KIm Carter Martinez, our speaker

KIm Carter Martinez, our speaker

It is not unusual for a Jew of color to be asked, “How did you get to be Jewish?” Quite simply the question stems from their appearance, “You don’t look Jewish.”
There are a number of ways that an adult from a biracial Jewish or interfaith family can arm themselves for these micro-aggressions. Join Kim Carter Martinez, the biracial daughter of an African American father and a white Ashkenazi mother. Kim has spent years honing her skills and is pleased to teach others how to own your identity in spite of the doubts of others.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 17
Time: 10am to 11:30am
Place: Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland
Free, but preregistration is required.
Sign up here.

Posted by admin under Jews of Color, Parenting, Past Programs, Programs archive
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Shaking the Lulav

Shaking the Lulav

Sukkah Party for Interfaith Couples & Families
Come to the Sukkah for some food and fun. Together we’ll make and hang sukkah decorations and everyone will get a chance to wave the lulav and etrog. We’ll make edible sukkahs that kids (and adults) can take home.

Date: Sunday, October, 8
Time: 2 to 4pm
Place: Private home in Oakland, address sent after registration
Cost: $5/person or $15/family of 4 or more.
Register here.

Posted by admin under Past Programs, Programs archive, Sukkot
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Rebecca Gutterman's family

The number of Jewish and interfaith families who are adopting children is significant. Often these children are not Caucasian. As one very sweet Catholic social worker put it, “Jews don’t seem to mind what color their children are.” We take that as a big compliment!

How do parents give their adopted child a feeling of wholeness, helping them integrate their story of origin with the religion and culture they are being raised in? Adoptive parents raising Jewish children have this and unique questions to answer depending on their family situation, such as:

Will we formally convert our child to Judaism?
Will we have some kind of Jewish welcoming ceremony?
How will we honor their culture of origin and give them a rich, secure Jewish identity?
If our child is a different race from us, how will we handle it? How will we respond to his/her questions at different stages, as well as questions or reactions from people outside of our family?
Join adoptive parents and adoption professional, Susan Romer, for a warm and supportive discussion.

April 20
7:30 to 9pm
Congregation B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
Free, but an RSVP would be most appreciated. You can sign up here.

Posted by admin under A meaningful life, Children, Parenting, Programs archive
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Madeleine Adkins

Madeleine Adkins

A girl with a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father was raised with no religion, and outside of Jewish culture. Decades later, as an adult, she immersed herself in Jewish life–secular and religious. This led her to be curious about other others who had one Jewish parent: how had they been raised? And how were their lives similar to or different from her own? She knew what her own experiences had been, but she wanted a variety of people with both Jewish and non-Jewish roots to share their stories, and set out to record these stories in a documentary entitled Double Roots.
Please join us for this Lehrhaus event to hear some of these Double Roots interviews as they were recorded by the filmmaker, Madeleine Adkins. And listen to some of the interviewees, as they reflect upon what they said in their interviews, and discuss their lives today

Date: Thursday, December 1
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place: Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont
Free, Please sign up here.

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Programs archive
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siddur-kippah-shofar

When you think “High Holy Days” what do you feel?

High Holy Days usher in a wide range of emotions for Jewish people. Some are looking forward to the solemn yet joyful services, seeing everyone at shul, gathering with the “usual crowd” for a special meal, going to tashlich and Breaking the Fast. Others dread what they perceive to be the depressing message of Yom Kippur, the fast (or the expectation that one will fast), the hot synagogue sanctuary, the Vidui (the confessional prayer), and the longer than usual services.

May a Jew is annoyed at the demands of the holidays. But who is making these demands? Typically, we are making them on ourselves. But it is much easier to project them onto someone else. “My rabbi expects everyone to come to services,” “my spouse wants me to go with him/her,” “my parents expect me to set an example for my kids.” Some of these may be true, some we are simply sure that others are thinking.

What to do about this? First, it is essential that you figure out what you want to do and what you feel obligated to do. Then figure out why you feel obligated and is it a good thing or a bad thing? As a parent I feel obligated to feed and clothe my children. I feel obligated to stay home with them when they are sick. As a spouse I feel obligated to spend time with my husband, to be an ear when he is troubled, to stand together with him when we are dealing with a challenging child. As a friend I feel obligated to make time to see my friends, to help them when they are sick or worried, to celebrate and mourn with them. My parents are dead. So I am no longer obligated to visit them, write letters, make phone calls.

I embrace my obligations to my children, spouse and friends. Frankly, I wish I still had my parents; I would welcome the responsibilities of that relationship.

Can you sort out which obligations you feel as a Jew – or a partner of a Jew – and determine which you embrace and which you find irritating? Until you really know what it is you want to do and don’t want to do and why, you won’t be able to make peace with the holiday or yourself. I invite you to join me this coming Sunday morning in Pleasanton at Beth Emek for: The High Holidays… Do I Want to or Do I Have to?

If you can’t make it but want to talk, just shoot me an email or give me a call.

EVENTS
Musical Early Childhood Sing Along (Tiburon)
The High Holidays…Do I Want to or Do I Have to? (Pleasanton)
Adults from Interfaith Families: A Roundtable Discussion (Berkeley)
Tot Shabbat (Pleasanton)
Preparation for the High Holy Days & Selichot Service (Richmond)
Exploring Judaism (Lafayette)
High Holiday Pop-Up in the Lobby (San Rafael)
Introduction to the Jewish Experience: Lifecycles and Holidays (Berkeley)
Introduction to Judaism (San Francisco)
Intro to Judaism (San Jose area)
Intro to Judaism (Burlingame)

Are the High Holy Days a good time to introduce my non-Jewish boyfriend to Judaism?

Musical Early Childhood Sing Along
with Rabbinic Intern Sam Rotenberg
Join Sam for this special musical experience – sing, dance, and get all jazzed up for the High Holy Days.

Date: Sunday, September 18
Time: 9:30- 10:30am
Place: Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon
www.kolshofar.org

The High Holidays…
Do I Want to or Do I Have to?

What is it about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that pulls Jews into the synagogue by the droves? Obligation? Faith? Remembrance? What do these holidays mean? What part do they play in our lives? Should our children miss school to observe these holidays? Join us in a discussion of history and meaning.

Date: Sunday, September 18
Time: 10:30 – 12:00
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct, Pleasanton
www.bethemek.org
Register here.

Adults from Interfaith Families: A Roundtable Discussion
Join other adults who grew up in an interfaith family to discuss how that went for you and to consider challenges and desires. Do you think of yourself as Jewish? Half Jewish? Jew-ish? Does it annoy you that other Jews want to put their own label on you? Do you have a comfortable relationship with your Jewish community or not? Come share your insights and suggestions with others who have dealt with similar life situations.

Thursday, September 22
7:30 – 9:00 pm
Lehrhaus Judaica, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Free, please sign up here as we have limited space.

Tot Shabbat
Bring the babies and toddlers for our weekly playgroup. We have bagels and coffee and the snacks you bring to share. At 11 am, Rabbi Milder joins us for our Shabbat celebration, including songs, candle lighting, motzi, and kiddush. Kids have fun, adults have fun – come check it out!

Dates: Every Friday, Sept. 23, 30
Time: 10 am – Noon
Place: Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
For more information, contact Anna Kalman, prekyouth@bethemek.org
www.bethemek.org

Preparation for the High Holy Days & Selichot Service
Prepare for the High Holy Days with Cantor Fran Burgess. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and explore the meaningful liturgy found in the Mishkan HaNefesh, Machzor for the Days of Awe. Cantor Fran and the High Holy Days Choir continue with a Havdalah ceremony followed by Selichot (forgiveness), a moving and beautiful service introducing the themes of the season through music and meditation. Selichot provides a quiet time for personal reflection and self examination.

Date: Saturday, September 24
Time: 8:00pm
Place: Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central, Richmond
For more information on Beth Hillel’s High Holy Day services, look here.

Exploring Judaism
This course is a year-long exploration of the history, beliefs, traditions, and practices of the Jewish people. “Exploring Judaism” will be interesting and meaningful whether you are becoming an adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah, you are just beginning to explore Jewish studies, you are considering choosing Judaism, you are in an interfaith relationship, or you are simply looking for a deeper and more mature understanding of Jewish history and tradition. Students are encouraged to expand their Jewish literacy by taking this course in conjunction with Beginning Hebrew. Books for the course will be Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, along with Michael Strassfeld’s The Jewish Holidays and The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel. The books are not included in the price for the course. Taught by Rabbi Oren Postrel.

Year-long Course (22 sessions): Sundays, Sept 25 through May 7 (No class: 10/2, 10/23, 11/27, 12/18, 12/25, 1/1, 1/15, 2/19, 3/12, 4/9, 4/16)
If you would like to sign up for 1 or more blocks of Exploring Judaism (instead of registering for the whole year), we welcome you to do so. Tuition is $30 per block for members; $70 per block for non-members.
• Jewish Calendar & Holidays: How we Celebrate Together – 9/25, 10/9, 10/16, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13
• Jewish Life Passages and our Homes: How Jews Do Jewish – 11/20, 12/4, 12/11, 1/8, 1/22
• Jewish Text and History – 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/26, 3/5
• Jewish Thought, Prayer, and Music – 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7

Dates: Sundays, beginning Sept. 25
Time: 9:00-10:00am
Place: Contra Costa Jewish Day School, 955 Risa Rd, Lafayette (Room 206 ) Immediately across the parking lot from Temple Isaiah.
Cost: The year long class is offered in 4 blocks. Tuition is $100/members; $250/non-members for the year or $30 per block for members; $70 per block for non-members.
Details here

High Holiday Pop-Up in the Lobby
Honey & reflection for a sweet New Year at our High Holiday pop-up in the Lobby!
During the holiday of Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish new year— it is time to take a moment to reflect on our past year and make resolutions for what’s to come. It is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey and to give gifts of honey to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, blessings and abundance.
At this pop-up in the Osher Marin JCC Lobby, drop by to:
Sample local apples, pick up a sweet honey treat, and discover the best places to go apple picking in Marin!
Participate in our High Holidays scavenger hunt—for kids and adults alike! Peruse a selection of holiday-related Judaica and gifts.
Find your high note! Blow your best tekiah in front of a captive audience with our shofar.
Everyone can make teshuvah (turning from where we missed the mark): make a holiday card for Jewish inmates at San Quentin.
Toss your regrets into a pool as we model the ritual of tashlich (using rubber duckies).
And more!

Date: Tues, September 27
Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Place: Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael

Bring the kids! No RSVP necessary.
FREE
Details here

Introduction to the Jewish Experience: Lifecycles and Holidays
Communal and individual Jewish life dances to the rhythm of two different cycles: Jewish lifecycle events and the cycle of the Jewish year. This class covers a basic introduction to the Jewish lifecycle (weddings, birth, bar mitzvah, conversion, mourning, and funerals). Then we will look at the Jewish year, with its cycles of fall and spring holidays as well as holidays reflecting historical events.
(This class is part of a three-unit series. You are welcome to take one or more in the series.)

Date: Wednesdays, October 19 – December 14 (no class 11/23)
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: $105/public; $90/members of Beth El
Register here

Introduction to Judaism (2016-2017)
Join with Emanu-El clergy to learn about the breadth and wonder of Jewish tradition. This class is a pathway for the adult learner who wishes to discover or deepen Jewish knowledge, non-Jews who are marrying a Jewish partner, and those who are considering conversion to Judaism. Mark your calendars now for the 2016-2017 classes:
Dates
Fall: Oct. 25; Nov. 1, 8, 15; Dec. 6, 13
Winter: Jan. 17, 24, 31; Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28
Spring: Mar. 21, 28; Apr. 4, 25; May 2, 9, 16

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Place: Temple Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
Cost: Emanu-El Member Cost: $54, Non-member cost: $75
Register here
www.emanuelsf.org

Intro to Judaism
Introduction to Judaism is offered in partnership with our local Reform and Conservative congregations for anyone interested in exploring Judaism – individuals, interfaith couples, those considering conversion, and Jews looking for adult-level basics. This class introduces the fundamentals of Jewish thought and practice in 20 weeks.
Topics include Jewish holidays and life cycle celebrations, theology and prayer, Israel, history, and Hebrew. In addition to the weekly class and reading, there will be two Shabbat Dinners and two Shabbat Lunches, one at each of the sponsoring congregations.
Whatever you are seeking, Introduction to Judaism offers you a time and place to broaden your Jewish awareness and give you the skills necessary to “do Jewish”.

Dates: Tuesdays, November 1, 2016 to May 9, 2017
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place: Each class is at the facility associated with the teacher for that evening: Rabbi Aron at Congregation Shir Hadash; Rabbi Ohriner at Congregation Beth David; Rabbi Berkenwald at Congregation Sinai; Rabbi Magat at Temple Emanu-El; and Rabbi Seid-Valencia, the Center for Jewish Living and Learning at the APJCC.

Cost: $180 for an individual or a couple. Registration Fee includes one set of books for the class. For more information or to register, please contact the Center for Jewish Life and Learning at (408) 357-7411 or look here
Register here

Intro to Judaism
From concepts of God to Jewish history, learn the fundamentals of Jewish thought and practice with our clergy. This ten-session course is perfect for interfaith couples, non-Jews considering conversion, and Jews looking for an adult-level introduction.

Dates: Mondays, November 7, 2016 – January 30, 2017
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame
Taught by Rabbis Dan Feder, Lisa Delson, and Molly Plotnik
Cost: Free for members of Peninsula Temple Sholom; $36 for non-members
For more information look on the synagogue’s website

Posted by admin under High Holidays, Introduction to Judaism, Programs archive
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emanu-els-dome-horizontal

Here’s autumn! Time to consider what we want to do in the upcoming Jewish year of 5777. Here are all the workshops and classes scheduled from Building Jewish Bridges. I hope you’ll find something you like. As always, feel free to email me (dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org) if you have a topic that you’d like to see offered.

Dawn

The High Holidays…
Do I Want to or Do I Have to?

What is it about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that pulls Jews into the synagogue by the droves? Obligation? Faith? Remembrance? What do these holidays mean? What part do they play in our lives? Should our children miss school to observe these holidays? Join us in a discussion of history and meaning.

Date: Sunday, September 18
Time: 10:30 – 12:00
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct, Pleasanton
www.bethemek.org
Register here

Adults from Interfaith Families: A Roundtable Discussion
Join other adults who grew up in an interfaith family to discuss how that went for you and to consider challenges and desires. Do you think of yourself as Jewish? Half Jewish? Jew-ish? Does it annoy you that other Jews want to put their own label on you? Do you have a comfortable relationship with your Jewish community or not? Come share your insights and suggestions with others who have dealt with similar life situations.

Thursday, September 22
7:30 – 9:00 pm
Lehrhaus Judaica, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Free, please sign up here as we have limited space.

Kim Carter Martinez

Kim Carter Martinez

Being Black, Asian, Danish…and Jewish: Taking Charge of Your Jewish Identity
Adults from interfaith families often have their Jewish identity challenged by both Jews and non-Jews. Having a name that is not perceived as Jewish, like Anderson, Christiansen, O’Toole, or Wong, can lead to questions like, “How did you get to be Jewish?” For biracial Jews the question stems from their appearance, “You don’t look Jewish.”
There are a number of ways that an adult from a biracial or interfaith family can arm themselves for these micro-aggressions. Join Kim Carter Martinez, the biracial daughter of an African American father and a white Ashkenazi mother. Kim has spent years honing her skills and is pleased to teach others how to own your identity in spite of the doubts of others.

Date: Sunday, October 9
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free, but space is limited so reserve your spot here.

Making Shabbat Your Own
Would you like to start doing Shabbat? Do you need an easy way to start or do you want to take your current observance up a notch? Come learn easy steps to create “your” Shabbat. We’ll tell you how to have warm, homemade challah even if you work until 6pm. How to engage children of all ages. Ways to approach teens or other skeptics in your family. As a bonus, we’ll tell you how one simple ritual can improve your child’s and your health, happiness and wellbeing. No kidding!

Date: Sunday, October 30
Time: 10:30 – 12:00
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct, Pleasanton
www.bethemek.org
Register here.

2gens-cropped

Raising a Confident Child in an Interfaith Family
A child needs happy, loving parents more than anything else. They also deserve to feel comfortable with their own identity. We’ll come together to discuss what parents are currently doing, what they may want to alter and to talk about planning for your child’s religious traditions.

Date: Thursday, November 10
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Lehrhaus Judaica, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Cost: $12 per couple, $8 per person
Register here.

Double Roots: A Film and Discussion
A young woman with a Jewish mother and a Christian father was raised religiously “nothing.” She was told that “if the Nazis were here, they’d kill you” and that was the extent of her Jewish education. Decades later she went out to learn what others with one Jewish parent had been taught and how their lives were similar or different from her own. When asked, “Why did you make this film of interviews with adults from interfaith families she replied, “I wanted our voices to be heard.”
Please join us to hear these voices as they were interviewed and to hear from some of the interviewees about their lives today.

Date: Thursday, December 1
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place: Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont
Free, please sign up here.

To Tree or Not to Tree: What Will We do for the Holidays?
You may want to decorate a Christmas tree while your partner wants to make latkes. What will work for you as a family? Whether December is your favorite month – full of Christmas cookies and chocolate gelt – or your most dreaded month – material surfeit and cultural overwhelm – you are invited to join this open and supportive discussion on how to handle the December dash.

This year will be especially interesting because the first night of Hanukkah falls on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 4
Time: 10:30 – 12:00
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct, Pleasanton
www.bethemek.org
Register here

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Chanukah, Children, Christmas, High Holidays, Jewish holidays at home, Jews of Color, Parenting, Programs archive, Shabbat
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Kim Carter Martinez

Kim Carter Martinez

Being Black, Asian, Danish…and Jewish — Taking Charge of Your Jewish Identity
Adults from interfaith families often have their Jewish identity challenged by both Jews and non-Jews. Having a name that is not perceived as Jewish, like Anderson, Christiansen, O’Toole, or Wong, can lead to questions like, “How did you get to be Jewish?” For biracial Jews the question stems from their appearance, “You don’t look Jewish.”
There are a number of ways that an adult from a biracial or interfaith family can arm themselves for these micro-aggressions. Join Kim Carter Martinez, the biracial daughter of an African American father and a white Ashkenazi mother. Kim has spent years honing her skills and is pleased to teach others how to own your identity in spite of the doubts of others.

Date: Sunday, October 9
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free

Space is limited so please sign up if you want to participate.

Panelists discuss their interfaith upbringings

Panelists discuss their interfaith upbringings

Adults from Interfaith Families: A Roundtable Discussion
Join other adults who grew up in an interfaith family to discuss how that went for you and to consider challenges and desires. Do you think of yourself as Jewish? Half Jewish? Jew-ish? Does it annoy you that other Jews want to put their own label on you? Do you have a comfortable relationship with your Jewish community or not? Come share your insights and suggestions with others who have dealt with similar life situations.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 22
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place Lehrhaus Judaica, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
FREE, but please register here to assure a place.

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Jews of Color, LGBT, Programs archive
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Kim Carter Martinez

Kim Carter Martinez

Taking Charge of Your Jewish Identity
Being Black, Asian, Danish… and Jewish

Adults from interfaith families often have their Jewish identity challenged by both Jews and non-Jews. Having a name that is not perceived as Jewish, like Anderson, Christiansen, O’Toole, or Wong, can lead to questions like, “How did you get to be Jewish?” For biracial Jews the question stems from their appearance, “You don’t look Jewish.”

There are a number of ways that an adult from a biracial or interfaith family can arm themselves for these micro-aggressions. Join Kim Carter Martinez, the biracial daughter of an African American father and a white Ashkenazi mother. Kim has spent years honing her skills and is pleased to teach others how to own your identity in spite of the doubts of others.

Sunday, October 9
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit Street, Oakland
Free, but please sign up here as we must limit participation to 30. Sign up here.

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Programs archive
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Tallit kippah sidur

What is it about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that pulls Jews into the synagogue by the droves? Obligation? Faith? Remembrance? What do these holidays mean? What part do they play in our lives? Should our children miss school to observe these holidays? Join us in a discussion of history and meaning.

Date: Sunday, September 18
Time: 10:30am – 12:00 pm
Date: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court,Pleasanton
Cost: $8 for the public; Free for members

The class listing is here.

This is one workshop in a series of five. See the full series here.

Posted by admin under High Holidays, Programs archive, Rosh Hashanah
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Shana mom and dogs

Growing Up Interfaith
First Person Stories | Current Findings | Best Practices

What is it like to grow up in an interfaith family? For the first time we are asking young adults, “What was that like for you?”

At this program adults raised in interfaith families will talk about:

Taking charge of their Jewish identity
Making choices – the same or different from their parents
What really supported them in creating and maintaining their religious or cultural identities
How did being part of an interfaith family make them more open to differences in others
How much Jewish education is needed
Does it matter whether your Jewish parent is your father or your mother

Other workshops will cover:

Balancing the needs of your relationship with the needs of your child
How parents can support their children’s identity development
Should you let your child decide their religion or just give them one
Reform, Conservative, Orthodox – where does it all fit for the adult with a non-Jewish parent

May 22
1pm to 5:15pm
Everyone is welcome to come early for a tour of the photo exhibit, This Is Bay Area Jewry, and/or stick around for wine & cheese with the speakers afterwards.

The half day conference will be at Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland, where there is plenty of parking.
The conference is free but you must sign up. Do so here.

Got questions? Email me, dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org or call me at 510-845-6420×11.

Caroline Taymor with Torah

Posted by admin under A meaningful life, Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Community Activities, Couples, In their own words, Programs archive
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