Let’s See Each Other at these Programs on Parenting

I’m hoping that you’ll join me in the next couple of months for online events. The two coming up are focused on raising children. BUT please tell me what other topics you’d like to discuss.

(Jewish) Life with Children
We made plans and agreed how to raise our kids, but things have happened – can we change?
We never made a real plan; is it too late?
I have come to hate our lack of decision, now what?
All of these are reasonable states of mind when you’re raising children. Let’s talk about it. No plan fits every family, but there are guiding principles.

Honoring Your Jewish Child’s Non-Jewish Heritage
I know a child with an Irish Catholic father who took up clog dancing to express her heritage. A Jewish mom sent her daughter to Chinese summer camp to learn calligraphy, and other traditional Chinese arts to integrate her husband’s Chinese heritage. A child with a Mexican parent had a piñata at his bar mitzvah party.
What about “plain white-bread” Americans? A daughter took up riding because her dad had worked on a ranch in the Midwest as a youth. Another chose to play the violin.
A woman told me that her son had chosen to have an Orthodox conversion; she said she went out and bought paper plates so he could eat in her home.
Families are amazing, flexible and inventive when it comes to building bonds. Let’s find YOUR best bonding materials.

Basic Judaism classes – I’ve added a couple new classes; check out the list here

Tots & Tunes: Family Jam with Eliana Light (Redwood City)
Sababa Shabbat (Oakland)
Intergenerational Tu B’Shvat Seder (Oakland)
(Jewish) Life with Children (On Zoom)
Tots Together (San Francisco)
Why Don’t We Talk About God? (San Mateo)
Tot Shabbat (Alameda)
Kohenet/Hebrew Priestess Shabbat Morning Service (Berkeley)
Honoring Your Jewish Child’s Non-Jewish Heritage (On Zoom)

Tots & Tunes: Family Jam with Eliana Light
This enchanting event, tailor-made for our little music lovers aged 0-7, kicks off with an exciting community dinner—complimentary for all attendees (registration required)! It’s the perfect start to an evening filled with joy, laughter, and the magic of music.

The Schedule:
5:00 pm       Babies & Blessings with Special Guest Eliana Light
5:15 pm       Young Family Complimentary Shabbat Dinner (RSVP Required)
5:40 pm       Eliana Light Kid’s Concert

Date:   Friday, January 26
Time:   5:00 – 6:30pm
Place:   Congregation Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City
Details and registration here 

Sababa Shabbat
Join us for a family-friendly, musical Shabbat service. Our service and dinner will be held indoors in Stern Hall. For dinner, you are welcome to reserve your spot for a pizza dinner and salad. Dinner is $10 per person. We will be dining in Stern Hall and the Sacred Garden.

Date:   Friday, January 26
Time:   5:30pm
Place:   Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Contact Molly Peritore molly@oaklandsinai.org with any questions.
Register here
You may also Register here for the upcoming February 9 Sababa Shabbat

Intergenerational Tu B’Shvat Seder
Please join us for our annual joyous Tu B’Shvat. Sinai Green Committee’s Seder includes song, dance, and some symbolic foods. (Please note that we won’t be providing an actual lunch.) It’s a fun way for us to celebrate Judaism’s long attachment to the environment. Please RSVP so we can be sure to have enough food and space for all!

Date:   Sunday, January 28
Time:   12:15 to 2:15pm
Place:   Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

(Jewish) Life with Children
A common question posed to interfaith couples is, “How will you raise the kids”? When the reply is “Jewish”, what does that mean?  So many engaged non-Jews lovingly say, sure, we can raise the kids Jewish. But I find that it is rare that the Jew has explained what that means to them.

What are the options? Which lifecycle events will be practiced? There’s bris and baby naming at birth. There’s picking a name – English and Hebrew.
What will be practiced at home? What will we tell the children about their identity and that of each parent?
Will it mean joining a synagogue, sending the children to a Jewish preschool and later to Hebrew school? What about sleep away camp, b’mitzvah – and the list goes on.
Whether you’re just engaged, married, already parents, gay/straight, multiracial, frustrated or just curious, please join me for a dynamic and informative discussion.

Date:   Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024
Time:   7 to 8pm
Place:   On Zoom
Free, please email me for the link at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org

Tots Together
A Program for Kids Under 6 + Their Families
Celebrate Shabbat together with music, stories, puppets, and bubbles! Experienced early childhood educator Mimi Greisman leads an interactive Shabbat for babies and toddlers. Snacks and juice provided!

Date:   Saturday, February 3
Time:   10 am
Place:   Am Tikvah, 625 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco

Why Don’t We Talk About God?
Have you been talking about God lately? Come and join the conversation with Rabbi Genevieve Greinetz as we explore different ideas and imaginings of God across the span of history. We will look at ideas of God in Torah stories, Jewish philosophies across the ages, and into contemporary thought and art. You’ll walk away with plenty of food for thought and, hopefully, your own personal theology in this six-session course!

Dates:  Tuesdays: February 6, 13, 27 and March 5, 19, 26
Time:   5:30-6:30 p.m.
Place:   In person at Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
Cost:    Non-Member is $18/Class
RSVP by Friday February 2 by emailing Nakia in the front office by Friday February 2.

Tot Shabbat
Tot Shabbat is led by Mimi Greisman, a specialist in early childhood Jewish education. She brings fun and gentle activities filled with songs, puppets, and books, geared for children age 5 and under and their families. Gatherings are free to all, outside in an enclosed courtyard, and includes time for an art project and snacks. Great opportunity to connect with other parents for playdates and more. On-site security is present at Tot Shabbat.

Dates:  These Saturdays, Feb.10, March 9, April 13, May 11
Time:   10:30 am
Place:   Temple Israel Courtyard, 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda
Questions: contact: Estee at totshabbat@templeisraelalameda.org

Kohenet/Hebrew Priestess Shabbat Morning Service
Join us with special guest leaders for a Rosh Chodesh Shabbat morning service. Together we will open the gates of prayer, create sacred space, chant from torah, and share ancestral wisdom. Led by Kohenet Amanda Nube, Sarah Elise Rund, and Miriam Peretz, all are welcome in this open tent of intergenerational community. Join us for embodied, earth-based, feminist Jewish ritual.

Date:   Saturday, Feb. 10
Time:   10:30am
Place:   Chochmat Halev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley
More details on the website

Honoring Your Jewish Child’s Non-Jewish Heritage
Every child needs to understand where they come from. If you are raising your child as a Jew, but one parent is not Jewish it is essential that you teach your child about that side of their family. This is half of them! They need to be comfortable with how they put these parts together to make a whole person: themselves.

Jews may be concerned that learning about the non-Jewish parent means learning about another religion that will compete with Judaism. Not at all. There are hundreds of elements to another tradition or culture that are important and utterly without religious content:

There are cultural traditions which may include language, food, and music.
There are family traditions that include stories, memories, trips, games.
There are the traditions you create in your own nuclear family.

What if one parent has a religion? How can that be taught in a way that feels right to all members of the family – especially your child? Let’s discuss how to teach your child about BOTH sides of the family and how to integrate both parents into your child’s identity.

Date:   March 21, 2024
Time:   7 to 8pm
Place:   Online
Free, email me at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org to receive the Zoom link.