Growing Up Interfaith + Local Events

Happy Son & Dad
Happy Son & Dad

Growing Up Interfaith: Conference May 22
What’s it like to grow up with one Jewish and one non-Jewish parent? You can actually buy books that will tell parents exactly what to do and say to their children so that “everything will be fine.” Such a book is a farce. If you have a sibling you know that no two children are alike. I am one of four siblings and yes, we share many things but we are each unique.

So when it comes to raising children in an interfaith family you should be looking at your children, your spouse, your home, and figuring out what is right for different children – and at different ages! What you discuss your daughter’s concept of God it will certainly not be the same at age 15 as it was when she was 4.

It’s time to ask those “children”, now adults: How did it go? What did we do right? What did we do wrong? What would you recommend to parents of different faith traditions?

I am delighted and honored to have had the privilege of interviewing 50 adults from interfaith families. They have provided the qualitative data to develop a larger study. But Dr. Bruce Phillips will be presenting some initial data at this conference.

The workshops will focus on the interests, concerns and messages from adults who grew up with one Jewish and one non-Jewish parent.

There is one HUGE take-home. It is that people love their parents deeply and simply want to be understood. Here’s a great place to start digging deeper into the experiences of our children and guiding them to a confident and comfortable identity.

Rockin’ Shabbat (Redwood City)
Tot Shabbat (Foster City)
Torah with Soul (San Rafael)
Seder Workshop and Recipe Tasting (Oakland)
Special Lunch and Learn with Imam Abdullah Antepli (Palo Alto)
Passover Concert with Elana Jagoda (San Mateo)
This is Bay Area Jewry: Photo Exhibition Opening Reception (Oakland)
Families Doing Jewish Workshop – At Home with Jewish Ethics (Oakland)
“Let me see that good land” (Palo Alto)
Growing Up Interfaith (Oakland)

Rockin’ Shabbat
Come to this much-loved first-Friday musical Shabbat service and dinner! Rockin’ Shabbat is a multigenerational spiritual and social experience, enjoyed by members and friends from newborn to 90+! Service begins at 6:15 p.m. followed by a fun-filled dinner. Come for both!

Date: Friday, April 1
Time: Begins at 6:15 p.m. followed by a fun-filled dinner.
Place: Congregation Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City
RSVP here

Tot Shabbat
(Usually held on the first and third Shabbat mornings of each month.)
Tot Shabbat offers monthly services for families with babies through age five.
Main service begins at 9:30. Tot Shabbat service goes from 11:00am-12:00pm and is followed by Kiddush luncheon.

Date: April 2
Time: 11am to 12noon
Place: Peninsula Sinai, 499 Boothbay, Foster City

Torah with Soul
Whether you are a Torah veteran, or completely new to Torah, all are welcome. Shabbat by Shabbat, we will study the weekly parsha, based on the second year of the triennial cycle. Additionally, time permitting, we’ll continue our study of the Book of Psalms. On the third Saturday of each month, weather permitting, Torah with Soul becomes Torah on the Trails, where we take a short hike on a local trail before studying Torah surrounded by nature. To be added to the Torah with Soul and/or Torah on the Trails email lists, please contact Molly at

Date: Most Saturdays, do join us on April 2
Time: 9:15 am
Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael

Seder Workshop and Recipe Tasting
with Dawn Kepler
The Women of Temple Sinai are offering a workshop on how to joyfully master the Multigenerational, Intercultural, Traditional and Non-Traditional Seder.

It can be a challenge to have everyone from your neighbor’s toddler to your Great uncle coming to your Seder. Will people be bored? Will they get hungry? Will the kids wander from the table eliciting grumbling from other guests? Come discuss ways to engage different ages… infant to school age to teen to adults We will cover: Interactive games, bringing in the non-Jewish family & friends, foods during the Seder, Haggadot for different groups, 15 steps to a complete Seder, how to cut your Seder time down and more. Sample some of WTS members’ Passover recipes or bring your own favorite (and a copy of the recipe) to share. Be prepared to bring home lots of ideas, and enough recipes for a personal cookbook.

Date: Sunday, April 3
Time: 11:30am-1:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, in the Albers Chapel, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
More info here.
To RSVP email Dawn, by March 31.

Special Lunch and Learn with Imam Abdullah Antepli
We have the unique opportunity to host Imam Abduallah at Etz. Please join us as we welcome him for our Shabbat morning prayer service followed by a lunch. The lunch will be a chance to ask Abdullah questions and get to know this courageous leading moderate voice in the Muslim world.

Date: Saturday, April 9
Time: 12:30 pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto

Passover Concert with Elana Jagoda
Dance and sing with Elana as she plays hits from her Passover Album, Seder Song Revival followed by snacks, crafts, playtime on the yard.

We will be joined by special musical guest Rachel Mylan from the PJCC, and treated to a Passover craft with Carol Booth, Director of the Jewish Baby Network.

Date: Sunday, April 10
Time: 3:30pm to 5:30pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
This event is free to the community, and co-sponsored by the PJCC and the Jewish Baby Network.

This is Bay Area Jewry: Photo/Essay Exhibition
Opening Night Reception
The San Francisco Bay Area Jewish community has been referred to as “the diaspora of the diaspora. Please join us for a wine and cheese Opening Night Reception of this 16 portrait exhibition which celebrates our diversity. Dawn Kepler will lead a tour of the exhibit at 7:15pm followed at 7:45pm by a conversation with three of our participants.

Wednesday, April 13
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St. Oakland
This is free but please RSVP here so we can plan for the wine & nibbles.
This exhibit is presented in cooperation with the Gallery Sinai Visual Arts Committee at Temple Sinai.

Families Doing Jewish Workshop – At Home with Jewish Ethics
with Sue Bojdak
Parents of all backgrounds, all experiences and parenting, mentoring or grandparenting kids of all ages are welcome.
Date: Wednesday, April 20
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Cost: Dinner is $10. Childcare & Dinner are available for $25.
Preregister here.

“Let me see that good land”
The Story of a Human Life
‘Moses fails to enter Canaan not because his life is too short but because it is a human life.’ (Kafka) Moses’ fundamental sense of himself as ‘not a man of words’ comes to a poignant consummation in the long speeches he makes to the people. In our discussion, we will look at midrashic and hassidic sources, and address philosophical and psychoanalytic issues.

Date: Sunday, May 15
Time: 10:00 – 11:30am
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto
Cost: $10/public for all others who register online by midnight Thursday, May 12. Any remaining spaces are $20 at the door. For more information and to register go here.

Growing Up Interfaith
A conference on listening to our children
Since the advent of the term “interfaith” the Jewish focus has been on the intermarried couple. Research has not explored the experiences of the children of these couples. This conference will be a forum for these previously unheard voices, discussing what parental and communal practices empowered them to feel comfortable in their own skins and safe to explore the identities they choose.

Dr. Bruce Phillips will speak about his in-progress study of adults from interfaith families.
Dr. Joel Crohn, author of Mixed Matches, will be speaking about balancing relationship and parenting responsibilities in regard to religion.
Adults who were raised in interfaith homes will share their views and opinions. Other topics include multi-cultural Jews, patrilineal Jews, and a best practice discussion for interfaith parents raising children.

Date: May 22
Time: 1pm – 5:30pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
This program is free but please register. We are buying snacks for the day and wine & cheese for a reception afterwards. Help us get an accurate count by signing up here