What About the Children?

(Image: Guinness Hamentashen for Irish Jewish kids!)

What about the children?
If you are in an interfaith/intercultural family then your children have family members who are not Jewish, who may follow other religions or traditions, yet these people are an important part of your child’s life.

How can you recognize and honor this part of your child’s heritage without negatively impacting their Jewish identity?

People often jump to the most extreme differences and focus on them. But let’s take a softer approach. There is so much in the non-Jewish parent’s heritage that can be easily taught that is not about religion. Join me this coming Thursday for Honoring Your Jewish Child’s Non-Jewish Heritage. We will discuss the myriad ways in which you can, and should, support your child embracing all of their identity. Details are below.

A close friend of mine (Jewish) married an Irish Catholic man. Their daughter was raised with both cultures as part of her identity. In honor of this mashup I made Guinness Hamentashen this year. (Photo above) If you’d like the recipe just let me know.

Ukraine receives assistance from around the world
If you would like a first person account of rescuing Ukrainian citizens you can watch this Zoom meeting of Congregation Beth Jacob discussing the work of United Hatzalah, an Israeli refugee rescue organization. CBJ is raising funds to support them. This particular operation is on the border of Monrovia, a small country unequipped to assist the mass of refugees. Three women talk about their experience on the ground. It is quite powerful. Your heart will ache, but you will see the kindness of so many ordinary citizens who are determined to help. Use this link.  And enter this passcode: Ukraine1221!

Jewish Films
The East Bay International Jewish Film Festival has begun! You can watch films virtually. I’ve already seen a couple. Look at their line up here and see a film or two from the comfort of your own home.

Shir Joy Shabbat (virtual and in Walnut Creek)
Tot Shabbat – Live on Zoom!
Jews of Color: Taking Charge of Your Jewish Identity (virtual)
The World of the Chasidim: Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav (virtual and Los Altos)
Liturgically Traditional, Radically Inclusive Kabbalat Shabbat (virtual)
Honoring Your Jewish Child’s Non-Jewish Heritage (virtual)


Shir Joy Shabbat
Our Shir Joy service is a powerful musical experience featuring Rabbi Chabon’s angelic voice accompanied by dynamic professional musicians on the bimah. This service is sure to lift our individual and collective spirits as we enter the space of shabbat, renewed and inspired.

Date:   Friday, March 18
Time:   7:30 p.m.
Watch on YouTube
Hosted by B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek

Tot Shabbat – Live on Zoom!

Join Jen Miriam and Alon Altman with their Puppet Friends! Designed for babies, tots, and children up to 5 with their families! Join us for Shabbat songs and prayers, dancing and puppets and community.

Date:   Saturday, March 19
Time:   10:30 am – 11 am
Sponsored by Kehillah Community Synagogue and the Jewish Baby Network.
Hosted by Kehillah Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Avenue, Oakland
Join us here

Jews of Color: Taking Charge of Your Jewish Identity
It is not unusual for a Jew of color to be asked, “How did you get to be Jewish?” Quite simply the question stems from their appearance – “You don’t look Jewish.”

There are a number of ways that an adult from a biracial Jewish or interfaith family can arm themselves for these micro-aggressions. Kim Carter Martinez, the biracial daughter of an African American father and a white Ashkenazi mother, has spent years honing her skills and is pleased to teach others how to own your identity in spite of the doubts of others.

Date:   March 20
Time:   11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Virtual Program
Hosted by Building Jewish Bridges and New Lehrhaus
Please register here.

The World of the Chasidim: Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav

Join Rabbi Sarah Weissman to explore some of the central ideas of chasidism through the lens of Rebbe Nachman’s life and writings.

Dates:  3 Thursdays beginning March 24
Time:   7pm
Online, hosted by Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
Sign up here.

Liturgically Traditional, Radically Inclusive Kabbalat Shabbat

This virtual service is songful and in Hebrew (transliteration provided), following the full liturgy. Whether this type of prayer service is new for you, familiar, or intimately known, ALL are welcome!

Date:   Friday, March 25
Time:   5:30 pm
Co-sponsored by Kehilla Community Synagogue and Glitter Kehilla.
Join us here

Honoring Your Jewish Child’s Non-Jewish Heritage
Every child needs to understand where they come from. If you are raising your child as a Jew but one parent is not Jewish it is essential that you teach your child about that side of their family.

Jews can be concerned that learning about the non-Jewish parent means learning about another religion that will compete with Judaism. Not at all. There are hundreds of elements to another tradition or culture.

There are cultural traditions which may include language, food, and music.
There are family traditions that include stories, memories, trips, games.
There are the traditions you create in your own nuclear family.

Let’s discuss how to teach your child about BOTH sides of the family and how to integrate both parents into your child’s identity.

Date: March 29
Time: 7 to 8:pm
This class will be online. Due to concerns the in-person option was eliminated.  To register please go here.

Hosted by Building Jewish Bridges, Temple Sinai, and New Lehrhaus