Yom Kippur, Kol Nidre + virtual events

Welcome back to the weird world of Covid in America! In fact, in Jewish America, where we don’t attend services together. How are you doing? I have a few things to share and I hope to hear how your holiday is going thus far.

How did Rosh Hashanah go?
I was pleasantly surprised by how familiar and comfortable it felt to be online for the services. Most of the synagogues had a shortened service so instead of 2+ hours it was just one hour. My own shul had one hour for a service, a 15 minute break, and then 1 hour for the Torah service. Where did you go and what was it like?

Do You Miss Shabbat?
I “attended” Rabbi Bridget Wynne’s weekly online Shabbat to see if it would offer some warm and soothing time. It did! It is only half an hour. We are all on Zoom and can see each other. Rabbi Bridget greets each person as they “enter” and we chat a bit. Then we move on to the blessings. Folks say what they are having for Shabbat dinner if they choose and then we say goodbye. If you are in need of a warm little ritual, join Rabbi Bridget. Email her organization, Jewish Gateways, to get the Zoom link. See details below.

Yom Kippur and Kol Nidre
For some folks the hardest thing about Yom Kippur is fasting. For others it’s being without caffeine. For others it is the thirst. I remember the deadly thud of a young man hitting the wooden pew as he passed out one year. Please don’t make yourself ill or even so weak you faint. That’s not the goal of the day.

Some information on Yom Kippur:

There’s a plain, very plain, handy Jewish website called Jewfaq. I love the straightforward tone and the three levels of knowledge with which the author ranks each page. For the “basic” level on Yom Kippur look here.
On the beautiful website, My Jewish Learning, you can read about Yom Kippur here

Kol Nidre:
Here’s a short and informative video by the rabbi emeritus of Central Synagogue, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein on Kol Nidre, the service on the evening of Yom Kippur. I love it. It is full of good info and has that haunting music.|
Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, Exploring the Mystery of Kol Nidre

Finally, this video with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks offers a historical explanation of Kol Nidre. Brace yourself, he is Orthodox and opposes intermarriage. So if you rather not hear that part, stop 3 minutes and 15 seconds in.
Rabbi Sacks, The Meaning of Kol Nidrei

Welcoming Shabbat with Rabbi Bridget
Yom Kippur for Tots
A Different Kind of Yom Kippur Afternoon
Sukkot Shabbat Service
Sukkot Virtual Concert and Celebration for Children
Stand Up Torah
Introduction to Hebrew
What Jewish Values can Teach us About Welcoming Everyone
Virtual Kindergarten Open House
A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism’s Sacred Path

Welcoming Shabbat with Rabbi Bridget
The world is scary these days. Most of us are isolated in one way or another. It can be easy to lose track of what day it is.
We need Shabbat more than ever.
Even in ordinary times, Shabbat gives us a chance to gain perspective, to experience renewal, connection, and pleasure. In these strange and frightening days this is even more important.
You’re invited to join us this evening for friendly faces, songs, and blessings. There is also a chance to participate in the Kaddish, or memorial prayer, for anyone you are remembering.
Set up your candles, wine or juice, and challah, or whatever you have.
All are welcome, Jewish or not, adults and children. No experience is necessary!
The words to the songs and blessings will be visible during our gathering. You can also access them here.

Date:   Every Friday, next gathering Sept. 25
Time:   6pm
Host:   Jewish Gateways, email info@jewishgateways.org to get the Zoom link.

Yom Kippur for Tots
For kids ages 0-5 and their grown-ups
Puppetry is a powerful tool for entertaining and educating and puppets take children and adults into a magical realm of wonder and joy. Join Jen Miriam Altman, Alon Altman, Raizel the Camel and Raizel’s puppet friends for a Yom Kippur service geared towards tots. The service includes candle-lighting; singalongs with guitar, drums, and other instruments; puppets; and dancing with scarves. This is a great way to introduce young children to Yom Kippur!

Date:   Sunday, September 27
Time:   10am
Host:   Chachmat HaLev, Berkeley
Register here
Cost:    $5 – Chochmat members, $10 – General Public

A Different Kind of Yom Kippur Afternoon
Yom Kippur invites reflection on strengthening personal qualities, Tikkun Midot Hanefesh. This year, we will enter into a conversation about seven Jewish virtues, following the themes of the seven prayers of the Amidah. Join us for this creative conversation that gets to the heart of Yom Kippur’s message.

We will meet in Zoom for the Afternoon Service. Following the Torah and Haftarah reading, we will gather in rotating groups to study the seven Midot/virtues. All may watch the Torah and Haftarah on Beth Emek website.

Date:   Monday, September 28
Time:   3:30 – 5:00 pm
Host:   Beth Emek, Pleasanton

Sukkot Shabbat Service
The first night of Sukkot falls on Shabbat, and we’ll be broadcasting from inside a Sukkah! Let’s celebrate the fall festival together at this creative and joyful service. If you’ve got your own lulav and etrog, you can wave it with us online. Or, step outside for Oneg Shabbat after the service, and we’ll say the blessings for dwelling in the Sukkah.

Date:   Friday, October 2
Time:   8:00 – 9:00 pm
Host:   Beth Emek, Pleasanton

Sukkot Virtual Concert and Celebration for Children
Join us for a fun Sukkot celebration for children, featuring a virtual concert with Melita. We will sing songs about Sukkot and afterward share lunch “together.” Families are encouraged to tune in from their Sukkah. This is a great activity to plan ahead for, so that you can build and decorate your Sukkah in preparation for the celebration. Not able to build a Sukkah? That’s okay. Decorate a play-tent or a corner of your outdoor space.

PJ Library has some great ideas for decorating here.

Date:   Sat., Oct. 3
Time:   11am to 12:30pm
Host:   Beth Emek, Pleasanton
After RSVP’ing, you will receive a Zoom link for this event. This free event is made possible by a grant from the Contra Costa Jewish Community Center.
Questions?  Contact us at earlychildhood@bethemek.org

Stand Up Torah
Celebrate the joy of Simchat Torah through a special evening of laughter and fun with stand up comedian, Rebbitzen Liz Glazer!

Date:   Saturday, October 10
Time:   7:00-8:30 pm
Host:   Peninsula Temple Beth El, San Mateo
Details and registration

Introduction to Hebrew
It is never too late! This class is intended for beginning students, and starts with learning the letters and the sounds that they make. Please contact the class instructor, Michael Lederman to sign up.

Dates:  Tuesdays from October 13 – December 15
Time:   7:00 – 8:00 pm
Host:   Sha’ar Zahav, San Francisco
The cost is $84 for members and $114 for non-members, but cost is never a barrier at Sha’ar Zahav. Please contact Liliana Peliks.
NOTE: The instructor, Michael Lederman is one of the KINDEST human beings I know. You will LOVE HIM.

A Broad-Coalition Rabbinate
What Jewish Values can Teach us About Welcoming Everyone
Rabbi Sandra Lawson received ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June 2018. She graduated from Saint Leo University magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Clark Atlanta University. She has served as the Investigative Researcher for the Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast Region, becoming the go-to person when Law Enforcement in the South need information on hate groups. She uses her rabbinic training to bring Judaism to where people already are in their lives.

Rabbi Sandra’s vision as a Rabbi is to help build a more inclusive Jewish community where all who want to come are welcomed, diversity is embraced, and we can come together to learn and to pray. This summer Rabbi Sandra starts the next chapter of her journey as an Associate Chaplain at Elon University, in Elon North Carolina.

Date & time:   Sunday, October 25 at 4pm on Zoom
Hosted by Temple Isaiah, Lafayette
This event is free of charge and open to the public.
Questions? Please contact the Temple Isaiah office at (925) 283-8575 or frontoffice@temple-isaiah.org

Virtual Kindergarten Open House
We are excited to invite prospective families to our Virtual Kindergarten Open.
At Brandeis, children are taught to equate learning with purpose. They are ensconced in a loving environment scaffolded by timeless Jewish values such as kindness, integrity, and an obligation to help repair the world. Students pursue a challenging academic curriculum infused with warmth, soulfulness, and joy.

We are committed to making this year’s reimagined application process transparent and accessible for all families. If you have any questions, please visit us at www.sfbrandeis.org/admissions, or email admissions@sfbrandeis.org.

Date:   Thursday, Oct. 29
Time:   7:30 – 9pm
Host:   Brandeis School of San Francisco

A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism’s Sacred Path
Taught by Rabbi Oren Postrel
What in God’s name is sustaining us in this time? What is bringing us joy, deeper meaning, life purpose, comfort in distress, optimism in the future? We will discuss these questions against the backdrop of the 2018 book A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism’s Sacred Path, a collection of writings by Reform rabbis and scholars that stretches our minds and opens our hearts to the deepest questions of our existence, right now. Part theology, part ritual, part reflection, this class is open to all. You do not need to read the book to participate (though you’re welcome to purchase / read the book if you’d like!).

Dates:  Thursdays, Nov. 5, 12, 19, Dec. 3, 10, 17
Time:   10:00-11:15am
Price: Members $36 / Non-members $72.
Hosted by Temple Isaiah, Lafayette