Tu B’Av, A good time to express love

Photo via Israeli PikiWiki, some rights reserved
Photo via Israeli PikiWiki, some rights reserved

This week I had the following communication:

Delightful woman: Hi Dawn, I receive your newsletter and am wondering what is the best way to honor my (Jewish) daughter-in-law on Tu B’Av?

Me: What a lovely idea you have! Tu B’Av is “observed” to the extend that is it observed at all, as a day of romantic love and couples finding each other. But, not unlike Valentine’s Day, a day of love is always a good time to tell a person what they mean to you. I think a card would be very sweet. If you want to do something, as in go somewhere, since the ancient celebration included dancing in vineyards you could have brunch together or go to the Wine Country. But believe me, I’m just punting. Anything you do will be just fine. It’s very dear of you to want to do anything for this minor holiday. I’ve very touched.

Delightful woman: Thanks so much, Dawn! I made a card, filled with words of love, and I made a donation to Jewish Family Services of the Bay Area. I’m all about love, so couldn’t pass this holiday up…no matter how minor.

I was so touched by this woman’s desire to impress upon her daughter-in-law that she loves her and SEES her Jewish identity. Too bad there is so much bad press given to the mother – daughter in-law relationship because it just isn’t true. I’ve heard many stories that dispell this negative myth.

(If you’d like to learn more about Tu B’Av you can read here and here.)

Whether family or friends, telling someone that you love them shouldn’t be reserved for special occasions. I am betting that you’ve noticed how touched people are when you tell them you love them. When a friend is going through a tough time I like to call and say, “I haven’t mentioned it today but I should: I love you.” Sometimes a loving word really helps you get through the day. Do you do this? If not, try it and let me know how your family and friends respond.


Welcoming Prospective Members (Los Altos Hills)
Potluck Dinner and Services (Walnut Creek)
August Community Shabbat Dinner (Pleasanton)
Outdoor Shabbat Service at Temple Isaiah (Lafayette)
Shabbat in the Park (Lafayette)
Congregation Beth Emek Open House (Pleasanton)
Courtyard Service and Pot-luck dinner (Alameda)
Shabbat Service Under the Trees (Berkeley)
Build Your Own Sukkah! (Pleasanton)
Jewish Heritage Night at the Giants (San Francisco)
“Transparent”: A New Take on Gender & Jewish Identity (San Rafael)

Welcoming Prospective Members
Are you curious about Congregation Beth Am? All prospective members are invited to celebrate Shabbat with Beth Am in our Outdoor Chapel at 6:15 PM every Friday in August. After the service, prospective members will have a chance to get to know clergy and lay leaders, and ask any questions they may have about our community.

Date: All Fridays in August
Time: Picnic 5:30pm; Service 6:15pm; and Oneg Shabbat 7:30pm
Place: Outdoor Chapel of Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
Details here

Potluck Dinner and Services
Join us and bring your friends or someone who might want to visit our congregation for a night of good food, good friends, and music as we celebrate Shabbat as a community.
Please sign up to bring one of the food item and a beverage. See the details here http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090d4daeaa2fa3fe3-potluck

Date: Friday, August 19, must RSVP by noon on Aug. 18!
Time: Pot Luck Dinner at 6:00 pm; Shir Joy Shabbat Services begin at 7:30 pm
Place: B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek

August Community Shabbat Dinner
Celebrate Shabbat with Congregation Beth Emek at the August Community Shabbat Dinner!
Prior to Shabbat services, we invite you to come for a friendly, fun dinner. This is a wonderful opportunity to eat great food, meet new members, connect with existing members, and catch up with long-standing friends!

Date: Friday, August 19
Time: 6:15pm
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
Please RSVP by 3:00 pm, Friday, August 19.
Please contact the CBE office if you have any questions 931-1055
Details here

Outdoor Shabbat Service at Temple Isaiah
Join us for a one-hour intergenerational come-as-you-are service that takes advantage of the beautiful summertime in our outdoor Amphitheater. Happy Half-Hour Oneg beforehand at 6pm in the Beit Knesset.

Date: Friday, August 19
Time: 6:30pm
Place: Temple Isaiah Amphitheater, 945 Risa Rd, Lafayette


Shabbat in the Park
Bring Your Pets!
Hate driving in traffic? No problem! We’re bringing Shabbat to you. Meet at Heather Farm Park this Friday for family-friendly services. Bring your own picnic dinner, blankets, chairs, and pets on a leash for a special pet blessing. We hope to see you there!

Please find us at the picnic tables at the far end of the parking lot between the playground and the pool. Look for the sand volleyball court.

Date: Friday, August 19
Time: 6:30pm
Place: Heather Farm Park, 301 N San Carlos Drive, Walnut Creek
Sponsored by Temple Isaiah of Lafayette

Congregation 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 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.

Date: Sunday, August 21
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
For more information, contact Lisa Kama, Membership Chair, at membership@bethemek.org.

Courtyard Service and Pot-luck dinner
Do you live on the island of Alameda? Join the friendly folks at Temple Israel for services in the courtyard plus a potluck dinner.

Please bring a dish to share using this guide:
families with last names beginning
A-G Salads
H–M Drinks
N-S Main Dish – (dairy – no meat or shellfish – to avoid the possibility of mixing meat and dairy dishes in t he same course.)
T-Z Dessert
If you have any questions you can call Maya, Temple Israel’s office administrator, at 510-522-9355.

Need a friendly face to meet you there? Email me, Dawn at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org, and I’ll put you in touch with someone.

Date: August 26
Time: 6pm
Place: Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Rd., Alameda

Shabbat Service Under the Trees
Join us for an end of summer Shabbat morning service under the oak trees as we celebrate nature, community and the peace of Shabbat with music, meditation and joyful learning.

Date: Saturday, August 27
Time: 10:15 am
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley

Build Your Own Sukkah!
Thought of building your own Sukkah, but worried that it’s too difficult? Think you don’t have space in your yard for a sukkah or storage to keep the materials the rest of the year? Join Lisa and Alon Kama for a workshop on how to build a simple Sukkah out of PVC pipes. All participants will receive a detailed supply list, blueprint for building, and ideas for decorating.

Date: Tuesday, August 30
Time: 7:00p
Place: Beth Emek, Classroom 1, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton
Questions? Contact Lisa Kama at lisa.kama@bethemek.org

Jewish Heritage Night at the Giants
Join the Bay Area’s Jewish community at the Giants annual Jewish Heritage Night at AT&T Park! You are invited to bring your family and friends, or even your entire congregation! Your Special Event ticket package includes a seat in one of the Jewish Heritage sections for the game versus the Diamondbacks, a collector’s-edition Jewish-themed Giants hat, as well as admission to the Jewish Heritage Night pregame party on Terry Francois Boulevard from 5:00-7:00PM! Live cultural entertainment will take place at the pre-game party, and cultural food and drink specials will be available for purchase. Partial proceeds from every special event ticket sold will benefit Project Homeless Connect and Everybody Is A Star . Don’t miss this fun-filled night out at the park to celebrate Jewish Heritage!

Date: Tuesday, August 30
Time: 7:15pm
Place: AT&T Park, San Francisco
In Community Partnership with Jewish Community Federation, Chabad of San Francisco and Everybody Is A Star
Details on the Giants website

“Transparent”: A New Take on Gender & Jewish Identity
Calling all “Transparent” fans: Season 3 will be released to Amazon Prime members beginning September 23! Join us as we explore the impact that the show has made on how LGBTQ+ and Jewish characters are presented in popular culture. “Transparent” writer and producer Micah Fitzerman-Blue takes us behind-the-scenes into the writer’s room of this groundbreaking series, to discuss the show’s multi-faceted portrayal of Jewish identity and family dynamics. Immediately following the presentation, Jhos Singerexamines gender fluidity and its impact on his work as a Jewish transgender leader, teacher, and activist. A moderated panel discussion and audience Q&A will follow.

Date: Sun, September 11
Time: 5:00 pm
Place: Marin JCC, 200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
Cost: Advance Tickets are $18 public / $15 Osher Marin JCC members.
To order tickets, please call 415-444-8000
Details here