LGBT Converts & Black Jews – good stuff ahead!

Audience at the Asian & Jewish program

This coming week of programs range pretty widely. A panel on LGBT folks who have converted to Judaism. A panel of people who are Black and Jewish, a Tot Shabbat program for preschool age kids. You may not be gay or lesbian, you may not be Black, you may not have preschoolers, but I’m betting that you know people who fit these categories. Please share these programs with them.

Gay? Lesbian? Considering Conversion?
About the conversion program – I got 4 emails in the course of 10 days saying essentially, I want to convert… but I’m gay. That word ‘but’ needs to come out of the sentence. LGBT folks need to know they can convert and they need to hear from those who have. The panel will include a trangendered person because that path has additional questions about things like who goes to the mikvah with me if I’m transitioning from female to male? However, even if you’re straight, there will be plenty of information on conversion worth knowing. (program below)

Black or Mixed Race and Jewish?
Last Sunday’s program on Asian and Jewish was fantastic. I can’t remember how many people came up to me, emailed me, or called to say it was the best program they’ve attended. Most of the audience was white, but we covered many other variations on race and identity. Please join us for these powerful discussions of identity for adults and children in mixed race, Jewish families. (program below)

Another blending of Jewish and Black to create something special is the musical program, Black Sabbath at the East Bay JCC.

I got an email from a woman volunteering to be on a panel on Hispanic and Jewish. I have not scheduled such a program but I think I have to do that now. Thought? Volunteers?

Let me know what YOU think.

B’shalom/in peace,

LGBT and Converting to Judaism Panel (Oakland)
Rock ‘n Roll Shabbat (Oakland)
Tot Shabbat (San Rafael)
An Evening of Wine, Cheese and Music (Richmond)
Black & Jewish (Oakland)
God Talk (Berkeley)
Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations (Berkeley)
Moroccan Jewish Cuisine (San Francisco)

LGBT and Converting to Judaism Panel
Join a panel of LGBTQ folks who have converted to Judaism to learn about their process, their questions and worries. Also, how is it working out being a gay/bi/or transgendered Jew? They will discuss congregational life and Jewish communal life and the San Francisco Bay Area. Bring your own questions, we’ll bring the noshes.

Date: Nov. 3
Time: 7:30 to 9:15pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Co-Sponsored by the Outreach & Out-and-About Committees.

Rock ‘n Roll Shabbat
Yes, it’s time to rock ‘n roll with Rabbi Mark Bloom and his band! If you want to stick around for a Family Shabbat Dinner after services you can RSVP, pay and join everyone for a delicious catered dinner.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 6:15pm
Place: Beth Abraham,
Cost: $18 per adult, $7 per child, (4 years old and under are free)
Please note if vegetarian dinner is requested
RSVP to by November 1
Payment: Mail a check, or charge to a credit card. Call the office at 510-
(Virginia’s email response is your confirmation)

Tot Shabbat
Jonathan Bayer, the rock star for the pre-school crowd, will be using movement and song to introduce young children to Shabbat morning services. Come with your child or grandchild and learn developmentally appropriate Jewish rituals and prayers that you can take home. Hear an interactive story and experience Shabbat in a new way, whether you are new to Jewish prayer or ready to help Jonathan lead! No RSVP necessary. Everyone welcome!

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 9:30am
Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael

An Evening of Wine, Cheese and Music
Enjoy the acclaimed Diablo Theatre Company STARS 2000 performing songs from Fiddler on the Roof and other Broadway shows.
Listen to the melodic styling of Saxophonist Dave Alt playing musical compositions from Motown to Big Band sounds and Jewish melodies.
Join us for a lively, social evening! Bring your friends, and wine or spirits to share. A suggested donation of $10 or more would be greatly appreciated.

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Place: Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central, Richmond

Black & Jewish
Hear a panel of local Black Jews (born Jewish or converted) discuss the challenges they meet daily and ways that we, their fellow Jews, can be better advocates, allies, and family members. What are the funny stories? What are the annoying ones? Join us for a thoughtful and intimate conversation about how it feels to be Black and Jewish.

Date: Sunday, November 6
Time: 9:30am
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Please call Dawn for more information at (510) 845-6420 x11.
Co-sponsored by Lehrhaus Judaica.

God Talk
with Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Rabbis have amazing God-conversations with children fairly regularly. Why we don’t continue these conversations as easily as we age? The questions certainly don’t get any easier! Perhaps we forget, over the years, that sharing doubts and yearning for hope is what makes us human. I invite you to join an open and caring -and non-judgmental – conversation. You bring your questions. I’ll bring mine! — Rabbi Creditor

Date: Nov. 9
Time: 7:30pm
Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley
Co-sponsored by Building Jewish Bridges and Congregation Netivot Shalom

Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations
In contrast to the oft-told story of how Jewish songwriters and publishers of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway transformed Black spirituals, blues, and jazz into the Great American Songbook, scant attention has been paid to the many Black responses to Jewish music, life, and culture; audiences can learn how Black artists treated Jewish music as a resource for African-American identity, history, and politics.

Date: Thursday, November 10
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley
Tickets are $10-$15. For more information, visit
Sponsored by the Jewish Music Festival at the JCC East Bay in Berkeley.

Moroccan Jewish Cuisine
The rich colors and flavors of Moroccan Jewish cuisine developed over a long history in Morocco and are some of the most enticing in Jewish food. Learn how to cook a full meal, including a proper tagine, and enjoy the lesson for lunch.

Date: Friday Dec. 9
Time: 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Place: SF JCC, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Cost: Members $50; non-members $55.