Multiracial Jews and May Activities

It’s May! I feel like I should burst into song. On the Jewish calendar we are in the midst of counting the Omer AND we celebrated the holiday of Yom HaAtzmaut, the birthday of the modern state of Israel, Wednesday night.


I had to postpone my event, This Is Bay Area Jewry. It was to be on May 18 at Beth Am in Los Altos, but life is tricky. I’ve been speaking with Rabbi Sarah Weissman at Beth Am and we’re figuring out a new date. THE GOOD NEWS is that this extra time will allow me to add several new profiles to the exhibit!


Jews of colors in a Play!
If you, like me, have a multiracial family, you know that Jews of color often face an extra hurdle when it comes to being accepted as Jewish. The most common reason, “but you don’t look Jewish!”  I will continue to offer programs addressing this challenge with local Jews of color. BUT we have a lovely opportunity to hear from Jews of color a bit further afield. The Jewish Women’s Theatre is bringing one of their plays, True Colors, to the Bay Area.  See below for the details. I hope you’ll join me on this theater excursion and sit down for a cup of tea afterwards so that I can hear your impressions. This should be fun and informative.  If you are a member of a multiracial Jewish family please share your insights and advice for others, both white and not.


Blue and White Shabbat – Come Celebrate Israel! (Palo Alto)
Community Shabbat celebrating Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Oakland)
Shabbat Sovev – Surrounding Shabbat (Foster City)
Cab Shabbat (San Francisco)
True Colors (San Francisco)
Yom Ha’atzmaut — 71st Israeli Independence Day Celebration (Stanford)
Let’s Go to the Theater: The Good Book (Oakland)
4th Friday — Shabbat in the Round (Berkeley)
Tree of Life Yoga (San Francisco)
Fifth Friday Broadway Shabbat Service (Palo Alto)
Night Shift (Palo Alto)




Blue and White Shabbat – Come Celebrate Israel!
Join us for our annual Blue and White Shabbat which will feature a special service to celebrate Israel and her 71st birthday. The service will start at 7:00 pm as our 2nd and 3rd graders will be helping to lead. It will also include a special blessing for Etzniks traveling to Israel on our congregational trip in June. Delicious oneg to follow the service. All are welcome!

Date:   Friday, May 10
Time:   7:00 pm
Place:   Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto


Community Shabbat celebrating Yom Ha’Atzmaut
Join us for an Erev Shabbat service written and presented by Temple Sinai congregants featuring original interpretations of the Friday night liturgy and focusing on Aspiring to Holiness. The Temple Sinai Adult Choir will enhance the prayers with their ruach and talent. The service promises to be a moving and joyous celebration of Shabbat. Stay for Israeli dancing after services.

Date:   Friday, May 10
Time:   7:30pm
Place:   Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland


Family Shabbat Dinner & Service
A wonderful opportunity for families with children from infants to 2nd Grade to share the tradition of welcoming and sharing the joy of Shabbat with the community. Dinner will begin at 5:30 pm, followed by a family service led by Bill with a story, Cantor Barbara with joyous singing, and concludes with an art project to take home.

Date:   May 17
Time:   5:30pm – 7:00pm
Place:   Congregation Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City
Reserve your spot for dinner by the Wednesday prior: $16 Adults, $9 children 3-12, no charge for ages 2 and under.


Shabbat Sovev (Surrounding Shabbat)
Join Peninsula Sinai Congregation for a special Shabbat Sovev. This Sovev will feature musical instruments, be family friendly with snacks and drinks at 5:30 pm for all who are interested in joining us! Because Shabbat begins later in the summer, we will have time to jam, sing and enjoy some extra musicality before we bring in Shabbat with candle-lighting and ma’ariv (evening prayers) around 6:40 pm (with no instruments). Hope to see you there!

Date:   Fri, May 17
Time:   6pm
Place:   Peninsula Sinai, 499 Boothbay, Foster City


Cab Shabbat
Yes, that’s ‘cab’ as in cabernet! Kabbalat Shabbat Service featuring melodies by Shlomo Carlebach. Join us for wine and cheese pairings.

Date: Friday May 17
Time: 7:30pm
Place: B’nai Emunah, 3595 Taraval St., San Francisco


True Colors
with the Jewish Women’s Theatre
Humorous, revealing and inspiring stories from Jews of Color exploring identity, community and being a Jew in modern times.

Let’s meet at the Jewish High School and enjoy this unique performance together. Bring your own stories!

The Jewish Women’s Theatre, in Partnership with the Jewish Community High School of the Bay is pleased to present True Colors.
Through a series of vignettes the actors present the true stories that were submitted to the Jewish Women’s Theatre.

The stories presented are not from Bay Area Jews of color and certainly demonstrate the universality of the experience.

There will be Q&A with the talent after the show.
Free parking in the School’s garage; entrance on Pierce.


Date: Sunday, May 19
Time: 2:30, doors open at 2 pm
Place: The Jewish Community High School of the Bay, 1835 Ellis St, San Francisco
Cost: $25.00 General Single Ticket
$30.00 @ The Door

Please email me to let me know to look for you,


Yom Ha’atzmaut — 71st Israeli Independence Day Celebration
JHTC 2.0, ENGAJ and Hillel@ Stanford in conjunction with the Consulate General of Israel, WZO-DDA & the Israeli Students Organization invite you to celebrate Israel’s 71st Independence Day. Join JHTC 2.0 for a fun night of Israeli food, dancing, and drinks at the Stanford Hillel’s beautiful outdoor patio.

Dining on delicious Israeli food by Neshama Foods

Live entertainment performed by DJ Tal Hod

Cooking demo for a popular Israeli dish called the Sabich

Learn the basics of Israeli Folk dancing from Karin Gold of Cafe Shalom

Date:   Sunday, May 19
Time:   4 to 8 pm
Place:   Stanford Hillel, 565 Mayfield Ave., Stanford
Space is limited! Get your ticket today and bring your friends!
Cost:    $10 – Early bird (thru May 5); $15- In advance (thru May 18); $20 at the door
Free parking is available at the Tressider Union and Garage 6, located under Wilbur Field.
Sponsored by Jewish High Tech Community for Young Jewish Professionals 2.0 (Ages 21 – 40)


Let’s Go to the Theater: The Good Book
Wanna talk about “the bible”? Here’s your chance!
Berkeley Rep’s play, The Good Book explores faith, belief in God, and the acceptance of biblical scripture as divine, as opposed to scientific, historical theories of the origin of the Bible.
See the play at Berkeley Rep prior to May 22, and then join Rabbi Chester for a stimulating discussion of the origins of Torah and how it offers us meaning in our lives. For show times and tickets, go to

Date:   Wednesday, May 22
Time:   7:00pm
Place:   Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free, but please sign up for the class here.


4th Friday — Shabbat in the Round
Band! Singers! Dinner! Movie!
Join us at our new monthly Shabbat program on the Fourth Friday of the month as Beth El singers and musicians join Cantor Elaya Jenkins-Adelberg for a musical Shabbat celebration. Following a catered dinner, we will screen a movie to complete the evening. Come for any part – or stay for the whole evening!
6:15 pm Musical Shabbat Service
7:15 pm Catered dinner RSVP HERE
8:00 pm Movie! Noodle
A melancholy Israeli flight attendant finds new meaning in life on her quest to reunite a six year-old Chinese boy nicknamed Noodle with his missing mother. Directed By: Ayelet Menahemi

Date:   Friday, May 24
Time:   Shabbat service begins at 6:15. Dinner at 7:15 and film at 8pm.
Place:   Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley


Tree of Life Yoga
On the last Friday of every month Sha’ar Zahav offers yoga!
Free and open to all. We provide mats. Led by yoga instructor, Mychal Copeland or Surya Stuart Dick of the Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco.
For more information contact

Date:   Friday, May 31
Time:   6:00-7:00 pm
Place:   Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, San Francisco


Fifth Friday Broadway Shabbat Service
In “Spamalot” we learn that “you won’t succeed in Broadway if you don’t have any Jews.” That may or may not be true, but what we do know for sure is that Jews have been making important contributions to stage and screen from the early 1900s right up to present day.

On Friday night, May 31, Etz Chayim will observe Shabbat with a special Fifth Friday service with a Broadway theme. We hope you will join us as we welcome the Sabbath with songs from West Side Story, The King and I, A Chorus Line, and many other favorites.

Date:   Friday, May 31
Time:   7:30 pm
Place:   Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto


Night Shift
A Jewish Cultural Experience
Calling it a night? Not on June 8. Night Shift is more than just a late night out—it’s a Jewish cultural experience. It’s a new take on Shavuot. It’s the launch of a partnership between the Oshman Family JCC and BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change. Shift your perspective and imagine your favorite yoga studios, coffee shops and book stores filled with Jewish sights, sounds and flavors. Night Shift will be an immersive and multidisciplinary festival, complete with live music, text study, performance art, conversation, movement and delicious food to eat.

Don’t forget to reserve your advance tickets before prices go up on Wednesday, May 15!

Details here

Date:   June 8
Time:   Begins at 9pm
Place:   Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto