Sukkot and Activities around the Bay

We are now midweek for Sukkot. The Bible refers to Sukkot as HaChag, THE Festival. The best, the greatest holiday. Read more about it here. Sadly, in America, it has slipped into the background and many Jews miss out on the fun. If you didn’t do much for Sukkot yet this year consider going to one of the many sukkahs at synagogues around you to see just what they look like. See if you can join in a meal in the sukkah.

Maybe you can’t dash out and buy the materials to build your own sukkah this year but you could create a makeshift one. I have a friend who strings sheer curtains from branches of trees in her yard for her sukkah. Another friend hangs sheets around her patio. When my kids were little I put sheets over my kitchen table and let them eat under the table; we had a blast.

If you can’t do any of these things consider making a special autumn challah for Shabbat this Friday – Pumpkin Challah. It is sooo good!


ONGOING: Introduction to Judaism with Rabbi Pam (San Francisco)
Earth, Wind and Ruach (Pleasanton)
Cooking in the Sukkah (Foster City)
Celebrate Simchat Torah! (Los Altos Hills)
A Night of Jewish Humor (San Mateo)
Simchat Torah Outdoor Block Party! (Berkeley)”
4th Friday – Shabbat in the Round! (Berkeley)
Judaism 101 (San Francisco)
Kavanah Yoga Havdalah (Walnut Creek)
Wornick Middle School Open House (Foster City)
Continuing Hebrew (San Francisco)
Wornick Elementary School Open House (Foster City)


Introduction to Judaism with Rabbi Pam
Independent Study – meet on mutually convenient dates and times. In between, do independent reading, attend occasional worship services and events to experience Judaism in action. Course of study includes welcome to the Jewish community, Bible study, Jewish History, holidays, foods, customs and ceremonies.
Free for members of Congregation B’nai Emunah. Non members pay on a sliding scale according to financial ability.

Rabbi Pam Frydman
Congregation B’nai Emunah
3595 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116
415-261-3404 – cellular


Earth, Wind and Ruach
Whoa, put on your dancing shoes! The Klezmer Big Band is coming to Simchat Torah!

This year’s Simchat Torah celebration will be freilach (happy/energetic) like never before. We have a 12-piece—that’s right, a 12-piece Simchat Torah band, juiced for playing great dance music. We’ll be doing horas and Israeli folk dances, like the always popular Mayim. But most of all, we’ll be having fun.

Simchat Torah is a celebration of the renewal of the cycle of Torah reading. At Congregation Beth Emek, we dance with the Sifrei Torah, the Torah scrolls, then unroll one of them to see the entire Torah held by our hands around the sanctuary. We are surrounded by words of Torah.

I’ll do a condensed “tour d’Torah,” showing everyone the highlights and where they occur in the scroll. Then, we will hear the last verses of Deuteronomy chanted, followed immediately by the chanting of the opening verses of Genesis. The study of Torah is a circle, never ending. So put on your dancing shoes, and join us for a family-friendly Simchat Torah!

Date:   Sunday, October 20
Time:   6:30 pm
Place:   Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct., Pleasanton


Cooking in the Sukkah
For families with children ages 3-5. Hands-on activities, including cooking, art, and more! Snack will be served. Free admission. Advance registration required. Please RSVP at

Date:   Sunday, October 20
Time:   10-11:30am – this Sunday!
Place:   Wornick Jewish Day School, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City


Celebrate Simchat Torah!
Rejoice in the Torah!
On this festive night, Jews around the world complete the reading of the Torah and begin anew with the first words of Genesis. Join the Beth Am community for a high-energy musical celebration, accompanied by Beth Am musicians. This event is for kids and grown-ups. We will continue the beloved Beth Am tradition of unrolling an entire Torah scroll around the Sanctuary as we celebrate the Torah reading cycle.

Begin the evening by gathering with the Beth Am community for arts and crafts as well as one last dinner in the sukkah (we’ll have pizza) or by bringing a picnic dinner for your family to enjoy outside (weather permitting; otherwise, in the Social Hall). Why not invite another family to join you? We’ll provide pizza and salad.

While families enjoy a pizza dinner and celebration in the sukkah, adults are invited to participate in adult study and Tisch with Rabbi Janet Marder and Rabbi Sarah Weissman in the Conference Room. Pizza will be provided. Remember to bring your tallitot!

Date:   Sunday, October 20
Adult Study & Tisch, 5:00 PM, Conference Room
Families Enjoy Pizza Picnic Dinner & Crafts, 5:00 PM, Beth Am Sukkah
Torah Reading & Celebration with Live Music, 6:00-7:00 PM, Sanctuary
Place:   Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills


A Night of Jewish Humor
I’m are taking advantage of this author event from Kepler’s Books to have some fun. Some of us will be meeting before hand for dinner at a nearby restaurant. Email us ( if you’d like to know more.

Join the hilarious duo—Dave Barry and Adam Mansbach—for a wild night of side-stitching Jewish humor. This is a don’t-miss event for Jews and the people who love them, or really anyone who can’t resist a good laugh. Besides, you have something better to do on a Monday?

Pultizer Prize-winning humor writer, Dave Barry, and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Go the F**k to Sleep, Adam Mansbach, unravel the religion’s long and complicated history. Sure, most of the history and tough questions they’ll address during this very special evening can be Googled, but why would you when two of the funniest people God ever created can tell us instead? Find out why yarmulkes are round, how to find a steady-handed mohel, who was the first Jewish comedian, how to make perfect Matzah Balls every time, and the real difference between Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Date:   Monday, October 21
Time:   7:30- 9:00pm
Place:   Performing Arts Center, San Mateo High School, 600 N. Delaware St., San Mateo
Tickets on sale here


Simchat Torah Outdoor Block Party!
Our High Holy Day season goes out with a bang, as we celebrate reading the last few verses of the Torah in Deuteronomy and start right back up again with the first few verses of Genesis. Join us for an outdoor evening celebration complete with dinner, libations, singing and dancing under the open sky—we’ll even unroll the whole Torah! This joyful conclusion of our High Holy Day season is open to all and will conclude with a special Torah learning session for adults and teens led by Rabbi Kahn.

Date:   Monday, October 21
Time:   5:30 pm Dinner
6:15 pm Simchat Torah Celebration
7:00 pm Adult Torah Learning with Rabbi Kahn
Place:   Beth El, 1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley
RSVP for dinner in advance online.


4th Friday – Shabbat in the Round!
Come experience an extra lively, musical, rejuvenating and instrumental Shabbat, on the 4th Friday of each month! We will share a catered dinner; please RSVP online. The community is invited to “Show Up for Shabbat” as we remember the first yahrzeit (anniversary) of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

Date:   Friday, October 25
Time:   6:15 pm
Place:   Beth El, 1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley


Judaism 101
The intro to Judaism course, will cover the basics of Jewish history, texts, liturgy, holidays, customs, theology, with plenty of room for you to ask your own questions.The intro class is designed for anyone from any background and any level of Jewish learning, and all are welcome to attend. The class will be facilitated by Director of Education, Sue Bojdak. If you have any questions, contact Sue at
Open to members and non-members.

Dates:  Mondays: October 28-December 16
Time:   6:30-8:30 pm
Place:   Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, San Francisco
Click Here to Register (cost $149)


Kavanah Yoga Havdalah
With David Moreno and Rabbi Jennie Chabon
Come sing, stretch and pray with us. Weaving yoga, song and Torah in a beautiful celebration of Havdalah.

Date:   Saturday, Nov. 2
Time:   7 to 9pm
Place:   B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek


Wornick Middle School Open House
Students in 4th and 5th grade and their parents are warmly invited to attend sample classes, hear from current Wornick students and alumni, and explore campus. Advance registration requested. Please RSVP at

Date:   Sunday, November 3
Time:   4-6:30 pm
Place:   Wornick Jewish Day School, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City


I have to share this class with EVERYONE because it is being taught by one of my all time favorite people, Michael Lederman. If you want a teacher who is kind, funny, smart and makes you love to learn, then Michael is the guy for you!
Continuing Hebrew
A continuation from beginning Hebrew, this course is for students who have already learned the Hebrew alphabet and know some basic vocabulary. This class will provide opportunities to practice reading and decoding Hebrew, and expand your Hebrew vocabulary. Additionally, we shall study several key prayers in the Congregation Sha’ar Zahav’s siddur(prayer book). This class provides a friendly and supportive learning environment, and patience and sensitivity will be shown to adult learners with limited time for study. Please contact the class instructor Michael Lederman if you’re not sure if this class will be the right level for you. Click Here to Register.
Open to members and non-members!

Dates:  Thursdays: November 7-January 23
Time:   7:00-8:00 pm
Place:   Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, San Francisco


Wornick Elementary School Open House
Visit classrooms, meet teachers, enjoy hands-on activities, and learn from school leadership about our engaging and nurturing elementary school. Advance registration requested. Please RSVP at

Date:   Sunday, November 17
Time:   9-11:30am
Place:   Wornick Jewish Day School, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City