Serial (Bad) Weddings

Serial (Bad) Weddings

In this comedy sensation from France, we meet Marie and Claude Verneuil who pride themselves on their open-mindedness. But their lifestyle—they are affluent, church-going Catholics—is put to the test after three of their daughters marry men from vastly different ethnic and religious backgrounds. When their fourth daughter announces her engagement to a man from the Ivory Coast, they try to sabotage the interracial wedding, only to discover that the groom’s parents harbor prejudices of their own.

Tuesday, March 8
10:00 am
Century 16 Theatres, 125 Crescent Drive, Pleasant Hill
Tickets and details here.

Stay after for a brief discussion of the film.
Who is happy in a “happy ending”? Can anyone be “too” different? Are there any positives to cultural and religious homogeneity? Why did they change the name of the film for an English speaking audience?

Posted by admin under Couples, Film, Intercultural, Programs archive
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sfjff 2015

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival began its 2015 season last Thursday and they have their usual fabulous line up of films. I’ve told you in the past that it was suggested to me that I cosponsor films about Jewish & Muslim couples, typically living in Israel or Europe. But that topic doesn’t apply to any of my couples. Only a few of you are Jewish & Muslim and all of you live in the USA. So this year I just chose films I wanted to see. Go see whatever speaks to you. Look at the entire list here.

Here are the ones I chose to cosponsor:

Dough – a British dramedy about a Jewish baker and his Muslim assistant.
Here’s the trailer.

Jews in Shorts – this is a collection of short films. The one that drew me in is Dear God, about a man in love trying to fulfill the wishes of a woman who doesn’t know he exists.
Here’s the trailer for Dear God.

Finally, Red Leaves, a film about an Ethiopian Jew and his family as they adjust to modernity living in Israel.
See the trailer here.

Looking into August, here are some activities you can join.

Tot Shabbat (San Mateo)
Tot Shabbat in the Park! (Palo Alto)
Kumzits Family Shabbat (Oakland)
Contra Costa Interfaith Housing’s School Supplies Drive (Danville)
Movie Midrash: Pleasantville (San Mateo)
Chardonnay Shabbat (Palo Alto)
What is Israeli Food: A Food Fair (San Francisco)
Rabbis Roundtable: The Meaning of Repentance (Foster City)
New Judaism for the Beginner’s Mind Class (Berkeley)

Tot Shabbat
Join us in the sanctuary for a short, fun, song-filled service followed by playtime and snacks!

Date: Saturday, August 1
Time: 9:00 am
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
www.ptbe.org

Tot Shabbat in the Park!
Come celebrate Shabbat with the entire family at Juana Briones Park! The Jewish Baby Network and Kol Emeth are collaborating for this special event. Join us in the park for a Tot-friendly, upbeat, musical Shabbat Evening service, followed by a BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) dinner!
What to bring:
-You and your family!
-Picnic dinner for your family!
-A Blanket for you and your family to sit on!
Kol Emeth will be providing beverages, dessert (parve), challah and grape juice for Kiddush. If you and your family would like to attend, please register here.

Date: Friday August 7
Time: 5:00pm
Place: Juana Briones Park, 609 Maybell Ave, Palo Alto
This is a FREE event and if you have any questions or concerns, please email Amy@kolemeth.org.
www.kolemeth.org

Kumzits Family Shabbat
Bring a blanket to sit on. Invite friends to join you- or come to meet new friends as we welcome Shabbat around the campfire for song and s’mores! (Kumzits is Yiddish for “come sit”.)

Date: Friday, August 7
Time: 6:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland, in the Upper Courtyard (you can see it from the parking lot)
www.oaklandsinai.org

Contra Costa Interfaith Housing’s School Supplies Drive
You can help equip students for success!
CCIH is collecting backpacks and school items for 96 elementary school children, 53 middle school children and 18 high school children. Please click here for the list of needed supplies. You may drop off donations at the BCC Office and a member will deliver to the supplies to CCIH. All donations are due by August 10.

Date: Donate until Aug. 10
Time: During normal business hours
Place: Beth Chaim, 1800 Holbrook, Danville
www.bethchaim.com

Movie Midrash: Pleasantville
This 1998 film is a movie you’re sure to enjoy. Pleasantville is the fantastical story of two contemporary teenagers transported into a Leave It To Beaver-esque 50’s sitcom. In a world as naive, wholesome and ignorant as there ever was, these two real people inevitably start to affect this perfect little town. Pleasantville will take you through the emotional gamut and leave you ready to talk about it!
Join Rabbi Callie and Matt Schulman as we explore Judaism through the medium of film that illustrates a particular Jewish text, idea or value. Matt will provide the lens of the film critic, while Rabbi Callie connects the film to a Jewish teaching.

Date: Saturday, August 15
Time: 7:00 – 10:00pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth el, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
Please RSVP here.

Etz Chayim in Palo Alto has a new rabbi, Rabbi Chaim Koritzinsky. Here’s a great way to meet him, at Chardonnay Shabbat.
Chardonnay Shabbat
Come meet our new rabbi, Rabbi Chaim Koritzinsky, celebrate the end of summer with us, and discover what makes our community so special. Enjoy refreshing wines/other drinks, tasty appetizers, and relaxed, interesting chats. We will have snacks and activities for the kids with teens to give the adults time to schmooze.

Date: Friday, August 21
Time: 6:30 pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto
www.etzchayim.org

What is Israeli Food: A Food Fair
Achshav Yisrael (Right now Israel) is a new group at Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco offering exciting Israel focused programming! Come see our tasting booths, demonstrations on how to make Israeli dishes and special activities for children, including age-appropriate cooking projects.

Date: Sunday, August 30
Time: 3-5 pm
Place: Beth Sholom, 301 14 Avenue, San Francisco
Cost: $10 per person and $18 per family
Buy tickets here.

Rabbis Roundtable: The Meaning of Repentance
Join Rabbi Ezray and other local rabbis who will discuss texts on repentance and share their beliefs abut sin, forgiveness, and the human condition.

Date: Wednesday, September 2
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Wornick Jewish Day School, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City
Free. Pre-registration is required—reserve your seat today! 650.212.7522
Full details here.
Co-sponsored by Peninsula Temple Sholom, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Peninsula Temple Beth El and Congregation Beth Jacob

New Judaism for the Beginner’s Mind Class
with Arik Labowitz
Are you looking to claim your place as a part of the Jewish community; spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually? Chochmat HaLev will offer a series for those who want to look at the tradition with their own eyes and with a fresh perspective, and to uncover their own connection to the tradition, to the community, and to the divine. This is a wonderful stand alone class, or the first part of an adult B’nei Mitzvah preparation.

Dates: Tuesdays, October 6 –December 29, 2015
Time: 7:30pm-9pm
Place: Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince St, Berkeley
Cost: $435 for non-members
Details here.
http://chochmat.org

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Joan Nathan's Foods of Israel

Joan Nathan’s Foods of Israel

Cultural Jews
“I’m culturally Jewish.” How many times have I heard this? Too many to count. What does it mean? It means different things to different people. The common thread is, “I don’t believe in God.” Let’s not even go into what “God” means; let’s jump right to what does “cultural” mean? For the non-Jewish partner this can be like a visit to a nonexistent country – a series of no statements. No God, no ritual, no prayers, no spirituality, no belonging. The non-Jewish partner may begin to believe that this means we can have an American home – but then the Jew adds some more Nos – no Christmas, no church services, no carols that include Jesus. Now “cultural” sounds stingy and flavorless.

The Jewish partner may try to explain Jewish culture. If it’s a meeting between me and the couple this is often when the Jewish partner turns to me and says, “You know, Jewish culture.”

So what the devil is “Jewish culture?” First the bad news, it comes from Jewish religion. There is no food, music, art, dance or even language that is universal to all Jews everywhere. What is universal is the religion of Judaism. BUT! Now the good news, where ever Jews went on the planet they took their religion and adapted it to the host country, creating a Jewish version of that place – i.e. Jewish culture. So you have the Jewish culture of Mexico and the Jewish culture of Morocco and so on – each with their own food, music, language, etc.

So when the Jewish partner says, “I’m culturally Jewish” there’s a lot to explore.

What country or countries does the Jew in question come from? I met a man a couple weeks ago who was born in Iran, his family moved to Israel when he was a little boy and then to the US when he was a teen. So he has multiple languages, foods, music, etc. to share with his soon to be spouse.

My sister-in-law’s family came from Tunisia. The family was expelled when her parents were young adults and fled to France. Her wedding to my Ashkenazi brother-in-law included arab, French and American elements. The food, all kosher, was middle Eastern at one of the banquets and French at another. Her parents speak three languages – Arabic, Hebrew, and French plus few words of English. The bridal parties included belly dancing and henna. My sister-in-law thinks American Jews eat too much “white food!” Bagels, challah and gefilte fish all horrify her. Why have a fiddle when you can use a drum?

What is YOUR Jewish culture?
Begin by exploring your roots. Most American Jews are Ashkenazi – that is, originating from Eastern Europe and from a community that spoke Yiddish. Go to the Jewish museums, music festivals, art & food fairs and find the elements that represent “Jewish” to you. That’s your Jewish culture. It will probably include Klezmer music, bagels, Yiddishisms, and images of bearded men dressed in long black coats. None of this would be culturally appropriate for my sister-in-law but it will be for the majority of American Jews.

Eastern European Jewish Food

Eastern European Jewish Food

Buy recordings of old Jewish comedians – and new/young ones. Talk about why the jokes are funny. Don’t assume that everyone gets the jokes you get. (I was at a Jewish conference a few years back and there was a Jewish comedian entertaining us. We were roaring. The young Hispanic facilities man sat by handling the sound with a placid expression. Finally the comedian turned to him after a wonderful bris joke and said, “So, you getting any of this?” “No,” smiled the man.)

Visit the local Jewish museums.

Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley
Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St, San Francisco

100 Jewish films

One of the easiest ways to learn is by watching a film. The fantastic San Francisco Jewish Film Festival comes every year and screens films at locations all around the bay area.

Or just go rent an old film and watch it with an interpretive eye. Try to explain the details.
The Producers
The Frisco Kid
The History of the World: Part one
Exodus
Fiddler on the Roof
Prince of Egypt
An American Tail
The Chosen

Old black and white Yiddish films like The Dybbuk or Yidl Mitn Fidl.

Modern films from around the world.
Being Jewish in France
The Year My Parents Went on Vacation
Ushpizin
The Infidel

And Check out the site, Rabbi at the Movies for more ideas.

All of these can start conversations about what it means to be Jewish, for the most part, without a religious component. Religion exists on the sides of some of these films, just the way it hovers on the side of the lives of cultural Jews.

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The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is in its 35 year.
Building Jewish Bridges is delighted to be a co-presenter of the following films at this year’s festival.

Dough-770x433

Dough
Food has always represented more than sustenance in Jewish culture, and its transformative power is on display in this delightful British dramedy which unites a widowed third generation kosher baker, Nat (a crusty yet compassionate Jonathan Pryce), and his new Muslim apprentice, Ayyash (Jerome Holder in a breakout performance). Dayan & Son Bakery is in a downward spiral. Nat’s customers are all moving or dying. To top it off, his adversarial competitor is moving in on his turf, and his son has no interest in carrying on the family business. Read more

Thursday, July 23, Castro Theater, San Francisco
Sunday, July 26, CineArts, Palo Alto
Wednesday, August 5, California Theater, Berkeley
Sunday, August 9, Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael

Red Leaves

Red Leaves
After the death of his wife, Ethiopian immigrant Meseganio Tadela makes a fateful decision. Settled in Israel for the past 30 years, the 74-year-old widower sells his apartment and informs his grown children that he has no intention of buying a new place. Instead, the obstinate Meseganio plans to shuttle between each of their homes for the remainder of his life. Read more

Sunday, July 26, CineArts, Palo Alto
Monday, July 27, Castro Theater, San Francisco

Dear-God1

Jews in Shorts
Five short films with a range of topics. Read the details here

Wednesday, July 29, Castro Theater, San Francisco

Posted by admin under Film, Jewish Culture, Past Programs
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I’m reading a wonderful book, The Mathematician’s Shiva. Of course, it’s about Jews – but also other Russians, Poles, Americans, scientists and more. I love the underlining Jewishness of the characters and I really love that it is not about the Holocaust. There is so much more to Judaism than misery and murder.

The Mathematician's Shiva

The Mathematician’s Shiva

Which leads me to the topic of cultural Judaism. What does it mean to be culturally Jewish? It can mean the books you read (see book groups below in the events). It could be the movies you see (films below). It could be a hike with other Jews and non-Jews or going to the Jewish Heritage Night at the Giants or the A’s. It could be hanging out at the pool. Hearing a lecture on God and science. But it does mean learning and doing Jewishly infused things. I’ve collected a number of them below. If you have an idea to add, please send it to me. If you have a favorite Jewish themed book or film, tell me about it. I’ll share it with the rest of our gang.

Dough showing at the SFJFF

Dough showing at the SFJFF

Building Jewish Bridges will again be co-presenting some films at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. I know for sure one of them will be Dough. Take a look at it on their website.

Cheers,
Dawn

EVENTS
Alfresco Shabbat (Burlingame)
Tot Shabbat Playgroup (Pleasanton)
Kumzits Shabbat! (Oakland)
Torah with Soul (San Rafael)
Poolside Sundays (Palo Alto)
Sneak Preview: 2015 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (San Rafael)
Men’s Book Group at Beth Am (Los Altos)
Saturdays Unplugged: Brazil-Flavored Family Fun (San Francisco)
A Scientist Looks at God (Los Altos)
Havdallah Hike in Redwood Park (Oakland)
Story Shabbat (Pleasanton)
Giants’ Jewish Heritage Night (San Francisco)
Oakland A’s Jewish Heritage Night (Oakland)
Congregation Beth Emek Open House (Pleasanton)

Alfresco Shabbat
Join us for special Shabbat evening services under the summer sky. We’ll begin in the Misle & Sosnick Families Foyer at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy some delicious wine and hors d’oeuvres. Then, we’ll move outside for an alfresco service in the Wornick Family Courtyard. We’ll finish with finger sandwiches and Oneg Shabbat treats. Come see how the prayer experience is enhanced when our voices are carried on a gentle summer breeze!

Dates: Fridays, Jul. 3 to Aug. 28
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Dr., Burlingame
www.sholom.org

Tot Shabbat Playgroup
Tot Shabbat, a playgroup geared toward young children (ages birth to toddler) and their parents or caregivers, meets Friday mornings. Activities include free play along with Shabbat or Jewish holiday-themed craft projects, play dough, and parachute play.

Date: July 3 and Every Friday
Time: from 9:30 to 11:30am
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
www.bethemek.org

Kumzits Shabbat!
Join us for this lively Erev Shabbat Kumzits (“come sit”) Family Service around the firepit. Yes, there will be s’mores!

Date: Friday, July 3
Time: 6:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, in the Upper Courtyard (you can see it from the parking lot), 2808 Summit St., Oakland
www.oaklandsinai.org

Torah with Soul
Whether you are a Torah veteran, or completely new to Torah, all are welcome. Shabbat by Shabbat, we will study the weekly parsha, based on the first year of the triennial cycle. Additionally, time permitting, we’ll continue our study of the Book of Psalms. On the third Saturday of each month, weather permitting, Torah with Soul becomes Torah on the Trails, where we take a short hike on a local trail before studying Torah surrounded by nature. To be added to the Torah with Soul and/or Torah on the Trails email lists, please contact Molly at molly@rodefsholom.org.

Date: July 4, and most Saturdays, contact Molly at 415.479.3441 to make sure before you go.
Time: 9:15 am
Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 No. San Pedro Road, San Rafael
www.rodefsholom.org

Poolside Sundays
Join us all summer long for the best poolside parties in Palo Alto! Meet your friends or make new ones while relaxing on our spacious outdoor deck. Entertain the kids with water games, arts activities, a bounce house and sports activities led by our enthusiastic J-Camp counselors. Poolside Parties are FREE for OFJCC Center Members. Non-Member guest passes may be purchased.

Dates: Every Sunday, for the July 5 schedule look here
Place: Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
www.paloaltojcc.org

Sneak Preview: 2015 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
See clips of this year’s upcoming festival highlights, peek “behind the scenes”, learn how the films are selected, and discover the history of the largest Jewish film festival in the world!

Date: Wed, July 8
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Osher Marin JCC, 200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
Cost: Free!
www.marinjcc.org

Men’s Book Group at Beth Am
In July, the Beth Am Men’s book group reads All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. The blind girl, Marie-Laure, and her father flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo to save a valuable museum piece. Werner, an orphan in a mining town in Germany, develops a skill for repairing radios. The Nazis recognize this talent and send him to track the French Resistance. He winds up in…. Saint-Malo! Join us to discuss this fascinating historical novel set at a critical time for European Jewry.

Date: Thursday, July 9
Time: 4:00pm
Place: Beth Am Library, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org

Saturdays Unplugged: Brazil-Flavored Family Fun
Live music, fun for the kids and caipirinha cocktails for the big people. It’s Saturdays Unplugged and July’s version features the amazing Fogo Na Roupa Brazilian Carnaval Ensemble. Enjoy the rest of Shabbat.

Date: Saturday, July 11
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: San Francisco JCC, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Free & Open to Everyone
www.jccsf.org

A Scientist Looks at God
Taught by Rabbinic Intern Adam Lutz
Knowing the evils that occur in the world, how can God be all powerful, all knowing and all good? Come find out how a scientist (and soon to be rabbi) tries to create a Jewish belief system that reflects our experience in the world and honors God at the same time. Learn about Adam Lutz, our summer rabbinic intern from Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).

Date: Sunday, July 12
Time: 10:00am
Place: Beth Am, Conference Room, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org

Havdallah Hike in Redwood Park
What a lovely way to wind down your Shabbat with a gentle stroll in the redwood forest , a spirited Havdalah service in a meadow, followed by a light snack and a chance to shmooze with others. Join the Green Committee of Temple Sinai for a peaceful close to Shabbat.. Please bring a snack to share if you are able..

Date: Saturday, July 18
Time: 5:30pm
Place: In the last parking lot of Redwood Park: 7867 Redwood Road, Oakland
Questions? Please contact Richard Hart at richard.p.hart at gmail dot com

Story Shabbat
Story Shabbat is geared toward families with children ages 3-6. During this special Shabbat celebration, children are introduced to Shabbat in an age-appropriate service which includes music and a story, followed by a snack and craft project. Siblings are welcome. For more information about Story Shabbat, contact Lisa Kama (925.461.3591).

Dates: July 25 and August 29
Time: 10:30am
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
www.bethemek.org

Giants’ Jewish Heritage Night
Giants vs. Brewers
Join the Bay Area Jewish community and Congregation Sherith Israel at the Giants’ annual Jewish Heritage Night. As you may know, CSI always has a huge section on Jewish Heritage Night. Your ticket includes a seat in the Jewish Heritage section, a limited-edition Giants Kiddush cup, and admission to the Jewish Heritage Night pregame party in Seals Plaza from 5 – 7 pm.

Date: Monday, July 27
Time: Pregame Party: 5 – 7 pm; First Pitch: 7:15 pm
Place: AT&T Park, San Francisco
Cost: Bleacher seats $35/ticket
Details on the Giants’ website

Oakland A’s Jewish Heritage Night
This season’s fifth annual Jewish Heritage Night on Tuesday, August 4 is all new. The pregame event will take place in the spacious Eastside Club. All participants that purchase a special ticket through the link below will be able to attend the pregame event, as well as enjoy a traditional food item and receive an exclusive A’s Jewish Heritage giveaway item. As an added bonus, August 4 is one of the A’s Chevy FREE PARKING Tuesdays.
For more information, please contact Jeff Perlmutter at 510-563-2250 or jperlmutter@athletics.com.
Please note, you must purchase a special ticket for this event to attend the pregame event in the Eastside Club and receive the giveaway item and food item.
EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
Pregame event in the Eastside Club
Exclusive A’s Jewish Heritage giveaway item
Traditional Jewish food item
Chevy FREE PARKING Tuesdays

Date: Tuesday, August 4
Time: Game starts at 7:05, Jewish festivities at 5:30pm
Place: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland

Congregation Beth Emek Open House
Whether you are new to the area or just new to Beth Emek, we invite you to educational programs for all ages. Meet Rabbi Larry Milder, Education Director Judith Radousky, and Preschool Director Melinda McDonald. Take a tour of the building and visit our sanctuary and classrooms. Light refreshments will be served. Congregation Beth Emek is an inclusive Reform synagogue with an open and participatory atmosphere. We welcome all people on their Jewish journey.

Sunday, August 9
Time: 10:00a to noon
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
For more information, call the synagogue at 925.931.1055

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Little White Lie

Little White Lie

Here we are in the delightful summer months with long warm evenings full of crickets. This is when the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival fills theaters around the Bay Area with films that we pretty much won’t get a chance to see otherwise. I hope you have received the 2014 brochure in the mail and have had time to pour over the films to make your choices. This year Building Jewish Bridges is again co-presenting two films. They are El Critico and Little White Lie. I believe that the first one, El Critico, was given to us just to have a fun social time out. It’s a romantic comedy and from what I can see has very little to do with anything Jewish. But it will be fun and we can contemplate the question, does love conquer all? The second film, Little White Lie, is much more serious. It is a documentary made by a young woman who figured out at the age of 18 that she wasn’t the child of both her parents. It’s a fascinating and challenging story of identity, family, truth and secrets. I hope you’ll join me for one or both of them. If you can’t make it to one of ‘my’ films, do take a look at the whole lineup and fit a film into your summer. You can see the full program at www.sfjff.org.

EVENTS
Essential Jewish Knowledge: A Four Part Series with Rabbi David Kasher (Berkeley)
Shabbat Morning Learners’ Services (Berkeley)
Yad B’Yad (Hand in Hand) Tot Shabbat & Picnic (San Mateo)
Jewish Film Series Presents “Rashevski’s Tango” (Los Altos Hills)
Stop The Sirens In Israel: An Emergency Solidarity Gathering (San Francisco)
Mazel Tots! (San Francisco)
Chardonnay Shabbat Evening Service (Berkeley)
Oneg Shabbat: Saturdays Unplugged (San Francisco)
Welcoming Prospective Members (Los Altos Hills)
Let’s Go to the Movies! El Critico (Berkeley)
Tisha b’Av Text Study (San Francisco)
Israeli Folk Dancing with Allen King! (Kensington)
Let’s Go to the Movies! Little White Lie (Oakland)
Kabbalat Shabbat on the Farm (Berkeley)

Essential Jewish Knowledge:
A Four Part Series with Rabbi David Kasher

This July, Urban Adamah is pleased to offer a four-part evening workshop series exploring Judaism’s relevance to life in the 21st Century. These classes, led by our friend Rabbi David Kasher, is designed for both beginners and those with years of learning under their belts. Classes will be held Thursday nights in July, in our main tent.

July 17th: The Diversity of Jewish Beliefs
July 24th: Hallmark Jewish Practices
July 31st: The Making of the Jewish Family
Time: 7 to 8:30pm
Place: Urban Admah, 1050 Parker St. Berkeley
Cost: Join us for one class ($10 in advance, $15 at the door)

Shabbat Morning Learners’ Services
Starting on July 19, Rabbis Kahn and Stern will lead a series of learners’ services on Shabbat mornings. Attend any individual day or the entire month. Each week there will be a complete service, with an extended look at one section of the liturgy; we will learn about the prayers, music and meanings of a part of the service in depth. A light lunch at noon follows each of these intellectually and spiritually engaging mornings.
All are welcome! No need to RSVP.
July 19: The Preliminary Service – Entering Sacred Time & Space
July 26: Sh’ma and Its Blessings – Prayer as Ideology
August 2: Amidah – Prayer as Dialogue
August 9: Torah Service – Community & History
Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley 94709

Dates: Saturday mornings, July & August, beginning July 19
Time: 10:15 am
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
www.bethelberkeley.org

Yad B’Yad (Hand in Hand) Tot Shabbat & Picnic
Families with young children join for a short Shabbat service, followed by time to play, schmooze and to enjoy a beautiful morning together. We’ll provide snacks. Bring a picnic and stay.

Date: Saturday, July 19
Time: 10:00 am
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
RSVP to rabbisara@ptbe.org
www.ptbe.org

Jewish Film Series Presents “Rashevski’s Tango”
What does it mean to be Jewish? Three generations of the Rashevski family grapple with the question after the death of Rose, the secular matriarch who believed that the tango would make all troubles disappear. Charming and endearing, the characters confront issues of relationships, family, religion, love, romance and interfaith marriage. The film is in French and Hebrew with English subtitles. Rabbi Sarah Weissman will lead a discussion following the film. Free; refreshments will be served.

Date: Saturday, July 19
Time: 3:30pm
Place: In the Beit Kehillah at Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org
Sponsored by the Interfaith Outreach Committee of Beth Am.

Stop The Sirens In Israel: An Emergency Solidarity Gathering
Temple Emanu-El is hosting a mass gathering this Sunday, organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund and the Board of Rabbis of Northern California. Join us as we stand with the people of Israel during this difficult time. Learn more here.

Date: Sunday, July 20
Time: 4:00pm
Place: Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
www.emanuelsf.org

Mazel Tots!
Join other parents and little ones and welcome the new week with Havdalah and Mimi Greisman. This group will provide a wonderful opportunity to connect with other parents and create lasting friendships. We hope you can participate in this musical play group that focuses on parenting your baby or toddler. We will talk about language development, making friends, starting preschool, finding time for you, siblings, physical development, new-found autonomy, and any topic identified by the group. We will have guest speakers from time to time as well as celebrate Jewish holidays and traditions. Enjoy a relaxed setting filled with music, puppets, and more, while you and your little one can play and meet other parents and kids!

Dates: Mondays, Ongoing weekly drop-in, next Monday is July 22
Time: 9:30 – 11:00 am
Place: In Martin Meyer Reception room of Temple Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
www.emanuelsf.org

Chardonnay Shabbat Evening Service
Begin your Shabbat with hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine or juice before we join together in song and community to welcome the Shabbat. Everyone is always welcome at our services and programs (and like all our Shabbat services, childcare is available).

Date: Friday, July 25
Time: 5:30 pm Refreshments & Schmoozing • 6:15 pm Shabbat Service
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
www.bethelberkeley.org

Oneg Shabbat: Saturdays Unplugged
Sherith Israel is happy to partner with the JCCSF and other Bay Area Jewish organizations to bring you Oneg Shabbat: Saturdays Unplugged. Come for the play date, stay for the live music. Unplug and meet up with family and friends for a screen-free afternoon of fun activities and celebratory cocktails. Conclude the day with Havdalah, a sweet send-off for Shabbat and a welcome to the new week. Each week features a family-friendly concert; July 26 will host Isaac Zones and Melita Silberstein! Family Fun, Havdalah, and Happy Hour!

Date: Saturday, July 26
Time: 3:00 – 6:00 pm
Place: JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St, San Francisco
Free
www.jccsf.org

Welcoming Prospective Members
Beth Am is inviting their members to “Bring Your Friends, Family and Neighbors Interested in Beth Am.” You don’t need a friend to take you! You can just go check out Beth Am on one of the Friday nights in August. Want someone to meet you at the door and “take” you? Just let me know and I’ll arrange it.
Beth Am invite all prospective members to celebrate Shabbat with Beth Am in our Outdoor Chapel at 6:15 p.m. every Friday in August. After the service, prospective members are invited to get to know clergy and lay leaders and ask any questions they may have about our community. Prospective members are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner, and we will provide dessert and good company!

Dates: Fridays in August beginning August 1
Time: Service 6:15 p.m., Outdoor Chapel; Picnic and Oneg Shabbat 7:30 p.m.
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org

Let’s Go to the Movies! El Critico
Join us for the SF Jewish Film Festival! Building Jewish Bridges is co-presenting El Critico. The film runs from 6:50 to 8:30pm. We’ll go for ice cream afterwards.
El Critico
Víctor Tellez is jaded, emotionally repressed and arrogant. Not surprisingly, he is an influential but harsh film who especially detests Hollywood romantic comedies.One day while searching for a new apartment, he unexpectedly meets Sofía, a spontaneous and vibrant woman. She clearly does not fit with his conception of good taste. Víctor finds himself going soft and his movie reviews reflect this. He suspects that the movie genre that he hates the most is taking its revenge.

Date: Saturday, Aug. 2
Time: Film runs 6:50 to 9:00
Showing at California Theater, 2113 Kittredge St., Berkeley, between Oxford and Shattuck.
Get your ticket at the SF Film Festival site.

Tisha b’Av Text Study
Join Rabbi Jessica Graf for an evening of learning to commemorate the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. (This is an opportunity to meet the new rabbi at Sherith Israel!)

Date: Aug. 4
Time: 7:15-8:30pm
Place: Sherith Israel, 3200 California St., San Francisco
www.sherithisrael.org
Questions? RSVP? Contact rabbigraf@sherithisrael.org or 415.346.1720

Israeli Folk Dancing with Allen King!
Please join us for Kid’s Night at Israeli Folkdancing. The evening will feature easy-to-follow dances led by Allen, a beloved and experienced kid’s dance teacher. All ages and adults too are welcome for this fun annual family event. For more info, email Bronwyn at imogen@alumni.princeton.edu.

Date: Wednesday, August 6
Time: 8:00 pm
Place: Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Ave, Kensington
Cost: Kids are free, adults are $3 (or $6 if you stay until 11:30 pm) or pay what you can.
Hosted by Beth El in Berkeley.

Let’s Go to the Movies! Little White Lie
Join us for the SF Jewish Film Festival! Building Jewish Bridges is co-presenting Little White Lie. The film runs from 7 to 8:05pm. We’ll go for ice cream afterwards. Email me so I’ll know you’re coming and keep an eye out for you.

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity — despite the open questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. She believes her family’s explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different.

— Little White Lie manages to be both a particular family’s story of the price of living in denial, but also raises larger questions for us all: What factors—race, religion, family, upbringing—make us who we are? And what happens when we are forced to redefine ourselves?-Peter L. Stein

Date: Thursday, Aug. 7
Time: 7pm
Place: The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St, Oakland
Get your ticket at the San Francisco Film Festival site.

Kabbalat Shabbat on the Farm
Join Urban Adamah fellows and friends for a joyful community Kabbalat Shabbat service and dinner on the farm!
Kabbalat Shabbat was invented in the 16th century by the Jewish mystics. Today, it’s practiced in most Jewish communities as a spiritual and emotional doorway into our day of rest. Our version includes chanting, meditation, poetry, movement and quiet alone time on the farm. Drums, guitar and clarinet will carry us into the night.

6:30-8:00 pm: Kabbalat Service led by Adam Berman and the Urban Adamah staff
8:00 pm: Vegetarian potluck dinner! Please bring a vegetarian dish to share for the potluck dinner after the service.

Date: Friday, Aug. 8
Time: 6:30 – 8pm
Place: Urban Adamah, 1050 Parker St, Berkeley
This event is free and open to the public, but kindly register in advance here.

Overwhelmed by Argument: The Conversation I Want to Have Now
Convened by Josh Kornbluth
We care, and because we care, we despair. Will there be any outcome for Israelis and Palestinians, for Israel and Palestine, in which both Peoples are acknowledged and respected? Where one group’s national aspirations are not deemed unworthy? This is the conversation Josh wants to have, the conversation we believe we need. We need is as Jews. We need it as people. We need it as one People among many Peoples. Will there ever be a solution? We don’t know. We worry. Everyone suffers when some suffer. And so someone who cares is convening a loving, respectful conversation with a very clear mandate: More hope, More dignity, More love.

Here are the rules for the conversation Josh invites us to share:

1) If your position is that Israel should cease to exist as the Jewish Homeland, that is not the conversation we are going to have.
2) If you believe Jews are better than Palestinians, that is not the conversation we are going to have.
3) If you believe that only Jews have the right to a state, that is not the conversation we are going to have.
4) If you believe Israel’s concerns about security are imagined, that is not the conversation we are going to have.

The jumping-off-point for our conversations will be these two books:
The Crisis of Zionism, by Peter Beinart
My Promised Land, by Ari Shavit

Dates: 2 evenings: Wednesday Aug. 13 & 20
Time: 7:30pm-9pm
Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave, Berkeley
Class fee: $20 (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Registration is required – please register with Daniel at office@netivotshalom.org.

Tot Shabbat Services
Bring your tot to Tot Shabbat! Beginning September 5th, Temple Beth Hillel will hold Tot Shabbat Services the first Friday of the month,6:00 – 6:30 p.m., followed by a family potluck and Shabbat service at 7:30 p.m. Please join us!
Open to the Community.

Date: First Friday of the Month beginning September 5
Time: 6:00 – 6:30 pm
Place: Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central, Richmond
Questions/Information: www.tbhrichmond.org or 510.223.2560

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Little White Lie

Let’s Go to the Movies!
Join us for the SF Jewish Film Festival!
BJB is co-presenting Little White Lie
The film runs from 7 to 8:05pm. We’ll go for ice cream afterwards.

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity — despite the open questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. She believes her family’s explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different.

Little White Lie manages to be both a particular family’s story of the price of living in denial, but also raises larger questions for us all: What factors—race, religion, family, upbringing—make us who we are? And what happens when we are forced to redefine ourselves?-Peter L. Stein

Date: Thursday, Aug. 7
Time: 7pm
Place: The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St, Oakland

Buy your own ticket at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival here.

Read more about this film here.

Posted by admin under Community Activities, Film, Jews of Color, Non-Jewish family, Past Programs
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El Critico poster

Join us for the SF Jewish Film Festival!
BJB is co-presenting El Critico
The film runs from 6:50 to 8:30pm. We’ll go for ice cream afterwards.

El Critico
Víctor Tellez is jaded, emotionally repressed and arrogant. Not surprisingly, he is an influential but harsh film who especially detests Hollywood romantic comedies.One day while searching for a new apartment, he unexpectedly meets Sofía, a spontaneous and vibrant woman. She clearly does not fit with his conception of good taste. Víctor finds himself going soft and his movie reviews reflect this. He suspects that the movie genre that he hates the most is taking its revenge.

Date: Saturday, Aug. 2
Time: Film runs 6:50 to 9:00

Showing at California Theater, 2113 Kittredge St., Berkeley, between Oxford and Shattuck.

Get your ticket at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival website here.

Posted by admin under Community Activities, Film, Past Programs
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This year, 2014, will be the 19th year of the Festival and it runs March 7 through 29. It takes place in Contra Costa County.

The line up looks exciting. Some of the films are:

film Patrick Stewart
Hunting Elephants (Israel, 2013, 107 minutes) with Patrick Stewart and Yael Abecassis.

Real Inglorious Bastards
The Real Inglorious Bastards (Canada, 1012, 57 minutes)

Film_cupcakes
Cupcakes (Israel, 2013, 90 minutes)

Film zigzag-kid
The Zigzag Kid (Netherlands/Belgium, 2012, 95 minutes)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Go to their website to read about all the films.

There are three venues in Contra Costa County:

CENTURY 16 THEATRES
125 Crescent Dr., Pleasant Hill

ORINDA THEATRE
4 Orinda Square, Orinda

VINE CINEMA & ALEHOUSE
1722 First Street, Livermore

Tickets range from $8 to $11 with a few of the shorts costing only $3. You can get a Season Pass for $180 that gets you every single film! If I counted correctly there are 46 films.

Films are such a great way to learn about the many Jewish cultures. Try to catch a few.

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In 2010 there was a contest called Sukkah City. People were invited to construct unusual sukkahs. Now the movie about this wild and crazy event is out; you can see a trailer here. What the contest illustrated is that sukkahs can come in all sorts of shapes, colors and materials. Even kosher ones! I thought I’d share a few images with you to get your creative juices flowing.

From brooklynpaper.com

From brooklynpaper.com

Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, NY had this structure built for them in 2011.

batman guards my sukkah

Here is my own sukkah from a couple years ago. This is one of my FAVORITE photos as you’ll note that Batman guards my sukkah! So stay away bad guys!

From www.bshalom.org

From www.bshalom.org

Here is B’nai Shalom of Walnut Creek’s congregational sukkah. Big enough to accommodate community gatherings.

sukkah with flags

Here’s a sukkah with a table and a comfy seat. Jewish prayer flags have become available in recent years. Also, with a heightened awareness of avoiding food waste, many people use paper mache fruit instead of real fruit.

credit: haaretz.com

credit: haaretz.com

This is a crowded street in an ultra Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem – from Haaretz.com

A friend of mine artfully hangs diaphanous fabric from branch to branch in her garden and adds lights. It is magical.

Email me a photo of YOUR sukkah that I can share here. Send it to dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org

Posted by admin under Film, Holidays, Jewish Culture, Jewish holidays at home, Sukkot
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