Fall Holidays – Jewish & Secular – Getting Crafty

Autumn is days away. That means school starts, people put orange leaf wreaths on their doors, Halloween costumes appear in the stores. Fall always seems like a particularly cozy season. I see a lot of people starting to find indoor activities.

In My Other Life, I Craft
Many of us have jobs and volunteer-jobs and hobbies. Me too. One of my favorite “other” pursuits is crafting. I love it all – knitting, sewing, paper-crafting, gardening. So when I came up on a Jewish blogger who also loves crafts AND does home décor I was so excited. The blog is called Chai and Home and I want to share with you her current clever idea.

For Rosh Hashanah she suggests using honeycomb! Yes, you can serve it with apples or cheese and crackers. Or just as is. When my kids were little I taught them how butter is made by putting cream in a jar and letting them shake it into butter. We ate it on bread with honeycomb. It just seemed perfect together. Autumn brings harvest-types of food and what better time to serve up honeycomb. I encourage you to make your own butter (you’ll have to salt it) and bake some bread. Add this special twist to your Rosh Hashanah dinner (or breakfast) and you’ll have a sweet memory.

The Fall Holidays
Since I opened this communication with the subject of crafts I want to expand on the intersection of crafts and interfaith. American Christian culture really revs up in the fall. Autumn, harvest, Halloween, back-to-school, followed by Thanksgiving and the king of holidays, Christmas. All of these events have a myriad of symbols that crafters and decorators build upon. Pumpkins, corn stalks, apple cider; pencils, books, the alphabet;  bats, owls, and witches – they all show up on flags, posters, blankets, throw pillows, candles, dishes, etc. As a family that is practicing some, or a lot of Judaism, this can make you feel like – where are the Jewish symbols of the season? What crafts can we do? Which symbols can we share with comfort?

Autumn is autumn is autumn. All those harvest foods and images – squirrels with nuts, pecan pie, colored leaves – are neutral. Go for it! When Sukkot arrives (on September 23 this year) you’ll have a perfect opportunity for decorating your house and/or sukkah with all the paper, wooden, fabric or ceramic crafts you want to make. In fact, I’ve heard rabbis suggest that people who have chosen not to celebrate Christmas but love their tree ornaments of animals, musical instruments, baby pictures and such, hang these on their sukkah. Sukkot is a great time for pumpkin bread and hot cider with cinnamon. Go ahead and serve them on dishes you painted with colorful leaves and acorns at a ceramics store.

Got any craft ideas? Sukkot or sukkah decorating suggestions? Great Rosh Hashanah or Break the Fast recipes? Tell me about them and I’ll share.


Immigration Education (Oakland)
Pop-Up Jewish Marin (San Rafael)
The God Experiment (Berkeley)
5th Friday Summer Camp Songs Shabbat (Palo Alto)
First Friday Shabbat in the Round (Oakland)
Sukkot in the Park (San Francisco)
Family ArtBash Sunday (San Francisco)
Arise My Friend, My Beautiful One (San Francisco)
How to Read the Bible (San Francisco)
Collaborative Selichot Service in San Francisco (San Francisco)



 Immigration Education
“Bend the Arc Immigration Action Minyan,” coordinated by Rebecca Calahan Klein, will be hosting an education and action session on the many heartbreaking issues surrounding immigration right now.

Date:   Saturday, Aug. 25
Time:   3pm
Place:   In the chapel at Temple Beth Abraham, 327 Mac Arthur Blvd.Oakland
For more information click here to contact Rebecca


Pop-Up Jewish Marin
High Holiday Reflection & Renewal
Stop by the farmer’s market to enjoy local apples & honey, enter to win a Kesher Rosh Hashanah gift basket, and create a Reboot 10Q journal to get you off to a good start this Jewish New Year (it is 5779 after all)!

Date:   Sunday, August 26
Time:   8am to 1pm
Place:   Sunday Marin Farmers Market, 3501 Civic Center Dr, San Rafael
Details here
Hosted by the Marin JCC, http://www.marinjcc.org


The God Experiment
An evening of story, song and praise
What happens with a minister, cantor, poet and musician mix their stories, songs and searchings in a collective performance laboratory? Join us for an intimate evening of entertainment and exploration featuring Rev. Jim Brommers Bergquist, Cantor Jennie Chabon, Lisa Zeiler and Ariel Luckey.

This is for all doubters, seekers and believers.

Date:   Sunday, Aug. 26
Time:   Doors open at 6pm, show at 7pm
Place:   Neyborly – Poet’s Corner, 2043 San Pablo AveBerkeley
Cost:    $25/person, includes 2 drinks at the wine and beer bar
Buy tickets here.


5th Friday Summer Camp Songs Shabbat
Whenever there are five Fridays in a month, we like to do something a little different. This month, we’ll complement our service with songs that people like to sing together at camp, at campfires, or on road trips.  There will be song sheets, guitars, other instruments and spontaneous (and planned) harmonies.  Come sing your heart out. It’s a surprisingly spiritual experience.

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


First Friday Shabbat in the Round
This month, join Rabbi Regev, song leader Isaac Zones, and the First Friday Players to welcome Shabbat with a new song-filled worship service celebrating the richness of Kabbalat Shabbat and the spirit of community. A special oneg Shabbat with s’mores following the service.

Date:   Friday, September 7
Time:   6:30pm
Place:   Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St.Oakland


Sukkot in the Park
Get ready for Sukkot with a celebration in the park. We’ll build and decorate our Sha’ar Zahav Sukkah. Then we’ll share blessings, stories, nosh and be in community as we celebrate this season of joy. It’s fabulous fun for all ages.

Date:   Saturday, September 22
Time:   10:00 am
Place:   Dolores Park, San Francisco
Hosted by Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St.San Francisco


Family ArtBash Sunday:
Rhythmic Threads: Costume, Song, and Sukkot
The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s family festival days bring together all ages for art making, music, activities, dancing, and more!
Join us for a day-long celebration accessible for all families filled with Middle Eastern music and dance from The Qadim Ensemble, a percussion “petting zoo,” a textile art studio, Sukkot fun, a family dance party, and much more!

Date:   Sunday, September 23
Time:   10:00am-3:00pm
Place:   Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St.San Francisco
Admission is free for two adults when accompanied by a visitor 18 and under, or a transition youth 18-22, on Family ArtBash Sundays.
Details here.


Arise My Friend, My Beautiful One
Celebrate Selichot with Jewish Women’s Theater performance!
6:30 pm   Gather, nosh, shmooze and Havdalah  in Martin Meyer Reception
7:00-8:15 pm  Jewish Women’s Theater production in Martin Meyer Sanctuary, includes brief Q and A at conclusion.  This funny and poignant show looks at moments in our lives when we are empowered to make a change, for the better.
8:15-9:00 PM  Selichot  service in Main Sanctuary

Date:   Saturday, September 1
Place:   Congregation Emanu-el, 2 Lake St.San Francisco


Selichot Collaborative Service in an Francisco
Join us for our Collaborative Selichot Service as we begin our spiritual preparation and usher in the High Holy Days:
7:00pm Dessert Buffet
7:30pm Recital of Classical, Romantic, and Traditional pieces by Ner Tamid’s Musical Trio:  Camellia Rodriguez-SackByrne, flute; Jon Lee, piano; and Adam Scow, violin
8:15pm  Havdalah, Candlelight Procession and Dedication of Ner Tamid’s New Memorial Plaques
8:45pm A modern Selichot Service led by Rabbi Shana, Rabbi Danny, Rabbi Pam, Cantor Rudy, and Cantor Ricki

Free and all are Welcome!
Please RSVP to Ner Tamid before August 24th for Buffet Planning by calling 415-661-3383.      

 Date:   Saturday, September 1
Time:   Begins at 7pm
Place:   Ner Tamid, 1250 Quintara St.San Francisco
Our Selichot program is presented by Ner Tamid, B’nai Emunah & Beth Israel Judea


How to Read the Bible
Bridging the Gap between Ourselves and Our inherited Texts
To many contemporary readers, the Bible often feels impenetrable and outdated, principally because of the manner in which Jewish texts have been taught in religious schools for generations. This course will explore methods for reading the Bible that are central to liberal Judaism’s orientations to reading sacred texts, but are not frequently utilized in synagogue settings. We will discuss myth and metaphor and the Bible’s literary history in order to uncover the ancient meanings of several of the Bible’s classic narratives and its law codes, and to determine their relevance to modern day Jews and the world in which we live.
Taught by Rabbi Jeremy Morrison from Lehrhaus Judaica

Dates:  Tuesday evenings: October 16, 23, 30; November 6
Time:   7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place:   Emanu-el, 2 Lake St.San Francisco
Cost:    Sliding scale.
Sign up for the class here.