Is summer a good time to look for Jewish community?

The Jewish annual cycle was established thousands of years ago and to this day the holidays are concentrated on one side of the year – NOT summer. Summer is for agricultural tasks – ancient Jews had to go out and tend the crops and the herds. But this quiet summer time can be a lovely low-key time to explore the Jewish community around you. Many synagogues have special summer programs: outdoor services, picnic Shabbat dinners and Havdalah hikes. Take your kids or your partner to the Contemporary Jewish Museum; take in a movie at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Or strike out on your own and organize a couple families to meet in a park for Shabbat dinner and a soccer game with the kids.

Need ideas? Call or email me and I’ll see what’s available in your town.

Rockin’ Shabbat (Redwood City)
Free Fun Day at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco)
LGBTQ Mixer – Pride Month Picnic! (San Francisco)
Out & About Potluck (Oakland)
Comedy with Samson Koletkar (Palo Alto)
The Myth of Biblical Homophobia (Berkeley)
The Outdoor Sanctuary (Larkspur)
Family Shabbat (San Francisco)
Culture Shocks in Jewish History (Lafayette)
Jewish Heritage Night with the Oakland A’s (Oakland)

Rockin’ Shabbat
Come to this much-loved first-Friday musical Shabbat service and dinner! Rockin’ Shabbat is a multigenerational spiritual and social experience, enjoyed by CBJ’ers and friends from newborn to 90+. As is our custom every June, we will welcome prospective members to the dinner at no charge.
Interested in CBJ? Come check us out! (Those attending at no charge must still make reservations.)

Cantor Barbara Powell leads the Team Rockin’ musicians, and Committee chair Gilah Abelson’s stellar team of volunteers ensures a comfortable, spiritual, and fun Shabbat experience.

Date: Friday, June 7
Time: Services start at 6:15 p.m., and dinner follows immediately afterward, at about 7:15 p.m.
Place: Congregation Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City
Everyone is welcome, but for the dinner, advance reservations are required by Wednesday, June 5. Please make your dinner reservations on the CBJ website or by calling the office no later than 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Free Fun Day at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Please Join the Contemporary Jewish Museum in commemorating the CJM’s five-year anniversary. Free Museum admission all day, and afternoon entertainment by SF Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguía, the AXIS Dance Company, The Conspiracy of Beards, True Life Trio, and Porto Franco Klezmer All-Stars; as well as arts and crafts, music and dancing, poetry and magic, and food and drink.

Date: Sunday, June 9
Time: 12–3pm
Place: The Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., San Francisco
Contact: or 415.655.7881


LGBTQ Mixer – Pride Month Picnic!
Join us for a special Pride mixer this month. Instead of our usual happy hour, we’ll be having a picnic in Dolores Park. Bring your friends, your dog, your frisbee, your short shorts – anything you want. Make some new friends and catch up with old ones. Look for us under the unicorn balloons!

Date: Sunday, June 9
Time: 1pm
Place: Dolores Park, San Francisco
Sign up online:


Out & About Potluck
Eat, drink and schmooze. Bring a guest and double the fun! Bring a dish to share: main dishes, side dishes, salad, desserts, something to drink. Let us know if you can bring chicken, challah or juice! Remember – your presence is most important – store bought items are fine! Please no shellfish or pork.

Date: Friday, June 14
Time: 6pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Please RSVP so we can be sure to have enough tables & chairs. Email Susan at


Comedy with Samson Koletkar

The world’s only Indian Jewish standup comedian!
Samson was born in Mumbai and raised Jewish in the world’s most crowded city. In India he earning a Masters in Computer Software, thereby fulfilling his parent’s dreams. He then moved half-way across the world, to the technology headquarters and a hotbed for emerging comedians: San Francisco.
As a first generation immigrant in America, Samson brings a refreshingly new approach to cerebral, witty, thought-provoking, and clean humor with a global perspective. Driven by personal trials and tribulations, his subtle satire addresses religious and political hypocrisies, social issues, and day-to-day absurdities of human nature.

Date: Tuesday, June 18
Time: 12noon to 1:30pm
Place: Palo Alto JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Cost: $15


The Myth of Biblical Homophobia
with Rabbi Mike Rothbaum
Peddlers of hate commonly use Biblical text to condemn LGBT people and those who love them. But the loudest voices in the conversation are often the least knowledgeable. What DOES Biblical text say about same-sex relations? Join us for an in-depth discussion of Biblical texts, in both Hebrew and English, as we challenge the myth of Biblical homophobia. We’ll talk about the meaning the texts can have for us today, including a discussion of why people who are not “religious” should care about the Bible’s narratives and ethical guidelines. No prior experience in Biblical study required.

Dates: Wednesdays, June 19 & 26
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave, Berkeley
Class fee: $20.00 for both sessions. Please register by emailing the Netivot Shalom office at and pay at first class. No one turned away for lack of funds.


The Outdoor Sanctuary (Mikdash Ba’Teva)
On the third Friday of June, July, and August, we will hold 6 pmKabbalat (Welcoming) Shabbat Services outside. Please invite your friends and neighbors to commune with God and connect with nature. All you need to do is bring your blanket, some lawn chairs, a picnic dinner, a dessert to share, and your willingness to participate. We’ll bring the challah! Each of our Outdoor Sanctuary services this summer is co-sponsored by the PJ Library.

Date: Friday, June 21
Time: 5:30 pm to chat with Cantor David Margulus
Place: Piper Park, Larkspur, 250 Doherty Drive
Sponsored by Rodef Sholom of San Rafael
More info: 415.479.3441 and speak to Meredith


Family Shabbat
Join the effervescent Mimi Greisman for a morning of Shabbat FUN! Mimi will bring songs, stories, puppets, a rainbow parachute, bubbles and much more!
Parents are invited to enjoy coffee and bagels.

Date: Saturday, July 6
Time: 10:30am
Place: B’nai Emunah, 3595 Taraval St., San Francisco


Culture Shocks in Jewish History:
Jewish Encounters with Hellenism, Christianity and Modernity
with Rabbi Roberto D. Graetz
During our three sessions we will learn how Jews reacted, interacted or rejected cultures they encountered along the way. In the process of discovering how Judaism was affected by these cultures, we will come to understand better who we are as Jews today. History, Jewish thought, traditions and language will come to enlighten our journey.

Dates: Wednesday nights, July 24, 31, and Aug 7
Time: 7pm
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Rd., Lafayette


Jewish Heritage Night with the Oakland A’s
Join the East Bay Jewish community at the A’s game on July 30 for the A’s vs. Blue Jays game. Tickets are $23, includes Jewish gift and food. Infield seating.
Click here for details:

Date: Tuesday, July 30
Time: 7:05pm.
Place: AT&T Park, Oakland