Up next, Shavuot + Jewish Summer Camp

Shavuot starts on Saturday at sundown

Are you wondering, what exactly is Shavuot and what are we supposed to DO? Here’s a quickie overview.
Here’s an interesting article about why Shavuot is so short on rituals, and therefore, observance.

Tikkun Leyl Shavout, the practice of staying up all night to study originates with the mystics and was not for the ordinary Jew. Who could stay awake all night!? But then coffee arrived in the Jewish world and voila! Everyone could stimulate themselves to stay awake. (Well, everyone but me.)  So if you are of a mind to give all night study a try you can check out some of the Shavuot study events below. Or you can celebrate by performing the home based practice of eating dairy foods. That means making blintzes and cheesecake. I know, life is tough when you have to eat cheesecake. But try to make the sacrifice.

My blintzes recipe is here.

I feel like everyone has a recipe for cheesecake, but if you don’t and you want one, just email me. (dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org)


What about Jewish Summer Camp?
I am read the studies that say how powerful summer camp is – all summer camps, secular and religious. But what impresses me most are the young people who simply glow when they talk about camp. One young woman who has a Jewish dad and a Catholic mom told me that going to Jewish summer camp every year gave her the Jewish knowledge that has empowered her confidence in her identity as a Jew. She spent some of her teen years as a camp counselor where she was in charge of Jewish rituals; that “really empowered me” she said.  Another young man told me that he is still deeply connected to the kids he met and “grew up with” at Tawonga. He said the Jewish component was not pushed, it was simply built in.

This American Life has a wonderful podcast on Summer Camp; you can listen to it here.
There is a national website set up to help you find the “right” camp for your child. It’s called One Happy Camper.
For Bay Area summer camps take a look at Camp Collective.

Some kids – and parents – are not interested in sleep-away camp. For them there are many local day camps at synagogues, JCCs, Urban Adamah and others.
JCC of the East Bay has camp right on the front page of their website.
JCC of San Francisco has lots of camps and swimming lessons.
Marin JCC has swimming, camps and other activities for kids.
Palo Alto JCC, now named the Oshman Family JCC lists their camp options too.
Addison Penzak JCC in Los Gatos has camps and, of course, swimming. Because it’s HOT in Los Gatos!

You can Google “Jewish summer camp” and the name of your city. Or you can cruise the websites of your local synagogues. Or you can email me and I’ll help you look around your town/city.


First Friday Shabbat in the Round and Community Dinner (Oakland)
The Jewish Night of Why? (Walnut Creek)
A Zen Shavuot with Norman Fischer (San Rafael)
Tikkun Leil Shavuot (Los Altos Hills)
Night Shift: A Jewish Cultural Experience (Palo Alto)
Reading Torah from a Transgender Perspective (San Francisco)
Shavuot Service & Study (Pleasanton)
Pop-Up Jewish Marin: Celebrate Shavuot! (Larkspur)
Religion Chat (Livermore)
Sababa Shabbat (Oakland)
Pride Shabbat Service (Walnut Creek)
Guided Meditation with Rabbi Ryan Bauer (San Francisco)
Shabbat Under the Stars (Pleasanton)

First Friday Shabbat in the Round and Community Dinner
Join us for our First Friday Shabbat Service in the Round. Lots of music in a large circle with musicians.
This event is accessible.

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

The Jewish Night of Why
Please join us on Erev Shavuot for an evening of lively discussion and provocative questions and answers. This is your chance to ask Rabbi Gutterman & Cantor Chabon all kinds of big and small questions! Please bring a dairy dish to share, we’ll provide dessert and drinks!
Potluck dinner followed by discussion & Havdallah
Please RSVP as soon as possible to Ritual Committee member Anna Corwin (annaicorwin@gmail.com)

Date:   Saturday, June 8
Time:   6:30pm
Place:   B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek

A Zen Shavuot with Norman Fischer
Join Zen Priest Norman Fischer and Rabbis Elana Rosen-Brown and Paul Steinberg for an evening of music, learning, meditation, and cheesecake in celebration of Shavuot.

Date:   Saturday, June 8
Time:   7:30 pm
Place:   Congregation Rodef Sholom, 170 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael
Sponsored by Rodef Sholom and Kol Shofar.
Details here

Tikkun Leil Shavuot
A Night of Learning, Prayer and Blintzes!
An extraordinary late-night program of Jewish learning with rabbis and teachers from across the Jewish community! The evening will begin with a panel including Rabbi David Booth, Rabbi Darren Kleinberg and Rabbi Sarah Weissman, who will speak about their personal journeys of faith and doubt.

Full schedule here

Date:   Saturday, June 8
Time:   7:00 PM to 12:30 AM (come for an hour or stay into the night)
Place:   Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills

Night Shift: A Jewish Cultural Experience
Night Shift is a Jewish cultural experience. It’s a new take on Shavuot—the holiday that celebrates Jewish culture and literacy. Come gather at Town and Country Village in Palo Alto after normal operating hours, and shift your perspective as to what is possible there.

Explore your favorite yoga studios, coffee shops and book stores in a whole new way. Night Shift is an immersive and multidisciplinary festival of Jewish culture, complete with live music, text study, performance art, conversation, movement and—of course—delicious food to eat.

Date:   Saturday, June 8
Time:   8:00 PM–12:00 AM
Place:   Town and Country Village, El Camino Real & Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto
Cost:    $36 Adults | $18 Students
Contact: Zoe Jick | (650) 223-8756 | zjick@paloaltojcc.org
Details here

Reading Torah from a Transgender Perspective
Shavuot with Congregation Sha’ar Zahav
Come join Sha’ar Zahav as we learn from featured teacher, Joy Ladin, Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University. Ladin is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. Her memoir, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award.

Date:   Saturday, June 8
Time:   6:30 pm
Place:   Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, San Francisco
In partnership with the San Francisco JCC, Sherith Israel, and Congregation Emanu-el.
Details here

Shavuot Service & Study
Each year, CBE joins with Temple Beth Torah for a Shavuot service and study session. We’ll celebrate with a beautiful morning festival service, highlighted by the reading of the Ten Commandments. Yizkor prayers are also recited. Following lunch, Rabbis Milder and Schulman will lead us in studying passages from Pirkei Avot, The Sayings of the Sages.

A dairy lunch will be provided. All are welcome, please let us know if you plan to attend by clicking here.

Date:   Sunday, June 9
Time:   10:30am
Place:   Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct., Pleasanton

Pop-Up Jewish Marin: Celebrate Shavuot!
Meet us at Marin Country Mart to celebrate Shavuot with fun family activities and free ice cream, courtesy of Three Twins.* Shavuot began as an ancient agricultural holiday, coinciding with the beginning of the summer harvest.

Make colorful tissue paper flower bouquets and crowns.
Hebrew & English storytimes.

Date:   Monday, June 10
Time:   3-5pm
Place:   Marin Country Mart, 2257 Larkspur Landing Cir, Larkspur
Free and open to all. Details here
Hosted by the Osher Marin JCC, in partnership with Congregation Rodef Sholom, Kesher & PJ Library.

Religion Chat
This month’s topic of discussion will be “What Does Your Faith Do to Make the World a Better Place? The program is free, and all are welcome.

Date:   Wednesday, June 12
Time:   6:15 to 7:15 PM.  Doors will be open from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.
Place:   Kedarnath Room in the building next to the Administration Building of the Hindu Community and Cultural Center, 1232 Arrowhead Ave., Livermore.
For more information you may email interfaith.interconnect@gmail.com
At 7:15 PM volunteers will be available to take attendees on an optional Temple tour.

Sababa Shabbat
Sababa Shabbat is our monthly family Shabbat celebration for children ages 0 – 8 and their families.
Join us over the summer as we welcome Shabbat with service, song, and play and stay for dinner with the community.
RSVP for dinner by June 12 at oaklandsinai.org

Date:   Friday, June 14
Time:   5:30 service, 6:00 dinner
Place:   Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

Pride Shabbat Service
With Musician Lisa Zeiler
Join our own Lisa Zeiler for a special Pride focused Shabbat service.

Date:   Friday, June 14
Time:   6:30 to 7:30pm
Place:   B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek

Guided Meditation with Rabbi Ryan Bauer
The Torah-based teachings and practices of Meditation (Avodah) and loving-kindness (gimilut chasadim) are at the heart of our meditation at Emanu-El. Our focus during our pre-Shabbat meditation is to transition from human doings into human BEINGS. Join us for this new monthly activity to help you develop your self-awareness.

Date:   Friday, June 21
Time:   5:30 pm
Place:   Reuben Rinder Chapel at Emanu-el, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
No registration required. Just bring yourself.

Shabbat Under the Stars
Be sure to mark your calendar for this year’s Shabbat Under the Stars. We are pleased to welcome back Steve Kritzer as a guest musician at this year’s service. There will be lots of fun singing during the Oneg Shabbat, too!

Date:   Friday, June 21
Time:   7:30pm
Place:   Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct., Pleasanton