Summer is full of fun Jewish options

Isaiah Light is Sown for the Righteous

The High Holidays are coming – this year in October – so you still have weeks in which to do some shul shopping to determine whether you’d like to join a synagogue and have a “home” for the holidays and beyond. I’ve often told you to explore the lighthearted services of summer. Look below to see an outdoor service, a chocolate oneg, and a pre-High Holiday festival. Whether you find your Jewish place in a synagogue, a JCC or a Jewish day school, do find one for your self and your family. Feeling like you can’t figure this out? Call or email me. We can chat about it.

PTBE Book Club Discussion (San Mateo)
Last Outdoor Sanctuary of the summer (San Rafael)
5th Annual Tu B’Av Wine & Chocolate Oneg Shabbat (Los Altos Hills)
Shabbat on the Farm (Berkeley)
Tot Shabbat (San Mateo)
Prospective Members Open House (San Rafael)
Kindergym Sunday PlayDay (Oakland)
Rabbis Roundtable: Does Prayer Work? (Foster City)
Pre-Holiday Festival and Bazaar (Palo Alto)

PTBE Book Club Discussion
Milton Steinberg’s As a Driven Leaf will be this summer’s reading. Also known as Rabbi Dennis’s favorite book, it’s a great read.
This masterpiece of modern fiction tells the gripping tale of renegade Talmudic sage Elisha ben Abuyah’s struggle to reconcile his faith with the allure of Hellenistic culture. Steinberg’s classic novel also transcends its historical setting with its depiction of a timeless, perennial feature of the Jewish experience: the inevitable conflict between the call of tradition and the glamour of the Modern world.

Join Rabbi Lisa Kingston and Lisa Meltzer Penn for an exciting conversation based on the book.

Date: Thursday, August 18
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo
Details here.

Last Outdoor Sanctuary of the Summer
Join us for the last outdoor Shabbat service this summer! Many of us feel spiritually rejuvenated when we’re drinking in the natural beauty that surrounds us in Marin County, and Outdoor Sanctuary offers a perfect opportunity to commune with God while connecting with nature. Bring a blanket or some lawn chairs, a picnic dinner, and a dessert to share. We’ll bring the challah. Feel free to invite your friends and neighbors -Outdoor Sanctuary services are extremely kid-friendly!

Date: Friday, August 19
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: China Camp Village in San Rafael
Sponsored by Rodef Sholom, 170 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
Co-sponsored by PJ Library and Kesher.

5th Annual Tu B’Av Wine & Chocolate Oneg Shabbat
Celebrate Tu B’Av, the Jewish Day of Love, with a wine and chocolate Oneg Shabbat under the trees. The 15th of Av is a post-Biblical holiday of joy and matchmaking, rejuvenated in modern Israel with singing and dancing beneath the full moon. This service will include a short talk by Nancy Federman, the new President of Beth Am Women; and we’ll welcome the new 2016-17 Beth Am Women Board as they receive a special blessing. Then stay for our popular Oneg Shabbat featuring fragrant wines and delectable chocolates.

Date: Friday, August 19
Time: Immediately Following the Shabbat Service; Outdoor Chapel
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills

Shabbat on the Farm
Center your heart, clear your mind, and celebrate Shabbat with a special musical service led by Urban Adamah and Wilderness Torah. We are excited to also partner with JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) who will lead a few Morrocan melodies and Middle Eastern Beats as we bring in Shabbat.

Poetry, meditation and movement guided by a collective of musicians will transport us into the night. A community vegetarian potluck will follow the service. Kindly register in advance for this free event.

Date: Friday, August 19
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Place: Urban Adamah, 1050 Parker St. Berkeley
Register here.

Tot Shabbat
A fun-filled morning of songs, challah and playtime.

Date: Sat., Aug. 20
Time: 4 to 5pm
Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Prospective Members Open House
Want to share your Rodef Sholom community with your friends and neighbors? Here’s the perfect opportunity! Your guests will get to meet the clergy and other members of the Rodef Sholom community. RSVP to Molly at

Date: Friday, August 26
Time: 5:45 pm reception in Rabbi Stacy Friedman’s study; 6:15 pm Shabbat services
Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
Please remember to RSVP to Molly.

Kindergym Sunday PlayDay
Join other parents of 3 year old children on weekdays starting again 8/24-26 for our 34th year! Siblings under 3 are Free!

As we enjoy our expansive, NEWLY RENOVATED play space at Temple Beth Abraham, near the Grand Lake Theater. Come for sliding, climbing, jumping, rocking horses, music, ballpit, stories, bubbles and so much more. Open to families of ALL beliefs, our inclusive classes celebrate kindness, fun and friendship.

Date: August 28
Time: 10:30-12noon
Place: Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland
Cost: $15 per family/cash please
Free Parking
Details here.

Chardonnay/Shiraz Shabbat
Come celebrate the end of summer with us, and discover what makes our community so special. Enjoy refreshing wines/other beverages, tasty appetizers, and relaxed, interesting conversation. We will have snacks and activities for the kids to give the adults time to shmooze. Followed by our participatory service at 7:30.

Date: Friday, September 9
Time: Snacks & conversation at 6:30 pm, services at 7:30pm
Place: Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto

Rabbis Roundtable: Does Prayer Work?
So much of the High Holidays are focused on prayer, at home and in the synagogue. But what is prayer? Is prayer a plea we address to a God outside ourselves or in praying do we awaken our own virtues and values buried deep within. Either way, does prayer work? Four of our local rabbis will teach texts about prayer and discuss their own personal views about if, and how, prayer works.
Participants will include Rabbi Nat Ezray of Congregation Beth Jacob, Rabbi Corey Helfand of Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Rabbis Dennis Eisner of Peninsula Temple Beth El, and Rabbi Lisa Delson of Peninsula Temple Sholom.

Date: Wednesday, September 14
Time: 7 to 8:30pm
Place: Wornick Jewish Day School, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City
This program is free but pre-registration is required. Register here.

Pre-Holiday Festival and Bazaar
Make cards for Rosh Hashanah, create sukkah decorations and get up and dance!

Date: Sunday, Sept., 25
Time: 11:00am to 2:00pm
Place: Palo Alto JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Details here