Selichot text

As we move closer to the High Holidays in the shadow of 9/11 it is a good time to think about Selichot. To quote Rabbi Mark Bloom of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland, “Selichot, the penitential service which occurs on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashana.” Selichot is a time to reflection on who we are, where we’ve been and where we are headed. It is a time to make a new commitment to our core values. I’ve listed a bunch of Selichot (or S’lichot) events below. This observance has a dreamy quality for me. It’s late, the lights are often low, the white and gold of Torah covers seems other worldly and beautiful. Try going to one — even if only to sit and ponder, where has the past year gone? What have I done well? What would I like to do better in the coming year?

Let me suggest some actions for the new year (Judaism is build on action):

Do something to build the strength of your interfaith/intercultural relationship*
Look deeply into your spiritual, emotional self – are you meeting your needs
Make a friend of someone who is quite different from you

*Consider joining a couples discussion series, listed in red below. Not a group person? Then consider the Let’s Talk Interfaith option for a couple to do together.

Shana Tova, may you have a joyous & prosperous new year (5775 – easier to remember!),

EVENTS
Jewish Meditation (San Mateo)
Chai Shabbat (Piedmont)
After the Play: Degenerate, Forbidden, Suppressed (Berkeley)
September Transitions: Bringing Calm to Chaos (Oakland)
What is the Sound of the Shofar? (Los Altos)
S’lichot Program: Soul Searching (Lafayette)
S’lichot: Film Screening, Havdalah & Service (Berkeley)
Selichot Musical Program (Oakland)
Selichot with Music (San Mateo)
Selichot Dessert, Havdalah, and Preparing for a New Year (San Francisco)
Selichot Service (Pleasanton)
Rosh Hashanah Road Trip (Petaluma)
Discussion series for Interfaith/Intercultural Couples (Berkeley)

ONGOING
Jewish Meditation
Or HaLev, the Center for Jewish Spirituality at Beth El, has resumed its weekly meditation sits in the Meditation Room behind the bima. Begin to prepare for the High Holy Days through contemplative Jewish chanting and meditation. Sits are led by experienced teachers and no prior experience is necessary.

Dates: Mondays
Time: 7 – 8:15pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
www.ptbe.org

Chai Shabbat
Come enjoy an especially musical and festive Shabbat. Led by Kehilla’s spiritual and musical leaders and Ketzev Kehilla (our percussion orchestra). Special invite to NEW MEMBERS. Our Elul Shabbatot continue with a no-holds barred Chai Shabbat in our sanctuary. Join us for this heart-opening service.
The Kiddush lunch that follows is in honor of our new members. During and after lunch, there will be an opportunity for current and new members to meet and for a fuller introduction of people and the shul. If you are able to, bring vegetarian finger foods to share.

Date: September 13
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Place: Kehilla Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave, Piedmont
www.kehillasynagogue.org

After the Play:
Degenerate, Forbidden, Suppressed: Music and Otherness in Fascist Europe

You liked it so I did it again. Here’s another class with a Berkeley Rep play!
This fall, the Berkeley Rep presents An Audience with Meow Meow, about an international singing sensation and uber-award winning comedienne. This workshop explores music as a “degenerate” art form. The attitudes displayed by European fascist regimes (especially Italy, Germany, and Vichy France, from the early 1920′s to the end of WW2) towards musical cultures of the “other” — including Jewish, Romani, North African, and African American music, as well as cabaret and popular song — ranged from unambiguous condemnation and suppression, to more nuanced tolerance and even inclusion. This class will examine Fascist rules about music, examples including Brecht and Weill’s musical theater, Django Reinhardt’s “Gypsy Jazz,” Italian adaptation of American blues and jazz, and traditional music in colonial North Africa, exploring myths and facts about music history in the early 20th century.

Whether you take the class to prepare to see the play or as post play expansion, you’ll love the wild ride through degenerate music!
Info and play tickets here

Date: Wednesday, September 17
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Lehrhaus, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Cost: $12
Register here.

September Transitions: Bringing Calm to Chaos
September is a time of transition for families.No matter how old your children are, their internal adjustment transitions can result in all sorts of behaviors that will challenge you. In this parent workshop with Meg Zweiback, you will get practical ideas for helping your children and yourselves to cope with the transitions of September and every other month of the year. Meg Zweiback is a pediatric nurse practitioner and a family consultant who has had years of experience working with parents and young children.

Date: Thursday, September 18
Time: 7:30-9:00pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
RSVP to Rachel at Rachel@oaklandsinai.org

What is the Sound of the Shofar?
Join Rabbi Heath to celebrate Shabbat (and the upcoming New Year) with your kids ages 0-5 at Tot Shabbat. We’ll sing, we’ll dance, and we’ll blow our imaginary shofars in our Outdoor Chapel, then enjoy a delicious dinner (including apples and honey) together in Rooms 5-6. Siblings, friends and grandparents are also welcome! RSVP online by Wednesday, September 17 so we know how much food to order.

Date: Friday, September 19
Time: 5:15 p.m.
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
www.betham.org

S’lichot Program: Soul Searching
with Joyce Klein at 8:30pm in the Adult Lounge
Soul Searching is a workshop featuring Improvisational Midrash, using one of the Biblical stories we read on Rosh Hashana. In groups, participants, will read through the text of the story and look for places to inject their own midrashic additions-and then present their midrashim to each other. The discussion will focus on the story, the improvised midrashim and an examination of some of the traditional midrashim on this powerful story. We will conclude with reflection in anticipation of the Kol Nidrei communal prayer that opens Yom Kippur. What good intentions or vows did we not live up to over the past year? How do we forgive ourselves for that? What kinds of changes might we be considering for the coming year?

S’lichot Service
Saturday, September 20 at 10:30pm in the Sanctuary
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Resa Rd., Lafayette
www.temple-isaiah.org

S’lichot: Film Screening, Havdalah & Service
A contemplative service of reflection and song, S’lichot is observed on the Saturday evening before Rosh Hashanah. Join us for Havdalah, dessert and an evening of inspiration, joy and beauty. Sweet Dreams, a story of reconciliation and women’s empowerment in Rwanda, is an award-winning documentary created by Lisa Fruchtman, Academy Award winner and Beth El member. Director Lisa Fruchtman will introduce the film. This inspiring and beautiful story of communal and individual resolve and renewal will combine with our S’lichot service to reawaken the themes and melodies of the Day of Awe.

Date: Saturday, September 20
Time: 8:00 pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
www.bethelberkeley.org

Selichot Musical Program
The evening will begin with a special musical presentation by Denise Davis, Judy Bloomfield, Jill Rosenthal, and Jeanne Korn. They have prepared a number of songs, mostly in English, consistent with the themes of return and repentance that are the subject, Selichot, the penitential service which occurs on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashana. Interspersed among the songs will be a discussion on 10 significant questions for this time of year, part of the “10Q” program sponsored by the organization Reboot. The evening will conclude with the traditional late night service in the sanctuary.

Date: Saturday, September 20
Time: 8:30pm
Place: Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland
www.tbaoakland.org

Selichot with Music
As we enter the High Holy Days’ season of renewal, Selichot is a time for reflection on who we are, where we’ve been and where we are headed. In the belief that singing in harmony refreshes and renews our connections to each other, Cantor Hirschhorn will be teaching some of her songs in harmony for everyone to join in. The evening of original songs and stories will tackle the subjects of love, family dynamics, and moments of transition, all sprinkled with appropriate doses of anxiety and humor.

Date: Sat., Sept. 20
Time: 8 to 10pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
www.ptbe.org

Selichot Dessert, Havdalah, and Preparing for a New Year
Join us as we open the gateways of the heart and spirit in preparation for the coming Days of Awe. After dessert and Havdalah, our clergy will lead small group programs ranging from text study, to cultural exploration, to music and movement. Once our small groups conclude, we will join together once again for a short and beautiful Selichot service.
Schedule (You can engage in one or more of these opportunities)
7:00 pm – Dessert and Havdallah
7:30 pm – Open Stations
Rabbi Beth Singer: The Art of Writing for Forgiveness
Rabbi Mintz: What We Talk About When We Talk About Israel
Cantor Barak: LARS AND THE REAL GIRL: Approaching Teshuva Through Film
Rabbi Kushner: Text and Teshuvah
Rabbi Bauer: Building Your Relationship for the Year to Come: A Talmudic Workshop for Couples
Cantor Attie:Tshuvah Yoga – Return to Self (Dress to move and bring yoga mat or towel)
9:00 pm – A short and beautiful Selichot Service will round out the evening.

Date: Saturday, September 20
Time: 7pm
Place: Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
www.emanuelsf.org

Selichot Service
Selichot is the gateway service to the High Holy Days, observed on the Saturday night preceding Rosh Hashanah. The program begins at 9:00p, followed by refreshments, the changing of the Torah covers, and the beautiful and poetic service of Selichot. This year, our Selichot program will focus on the music of the High Holy Days. Mike Regal will join Rabbi Milder in teaching and talking about the special melodies that make our High Holy Day services distinctive. Not only will we teach a few of the oldest melodies, but we will also explore the exquisite compositions familiar to our congregation but written in recent years.

Date: Saturday, Sep 20
Time: 9:00pm
Place: Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
Info and to RSVP: Liz Sufit, religious@bethemek.org

Rosh Hashanah Road Trip
Join the JCCSF urban garden team for apple picking at Chileno Valley Ranch in Petaluma followed by mead tasting at Heidrun Meadery in Point Reyes Station. Tour both facilities: fill your basket with award-winning organic apples, learn about honey bees and toast each other with one of the few American-made sparkling honey wines. Gain a better understanding of some of the Bay Area’s special agricultural offerings as we share in this sweet adventure celebrating the Jewish New Year.

Date: Sunday, Sep 21
Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sponsor: San Francisco JCC, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Cost: JCC Member fee: $ 75.00; Non-member fee: $ 85.00*
*Cost includes round-trip transportation from the JCCSF, light lunch, picked apples to take home, and tour/tasting at meadery. Must be over 21 years of age. Trip involves physical activity.

Discussion series for Interfaith/Intercultural Couples
Interfaith couples get it – this is going to take some discussion, some compromise. But what exactly is ‘fair’? Can each of us get what we want and that will be OK for our kids? Then there’s our parents, grandparents, and siblings – how do we get them on board with our choices?
There’s a step-by-step process of breaking down the parts of this puzzle and finding out what you want and how to go about getting it. Join us! This may surprise you but it will actually be enjoyable!

Exchange ideas about such issues as:
Holiday Observances – Which holidays will be celebrated in our home?
Dealing With Our Families – How will we talk to our parents about our choices?
Raising Children – How can we make sure our child is “part” of each of us?
Spiritual Concerns – How do we satisfy our needs and recognize our Partner’s?
Cultural Differences – How do communication styles and familial expectations impact our relationship?

This is one of the most meaningful and powerful things you can do for your relationship. I encourage every couple to participate in a couples group.

Dates: 6 Tuesdays, Oct. 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 28. Plus one social gathering to be arranged with the group.
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Cost: $120/couple
There is a sliding scale. NO ONE turned away.
Register here.

Posted by admin under A meaningful life, High Holidays, Jewish Learning
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grandparents and child

Join me for The Magic Power of Grandparents
Grandparents may not realize the special place they hold in the eyes and hearts of their grandchildren. Jewish grandparents are in a unique position to share their Jewishness with their grandchildren and to stimulate love and identity in the next generation. Join us for Shabbat services and an after services discussion of The Magic Power of Grandparents.

Date: Friday, October 10
Time: 8:00pm
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette
Free

Posted by admin under Current Programs, Grandparents, Intercultural, Parenting
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Rosh Hashanah banner

Well, this is it – September. The Jewish year really ramps up! High Holidays are just around the corner, kids go back to school and we all go into our work mode. As we approach those Days of Awe let me remind you, please don’t think that High Holy Day services are the time to first expose your non-Jewish sweetheart to a Jewish religious service. Yes, there are the 3 people in the world for whom that worked (I’ll probably get an email from you) but the rest of the non-Jewish world DOESN’T like these extra long, extra religious services. Heck, lots of Jews don’t like them either but they go because they “have to.” Wait, they have to? Are the High Holy Day police cruising the streets looking for Jews? No, and most Jews can’t really tell you why they have to go, they just feel it. As one 20-something told me, “It would just be weird to not be in services on those days. That’s where all the Jews are. That’s just where I want to be on those days.”

Let me offer a different service choice for first timers – S’lichot. S’lichot is a late night service that brings to a close the last Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. I love it. My synagogue begins with a Havdalah service outdoors. From there we move inside where there is food (of course), and have a teaching on the High Holidays in the sanctuary. After that, the clergy leave to change into the white robes they will wear throughout the Days of Awe. We, the congregants, change the Torah scrolls from their usual Shabbat coverings to the special white covers. The clergy returns robed in white and lead a late night service.

It all has a wonderful warm and mystical feeling. The night, the ceremony, the soft lights, the music. I suggest you try that for a first timer.

EVENTS
Tot Shabbat (Walnut Creek)
Everything You Always Wondered about Torah Study (Palo Alto)
Blessing Etz’s Petz and Ice Cream Social (Palo Alto)
La Shuk by Omanoot (San Francisco)
Spiritual Preparation for the High Holidays (Walnut Creek)
The Pornography of Pain (San Jose)
Shabbat Yafe (Berkeley)
Chardonnay Shabbat (Palo Alto)
Shabbat Pizza Party for Families with Young Children (Pleasanton)
DIY Judaism: Jewish Greetings Cards (Oakland)
Re-Emergence: The Jews of Nigeria (Oakland)
Introduction to Judaism (San Francisco)
After the Play: Degenerate, Forbidden, Suppressed: Music (Berkeley)
Discussion series for Interfaith/Intercultural Couples (Berkeley)

Tot Shabbat
Tot Shabbat is a warm and friendly Shabbat experience with music, storytelling, and simple prayers for the littlest ones in our community. After Tot Shabbat, we’ll enjoy a simple pizza dinner* together, and at 6:30pm will move into our family service, for older children and the rest of the community. Kids will find that the service feels familiar and accessible, including a story told by special guests that you won’t want to miss.
Following this 6:30pm service, we’ll enjoy Oneg Shabbat including back to school treats for all the kids!
*Pizza dinner will begin at 6pm. To join us for dinner, please send your check for $10 adults / $5 children (5 – 12) to the Temple Office. RSVPs appreciated no later than Wednesday, September 3. Please be sure to let us know of any allergies.

Date: Sept. 5
Time: 5:30pm
Place: B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
Call the office if you have any questions – 925-933-5397.
www.tikvah.org

Everything You Always Wondered about Torah Study, but Didn’t Know to Ask
Join Rabbi Ari Cartun for an introduction to this quintessential Jewish practice.

Date: Saturday September 6
Time: 9:00am
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St, Palo Alto
www.etzchayim.org

Blessing Etz’s Petz and Ice Cream Social
Connect and Reconnect with Shorashim friends. Bring a photo of your pet for the Giant Pet Collage. Learn a new
blessing just for pets! Come to the special PJ Library Story Corner. Another great chance to bring friends to see just how much fun we have at Etz!

Date: Saturday, September 6
Time: 3:00 – 4:30pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St, Palo Alto
www.etzchayim.org

La Shuk by Omanoot
Here’s a fun and creative way to support Israel and Israeli artists! Presenting Omanoot’s first ever pop-up event in San Francisco. Please come support emerging Israeli artists, photographers, illustrators, jewelers and designers.
Omanoot means ‘art’ in Hebrew. Omanoot is a cultural e-commerce site and education portal that is committed to connecting the world to Israel’s vibrant culture and arts.

Date: Sunday, September 7
Time: 1:00 to 7:00pm
Place: Firehouse 8, 1648 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco
More info here.

Spiritual Preparation for the High Holidays
Join in our series of three hour-long sessions devoted to preparing for the coming holidays. Themes will range from the messages of our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Torah and Haftarah readings, to ways in which the music and liturgy complement each other, to themes of change and beginning again, and how they personally affect us. (Rabbi Gutterman will lead the first and third sessions. Cantor Chabon and Rabbi Gutterman will lead the second one together.)

Dates: Tuesday September 9 at 7:30pm
Sunday September 14 at 11:00am
Saturday September 20 at 7:30pm.
(This last meeting will be followed by dessert and Havdallah, leading into our Selichot service.)
Place: B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way | Walnut Creek
www.tikvah.org

The Pornography of Pain: How the Media Promotes Violence and Hinders Peace in the Middle East
Presented by Hillel of Silicon Valley
In his talk on media policies of going for the “juicy story”, Aryeh Green will speak about media portrayal of the Middle East, and how it does more to hinder the peace process, than help it. Aryeh Green, originally from Menlo Park and a UC Berkeley grad, has been on the front lines promoting human rights and peace in the Middle East for 30 years. Today the head of MediaCentral in Jerusalem, he has served as a senior advisor to Israeli minister Natan Sharansky and in management positions in some of Israel’s leading companies. A frequent visitor to the Bay Area, Aryeh offers an insider’s view of current developments in Israel and the region, and is a captivating and knowledgeable speaker; his talks with Q&A always inform and inspire. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Yael at (408) 775-7534 or yaeld@hillelsv.org

Date: Wednesday, September 10
Time: 6:00pm
Place: Duncan Hall Room 351, San Jose State University, San Jose
www.hillelsv.org

Shabbat Yafe
Celebrate Shabbat together with an all-ages service & spirited song-leading! This month’s theme is K’hillah K’dosha, Holy Community. Here’s the schedule –
5:00 pm Tot Shabbat (geared to preschool families)
5:30 pm Catered Dinner: (Sign up for dinner here
6:15 pm Community-Wide Service
7:00 pm Oneg and Board Games

Date: September 12
Time: 5:00pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: $10/household in advance; $15 at the door
www.bethelberkeley.org

Chardonnay Shabbat
Come 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. Families with children 3-9 years are welcome. We will have snacks and activities for the kids with teens to give the adults time to schmooze.

Date: Friday, September 12
Time: 6:30 pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St, Palo Alto
www.etzchayim.org

Shabbat Pizza Party for Families with Young Children
All young families with children ages 0-5 and their older siblings are invited for a Shabbat pizza party. This will be a very relaxed evening where kids can play and their parents can enjoy each others’ company.
We’ll begin the evening by singing Shabbat songs with Rabbi Milder. Then, following the pizza dinner, there will toys out for the little ones and crafts and board games for their older siblings.

Date: Saturday, September 13
Time: 5:00pm
Place: Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
Cost: Each family is asked to contribute $20 at the door to cover the cost of pizza, salad, fruit and dessert.
For more information, contact Lisa Kama, Pre-K Youth Chair, at prekyouth@bethemek.org

DIY Judaism: Jewish Greetings Cards
Hallmark shops don’t have cards for Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot. When it comes to the December holidays, can Jews send greeting cards in December? Should they be Chanukah cards? Can they send Christmas cards? What about solstice cards or those annual update letters? Join Dawn Kepler to discuss Seasons Greetings questions and make your own special Holiday cards while we talk. PLUS we’ll have some card fixings to make your own unique cards for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Purim!

We will meet in a private home in Oakland. Children 10 and older may enroll at half price with their parent.

Date: Sunday September 14
Time: 2 to 4pm
Place: Private home in Oakland
Cost: $10
Register here

Re-Emergence: The Jews of Nigeria
Film Showing & talk by David Tobis about bringing a Torah to the Igbo Jews of Abuja, Nigeria
Thirty million Igbos live in Nigeria. Many consider themselves to be one of the lost tribes of Israel. At least 3000 of the Igbos are practicing Jews. They have come to Judaism in the past quarter of a century though some believe their Jewish roots go back to the bible. Re-emergence describes the Igbo’s Jewish communities, the hundreds of overlaps between Jewish and Igbo customs and practices, and their desire to be part of the larger Jewish community.
After the film, David Tobis, who is working in Nigeria and befriended the Igbo Jewish community, will speak about his experiences. He is working to repair a Torah in New York City and have it brought to Abuja.

Date: Sunday, September 14
Time: 10:00 am – Noon
Place: Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland
For more information contact: Rayna Arnold, 510-832-0936

Confusion and Clarity in Zippori:
A 3rd Century Talmud Conversation with actress/educator Joyce Klein
Join us for an interactive dramatic presentation set in the House of Study in Zippori during the time of the Mishna when a seamstress comes looking for advice and guidance.

Date: Sunday, September 14
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St, Palo Alto
Cost: $10 at the door.
www.etzchayim.org

After the Play:
Degenerate, Forbidden, Suppressed: Music and Otherness in Fascist Europe

You liked it so I did it again. Here’s another class with a Berkeley Rep play!
This fall, the Berkeley Rep presents An Audience with Meow Meow, about an international singing sensation and uber-award winning comedienne. This workshop explores music as a “degenerate” art form. The attitudes displayed by European fascist regimes (especially Italy, Germany, and Vichy France, from the early 1920′s to the end of WW2) towards musical cultures of the “other” — including Jewish, Romani, North African, and African American music, as well as cabaret and popular song — ranged from unambiguous condemnation and suppression, to more nuanced tolerance and even inclusion. This class will examine Fascist rules about music, examples including Brecht and Weill’s musical theater, Django Reinhardt’s “Gypsy Jazz,” Italian adaptation of American blues and jazz, and traditional music in colonial North Africa, exploring myths and facts about music history in the early 20th century.

Whether you take the class to prepare to see the play or as post play expansion, you’ll love the wild ride through degenerate music!
Info and play tickets here

Date: Wednesday, September 17
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Lehrhaus, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Cost: $12
Register for the class here.

Introduction to Judaism
Fall: Seasons of Joy
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.
Intro to Judaism meets on Tuesday evenings over three trimesters and has rolling admission. A student can begin in any of the trimesters. Trimesters do not have to be completed in a particular order.

Date: Tuesdays, October 7, 21, 28; November 4, 11, 18; December 2, 9
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Place: Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco
Cost: Emanu-El Member $18; non-member $25 (per trimester)
One-time book fee: $65 (for members and non-members)
Register here.

Discussion series for Interfaith/Intercultural Couples
Interfaith couples get it – this is going to take some discussion, some compromise. But what exactly is ‘fair’? Can each of us get what we want and that will be OK for our kids? Then there’s our parents, grandparents, and siblings – how do we get them on board with our choices?
There’s a step-by-step process of breaking down the parts of this puzzle and finding out what you want and how to go about getting it. Join us! This may surprise you but it will actually be enjoyable! Groups form year round.
8 Sessions
Exchange ideas about such issues as:
Holiday Observances – Which holidays will be celebrated in our home?
Dealing With Our Families – How will we talk to our parents about our choices?
Raising Children – How can we make sure our child is “part” of each of us?
Spiritual Concerns – How do we satisfy our needs and recognize our Partner’s?
Cultural Differences – How do communication styles and familial expectations impact our relationship?

This is one of the most meaningful and powerful things you can do for your relationship. I encourage every couple to participate in a couples group.

Dates: 6 Tuesdays, Oct. 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 28. Plus one social gathering to be arranged with the group.
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Cost: $120/couple
There is a sliding scale. NO ONE turned away. Tell me you work evenings, tell me you can’t get a babysitter, but don’t tell me it’s the money because we can make it work.
Register here

Posted by admin under Community Activities, Current Programs, High Holidays, Introduction to Judaism, Spirituality
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three_generation

How do you tell your parents about the different choices you’ve made? It can be hard to say, we’re raising the kids Jewish. We will/won’t have a Christmas tree. The baby will/won’t be baptized, receive a bris, have a bar mitzvah. What can we tell the non-Jewish grandparents about what is appropriate and how they can be supportive? What do we do with negative Jewish grandparents who rail against raising kids Jewish for a range of reasons?
Join us for a compassionate and practical discussion of parenting and being parented in a multi-generational interfaith family.

Date: Sunday, December 7
Time: 9:30 – 11:00 am
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free, please RSVP here.

Posted by admin under Grandparents, Non-Jewish family, Parenting, Relationships
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3 faiths

Do You Have One Jewish Parent?
Do you see yourself as Jewish, half-Jewish, part Jewish, Jew-ish? Were you raised as a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, some of this and that?
We are looking for people who have one Jewish parent and would like to talk about their experience, share their stories, their questions, their wisdom.
What was good? What was not so good? Will you try to duplicate your parents’ path? What would you like to ask of or tell to the “organized” Jewish community?
We will come together to discuss our shared experiences as well as our differences. What we want from life now and how we are going about making that happen.

Date: Sunday, October 12
Time: 11:00 am to 12:30pm
Place: Espresso Roma, 1549 Hopkins St., Berkeley
Free, please RSVP
here.
For more information call Dawn Kepler at 510-845-6420 x11

Posted by admin under Adult Child of an Interfaith Family, Current Programs
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Introduction to Judaism classes around the Bay!
Starting September through November

Rabbi Laurence Milder, Beth Emek

Rabbi Laurence Milder, Beth Emek


Introduction to Judaism
Introduction to Judaism is an overview of the basics of Jewish beliefs, history, and traditions. This survey course is appropriate for those curious about Judaism, as well as those who would like an adult level understanding of that which they learned as a child. Topics will include Bible, Jewish history, holidays, life cycle customs, prayer, theology, Israel, Jewish peoplehood and Jewish movements. Go here to register. Taught by Rabbi Laurence Milder, Ph.D.

Date: Thursdays, September 4 – December 18 (14 sessions)
Time: 7:30 – 9:00pm
Cost: $80 members/ $100 non-members
Couples: $ 120 / $150
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct, Pleasanton

Arik Labowitz

Arik Labowitz


Judaism for the Beginner’s Mind
Jewish Spirit in the Present with Arik Labowitz
Daily Jewish Practices, Approaches to Prayer, Meditation, G-d, Kashrut, Shabbat, Mikvah, Torah Study, Hebrew Calendar
Whether you are new to Judaism or simply wanting to connect on a deeper level, these classes offer an opportunity to engage with the tradition with fresh eyes and a new perspective. This module, the second of three, is entitled Jewish Spirit in the Present. This series will focus on Judaism as a personal spiritual practice, including the topics of: Prayer and Blessings, Meditation, Tefillin, Kashrut, Shabbat, Mikvah, Torah Study, and the Hebrew Calendar.
There are some participants in this group that are working towards an adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony which will take place at the end of the three modules. These participants meet a half hour before each class to study Hebrew and Torah Chanting. If you are interested in joining this group, please speak to Arik directly (arikzev@gmail.com).

Dates: Tuesdays, Sept. 9 through Jan. 20, 2015 (13 weeks)
Time: 7:00pm-9pm
Place: Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince Street, Berkeley
Cost: $435
Details and registration here.

Rabbi Camille Angel, Sha'ar Zahav

Rabbi Camille Angel, Sha’ar Zahav

Essence & Essentials: Judaism Through the Eyes of Rabbi Angel
Whether you are beginning your Jewish journey and needing the basics or a seasoned, learned Jewish scholar wanting a new twist on an old idea, join us for this special 11 week course.
We will discuss: What is Judaism, God, Ethics, Torah, Prayer & Blessings, Jewish Holidays & Festivals, Life Cycle Events, Synagogue and Jewish Movements, the Holocaust, and Israel
Dates: 11 Thursdays, Sept. 11 through Dec. 4 (no class on 9/25 & 10/2)
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place: Sha’ar Zahav
Cost: $100 registration fee; no fee for Sha’ar Zahav members; book and materials fees extra.
Register here.

Emanu El SF
Introduction to Judaism
Fall: Seasons of Joy
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.
Intro to Judaism meets on Tuesday evenings over three trimesters and has rolling admission. A student can begin in any of the trimesters. Trimesters do not have to be completed in a particular order.

Date: Tuesdays, October 7, 21, 28; November 4, 11, 18; December 2, 9
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Place: Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco
Cost: Emanu-El Member $18; non-member $25 (per trimester)
One-time book fee: $65 (for members and non-members)
Register here. http://www.emanuelsf.org/page.aspx?pid=402

Rabbi Ruth Adar, Lehrhaus

Rabbi Ruth Adar, Lehrhaus

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.
Taught by Rabbi Ruth Adar, this class is part of a three-unit series. See the full series here.

This course will be available to registered students via Adobe Connect distance learning software at no extra charge, both live and via full video recording. Students may attend live in the classroom, live online, or anytime via recording.

Dates: 8 Wednesdays, October 22 – December 17 (no class 11/26)
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: $105 for the public; $90 for members
Register here.

Rabbi Heath Watenmaker, Beth Am

Rabbi Heath Watenmaker, Beth Am

The Building Blocks of Judaism
This course is for those who wish to learn (or re-learn) Judaism. All are welcome: non-Jews, Jews, interfaith couples, those considering conversion, and anyone who is interested in learning more about Judaism. Students will learn the basics of Judaism in a friendly and informal atmosphere. We’ll explore fundamental aspects of Jewish practices such as holiday observance and life-cycle celebrations. We’ll also cover Jewish understandings of God and religious beliefs, essential Jewish texts, Jewish history, mu sic and literature, and the significance of Israel in Judaism today.
Taught by Rabbi Heath Watenmaker.

The fall term of this class runs from Oct. 22 to Jan. 14, 2015. The spring term is from Jan. 21 to March 11, 2015. You can sign up for one semester or for the entire year.
Go here for details.
Date: Begins Oct. 22
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
Cost: $245 for the public; $230 for members; $105 for Émigrés; $105 Full-time students

Rabbi David Cooper, Kehilla

Rabbi David Cooper, Kehilla

Shabbat Inside Out
A “Doing Judaism” class
More than the Jewish people have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jewish people. Ahad Ha-am
For millennia, individual Jewish practitioners and communal Jewish culture have been fed and sustained, materially and spiritually, by the practice of Shabbat (in English “the Sabbath” or in Yiddish, “Shabbos”), the “pause that refreshes.” Tradition teaches that this most quintessential of Jewish practices is built into the very fabric of Creation. In the first and second, fourth and fifth classes of this series, Rabbi Diane will guide you in an exploration of the “deep structure” of Shabbat practice, from its roots in Torah and rabbinic tradition, to the intimate secrets of the mystics. Through meditation and chant, text study and conversation, we’ll experience the multiple levels on which Shabbat resonates, delighting and igniting body and soul. In the third class, Hazzan Shulamit will offer an in-depth introduction to some of the most beloved and powerful of the Shabbat z’mirot (songs) and piyyutim (poems set to music). During the last two classes, Rabbi David will connect the dots from the inner essence to the outer world, revealing how Shabbat has always been—and will continue to be—a subversive force for social justice. Not only has Shabbat preserved the Jewish people, it has motivated social change around the planet for everybody. Come and jumpstart your Shabbat practice! We’ll culminate our learning with a freilach (joyful!) Kabbalat Shabbat celebration that evokes the many layers of the Sabbath. Taught by Rabbis Diane Elliot & David Cooper with Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman.

Dates: 6 Thursdays & 1 Wednesday: Oct 23 & 30; Nov 5, 13, & 20; Dec 4 & 11
Time: 7 – 9pm
Place: Kehilla Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave, Oakland
Cost: $126 for Kehilla members; $140 for non-members
Register here.

Aubrey Glazer
Introduction to Jewish Thinking & Spiritual Practice
Want to delve deeper into what it means to think and practice as a Jew? Adult B’nai Mitzvah? Conversion? Tefilla with training wheels? Inquiring mind? Meditator? Join the first installment of this comprehensive introduction to framing your exploration into Judaism as a philosophy and practice. All are welcome.

This is basically an ongoing, continuously running class with some breaks. I am told that they are about to start Section 3 and that new students should consider reading the materials from the first two sections. Look at the class description and reading list here. Taught by Rabbi Aubrey Glazer.

For more information, feel free to contact David Wolk at dwolk@bethsholomsf.org or call 415.221.8736.

Date: Thursday, October 23, ongoing
Time: 6:30-7:30 pm
Place: Beth Sholom, 301 14th Avenue (near the corner of Clement St), San Francisco
Free

Addison Penzak JCC, Los Gatos

Addison Penzak JCC, Los Gatos

Introduction to Judaism
Introduction to Judaism is offered in partnership between the Reform and Conservative congregations and the JCC of the South Bay. It is 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 events, theology and prayer, Israel, history, and Hebrew.
Why take the course? Perhaps because:
- you recently discovered you have Jewish ancestry and want to learn more about your roots
- your partner is Jewish and you are not
- your adult child is helping to raise Jewish grandchildren
- you are seeking conversion to Judaism
- you are Jewish yet somehow, when you were younger, you didn’t learn what you’d like to know about the culture and religion of the Jewish people and now you seek a way to live a fuller and richer Jewish family life
Whatever you are seeking, Introduction to Judaism offers you a time and place to broaden your Jewish awareness. It can launch you on a path to deeper personal Jewish connection, acquire a basic Jewish vocabulary, and gain intellectual and experiential knowledge of Judaism as well as the skills necessary to “do Jewish.”
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.

Dates: Tuesdays beginning November 11
Time: 7:00-9:00 pm
Place: Synagogues & JCC in South Peninsula: San Jose, Los Gatos & Saratoga.
Cost: The purchase of books is recommended. For more information or to register please contact Jenessa Schwartz at (408) 357-7411
Locations: Multiple Locations: Congregations Shir Hadash, Beth David, Sinai, Emanu-El, and the Center for Jewish Living and Learning at the APJCC. The first class, Nov. 11, is held at Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, 14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos.

Posted by admin under Community Activities, Conversion, Introduction to Judaism, Jewish Culture, Jewish home celebrations, Jewish Learning
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Menachem Creditor

josh_kornbluth

On August 13th and August 23rd, Josh Kornbluth and Rabbi Menachem Creditor engaged in a public conversation about Israel, Zionism, Judaism, Peace, and American Jewish activism.

Overwhelmed by Argument
with Josh Kornbluth and Rabbi Menachem Creditor
The description of and rules for the conversation are below. It was an intense conversation between two loving friends who both love Israel and ache for Peace, who both believe in two states and are both pained by Israeli and Palestinian deaths. The disagreements were passionate, nuanced, and respectful. This was, of course, only the beginning of the work ahead.

The Rules of the Conversation
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 invited 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 were these two books:

My Promised Land by Ari Shavit

The Crisis of Zionism by Peter Beinart

Videos of the Two-Night Conversation are now online!
Part I
Part II

Posted by admin under A meaningful life, In the News, Israel
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boy with star resized

Interfaith Couples Raising Children:
Identity for Your Child & Your Home

Three Workshops, come to one or come to all of them

Deciding on a religious identity for your child is often the hardest thing an interfaith couple faces. If both of you are attached to your religious/cultural heritage you may have gotten stuck in a circular conversation that nobody wins. How can you get free and make a decision?
Or, perhaps you have made a decision, Christian or Jewish.* If only one of you is attached to your faith tradition it may be easy to pick that tradition. But having done so, what comes next?

What Religion Will We Pick for our Child? We Can’t Decide
This decision feels hard. Couples want to be fair to each other; they know how important their spouse feels about their religion, but what about mine? Can we do both? How does that work? In this workshop we’ll discuss tools for making a decision, key elements to consider and how to test out your choice.

One of Us is Jewish but We’ve Chosen Christianity, Now What?
The Christian spouse knows how to ‘do’ Christianity and is supported in this by our American Christian culture, but you may still want to introduce a concept of Jewish heritage to your child. We’ll discuss how to offer the concept of Jewish roots without disrupting your child’s Christian identity.

Raising a Jewish Child in an Interfaith Home
You’ve made the big decision – we’ll raise our child(ren) as Jews. Now what? Does this mean no Christmas or Easter? How do we interact with our non-Jewish family’s holidays? What synagogue should we join and how can we ask for specific support in our process? Is a lot of the effort falling on a non-Jewish woman who doesn’t have a gut feeling for Judaism; how can she be supported? Let’s talk about how to integrate non-Jewish family and their holiday expectations, what to say to parents and siblings, what you can expect from a synagogue community and how to support the non-Jewish parent.

*If the non-Jewish spouse is not Christian but a different minority religion like Hindi or Buddhist, a different set of issues arise. Living with two minority religions in America presents its own challenges.

Come to one or the entire series.
Sundays, Nov. 2, 9, 16
3pm to 4:30pm
Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City
Cost: Series of three sessions: $25 for members of the sponsoring organizations; $30 for the public
Individual session: $10 to members of the sponsoring organizations; $12 to the public.
Register here.

Co-sponsored by Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Peninsula Temple Beth El, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Peninsula Temple Sholom.

Posted by admin under Children, Couples, Current Programs, Parenting, Spirituality
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Are you a crafter? Let’s do something fun and Jewish!

Homemade Rosh Hashanah Card

Homemade Rosh Hashanah Card

DIY Judaism: Jewish Greeting Cards
Hallmark shops don’t have cards for Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot. When it comes to the December holidays, can Jews send greeting cards in December? Should they be Chanukah cards? Can they send Christmas cards? What about solstice cards or those annual update letters? Join Dawn Kepler to discuss Seasons Greetings questions and make your own special Holiday cards while we talk. Plus we’ll have some card fixings to make your own unique cards for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and Purim!

Date: Sunday, Sept. 14
Time: 2 – 4pm
Place: Private home in Oakland
Cost: $10

Register here.

Posted by admin under Current Programs, Holidays, Jewish holidays at home
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Discussion Series for Interfaith/Intercultural Couples

Sharon  Peter ok for publicity

Interfaith couples get it – this is going to take some discussion, some compromise. But what exactly is ‘fair’? Can each of us get what we want and that will be OK for our kids? Then there’s our parents, grandparents, and siblings – how do we get them on board with our choices?

There’s a step-by-step process of breaking down the parts of this puzzle and finding out what you want and how to go about getting it. Join us! This may surprise you but it will actually be enjoyable! Groups form year round.

Exchange ideas about such issues as:

 Holiday Observances – Which holidays will be celebrated in our home?

 Dealing With Our Families – How will we talk to our parents about our choices?

 Raising Children – How can we make sure our child is “part” of each of us?

 Spiritual Concerns – How do we satisfy our needs and recognize our Partner’s?

 Cultural Differences – How do communication styles and familial expectations impact our relationship?

This is one of the most meaningful and powerful things you can do for your relationship. I encourage every couple to participate in a couples group.

Cost: $120/couple
There is a sliding scale. NO ONE turned away. Tell me you work evenings, tell me you can’t get a baby sitter, but don’t tell me it’s the money because we can make it work.

6 sessions, Tuesdays, October 14 – November 18 (plus one social gathering to be arranged with the group)
7:30 – 9:00 pm
Lehrhaus Judaica, 2736 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
$120 per couple

Sign up here.

Posted by admin under Couples, Current Programs
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