Oh Hanukkah, Oh Christmas

Oh Hanukkah, Oh Christmas, you poor misunderstood holidays! If I could, I would educate all of America about these two surprisingly recent blockbuster holidays. If their pasts were understood it would be easier to speak of them without rousing anxiety and resentment. Let’s just keep in mind that that’s the water in which we are all swimming – conflict and lack of knowledge. Now, how do we manage all these feelings – our own and those of others? First and foremost, get clear about your own, individual feelings and beliefs around each holiday. Be honest. Whatever you feel is valid! Second, hear out your partner’s emotions. Third, seek a compromise that is the least hard on your kids. BUT, be the grownups and take responsibility for your decision.

Of course, contact me if you need to bounce some ideas around. My email is dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org.




Hanukkah and Christmas: From their Pagan Roots to Today (Alameda & Online)
Soulful Storytime: Hanukkah Edition (Fremont)
Shabbat ShaBabies: The “Joys” and “Oys” (San Rafael)
Judaism for the World (Berkeley & Online)


Hanukkah and Christmas: From their Pagan Roots to Today
Join Rabbi Chester in an exploration of the roots of these two holidays. Neither was always as popular as they are today. We’ll look at their past and their present.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 5
Time:  9:30am
Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Rd., Alameda
Or on Zoom. Email office@templeisraelalameda.org to get the Zoom link.


Soulful Storytime: Hanukkah Edition
Join us for a morning of storytelling and crafts. This Hanukkah experience with be an opportunity for families to come together for Hanukkah fun! We will have ASL interpretation. This is a Hanukkah Homecoming event. (https://www.hanukkahhomecoming.org)

Date:   Sunday, Dec. 5
Time:   11:30am
Place:   Temple Beth Torah, 42000 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont


Shabbat ShaBabies: The “Joys” and “Oys”
Come share the “joys and oys” of being a new parent at a monthly one-hour Shabbat in the JCC Atrium, followed by refreshments and discussion—and receive a gift-filled Shalom baby bag with our blessings.

Children up to two years old and siblings who aren’t in school are welcome. For more information, click here. To RSVP, please call 415-444-8160 or email tlai@marinjcc.org.

Date:   Friday, December 10
Time:   9:15am
Place:   Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael


Judaism for the World
Join Rabbi Chai Levy in conversation with Rabbi Arthur Green. Rabbi Green is a renowned theologian, scholar of Jewish mysticism and Neo-Hasidism, and leading figure in Jewish thought and spirituality.  This discussion will explore his life’s work, its impact, with a particular focus on his latest book, Judaism for the World.

All in-person attendees must be vaccinated and wear masks. Outdoor seating with be available as well.

Date:   December 12
Time:   10:30 to noon
Place:   Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave, Berkeley
Or on Zoom
Register for either one here: https://bit.ly/3pq375U