Jewish Things to do on Christmas

There have been a few questions about what can a person do on Christmas Eve or Day if they don’t “do Christmas”? I’m going to list some community events here for you to consider.

Additionally, there is time to invite other Jewish friends over for a day of games, music and good food.

Jewish Music On Television
Kitka & Davka in Concert
The film Kitka and Davka in Concert: Old and New World Jewish Music returns to the Bay Area on public television this December. Produced by Forest Creatures Entertainment in association with KEET, KTOP, Searchlight Educational Media and the Jewish Music Festival, the production has been aired on more than forty PBS television stations to date, bringing this sold-out Jewish Music Festival concert to countless viewers throughout the United States.
The concert was filmed in Temple Sinai’s Sanctuary, and is an attractively composed presentation of old and new Jewish music. While the production is obviously lifted by the power and depth of the music, it’s the skill of the filmmaker and production team that brings the experience to life. The DVD is on sale now at
Dates and Times:
KRCB, Monday, December 17, 9:00pm
KQED, Sunday, December 23, 12:30pm

Sing-along Fiddler on the Roof
And Kosher Chinese Dinner
Oy vey – what should we do on Christmas Eve?
Planning to spend the holidays eating Chinese food and watching a movie? So are we! Please join the B’nai Shalom community for our first annual sing-along.
OPEN TO ALL – members, non-members, all ages welcome
Sing along with Tevye and the rest of the shtetl as we screen one of the most enduring and endearing movie musicals of all time. We supply the lyrics, you supply the fun – musical talent optional!

Date: Monday, December 24
Time: Dinner at 5:00pm
Movie at 6:15pm
Place: B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek
Cost: $18 per person includes dinner, popcorn and dessert – a bargain!
RSVP to the B’nai Shalom office as soon as possible : or call 925-934-9446

Latke Ball
Hundreds of Bay Area Jews dancing the night away on Christmas Eve.
This event is for young Jews – all the Young Adult programs are taking their members.

Date: Monday, Dec. 24
Time: 9pm to 2am Dec. 25
Place: Ruby Skye, San Francisco

YLD in the East Bay (Young Leadership Division – Jews age 21 to 40ish) is chartering a party bus to and from the Latke Ball.
$40 includes your discounted ticket, transportation to and from Oakland, and wine and snacks on the bus. Space is limited. To purchase discount tickets and be part of our YLD party bus – email us at:

There will also be a party bus to the Latke Ball from Silicon Valley. Stops will be made in Los Gatos, Palo Alto, and Foster City. For more information, contact SVYAD Director Jonathan Berg at

The Meshugenah Comeday Tour

at Beth Emek
What is more fun than the traditional Chinese food dinner on Dec 24?
Bring your friends & family for a catered Chinese food dinner followed by four hilarious meshugenah (crazy) Jewish comedians.
This is a family friendly show youth 8 & up are welcome; It’s at the parents discretion about bringing the kids – It’s a comedy show consider how long your kids can sit and enjoy the show.

Date: Monday, Dec. 24
Time: 5:45pm – 9:15pm
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
Catering by Canton Village, Dinner & Comedy admission prices:
$25 per adult
$20 per senior 65 + up
$10 per 12 & under
Pay at the door – reservations required
For more information contact: Sharon Cohen 925-931-1055 x11

Family Fun at the JCC
The SF JCC is open all day on Dec. 25. Go to their website, and decide what you’d like to do.

Date: Dec. 25
Time: looks to be 9am to 9pm
Place: San Francisco JCC, 3200 California St., San Francisco
call 415-292-1200.

Free Family Day on Christmas
Bring the entire family to the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s annual Family Day! Celebrate the building of the new Contemporary Jewish Museum with a day of creativity, family and fun. Roll up your sleeves to construct a take-home art project, nosh on tasty snacks and enjoy two exciting performers. Sing and dance with musician Jonathan Bayer at 12:00 and 2:00 PM and help story-teller Michael Katz tell amazing tales at 1:00 PM.

Date: Tu., Dec. 25
Time: 11am to 3pm
Place: RayKo Photo Center, 428 Third St., (Between Harrison and Bryant Streets), San Francisco
Please call 415-344-8836 or email for more information. Visit the Museum online at
Sponsored by the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Yiddish Folk Festival
Come join us for this fantastic event – fun for grandma, grandpa and the kids.
* Yiddish Food
* Yiddish Sing-a-longs
* Yiddish Dancing, with personalized lessons
* Yiddish Kibbitzing (instruction provided-if you need it!)
* Live music by TheKlezCalifornia All-Star Band led by Gerry Tenney
Program by: KlezCalifornia

Date: Tuesday, December 25
Time: 2-5pm
Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave. Berkeley
Cost: $25 adult, $12 child
Contact Robin Braverman at (925) 979-1998 or for advance sales at discounted rates.
Co-sponsored by Congregation Netivot Shalom, Congregation Beth El, Jewish Community Center of the East Bay, Aquarian Minyan, Kehilla Community Synagogue and Chochmat HaLev

Listen to Local Community
Afikomen hosts Café ‘Komen on designated Sundays to present informal lectures on seasonal topics to increase your knowledge of, and appreciation for, Judaism’s vibrant ritual life. Music and storytelling events are also presented. While there is no charge, donations are appreciated.

Date: Dec 25th – “Listen to Local” Community Celebration & Sale
Time: 11am to 6pm
11:00 – Children’s music with Melita Silverstein
1:00 – Storytelling for all ages with Joel Ben Izzy
2:15 – Mizrachi music with John Erlich of Za-atar & friends
4:00 – Readings by local poets: Rebecca Fromer Camhi, Jenny Overman, Judith Goldhaber and others.
Place: Afikomen, 3042 Claremont Avenue, Berkeley
For more information all 510-655-1977.

“Chopshticks” is an annual local tradition of great Comedy and gourmet Chinese Food. It’s a yearly sell-out and tickets must be purchased in advance. In fact, 2006 sold out so quickly, a second night has been added this year. Why spend the holidays alone when you can spend it laughing out loud with other Jews?
This year’s program features a cross-country, comedy triple threat: two fast-rising comics from the East Coast who are garnering great reviews and big laughs: Lenny Marcus and Brad Zimmerman, and exciting Bay Area newcomer Mo Mandel.
Attendees will enjoy a gourmet vegetarian (and fish) dinner at Mings, a beautiful Chinese restaurant in Palo Alto noted for its fine dining and upscale atmosphere. The multi-course meal includes a cocktail hour for the first hour.

Dates: Monday Dec. 24th at 7 pm
Tuesday Dec. 25th at 6 pm
Place: Palo Alto JCC, 1700 Embarcadero Rd., Palo Alto
Cost: Tickets are $70 per person or $700 for a table for ten.
Information: 650-493-9400

Young Adult: Meet and Greet / Chinese Food
This month’s Young Adult Meet & Greet will coincide with an annual Jewish tradition: Chinese food on Christmas. While other folks will deck the halls and fa la la we’ll enjoy a vegetarian meal at Mandarin Gourmet. It’ll be just the thing to help you recover from the Latke Ball the night before.

Date: Tuesday December 25, 2007
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Mandarin Gourmet, 10145 N. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino
RSVP by emailing Aleeza at cbdyag[at]
Contact: Michael Goldberger at Beth David (sponsoring synagogue)
Cost: Pay for dinner there, dinner will be around $20/person