? How does gender impact interfaith relationships? Society places expectations on women as girlfriends, wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and best friends. Even in the 21st century, the home is the domain of the female parent. How does that play out with Judaism, a home based faith? What if you are a lesbian interfaith couple; are the religious responsibilities any different?

Come explore the roles, expectations, pluses and minuses of being female in an interfaith relationship. Jewish or not, wife or grandmother, join us for a lively supportive discussion.


To register please visit or call Heidi Stein at (650) 223-8605

Co-sponsored by Building Jewish Bridges and the Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto

2 sessions: Sundays, 7:00pm  October 25 – November 22  

Tuition: $25; $20/members of OFJCC

Site: Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way Palo Alto, CA 94303, Palo Alto



Exploring Interfaith LGBTQ Relationships
Join us for an exploration of key issues that come up for interfaith couples: clarifying values, good communication, relationships with family and friends, finding community, and joyfully sharing each other’s traditions, holidays and religious observances. This class will be a combination of discussion, readings, and guided activities. All genders welcome.

Date:   Four sessions beginning Monday, Oct. 26
Time:   7:30 to 9pm
Place:  Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont 
Cost:   $80/couple, no one turned away for lack of funds.
For more information call Dawn at 510-845-6420 x11.



How I Decided to Raise my Kids Jewish
How do non-Jewish parents decide to raise their children as Jews? What are their concerns?  Once the decision is made, how did they make it happen? Did they retain their own religion? How do they share their identity with their children?  Come hear a panel of non-Jewish parents as they discuss their journey to a Jewish home identity.


Date:     Nov. 1

Time:    10am to 11:45am

Place:   Beth Israel Judea, 625 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco

Cost:    $7; free to Beth Israel Judea members

For more information all Dawn at 510-845-6420 x11

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Shana Tova! Happy New Year!

Do Rabbis have a Sense of Humor about the High Holidays?
Take a look at this video and you tell me!
That’s Rabbi Bloom of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland. You can join him for Yom Kippur or all year long on Shabbat. Call the synagogue for more information: 510-832-0936.

Sukkot is coming!
This is one of my favorite holidays. You build a hut (sounds like a fort to me!); your parents actually help you do it. You eat in it and sleep in it (if it’s not too cold). You decorate it.
Sukkot has everything – food, place, construction, decorating, family gathering, friends invited in. One thing that makes it REAL is to actually have a sukkah. You can buy a pre-fab one online. They aren’t cheap, ours cost $200, but then neither are a lot of terrific things. If you’re handy with a hammer you can make your own. But the prefab ones breakdown and store till next year.

We are still in the month of Ramadan. I was talking to a Jewish woman on this list who told me that her Muslim husband has been fasting in observance of the holiday. I asked if he were tired or miserable. (We Jews only fast one day, Muslims fast for an entire lunar months worth of days, while breaking their fast each evening.) She said, no, he enjoys it. He feels that following the traditions of Islam help to keep him grounded. He is not a religious guy at all, but he feels that rituals create a framework for his life.
Many Jews will go to Rosh Hashanah and will fast on Yom Kippur for much the same reasons. For all of us the practices of our people are a culture that gives us a bedrock on which to build our lives, stories that give voice to our values. For Jews, the most important thing is what you do. Act. Therefore, it is natural that we “do” in order to lead us to good thoughts and more good deeds. The song says, “good deeds lead to good deeds; bad deeds lead to bad deeds.”
For this new year, 5679, let us join with Zubair and make an effort to find our own framework and work for a better world.
Here’s an easy thing – for one day, greet everyone you deal with as though they are a friend. Tell me how it went.

May the new year bring you increased contentment and peace,

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