Activities around the Bay for November

I saw a program on the Peninsula called Jammies and Jeans (see it below). I loved the name instantly and looked it up. Then, just to be 100 percent confident that it wasn’t just for members, I emailed my contact. She was delighted and hopes that some of you will give it a try – in Palo Alto at the Palo Alto JCC hosted by Kol Emeth.

I think it is appropriate that there be the occasional event that is just for members. We who are members appreciate a little something extra now and again. However, the vast majority of programs at synagogues and Jewish Community centers are open to the public. Keep that in mind if you see something that looks tempting. You should probably give in to temptation — have fun and meet some new friends.

Another thing that an organization may do is offer an event at the home of one of their members. That’s the case with the Young Adult Vodka and Babka night. Obviously they can’t just announce someone’s private home address. You have to RSVP to get it. But for vodka and babka, who would hesitate!?

I am taking a group of folks who are studying for conversion on a fieldtrip to the Contemporary Jewish Museum to see a current exhibit. Would any of you be interested in doing this with me? The museum has a nice cafe and we always start with lunch and get to know each other a bit. Please email me and tell me what you think. (

I got quite a response to my latest J-weekly column. It is about a matrilineal Jew who was raised Christian and now wants to convert to Judaism. Several people wanted to give her advice or reach out to her. One of the things that interfaith couples need to keep in mind, and communicate to their children, is that if the mother of a child is Jewish the Jewish community will see them as Jewish also. You can raise your child as a Hindu, Sufi, Muslim, or Christian. That will not alter Jewish law.  It’s good for kids to be prepared for the reactions of others in the surrounding world.

On that same note, parents who are raising their children as Jews should prepare their children for the inevitable time that another child will announce to them that they are going to hell – with all the other Jews.  The child who says this is not being judgmental; they are simply repeating what they’ve been taught. It is best to give your kids a heads up and equip them with the language to respond. It will avoid unhappiness and give them confidence. You can read about that here.

Happy November!




Exploring Judaism (Lafayette)
Young Adult “Vodka and Babka” Board Game Night (Palo Alto)
Basic Judaism (Short course) Mountain View
Stories of Music (Lafayette)
Seriously Funny: Comedy, Storytelling & Inclusivity (Los Altos Hills)
Shabbat Unplugged (San Mateo)
Babies & Blessings (Redwood City)
Wornick Elementary School Open House (Foster City)
Jewish Birth Prep Workshop (Foster City)
Jammies and Jeans (Palo Alto)
Tot Shabbat (San Mateo)
Rockin’ Shabbat Service (Redwood City)
True Colors: A play by and about Jews of Color (Oakland)




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. Please note that books are not included in the price for the course.

Dates:  Wednesdays, Nov 6, Nov 13, Nov 20, Dec 4, Dec 11, Dec 18, Jan 8, Jan 15, Jan 22, Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12, Feb 26, Mar 4, Mar 11, Mar 18, Mar 25, Apr 22, Apr 29, May 6.
Time:   Wednesdays, 6:45pm-8:15pm
Place:   Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette
Tuition: $400/non-members. You WILL have to sign up to use their website portal to register for the class. I tried it and it went smoothly.
Register here.
Young Adult “Vodka and Babka” Board Game Night
Come join other Jewish young professionals for a fun night of board games in Los Altos, with a side of vodka and babka!
Our hosts Eve and Elad Ferber are providing homemade babka; Nathan Dinitz is treating us to his handcrafted, seasonally-inspired liqueur. Guests are encouraged to bring snacks, games, and a competitive spirit. Please complete the RSVP form and let us know that you’re joining us (address provided upon RSVP).
If you are wondering what age is “young adult” it’s 20’s and 30’s.
Details here 

Date:   November 9
Time:   6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location provided with RSVP
Questions? Email


Basic Judaism
A four week course for seekers, intermarrieds, and just plain curious
Join Rabbi Booth for a 4 week look at Judaism’s basic theology and practice. This course is open to all who are interested, curious, or wanting to understand better what Judaism is all about.

Topics covered:
Week 1: Theology – Five different ways Judaism imagines God
Week 2 – Shabbat – Unplugging, a day of rest
Week 3 – Jewish Ethical Teachings – pursue justice
Week 4 – The holidays, sanctifying time
+ Dec. 13 will be a Friday night dinner and Learners Service for those who are interested

Dates:  Nov. 10 17, 24 & Dec 8
Time:   12:30 to 2pm
Place:   Kol Emeth’s temporary home, 2525 Charleston Rd., Suite 204, Mountain View
To RSVP please go here or type in
Co-sponsored by Kol Emeth, Jewish Baby Network, Honeymoon Israel and PJ Library.


Stories of Music
In conjunction with the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music, Cantor Korn will present “Stories of Music – Sharing the Sounds and Stories that Embody the American Jewish Experience,” three multimedia classes that will engage us in thinking about the American Jewish experience through stories of the evolving nature of Jewish music. No registration required.

Sunday, November 10
The Art of Prayer: Western Art Music as Synagogue Sound
Since the Renaissance, Jews have risen to prominence in art music. In this class, we will examine the intersection of Western art music and Jewish music, and the influence it has had on the sound of synagogue worship.

Sunday, November 17
Di Yiddishe Amerike: Yiddish as a Reflection of the American Experience
With the large influx of Eastern European Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Yiddish became a prominent feature of the American Jewish experience. This class will focus on the Yiddish music through which these new immigrants expressed their allegiance to their new homeland as well as some of the more difficult realities of the immigrant experience. We will see how Yiddish quickly made its way from the Lower East Side to Broadway and Hollywood and into American pop culture, and we will explore the revival of interest in Yiddish music today.

Dates:  Sundays, November 3, 10, and 17
Time:   11:15am-12:45pm
Place:   Temple Isaiah sanctuary, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette


Seriously Funny: Comedy, Storytelling & Inclusivity
A Pamela Rae Schuller Bay Area Premiere!
Pamela Schuller is a relentlessly funny, internationally known disability and mental health advocate and stand-up comedian whose observations on dating, family and past misadventures have led to brutally honest confessions about what it’s like being 4 foot, 6 (and a half) and having a whole lot of Tourette Syndrome. As a Jewish Youth Professional, Pam teaches kids and teens to be proud of who they are, communities to be deeply inclusive and corporate teams to be innovative and learn to make smart, bold moves.

Date:   Thursday, Nov. 14
Time:   7:30pm
Place:   Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
More information here


Shabbat Unplugged
Shabbat Unplugged is a different kind of worship experience. Shabbat Unplugged offers a meaningful way to “unplug” from our work week and transition into Shabbat. With Elana Jagoda Kaye and Saul Kaye on guitar, join our rabbis in inspirational and soulful prayer, music and reflection.

Date:   Friday, November 15
Time:   6:30 p.m.
Place:   Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo


Babies & Blessings
A baby friendly Kabbalat Shabbat with Cantor Barbara includes

  • Songs
    • Shabbat Prayers, including Candles, Kiddush and Motzi
    • Story
    • Time to Schmooze

Older siblings welcome, too, along with parents and other loved ones.
Bring you own nosh, or sign up for dinner with the Young Family Shabbat on 10/18, 11/15, 3/20, 5/15
See you there!

Dates:  Fridays, Nov 15, Jan, 17, Feb 21, March 20, April 17, May 15
Time:   5 to 6pm
Place:   Cong. Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City


Wornick Elementary School Open House
Visit classrooms, meet teachers, enjoy hands-on activities, and learn from school leadership about our engaging and nurturing elementary school. Advance registration requested.

Date:   Sunday, November 17
Time:   9 to 11:30am
Place:   Wornick Jewish Day School, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City
Please RSVP at


Jewish Birth Prep Workshop
In this class, new and expectant parents will have an opportunity to learn and ask questions about rituals during labor and delivery, choosing a Hebrew name, bris, naming and welcoming ceremonies, Jewish perspectives on parenting and more.
Registration is required and open until November 17.  Register today!

The PJCC is hosting the class, but you do not need to be a member of the PJCC or any Jewish organization to attend.

This class will be facilitated by Jewish Baby Network Director Carol Booth and PJCC Family Educator Jeni Clancy along with local Peninsula rabbis. Become informed and make friends.
If you are interested in learning more, connect with the Jewish Baby Network or contact Director Carol Booth at

Date:   November 17
Time:   3 – 5:45pm
Place:   PJCC, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City
Cost:    $36 per couple or $18 per individual includes kosher vegetarian snacks and desserts and all materials.
Hosted by the Jewish Baby Network
Register here


Jammies and Jeans
Join Buzz Lightyear and your fellow space rangers as we welcome Shabbat with music, dinner and out of this world activities.
Jammies and Jeans is geared for ages 5 & under and the people who love them. Siblings always welcome.

Date:   Friday, Nov 22
Time:   5pm
Place:   Palo Alto JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Cost:    $15 for adults, children are free.
RSVP by Thursday, November 21
Hosted by Kol Emeth

Hi all, I emailed my contact at Kol Emeth to be sure this would be fun for non-members. Sarah emailed me back this delightful message:
You asked about Jammies and Jeans, and the answer is a resounding yes! We welcome any family to these programs, and Jammies and Jeans is a great way to meet other young families and get a sense of what KE is all about. We do prefer if people RSVP so that we have an accurate count for dinner, but please assure people, we will not bombard them with emails from KE following the program – if they would like to know about future Jammies and Jeans events, we will only add them to that list. Please feel free to share my info with anyone as well. I am happy to answer questions or help with anything else.

Warmly,  Sarah,
So go and have fun!!


Tot Shabbat
Tot Shabbat begins with a short, fun, interactive and song-filled service in the Sanctuary. Kids enjoy this introduction to Jewish prayer by playing musical instruments and dancing with stuffed Torahs. We always follow our service with snacks and playtime, a great opportunity for both kids and parents to get to know their friends at PTBE.

Date:   November 23
Time:   9-10:30 a.m.
Place:   Temple Beth El,1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo


Rockin’ Shabbat Service
This month’s Rockin’ Shabbat is lead by the 4th Grade along with the Team Rockin’ Musicians under the leadership of Cantor Barbara Powell, is full of ruach (spirit). Congregants are encouraged to join in leading the prayers or to play instruments with the band. This is an evening for people of all ages. There is an excellent Shabbat meal served following the service.

Rockin’ Shabbat Dinner
Rockin’ Shabbat Services are followed by a catered shabbat dinner. Please RSVP on our website so we can arrange for the meal in advance.
See pricing and sign up here

Date:   Dec. 6
Time:   Services at 6:15 and dinner at 7:30
Place:   Cong. Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City



Are you a Jew of color? Get on the Guest List for a free ticket!

True Colors: A play by and about Jews of Color
This play has been described as:
Humorous, revealing and inspiring stories from Jews of Color exploring identity, community, and what it means to be Jewish in modern times.

It is also moving and thought provoking – for everyone. How are each of us as Jews reacting to the Jews of color in our community? Are we allies or antagonists? Do we want to do better as white, yes, that’s how we look – white, Jews to engage, support and protect our fellow Jews?

Come see the play. Laugh and have a good time and then join in a meaningful dialogue.

(It’s a Jewish event so naturally we’ll have food!)

I am inviting Jews of color to come and share their real life experiences. Don’t be silent. I have a block of tickets for those folks who find the price tag a bit steep. Just email me at so I can get the ticket(s) to you.

Date:   Sunday, December 8
Time:   4 PM – 6 PM
Place:   Temple Sinai 2808 Summit St., Oakland