Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Sept. 13

Holidays are closer than they appear

The High Holidays are coming:
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Sept. 13
Tomorrow is the first day of August; that means the High Holy Days are getting very near. For those who joined this group in the last 11 months let me repeat my annual admonition: DO NOT make the High Holidays your non-Jewish loved one’s first experience of a Jewish service. The High Holidays have different liturgy, different
cantillation, and a very different feel from the regular weekly Shabbat services. There have been two Christians who told me they loved the Yom Kippur services – that’s 2 in 20 years. They are both devout Christians and love the concepts of seeking forgiveness and repentance. If this does not describe your sweetheart (or you) don’t make the long, introspective services of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur their first time in shul.

Really, I’m begging you.

So what to do?
Go to the High Holidays with a friend.
Go to services alone.
Ask me to match you up with a member of a shul near you and go with them.
Take your honey to a regular Shabbat service, or two or three, so they know the difference.

If you are not a member of a synagogue, August is a good month to check out the synagogues around you. Not sure which one to try? Give me a call (510-845-6420 x11) or an email ( and I’ll help you decide. Try a short Friday night service or a Saturday morning that includes reading from the Torah. Many people like to try a musical service or an outdoor service. They feel less formal. If the rabbi asked newcomers to introduce themselves, do it. Even if you’re shy, in fact, especially if you’re shy, this is a good idea. People in the room will know that you’re new and come chat with you. You may meet your next best friend.

ShaBBQ (Fremont)
Poolside Sundays (Palo Alto)
Film Screening: The Farewell Party (San Francisco)
The Chuppah and Beyond (San Francisco)
Pizza Dinner for Shabbat (Walnut Creek)
1st Friday Shabbat and Family Dinner (San Leandro)
Tot Shabbat Morning (Lafayette)
Beth Emek Open House (Pleasanton)
Shabbat Unplugged (San Rafael)
Celebratory Kabbalat Shabbat (Berkeley)
Chai Shabbat Morning Service (Piedmont)
Women in Interfaith Relationships (Burlingame)
Chardonnay Shabbat (Berkeley)
Shabbat Dinners for Young Families (Palo Alto)
Jerusalem: A Home of Many Faiths (Jerusalem)

During the summer months we have a very family friendly Shabbat service on the last Friday of each month. We call it ShaBBQ! This is a unique opportunity to combine a relaxing and welcoming Shabbat service under the stars with a BBQ on real charcoal. Rabbi Schulman and Angela Gold provide the worship and music experience. You bring your own food items to grill (meat or vegetarian is fine, no dairy products please). The service begins at 6:30 followed by dinner outside with friends and family. Guests are most welcome to join in.

Date: Friday, July 31
Time: 6:30pm
Place: Temple Beth Torah, 42000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont

Poolside Sundays
Join us all summer long for the best poolside parties in Palo Alto! This week: Art Under the Sun
Meet your friends or make new ones while relaxing on our spacious outdoor deck. Entertain the kids with water games, arts activities, a bounce house and sports activities led by our enthusiastic J-Camp counselors.
Poolside Parties are FREE for OFJCC Center Members. Non-Member guest passes may be purchased

11:30 PM– 3:00 PM:
Kids Activities – bounce house, arts & crafts, games with counselors and the indoor pool will be open
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM:
The poolside grill will be open with sandwiches, salads and ice cream for sale (cash only). This service is provided by Haute Cuisine.
12:30 PM – 3:00 PM:
The outside pool is open for family swim with lifeguards on duty.

Date: Sunday, Aug. 2
Time: 11:30am to 4pm
Place: Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto

Film Screening: The Farewell Party
The Israel Action Committee of Congregation Emanu-El invites you to a viewing of The Farewell Party. Winner of a number of international Film Festival awards, The Farewell Party is a unique, compassionate and unlikely funny story of a group of friends at a Jerusalem retirement home who decide to help their terminally ill friend. When rumors of their assistance begin to spread, more and more people ask for their help, and the friends are faced with a life and death dilemma. The film has adult themes but is suitable for age 12 and older.

Date: Thursday, August 6
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place: Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco

The Chuppah and Beyond:
The Relationship Education Series for Couples in a Jewish Context
Are you an engaged or newly married couple? Then this series is meant for you. The Chuppah and Beyond helps participants cultivate the foundational tools for a successful life together while simultaneously building a community of peers. Emanu-El clergy co-facilitate each class along with Yael Melamed, psychotherapist and relationship expert.
Topics covered:
Assessing the challenges of communication
Develop skills for conflict resolution
Financial Planning
Maintaining intimacy
Lessons from a successful marriage

Dates: Thursdays, August 6 – September 10
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place: Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
Cost: $150 per congregant couple; $200 per non-congregant couple.
Questions? Contact Jennifer at or (415) 751-2541 x171

Pizza Dinner for Shabbat
Join us at 6 p.m. for our monthly Pizza dinner. You can enjoy dinner with our CBT Community after the 5:30 p.m. Tot Shabbat or before the 6:30 p.m. Family Shabbat. Or, you can go to both services and have dinner in-between!
Email to sign up for dinner and then send your check to the Temple Office.
RSVPs needed by Wednesday, August 5. As always, invite your friends to come along also!

Date: Friday, Aug. 7
Time: 6pm
B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
Cost: $10 adults / $5 children 5 – 12.

1st Friday Shabbat and Family Dinner
Join us for worship services at 6:30 pm in the Main Sanctuary, followed by a delicious taco dinner sponsored by the Sisterhood.

Date: August 7
Time: 6:30pm
Place: Beth Sholom, 642 Dolores Ave, San Leandro
Please RSVP to the office for reservations.
Cost: $10 for everyone 16 years and older. No charge for the kids.

Tot Shabbat Morning
Geared toward families with children up to 5 years old, Tot Shabbat is an interactive and friendly Shabbat experience. Enjoy food, activities and prayer with other young families. All are welcome.
RSVP here for FREE bagel brunch.

Date: Saturday, August 8
Time: 9:30am
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette (in the Adult Lounge)

Beth Emek Open House
Whether you are new to the area or just new to Beth Emek, we invite you to drop by our Open House on August 9 to learn about worship opportunities, our community, and educational programs for all ages.
Meet Rabbi Larry Milder, Education Director Judith Radousky, and Preschool Director Melinda McDonald. Take a tour of the building and visit our sanctuary and classrooms. Light refreshments will be served.
Congregation Beth Emek is an inclusive Reform synagogue with an open and participatory atmosphere. We welcome all people on their Jewish journey.
For more information, contact Lisa,

Date: Sunday, August 9
Time: 10:00am to noon
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton

Shabbat Unplugged
with Dan Nichols
Surprise! Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, Dan Nichols will be with us for a special mid-month Shabbat Unplugged, as well as Friday night and Saturday morning services. We’re really looking forward to taking over the JCC’s comfy atrium and filling it with our music and voices. If you play an instrument, bring it! And feel free to bring snacks/desserts/libations to share. RSVP to Molly at

Date: Friday, August 14
Time: 8:45 pm
Place: JCC Atrium, 200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
Sponsored by Rodef Sholom, 170 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael

Celebratory Kabbalat Shabbat
Join us August 14 for the second Wilderness Torah/Urban Adamah collective Shabbat. Center your heart, clear your mind, and celebrate Shabbat with a special chanting musical service led by Wilderness Torah and Urban Adamah.
Facilitated by Maggid Zelig, Nathaniel Markman, Urban Adamah leaders, and a collaborative circle of musicians, we will sit in circle together to lift our spirits. A community vegetarian potluck will immediately follow the service.

6:30 pm: Kabbalat Shabbat service
8 pm: Community vegetarian potluck

Date: Friday, August 14
Time: 6:30pm
Place: Urban Adamah, 1050 Parker St, Berkeley
Hosted by Wilderness Torah and Urban Adamah
Register here.

Chai Shabbat Morning Service
Elul Rosh Chodesh-Ubuntu Sabbath
We kick off the last month before High Holy Days with a new-month Shabbat service, with some extra Hallel music to celebrate Rosh Chodesh. Join our musical prayer and spiritual leaders in an all-stops-pulled service as we enter the month of Elul.
Ubuntu: And we are participating in Oakland Community Organization’s “Ubuntu Sabbath” program during which congregations explicitly open the doors of their worship service to other faith communities. “Ubuntu” is a Bantu word that means the human essence as one of mutual-dependence and support. As Archbishop Tutu put it, “my humanity is bound to yours.”
Vegetarian potluck luncheon to follow. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share.

Date: August 15
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Place: Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Avenue, Piedmont

Women in Interfaith Relationships:
A Discussion for Girlfriends, Wives, Partners, Mothers & Grandmothers
Whether you’re Jewish or not please join us as we continue the discussion surrounding what it means to be in an interfaith relationship and family. During our time together we will talk about the most pressing issues in our relationships and also create a list of topics to discuss in the future. Everyone is welcome. Invite your friends

Date: Monday, August 17
Time: 7:30-9:00pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame

Chardonnay Shabbat
Celebrate the joy of Shabbat and the early summer evening with a glass of wine or juice, light snacks and song. Chardonnay Shabbat begins under the oak trees (weather permitting) at 5:30 pm; Shabbat evening services are at 6:15 pm.

Date: Friday, August 21
Time: 5:30 pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St, Berkeley

Shabbat Dinners for Young Families
Join other young Jewish families from around the world at our laid back, kid-friendly kosher Shabbat dinners. You’ll meet new friends and become part of a welcoming community.
Dinner will be served buffet-style and all food will be prepared in a certified kosher kitchen.
Volunteers from a local Jewish high school will entertain the children to ensure the have a great time and to allow parents time to relax and enjoy their Shabbat meal.
We are working on creating a permanent toy/play area for the kids. If you are able to donate one item (lightly used is great) to add to the collection, we would appreciate it! Please bring it with you to the dinner.
There is a limited number of seats available for each dinner. The cut-off date for registration is five days prior to each event.

Date: Friday, August 28
Time: 5:30pm-8:00pm
Place: Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Cost: $35/adult, $10/kid, $5/toddler
Register here

Jerusalem: A Home of Many Faiths
This unique study tour will deal primarily with one city, but one to which three major and related faith communities are bound by veneration and love. We will try to understand what Jerusalem has meant to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and what it means to them today. We will compare and contrast the diversity of the sacred bonds held by these communities. Engage with “living history” as actors meet us in the walled city of Jerusalem in character, speaking to us of the past. Finally, we will converse with the current issues as Jerusalem sits at the center of war and peace. The tour is presented in partnership with the JCCSF.

Tour leaders: Dr. Jehon Grist, Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan, and Ariel Goldstein
For more information, contact Ariel Goldstein or 415-276-1506.
Date of tour: January 11-19, 2016