Helena Karen me Laurie

Women are typically more comfortable discussing the challenges of their marriage and parenting. So when husbands balk at coming to a program Women in Interfaith Relationships is a great option because the women can attend and take the good ideas home to share. I am not saying that men never discuss these things, only that women are generally more comfortable doing so. If you are a woman in a heterosexual relationship it doesn’t matter what your religion is or the religion of your partner, chances are that you are carrying the lion’s share of home making and child rearing. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many women have told me, “I prefer to be in charge of the house and children.” Still there are times when you want your spouse to step up. It’s pretty obvious that if you are raising the kids in his religion he should put effort into making that run as smoothly as possible. But even if you are one of those women who is thinking, “I’m just grateful that he is letting me raise the kids Jewish; I don’t want to ask for more” let me remind you that they are still his kids and being a father has responsibilities. Your husband may not enjoy the ballet but if your child is having a ballet recital, he goes. He may not have much love of soccer but he still takes the kids to practice and goes to their games. I hope many of you will join me for the Nov. 19 program at Beth Am in Los Altos to share ideas, questions and solutions to the everyday problems of running your home.

EVENTS
Shabbat Tots ‘n’ Torah (Burlingame)
Eat, Sing, Connect: Friday Evening Shabbat Celebration (Berkeley)
Sababa Shabbat (Oakland)
Jewish Time Travel (San Jose)
Tot Shabbat Morning (Lafayette)
San Francisco’s Own Norton I, Emperor of the United States (San Francisco)
From Pioneers to City Slackers Film Screening (San Francisco)
Women in Interfaith Relationships (Los Altos)
Concert with Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn (Tiburon)
‘Almost Chanukah!’ Fair (Berkeley)
Pop-Up Jewish Marin: Almost Hanukkah! (San Rafael)
The Road to Character by David Brooks (San Rafael)
Hanukkah Celebration and Crafts Fair (San Francisco)
Annual Chanukah Party (Castro Valley)
The East Bay Hanukkah Party (Berkeley)
American Jews & Christmas (Oakland)

Shabbat Tots ‘n’ Torah
Shabbat songs and prayers, Torah parade, and a special interfaith family blessing, followed by a kid-friendly dinner.

Date: Friday, November 13
Time: 6:00pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame
Cost for adults is $10, children $5. Click here to RSVP.

Eat, Sing, Connect: Friday Evening Shabbat Celebration
Slow down and relax … it’s Shabbat! Gather in a beautiful home setting for a brief service in Jewish Gateways’ tradition of music and meaningful reflection, then enjoy a potluck dinner and time to connect as a community.
All are welcome, and no experience is necessary. The event is free.

Friday, November 13
6:30-9:00pm
Private home in Berkeley
Register here
More info here

Sababa Shabbat
Come celebrate Shabbat with us! Pizza dinner at 5:30, service starts at 6:00 in the Albers Chapel, oneg following at 6:30. Join other families with kids to make some new friends.

Date: Friday, November 13
Time: 5:30-7:00pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Cost: The pizza dinner is $25/family
www.oaklandsinai.org
Please RSVP for the pizza dinner here

Jewish Time Travel
Experience Jewish life in the 1800s at History Park: Hands-on Jewish and general activities in the school house, homes, fire station, bank, fruit barn and more.
Enjoy the charm of vintage ice cream parlor & snacks, free popcorn, live music, singing quartet, Jewish and Western dancing, films and talks about Jewish live in the 1800s, gold panning, old time photos, 1800’s games and more.

Date: Saturday, Nov. 14
Time: 7-9:30pm
Place: History Park, 635 Phelan Ave., San Jose
Cost: Advance tickets are $15 adults, $7 kids and teens 4 and up, 3 and under is free
At door tickets are $18 adults, $9 kids age 4 and up, 3 and under free.
Free Parking
RSVP & Info: www.beth-david.org/timetravel

Tot Shabbat Morning
Geared toward families with children up to 5 years old, Tot Shabbat is an interactive and friendly Shabbat experience. Enjoy food, activities and prayer with other young families. All are welcome.

Date: Saturday, November 14
Time: 9:30am
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette, in the Adult Lounge
RSVP for FREE bagel brunch www.temple-isaiah.org/totshabbat

San Francisco’s Own Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico
San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society

A Jewish businessman originally from England and South Africa, Joshua Abraham Norton arrived in San Francisco in 1849 with $40,000, which after some shrewd investing increased to $250,000 (about $3 million today). After losing his fortune to a bad rice investment, Norton disappeared, returning to San Francisco in 1859 and declaring himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. In any other city, he would have been dismissed as a madman, but the people of San Francisco embraced his reign.

Date: Sunday, November 15
Time: 1:30pm
Place: Rhoda Goldman Plaza, 2180 Post Street, San Francisco
Coffee and tea will be served. Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome to attend. More information here.

From Pioneers to City Slackers:
The Evolving Image of Israelis On the Silver Screen

Israeli cinema is cutting-edge and exciting, and offers a wonderful glimpse into the nuances of Israeli society. Join us to learn about the evolution of Israeli cinema with Dr. Eran Kaplan, an expert on Israeli film and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Israel Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University. This will be an interactive presentation, including film clips, a conversation with Dr. Kaplan, and a chance to dialogue on the issues. Popcorn and refreshments will be served. This event is presented in partnership with the Jewish Film Institute.

Date: Sunday, November 15
Time: 3 – 5pm
Place: Koret Hall, Congregation Beth Sholom 301 14th Avenue, San Francisco
Cost: $10 per person. Purchase your tickets on Universe.
Parents, please note that childcare for kids one year and older will be available onsite for the cost of $5 per child. This fee can be paid directly on the ticket sales page.
www.bethsholomsf.org

Women in Interfaith Relationships:
A Discussion for Girlfriends, Wives, Partners, Mothers and Grandmothers

Join other women, Jewish or not, to examine interfaith relationships in relation to culture and gender. What are the unique expectations and responses that a woman encounters as she creates a home and builds a family life in which her religion is not that of her partner? Join a multi-generational discussion about the assumptions and possibilities surrounding our roles as sustainers of the family. Women in any stage of relationship, any sexuality, and any age are welcome.

Date: Thursday, Nov. 19
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
Cost: $8 for non-members, free to Beth Am members
Register here.

Concert with Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn
Join us for a unique evening of meditation, music, and community spirit with the Kirtan Rabbi and special musical guest artists. Enjoy Hebrew chants, soothing vocals, dreamy loops, and hypnotic world rhythms drawn from the Torah, the siddur (Jewish prayer book), and Jewish mysticism.

Date: Sat, Nov. 21
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Dr, Tiburon
$15 for Kol Shofar members; $20 for the public.
RSVP to Ricki Singer at rsinger@kolshofar.org or 4150388-1818 x100.

‘Almost Chanukah!’ Fair
Featuring: live music; Chanukah latkes and treats; arts and crafts by Bay Area artists; Fair Trade Judaica from around the world; children’s books; menorahs, dreidels and candles; Fair Trade Chanukah chocolate; and a jumpy house!
Participate in a holiday gift drive: Bring a gift card or other holiday gift for a teen in need.
All are welcome!

Date: Sunday, November 22
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm
Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley
www.netivotshalom.org
Sponsored by Congregation Netivot Shalom and co-sponsored by: URJ Camp Newman, Camp Tawonga, Camp Ramah of Northern California, Tehiyah Day School, Oakland Hebrew Day School, The Jewish Federation and The Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay. Learn about local Jewish summer camps, Jewish day schools, and programs and opportunities for families.

Pop-Up Jewish Marin: Almost Hanukkah!
Meet us at Northgate Mall in Terra Linda for “almost Hanukkah” festivities! Explore global Jewish life and celebratory traditions from around the world: join Be’chol Lashon in making potpourri bags filled with aromatic spices to brighten up our senses. Find out more about the upcoming Festival of Lights, the Osher Marin JCC’s free, open-to-all Hanukkah celebration on December 6th! Learn more about Winter Camp 2015! Taking the fun and magic from our summer camp, Winter Camp offers arts and crafts, swimming, sports, music and more – and NEW this year – Winter Camp will include a New Year’s Eve Overnight! Sign up for one day or sign up for them all. Find out how Brandeis Marin’s dynamic programming for children K-8 grade, and find out how their programs and approach uniquely align with our Marin community!

Date: Sunday, November 22
Time: 12-3pm
Place: Northgate Mall, Inside Central Atrium, San Rafael
Free to All!
Presented by the Osher Marin JCC & Be’chol Lashon with Marin JCC Camp, Brandeis Marin & Kesher
Info: online here or email Heidi Sanders at hsanders@marinjcc.org

The Road to Character by David Brooks
with Rabbi Stacy Friedman

In The Road to Character, David Brooks focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives. Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success. Brooks challenges us, and himself, to rebalance the scales between our “resume virtues” – achieving wealth, fame and status – and our “eulogy virtues,” those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness, focusing on what kind of relationships we have formed. Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.

Date: Sunday, December 6
Time: 10:00 – 11:10am
Place: JCC Lounge, 200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
RSVP to Molly at molly@rodefsholom.org.

Hanukkah Celebration and Crafts Fair
It’s not too early to mark your calendars for our annual Hanukkah Celebration and Crafts Faire. We will have entertainment (Jewish Folk Chorus), lots of beautiful crafts, jewelry and of course, Hanukkah and other gift items from our B’nai Emunah Gift Shop. Yes, of course, we’ll have home-made latkes and a variety of children’s games and crafts.

Date: Dec. 6
Time: 11:30am to 3:30pm
Place: B’nai Emunah, 3595 Taraval St, San Francisco
www.bnaiemunahsf.org

Annual Chanukah Party
TriValley Cultural Jews is pleased to announce our annual Chanukah party. We will have a secular humanistic candle lighting ceremony, latkes, dreidles, friends, and fun! Please bring a potato, a menorah to light, and a side dish to share.
Free tickets available at https://goo.gl/tOzOr6.

Date: Friday, December 11
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Private home, the Ireland home, located at 19663 Fremery Court, Castro Valley
RSVP to Jamie Ireland at 510-888-1404 or jdireland@att.net.

The East Bay Hanukkah Party
Celebrate the last night of Hanukkah with a party that has something for everyone.
Latkes and other holiday treats, a variety of great kids’ programs, crafts for adults and for families, adult learning with Rabbi Bridget, and Hanukkah music and singing with the amazingly talented Isaac Zones.
All are welcome! Find the schedule and other info

Date: Sunday, December 13
Time: 3:30-6:00pm
Place: Jewish Community Center, Berkeley
Cost: $12 for adults / $6 for kids (2 – 12 years) / Free for children under 2 / Price includes all food and activities. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Sign up here.

American Jews & Christmas
with Dr. Shaina Hammerman

Begin to unravel Jewish anxieties surrounding Christmas in America by analyzing a legal case, a Grace Paley story, an episode of Frasier, a series of interfaith greeting cards, and an SNL sketch, and discuss how Christmas became a touchstone for American Jewish identity. Students are strongly encouraged to read in advance the six-page short story The Loudest Voice by Grace Paley. http://www.lehrhaus.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Paley-LoudestVoice.pdf

Date: Sunday, December 13
Time: 9:30-11:00am
Place: Temple Sinai, in the Albers Chapel, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free, but please register here
www.oaklandsinai.org

Posted by admin under Community Activities, Parenting, women
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Carly and her mom

A Discussion for Girlfriends, Wives, Partners, Mothers and Grandmothers

Join other women, Jewish or not, to examine interfaith relationships in relation to culture and gender. What are the unique expectations and responses that a woman encounters as she creates a home and builds a family life in which her religion is not that of her partner? Join a multi-generational discussion about the assumptions and possibilities surrounding our roles as sustainers of the family. Women in any stage of relationship, any sexuality, and any age are welcome.

Date: Thursday, Nov. 19
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
Cost: $8 for non-members, free to Beth Am members
Register here.

Posted by admin under Jewish holidays at home, Programs archive, women
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Carly and her mom

In their survey of readers this past month, the Jewish Daily Forward found that women are the force that makes Passover happen in our homes. Their article, Thanks for Passover Mom, opens with this sentence, “Let’s begin with gratitude to our mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts.” They found that 80% of the heavy lifting for the holiday is done by womenfolk. Now before we get gender angst going I’m going to confess that I personally love being in charge of Passover. I’ve loved being primarily in charge of much of my home. Yes, I have a job but the home front still feels like my territory. Once when I was buying new flatware my husband got a bit huffy when I said that his opinion of kitchen items was, shall we say, marginal.
“You pick other things,” I told him.
“What!?” he asked.
“Cars,” I said, “I don’t care what car you buy.”

Every couple breaks down the territory so that someone is primarily responsible. Hopefully it is into segments that people prefer doing and are good at. This lessons the overall workload. But what is a woman’s workload, how is it influenced by societal norms and does she want all that is foisted upon her? In an interfaith relationship the norms can be diddled with by religious differences. It is reasonable that a Christian woman might say, “I’ve agreed to raising the kids Jewish but I know nothing about that so it’s on you to make it happen.” But it is equally reasonable for her to say, “These are my children too and I intend to learn all I need to know to do the religious homefront work. However, I want your full support, back-up and engagement.”

Studies show that women, rather than having a fight-or-flight response have a tend-and-befriend response to stress. Women are more likely to care for others — to form alliances, to create carpools, and set up playgroups. Given this positive impulse, how can mothers-in-law, grandmothers, sisters, women-at-large (whether Jewish or not) support each other when it comes to running a Jewish home for an interfaith family?

This is what we discuss in the program Women in Interfaith Relationships. Feel free to call or email me if you want to learn more.

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Women in Interfaith Relationships: A Discussion for Girlfriends, Wives, Partners, Mothers and Grandmothers

Carly and her mom

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

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

Register here.

Rabbi Lisa Delson

Rabbi Lisa Delson

Posted by admin under Jewish Culture, Jewish holidays at home, Programs archive, women
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New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black background

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

January

names in Hebrew

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

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

Are Our Children Jewish?
Patralineal Descent, Reform Judaism & Those Other Jews
In 1983 the Reform movement officially recognized children of Jewish fathers as Jewish. But if you read the statement it says that every child of a mixed marriage, whether the mother or father is Jewish, must establish their identity as a Jew “through appropriate and timely public and formal acts of identification with the Jewish faith and people.” What are those acts? Do we really expect all kids from interfaith marriages to do so? What role do non-Reform Jews play in our lives and those of our children? Join Dawn Kepler for an exploration of Patralineal Jews today.

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

February

What Makes a Home “Jewish”?
A Jew may ask their spouse to agree to have a “Jewish” home. But what does that mean?
To a non-Jewish loved one it may mean simply that some of the people in the house say they are Jews. But our partners deserve a more in-depth answer. One Jew may say, a Jewish home has Jewish ritual objects – a menorah, Shabbos candlesticks, a ketubah on the wall. Another may add, but you need to do Jewish things in a Jewish home like observe Shabbat weekly or build a sukkah on Sukkot or recite the Shema before bedtime. Yet another will say we must act like Jews, give tzadakah, attend synagogue, refrain from eating pork.

Each Jewish partner will have their own ideas about what they need in order to feel that their home is “Jewish.” Or, they may have no clear idea at all! Every non-Jewish spouse deserves a clear statement as to what they are signing up for.

Join Rabbi Glazer, Dawn Kepler and other curious couples for an enlightening discussion and go home with your own individualized plan.

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

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

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

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

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

March

This is a workshop I am doing for Temple Sinai. ANYONE is welcome to attend. It will have some relevance to you at any Reform synagogue.
The Non-Jew in the Synagogue
Temple Sinai is blessed to have many interfaith couples as members, many of whom are very involved. That involvement has led to some common questions. How should I behave in services; should I do what the Jews are doing – bow, recite the Hebrew? How should I deal with lines like, ‘thank you God for making me a Jew’ when I’m not a Jew? I wonder if I’ll be offending anyone by ‘acting’ like a Jew or by saying Shabbat Shalom or Shana Tovah. Does that make me an imposter? I don’t even know if I’m allowed to touch the Torah!
For better or worse, every synagogue has its own customs. Come learn about the customs and traditions at Temple Sinai. We can also touch on common practice at other shuls if you are anticipating visiting elsewhere for a family simcha.

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

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

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

April

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

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

May

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

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

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

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

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Children, Past Programs, women
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Gender Roles in our Homes
I was running a program for women only (Women in Interfaith Relationships) and a young non-Jewish mother began to cry as she explained that she had agreed to raise her children as Jews before she got married but in fact she had no idea how to do that. The women in the circle dashed to comfort her. Hugs and tissues were extended and then the women settled in. “How could you know; you weren’t raised Jewish!” “What is he doing to make this happen!?” “Come to my house with your kids, I’ll teach you all to make rugelach.” With further discussion it came out that she wanted to raise the children Jewish but she also wanted help, her husband worked crazy hours, her own mother was, to put it kindly, quite unpleasant and she longed for some mothering herself. Finally she said, “I have to tell my husband we need to join this synagogue because I need this kind of support.”

I noticed that she never waivered on her commitment to her husband to have a Jewish home. She just wanted help. She WANTED to be in charge of her home and her kids. She saw her role in raising them and was jumping in with both feet. This is pretty common among women. They tend to take on more than 50% of child rearing – because they actually want to. So given this desired role in the home, how can women support each other, get support from the men in their lives, and feel successful and happy with the home environment they feel responsible to create? Join me on tomorrow at Beth El for Women in Interfaith Relationships; let’s talk!

Moms in Multiracial Families
A white Jewish mother excitedly described to me the activities she was planning for her Filipina daughters. I could see delight in her face as she explained the food she was planning to make with them. She had gotten the recipe from her mother-in-law. Then she paused, “It’s funny, John never thinks about this. He doesn’t do a thing to teach them about his heritage.” She paused and added, “But he is grateful and tells me so. I guess this just is more important to me than it is to him.” Or, I thought, somewhere in his unconscious he is aware that he can rely on you to do it. Now there is nothing wrong with him relying on her – because he thanks her. I see that it is often the mom who is making a point of bringing the dad’s heritage into the family – Jewish or not! But let’s celebrate, thank and honor the efforts that either parent does to build the children’s sense of identity and embrace all that they are.

A note regarding GENDER – in both these stories I have described heterosexual couples. But not all interfaith couples or Jewish couples are straight. How same sex partners deal with these very same issues is sometimes the same and at other times different. So two things – one, if you are in a same sex relationship, you are most welcome to come. We will speak to your experiences and I can promise you that the conversation will be valuable. Two, I would like to do a program on same sex couples in interfaith relationships but I need critical mass. If you are interested in such a program please email me and I’ll put it together. I have a lesbian colleague who will lead it with me. If you are thinking TOO MANY WOMEN and want a group for men with a man facilitator you can tell me that too and I’ll work on it.

Cheers,
Dawn
dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org

FEATURED EVENTS FOR WOMEN

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

Date: Thursday, November 8
Time: 6:15 pm
Place: Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: $7 public; free to Beth El members
Juliet at Beth El is still taking child care reservations so call her right away at 510-848-3988
Register here: http://catalog.lehrhaus.org/course/2012/fall/P100-CBE/

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Jews talk about their multiracial families
Parents, siblings, aunts and cousins may be white but when their family includes racially diverse members they too are impacted by racial assumptions in the Jewish community. What do white family members have to share with us about how we can be more tuned in to their family? Join us for a dynamic and exciting panel; this year’s opening program for What Color Are Jews?

Nov. 11
10am
Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland
Cost: $5 public; free to Beth Abraham & Temple Sinai members
Register here: http://catalog.lehrhaus.org/course/2012/fall/P100-TBA/

Note: The value of group discussions like this one are highly dependent on the facilitator. This discussion will be lead by Rabbi Katz, a thoughtful, kind man.
Mother’s Circle
Are you a mother raising Jewish children…but you’re not Jewish?
Don’t do it alone!
The Mothers Circle Mini-Course provides FREE education and support for women of other religious backgrounds who are raising Jewish children. Taught by Rabbi David Katz, The Mother’s Circle will cover how to create a Jewish home, life cycle events for Jewish children, and an overview of the Jewish holidays. Come be a part of this warm and nurturing environment and feel empowered to take on the responsibility of raising children in Judaism.
Mothers in all family constellations are welcome and participants do not have to be affiliated with a Jewish institution or have any prior knowledge. Free Babysitting is provided!

Dates: Wednesdays, Nov. 7, 14, 28
Time: 10am
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
Phone: 925•931•1055
Free
Register here: https://midrashatvtc.wufoo.com/forms/the-mothers-circle/

EVENTS
Family Shabbat & Potluck Dinner (San Francisco)
Stories from the Fringe: Women Rabbis, Revealed! (Tiburon)
Shabbat Salon: The Ethics of Shabbat (Los Altos)
Tot Shabbat (Alameda)
The Invitation: With Author Anne Cherian (San Francisco)
Tot Shabbat Service (Los Altos)
Two Among the Righteous Few (San Francisco)
Shabbat Kumsitz! (Los Altos)
God Talk (For Adults) (Berkeley)
Talking to Children about God (Oakland)

Family Shabbat & Potluck Dinner
Join us for Family Shabbat services featuring music by Lior Ben-Hur and singing by Religious School students. Special guest Judith Escalante will talk to us about her experience with organ donation as part of our continuing conversation about God, science and prayer.

Please join us for our monthly congregational potluck. Bring enough of your favorite dairy or vegan dish to feed at least 6 people. Congregants with last names beginning with A-M, please bring a pasta or rice dish. Congregants with last names beginning with N-Z, please bring fresh fruit or a salad. We are still accepting food donations for the SF Food Bank.
After dinner Religious School teacher Natalie Weizman will lead games for the children.

Date: Friday, November 9
Time: 6 pm Services; 7:15 pm Kiddush and congregational potluck
Place: Sherith Israel, in Newman Hall, 2266 California Street, San Francisco
Please RSVP and let us know what you are bringing: Eric Drucker,415.346.1720, x24, or email Eric.

Stories from the Fringe: Women Rabbis, Revealed!
Finding holy moments in love, God, and a fabulous pair of shoes
Join Congregation Kol Shofar as we rejoice at the 40th anniversary of the first ordained female rabbi. As the only synagogue in the country with two female rabbis and a female board president, we embrace, support and celebrate female religious leadership. The play will be followed by a panel discussion Kol Shofar Rabbis Susan Leider and Chai Levy and Stories from the Fringe co-writer Rabbi Lynne Kern.
Find a PDF flyer on Stories from the Fringe here: http://kolshofar.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Jewish-Womens-Theatre.pdf.

Date: Saturday, November 10
Time: 8pm
Place: Kol Shofar Synagogue, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon
Cost: Tickets are $10 for Kol Shofar members, $15 for community
Contact: Hagar Ben-Eliezer, hben-eliezer@kolshofar.org, 415.388.1818 x111

Shabbat Salon: The Ethics of Shabbat
Rabbi Mira Wasserman to Speak on the ethics implied by the celebration of Shabbat and its relationship to creation.
It has often been noted how the Sabbath has kept the Jewish people Jewish. In this session, we’ll explore how Sabbath-keeping might also help to make us more fully human. Through a combination of textual analysis, chevruta (partnered study) learning, and group discussion, we’ll examine laws and stories from the Torah and Talmud. Hiding within these traditional texts is an appreciation for Shabbat as a social revolution.

Date: Saturday, Nov. 10
Time: 4:00pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org
Sponsored by the Library Committee of Beth Am

Tot Shabbat
Please join us as we welcome in Shabbat with songs, puppets, and parachute time provided by the wonderful Mimi Greisman- a specialist in Jewish Early Childhood Education. Following the 1/2 hour service, we will have a craft led by our own talented congregant, Mary Gold. Rabbi Brickner will of course be there to join in on the fun. A yummy oneg will be hosted by Andy & Deb Cohen. A big thank you to them! We looking forward to seeing you there.

Date: Saturday November 10
Time: 9:30am
Place: Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda
www.templeisraelalameda.org

The Invitation: With Author Anne Cherian
Anne Cherian was born and raised in India. Her Jewish mother, the granddaughter of a rabbi, grew up in Berkeley, and her father was a Jacobite Syrian Christian from India. During her youth, Cherian’s close circle of friends included Baghdadi and Bene Israel Jews. In 1982, she was finally able to meet her mother’s family when she began her graduate studies at UC Berkeley.

Cherian’s new novel, The Invitation, explores the themes of identity, assimilation, family, friendship, and success among a group of first-generation Indian immigrants. The novel is set in California and begins when Vikram invites three of his college friends from UCLA to celebrate his son’s graduation from MIT. They accept out of obligation and curiosity; all are Indian immigrants, and one has a Jewish husband who is now exploring his heritage. At Vikram’s Newport Beach mansion, the showmanship they anticipate dissolves as each is forced to deal with his or her own problems and to re-evaluate the costs of assimilation.

Date: Thursday, November 15
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: The Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, between Scott and Pierce on the campus of the Jewish Community High School
FREE and all are welcome
There is free garage parking at the entrance on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. The building is wheelchair accessible. For more information contact Allison at (415) 567-3327, ext 703 or ajgreen@Jewishlearningworks.org or visit the website: www.jewishlearningworks.org/library.

Tot Shabbat Service
Fun Programming for Families with Children Ages 0-5
Join Rabbis Jennifer Clayman and Adam Rosenwasser for a special Shabbat service for families with children ages 0-5 years. Following the service, enjoy grape juice and challah as well as arts and crafts. Come have fun with your child and meet other parents of young children! If you have any questions, please contact Rabbi Rosenwasser at rabbi_rosenwasser@betham.org

Date: Sat. Nov. 17
Time: 9:30am
Place: Rooms 1 & 2 at Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills

Two Among the Righteous Few:
A Story of Courage in the Holocaust
A presentation by Marty Brounstein
Frans and Mein Wijnakker saved the lives of at least two dozen Jews living in southern Holland during the Holocaust and World War II. This courageous Catholic couple led a simple life in a small town, but took risks to help others in dire need. Those saved lived in the Wijnakkers home along with them and their four young children. Marty Brounstein commemorates this story in his new book which is based on interviews, research, and audiotapes that Frans Wijnakker made before his death in 1994. Brounstein will also discuss his own special personal connection to this remarkable story.

Date: Sunday, November 18
Time: 1:30 pm
Place: The Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, between Scott and Pierce on the campus of the Jewish Community High School
FREE and all are welcome
There is free garage parking at the entrance on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. The building is wheelchair accessible. For more information contact Allison at (415) 567-3327, ext 703 or ajgreen@Jewishlearningworks.org or visit the website: www.jewishlearningworks.org/library.
Sponsored by The Jewish Community Library and co-presented by The Holocaust Center of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, The Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust at Mercy High School, San Francisco, Building Jewish Bridges, and Hadassah, San Francisco Chapter.

Shabbat Kumsitz!
Bring your instrument and play with us! Make music, schmooze and celebrate Shabbat with other music lovers in an informal, relaxed setting. Bring your instrument of choice, whatever it is: guitar, flute, fiddle, recorder, drum, voice or other and we will make Jewish music together. You should have basic knowledge of your instrument, meaning you can play basic chords or melodies. Rabbi Adam will lead the group. We will of course have snacks and refreshments for you to enjoy. If you are interested in joining us, please email Rabbi Adam at rabbi_rosenwasser@betham.org.

Date: Saturday, Dec. 1
Time: 2:30pm
Place: Room Aleph at Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org

God Talk (For Adults)
Rabbis have amazing God conversations with children fairly regularly. Why we don’t continue these conversations as easily as we age? The questions certainly don’t get any easier! Perhaps we forget, over the years, that sharing doubts and yearning for hope is what makes us human. I invite you to join an open and caring – and non-judgmental – conversation. “You bring your questions. I’ll bring mine!” —Rabbi Creditor
Interfaith couples — please bring your shared, or differing, views of God to the conversation!
Date: Dec. 5
Time: 7:30pm
Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley
Registration fee: $5
Register here: http://catalog.lehrhaus.org/course/2012/fall/P150-NS/

Talking to Children about God
Join Rabbi Straus and other parents to explore children’s concepts of God. Should parents open a conversation about God or wait for children to ask questions? What if you don’t believe in God but your spouse does? What should you say about what they are being taught in Religious School? Bring your own questions and we’ll look for answers together.

Date: Dec. 9, 2012
Time: 10am to 11:30am
Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

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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? This will be a multi-generational discussion about the assumptions and possibilities surrounding our roles as sustainers of the family.
Pizza will be available at no extra charge. Childcare is available by reservation. You must request childcare by Oct. 15.

Date: Nov. 8
Time: 6:15pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: $7 public; free to Beth El members; Register here.

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This fall has a varied and exciting line up of classes and workshops. Take a look below and feel free to call me if you don’t see what you want.
Dawn 510-845-6420 x11


Homer & Moses: Poets of their People
Join us at the Berkeley Rep production of An Iliad!
Imagine this…a religion that focuses on this world, not the next; a theology with angry gods who interact with humans. A tradition is perpetuated in an illiterate society by men who sing the story in formulaic music and words. This describes both Homer’s Iliad and the Five Books of Moses.
How did the Iliad capture the essence of Greek thinking such that it passed down for centuries? How does it express the Greek theology and ideas of the relationship between man and the divine?
How does Moses’ Torah have modern relevance? How did the god of Moses surpass His primitive beginnings while the gods of Olympus did not?

Meets Thursdays, Oct 11 and 18 at Lehrhaus and Sunday, Oct. 21 at Berkeley Rep. Students must purchase their own ticket to the 2pm performance of An Iliad on Oct. 21. We will send you the link for the discount for our group. Register here.


Writing Your Ethical Will
Is it as important to pass on your values as it is to pass on your possessions? Writing an ethical will is an opportunity to organize your thoughts on topics such as honesty, kindness, and charity, and share them with your children. The document gives insights into the heart and soul of the writer, permanently passing on parents’ values and describing how they wish those values continued, “dor l’ dor” from generation to generation.

Learn to write an ethical will and have the peace of mind that you will be leaving your children a spiritual, ethical, and moral legacy. For interfaith couples, an ethical will is wonderful way to give your children a clear message of your shared values.

The ethical will has its roots in the Torah. “For I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his household after him to keep the way of Adonai by doing what is just and right, in order that Adonai may bring about for Abraham what Adonai has promised him.” (Genesis 18:19).

We will take an evening to look at ethical wills from the Middle Ages to modern times. Students will each write an ethical will in the second meeting, and have the opportunity to share them in the final session.
3 Wednesdays – Oct. 24, Nov. 7 & 14
7:30pm
Lehrhaus Judaica, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Registration: $30
Register here.


Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community
How can transgender people live Jewish lives when many of their significant life choices might be considered ‘un-kosher’? How do transgender Jews navigate gendered Jewish rituals such as burial and conversion?

Balancing on the Mechitza, winner of a Lambda Literary Award, is an anthology by scholars, activists, theologians and others, both transgender and non-transgender allies, who share their interpretations of classical Jewish texts about ambiguous bodies, as well as their stories of Jewish prayer, ritual, and social life.
Nov. 1
7:30pm
JCC East Bay, Oakland site, 5811 Racine St., Oakland
$7 public; $5 for JCC members
Register here.


Women in Interfaith Relationships
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? This will be a multi-generational discussion about the assumptions and possibilities surrounding our roles as sustainers of the family.

Pizza will be available at no extra charge. Childcare is available by reservation. You must request childcare by Oct. 15.
Nov. 8
6:15pm
Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: $7 public; free to Beth El members
Register here.


All in the Family: Jews talk about their Multiracial Families
Parents, siblings, aunts and cousins may be white but when their family includes racially diverse members they too are impacted by racial assumptions in the Jewish community. What do white family members have to share with us about how we can be more tuned in to their family? Join us for a dynamic and exciting panel; this year’s opening program for What Color Are Jews?

Nov. 11
10am
Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland
Cost: $5 public; free to Beth Abraham members
Register here.


God Talk
Rabbis have amazing God conversations with children fairly regularly. Why we don’t continue these conversations as easily as we age? The questions certainly don’t get any easier! Perhaps we forget, over the years, that sharing doubts and yearning for hope is what makes us human. I invite you to join an open and caring – and non-judgmental – conversation. “You bring your questions. I’ll bring mine!” —Rabbi Creditor
Discussing the infinite, the unknowable, can be a source of commonality for interfaith couples – come give it a try.

Wed., Dec. 5
7:30pm
Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Avenue, Berkeley
Cost: $5 public; free to Netivot Shalom members
Register here.


Talking to Children about God
Join Rabbi Straus and other parents to explore children’s concepts of God. Should parents open a conversation about God or wait for children to ask questions? What if you don’t believe in God but your spouse does? What should you say about what they are being taught in Religious School? What if you and your spouse are not the same religion? Bring your own questions and we’ll look for answers together.

Dec. 9
10am
Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free & open to the community. Please RSVP so we have enough chairs by emailing dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org

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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

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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
Time: 7 to 8:30pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto
Cost: $18 public, free to Etz Chayim members
Sign up here

Posted by admin under Parenting, Past Programs, women
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