Thinking about Women & Relationships

Helena Karen me Laurie

Women are typically more comfortable discussing the challenges of their marriage and parenting. So when husbands balk at coming to a program Women in Interfaith Relationships is a great option because the women can attend and take the good ideas home to share. I am not saying that men never discuss these things, only that women are generally more comfortable doing so. If you are a woman in a heterosexual relationship it doesn’t matter what your religion is or the religion of your partner, chances are that you are carrying the lion’s share of home making and child rearing. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many women have told me, “I prefer to be in charge of the house and children.” Still there are times when you want your spouse to step up. It’s pretty obvious that if you are raising the kids in his religion he should put effort into making that run as smoothly as possible. But even if you are one of those women who is thinking, “I’m just grateful that he is letting me raise the kids Jewish; I don’t want to ask for more” let me remind you that they are still his kids and being a father has responsibilities. Your husband may not enjoy the ballet but if your child is having a ballet recital, he goes. He may not have much love of soccer but he still takes the kids to practice and goes to their games. I hope many of you will join me for the Nov. 19 program at Beth Am in Los Altos to share ideas, questions and solutions to the everyday problems of running your home.

Shabbat Tots ‘n’ Torah (Burlingame)
Eat, Sing, Connect: Friday Evening Shabbat Celebration (Berkeley)
Sababa Shabbat (Oakland)
Jewish Time Travel (San Jose)
Tot Shabbat Morning (Lafayette)
San Francisco’s Own Norton I, Emperor of the United States (San Francisco)
From Pioneers to City Slackers Film Screening (San Francisco)
Women in Interfaith Relationships (Los Altos)
Concert with Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn (Tiburon)
‘Almost Chanukah!’ Fair (Berkeley)
Pop-Up Jewish Marin: Almost Hanukkah! (San Rafael)
The Road to Character by David Brooks (San Rafael)
Hanukkah Celebration and Crafts Fair (San Francisco)
Annual Chanukah Party (Castro Valley)
The East Bay Hanukkah Party (Berkeley)
American Jews & Christmas (Oakland)

Shabbat Tots ‘n’ Torah
Shabbat songs and prayers, Torah parade, and a special interfaith family blessing, followed by a kid-friendly dinner.

Date: Friday, November 13
Time: 6:00pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame
Cost for adults is $10, children $5. Click here to RSVP.

Eat, Sing, Connect: Friday Evening Shabbat Celebration
Slow down and relax … it’s Shabbat! Gather in a beautiful home setting for a brief service in Jewish Gateways’ tradition of music and meaningful reflection, then enjoy a potluck dinner and time to connect as a community.
All are welcome, and no experience is necessary. The event is free.

Friday, November 13
Private home in Berkeley
Register here
More info here

Sababa Shabbat
Come celebrate Shabbat with us! Pizza dinner at 5:30, service starts at 6:00 in the Albers Chapel, oneg following at 6:30. Join other families with kids to make some new friends.

Date: Friday, November 13
Time: 5:30-7:00pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Cost: The pizza dinner is $25/family
Please RSVP for the pizza dinner here

Jewish Time Travel
Experience Jewish life in the 1800s at History Park: Hands-on Jewish and general activities in the school house, homes, fire station, bank, fruit barn and more.
Enjoy the charm of vintage ice cream parlor & snacks, free popcorn, live music, singing quartet, Jewish and Western dancing, films and talks about Jewish live in the 1800s, gold panning, old time photos, 1800’s games and more.

Date: Saturday, Nov. 14
Time: 7-9:30pm
Place: History Park, 635 Phelan Ave., San Jose
Cost: Advance tickets are $15 adults, $7 kids and teens 4 and up, 3 and under is free
At door tickets are $18 adults, $9 kids age 4 and up, 3 and under free.
Free Parking
RSVP & Info:

Tot Shabbat Morning
Geared toward families with children up to 5 years old, Tot Shabbat is an interactive and friendly Shabbat experience. Enjoy food, activities and prayer with other young families. All are welcome.

Date: Saturday, November 14
Time: 9:30am
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette, in the Adult Lounge
RSVP for FREE bagel brunch

San Francisco’s Own Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico
San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society

A Jewish businessman originally from England and South Africa, Joshua Abraham Norton arrived in San Francisco in 1849 with $40,000, which after some shrewd investing increased to $250,000 (about $3 million today). After losing his fortune to a bad rice investment, Norton disappeared, returning to San Francisco in 1859 and declaring himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. In any other city, he would have been dismissed as a madman, but the people of San Francisco embraced his reign.

Date: Sunday, November 15
Time: 1:30pm
Place: Rhoda Goldman Plaza, 2180 Post Street, San Francisco
Coffee and tea will be served. Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome to attend. More information here.

From Pioneers to City Slackers:
The Evolving Image of Israelis On the Silver Screen

Israeli cinema is cutting-edge and exciting, and offers a wonderful glimpse into the nuances of Israeli society. Join us to learn about the evolution of Israeli cinema with Dr. Eran Kaplan, an expert on Israeli film and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Israel Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University. This will be an interactive presentation, including film clips, a conversation with Dr. Kaplan, and a chance to dialogue on the issues. Popcorn and refreshments will be served. This event is presented in partnership with the Jewish Film Institute.

Date: Sunday, November 15
Time: 3 – 5pm
Place: Koret Hall, Congregation Beth Sholom 301 14th Avenue, San Francisco
Cost: $10 per person. Purchase your tickets on Universe.
Parents, please note that childcare for kids one year and older will be available onsite for the cost of $5 per child. This fee can be paid directly on the ticket sales page.

Women in Interfaith Relationships:
A Discussion for Girlfriends, Wives, Partners, Mothers and Grandmothers

Join other women, Jewish or not, to examine interfaith relationships in relation to culture and gender. What are the unique expectations and responses that a woman encounters as she creates a home and builds a family life in which her religion is not that of her partner? Join a multi-generational discussion about the assumptions and possibilities surrounding our roles as sustainers of the family. Women in any stage of relationship, any sexuality, and any age are welcome.

Date: Thursday, Nov. 19
Time: 7:30 to 9pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
Cost: $8 for non-members, free to Beth Am members
Register here.

Concert with Kirtan Rabbi Andrew Hahn
Join us for a unique evening of meditation, music, and community spirit with the Kirtan Rabbi and special musical guest artists. Enjoy Hebrew chants, soothing vocals, dreamy loops, and hypnotic world rhythms drawn from the Torah, the siddur (Jewish prayer book), and Jewish mysticism.

Date: Sat, Nov. 21
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Dr, Tiburon
$15 for Kol Shofar members; $20 for the public.
RSVP to Ricki Singer at or 4150388-1818 x100.

‘Almost Chanukah!’ Fair
Featuring: live music; Chanukah latkes and treats; arts and crafts by Bay Area artists; Fair Trade Judaica from around the world; children’s books; menorahs, dreidels and candles; Fair Trade Chanukah chocolate; and a jumpy house!
Participate in a holiday gift drive: Bring a gift card or other holiday gift for a teen in need.
All are welcome!

Date: Sunday, November 22
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm
Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley
Sponsored by Congregation Netivot Shalom and co-sponsored by: URJ Camp Newman, Camp Tawonga, Camp Ramah of Northern California, Tehiyah Day School, Oakland Hebrew Day School, The Jewish Federation and The Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay. Learn about local Jewish summer camps, Jewish day schools, and programs and opportunities for families.

Pop-Up Jewish Marin: Almost Hanukkah!
Meet us at Northgate Mall in Terra Linda for “almost Hanukkah” festivities! Explore global Jewish life and celebratory traditions from around the world: join Be’chol Lashon in making potpourri bags filled with aromatic spices to brighten up our senses. Find out more about the upcoming Festival of Lights, the Osher Marin JCC’s free, open-to-all Hanukkah celebration on December 6th! Learn more about Winter Camp 2015! Taking the fun and magic from our summer camp, Winter Camp offers arts and crafts, swimming, sports, music and more – and NEW this year – Winter Camp will include a New Year’s Eve Overnight! Sign up for one day or sign up for them all. Find out how Brandeis Marin’s dynamic programming for children K-8 grade, and find out how their programs and approach uniquely align with our Marin community!

Date: Sunday, November 22
Time: 12-3pm
Place: Northgate Mall, Inside Central Atrium, San Rafael
Free to All!
Presented by the Osher Marin JCC & Be’chol Lashon with Marin JCC Camp, Brandeis Marin & Kesher
Info: online here or email Heidi Sanders at

The Road to Character by David Brooks
with Rabbi Stacy Friedman

In The Road to Character, David Brooks focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives. Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success. Brooks challenges us, and himself, to rebalance the scales between our “resume virtues” – achieving wealth, fame and status – and our “eulogy virtues,” those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness, focusing on what kind of relationships we have formed. Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.

Date: Sunday, December 6
Time: 10:00 – 11:10am
Place: JCC Lounge, 200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
RSVP to Molly at

Hanukkah Celebration and Crafts Fair
It’s not too early to mark your calendars for our annual Hanukkah Celebration and Crafts Faire. We will have entertainment (Jewish Folk Chorus), lots of beautiful crafts, jewelry and of course, Hanukkah and other gift items from our B’nai Emunah Gift Shop. Yes, of course, we’ll have home-made latkes and a variety of children’s games and crafts.

Date: Dec. 6
Time: 11:30am to 3:30pm
Place: B’nai Emunah, 3595 Taraval St, San Francisco

Annual Chanukah Party
TriValley Cultural Jews is pleased to announce our annual Chanukah party. We will have a secular humanistic candle lighting ceremony, latkes, dreidles, friends, and fun! Please bring a potato, a menorah to light, and a side dish to share.
Free tickets available at

Date: Friday, December 11
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Private home, the Ireland home, located at 19663 Fremery Court, Castro Valley
RSVP to Jamie Ireland at 510-888-1404 or

The East Bay Hanukkah Party
Celebrate the last night of Hanukkah with a party that has something for everyone.
Latkes and other holiday treats, a variety of great kids’ programs, crafts for adults and for families, adult learning with Rabbi Bridget, and Hanukkah music and singing with the amazingly talented Isaac Zones.
All are welcome! Find the schedule and other info

Date: Sunday, December 13
Time: 3:30-6:00pm
Place: Jewish Community Center, Berkeley
Cost: $12 for adults / $6 for kids (2 – 12 years) / Free for children under 2 / Price includes all food and activities. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Sign up here.

American Jews & Christmas
with Dr. Shaina Hammerman

Begin to unravel Jewish anxieties surrounding Christmas in America by analyzing a legal case, a Grace Paley story, an episode of Frasier, a series of interfaith greeting cards, and an SNL sketch, and discuss how Christmas became a touchstone for American Jewish identity. Students are strongly encouraged to read in advance the six-page short story The Loudest Voice by Grace Paley.

Date: Sunday, December 13
Time: 9:30-11:00am
Place: Temple Sinai, in the Albers Chapel, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Free, but please register here