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Dec. 7, 2006 Dear Interfaith Families and Friends, Chanukah… - Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith

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[Dec. 7th, 2006|05:29 pm]
Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith
[Current Mood |bouncyfestive]

Dec. 7, 2006

Dear Interfaith Families and Friends,

Chanukah Shopping

Looking for a menorah? Gelt? Dreidels? All the synagogue shops are open! Here’s an announcement I received from Rodef Sholom in San Rafael. You’re not in San Rafael? There’s a synagogue near you with a shop. There are also Judaica shops like Afikomen in Berkeley, bob and bob’s in Palo Alto and Dayenu in San Francisco. To find a shop, call Jewish Community Information and Referral at 415-777-4545. Judy or Gail or one of their volunteers will help you.

Open now-December 18:

Monday-Thursday, 10 am-6 pm

Friday, 10 am-3 pm

Sunday, 9:15 am-2:30 pm

Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 No. San Pedro Road, San Rafael

For more information contact Jerrine at (415) 479-3441, ext. 3004, or at Jerrine@rodefsholom.org.

Maybe you would rather work on creating meaningful traditions for you, your partner and any children in your lives. December can be a time of exhausted excess in an interfaith family. If you do presents for eight nights and a blow out Christmas both you and your loved ones may feel only stress and exhaustion, to say nothing of a terrible feeling of emptiness. “Stuff” just can’t replace love and cozy togetherness.

On Sunday when I met with women in interfaith relationships we talked about creating family traditions, a time of being together rather than a surfeit of gifts and gorging. One thing I love to do is to assign a theme to each night of Chanukah. A night when we eat latkes - of course - and for us this night is always in the charge of our dear friends the Leiber/Rubins. Phil fries the latkes and Laurie is in charge of a crazy white elephant exchange. A night when we light a log in the fireplace and play board games. A night when we invite friends over. A night to gather up the things we have outgrown - clothes, toys, books - to give away. A night to make cookies and decorate them – we have a friend, Herb, who started my son on sugar cookie men - blue, green - aliens of all sorts, now aliens are a tradition.

What do you love? Reading aloud? Alice, in my office, has a night when everyone receives crazy socks. Are you a musician? How about a night of song? I have a friend who is a fan of music of the 20s and 30s. He has evenings of singing Gershwin - there’s a fun night! A woman on this list says she has a theater night – takes the kids to a play.

What do you love? What do you do? Share your ideas with all of us!

A couple months ago I got tired of not having an LGBT network in the East Bay so I emailed six very connected friends in the Jewish LGBT community and one of them was Karen Erlichman. Karen had just been hired to run the bay area office of Mosaic. Karen set up a meeting of East Bay Jewish leaders to start building a network for the community – heads of agencies, synagogue mavens, movie-going, Shabbat dinner-making, folkdancing, Hebrew chanting LGBT Jews! At last I can say “I’m getting connected!” And of course, if you’re in an interfaith relationship, let me know if you’d be interested in having a couples discussion group just for LGBT. I’ve heard YES (one just for LGBT would be great) and NO (stick us in with straight interfaith couples). Add your vote. Email dawn-at-jfed.org, 510.839.2900 ext. 347 or comment to this entry!

Here’s the link to the article that the J-weekly wrote about Karen Erlichman and Mosaic:


1. Family Arts Day (San Francisco)

2. Movies and Messages: Signs - How involved is G-d in our lives? (Oakland)

3. Holiday Parent-Child Gift Workshop (Berkeley)

4. Coffee Talk ¼About raising Jewish children (Walnut Creek)

5. The Women's Table (Walnut Creek)

6. Community Chanukah Celebration (Berkeley)

7. Reysheet: Tot Shabbat (Lafayette)

8. Chanukah Candlelighting (Palo Alto)

9. Chanukah Picnic Dinner and FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE! (Oakland)

10. Friday Night Live: Upbeat Musical Shabbat Service (Walnut Creek)

11. Chanukah Shabbat Services (San Rafael)

12. Chanukah Preschool Family Education (Walnut Creek)

13. Out & About Hanukkah Celebration (Oakland)

14. Children’s Chanukah Concert (Oakland)

15. Nancy Linder Chanukah Concert (Foster City)

16. Community Hannukah Celebration (Berkeley)

17. Chanukah Celebration (Palo Alto)

18. Community Chanukah Party (Livermore)

19. Hanukkah Party for Families with Young Children (San Francisco)

20. JCC Festive Chanukah Menorah Lighting! (Walnut Creek)

21. 8th Night of Chanukah Potluck (Los Altos)

22. Family Day on Christmas Day (San Francisco)

23. Ruach Shabbat Dinner (Foster City)

1. Family Arts Day

Imagine a Chanukah party with Chinese Lion Dance, Capoeira & Afro-Caribbean drumming and dance workshops, “Farolito” Menorahs, Chanukah treats from Spain and Latin America and more!

Date: Sunday, December 10

Time: 1-4pm

Place: Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission Street, SF (between 24th and 25th St)

Free and open to the public More information: http://www.jewishresearch.org/events/ChanukahFamDay06.pdf

Sponsored by Bechol Lashon (In Every Tongue)

2. Movies and Messages: Signs

How involved is G-d in our lives?

Feature films and friends meet up with fundamental human questions We’ll screen segments of well known movies (in this case Signs) and discuss the Jewish themes and concepts they suggest. Fun and educational, these is more to Hollywood than you realize!

It’s Sunday night at the movies! Bring your friends.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 10

Time: 7:30pm

Place: Beth Jacob, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland


For more information call the synagogue at 510-482-1147.

3. Holiday Parent-Child Gift Workshop

Come and share the fun of making personalized gifts with Jewish Arts Culture and Torah School teacher/collaborative artist-Corliss Lesser.

Date: Sunday, December 10

Time: 1pm-4pm

Place: Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince Street, Berkeley

For more information call 510-704-9687.

4. Coffee Talk About raising Jewish children

Are you a non-Jewish mom looking for support and guidance in raising Jewish children?

Are you a Jewish mother wondering how to bring more Judaism into your home life?

Join us on the second Wednesday of every month for a cup of coffee, a muffin, and a chat about raising Jewish children – we’ll talk about everything from the basics of the holidays to teaching Jewish values. In between we’ll share recipes, craft projects, books and local resources that can enhance your family’s Jewish home life. Come with questions, concerns and ideas you’d like to share!

Date: Second Wednesday of every month: coming dates- Dec. 13, Jan. 10, Feb. 14, March 14

Time: 9:30 am -11:00 am

Place: Contra Costa JCC Gallery, 2071 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek


For more information, contact Dawn Kepler at 925-943-1484 or by email at dawn@jfed.org.

Coming to Coffee Talk? Why not stay for the next event, The Women’s Table? See it just below. Alice and I will be sharing a table with women from interfaith families, please join us. Dawn

5. The Women's Table

For Women Who Like to be In the Know

Presents Jamie Hyams, the new Executive Director of the Contra Costa JCC.

Connect with friends; make new friends. See what's happening in your community. Share what's happening with you!

Date: Wednesday, December 13

Time: 11:30 a.m.

Place: Contra Costa JCC, 2071 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek

Cost: Delicious lunch (Catered by Sunrise): $12, payable at the door

RSVP to AnnetteN@ccjcc.org or 925-938-7800. The favor of a reply by December 6 is appreciated.

(The Women’s Table is a bi-monthly program dedicated to building the friendships that create community and is presented by Contra Costa Jewish Community Center, the Regional Office, Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay and Tikvah Hadassah.)

6. Community Chanukah Celebration

All you can eat Latke Dinner & Potluck: Freshly made latkes prepared by the Men’s Club! Chanukah Candlelighting Celebration & Family Kabbalat Shabbat Service 7:30pm. Don’t forget to bring your Chanukah menorahs for the Community Candlelighting.

Date: Friday, Dec. 15

Time: 6:30pm

Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley

Cost: It’s a potluck, please bring a dairy/vegetarian salad or side dish to share.

For more information call Maggie at 510-848-3988.

7. Reysheet: Tot Shabbat

A Shabbat program experience for the youngest children in our Temple family. Children up to first grade will meet with the rabbis and cantor on the third Friday of each month. Reysheet is held in the Beit Kenesset (house of assembly), which is located on the 2nd floor of the Talmud Torah Center.

Date: Friday, Dec. 15 (Every third Friday, Jan. 19, 2007)

Time: 7pm

Place: Temple Isaiah, 3800 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette

For more information call 925-283-8575.


8. Chanukah Candlelighting

Bring your Menorah and join us for candle lighting, prayer, songs and fun for all ages!

Date: Friday, Dec. 15

Time: 7pm

Place: Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma Street, Palo Alto

Free For more information contact Linda Wittlin at:: (650) 813-9094 ext. 300

9. Chanukah Picnic Dinner and FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE!

Join the Temple Sinai family for the lighting of the first candle in spacious William Stern Hall. You bring: your family, a picnic dinner, your menorahs

We provide: latkes, sufganiyot (donuts), dreidels

Together we’ll: sing, light candles and play dreidel games!

(You can also help our adopted elementary school, Lazear, by bringing non-perishable foods to put in the Food barrels for them.)

After dinner stay with us for Cantor Ilene’s FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE service featuring the adult choir and the Mizmor Shir Musicians!

Date: Friday, Dec. 15

Time: Dinner at 6pm, services at 7:30pm

Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

For more information call Gabby at 510-451-3263.

10. Friday Night Live: Upbeat Musical Shabbat Service

Featuring contemporary selections and inspirational congregational melodies with musical accompaniment. All Welcome! Dairy Oneg (following service). If you enjoyed Friday Nite Live I, then you won’t want to miss # II. If you missed Friday Nite Live I, then Friday Nite Live II is a must!

Date: Friday, December 15

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek

For more information all 925-934-9446.

11. Chanukah Shabbat Services

5-6:30 pm: Young Children’s Chanukah Party! - Join us for a party where we will sing songs, spin dreidels, eat sufganiyot (donuts), and celebrate Chanukah! Bring your menorah and candles to light.

8 pm: Join us at our Yehi Shir – Let There Be Music Shabbat & Chanukah Services – on the first night of Chanukah. Bring your chanukiahs to light and we’ll provide the sufganiyot! There will be Israeli dancing at the Oneg.

Date: Friday, December 15

Time: 5 to 6:30pm for the Young Children’s Party

8pm for the Musica Shabbat and Chanukah services

Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 No. San Pedro Road, San Rafael

For more information contact Jerrine at (415) 479-3441, ext. 3004, or at


12. Chanukah Preschool Family Education

Come explore Chanukah with our preschool family education specialist, Dr. Debi Silverman; kids feel free to bring your parents and grandparents! The last 20 minutes will be a Tot Shabbat service with either Rabbi Raffi Asher or Cantor Jennie Chabon. Come for the fun!

Date: Saturday, Dec. 16

Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm

Place: B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek

Cost: $20/family

For more information call Robin Wood at 925-933-5397.

13. Out & About Hanukkah Celebration

Join Temple Sinai’s LGBT community for a Hanukkah celebration and dinner. We’ll be meeting in a private home so please call for more information. Susan is in charge and you can reach her at sekrauss@comcast.net or 510-865-1215.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 17

Time: 5 to 8pm

Place: private home, call Susan.

Sponsored by Temple Sinai’s LGBT committee.

14. Children’s Chanukah Concert

Ira Marlow, local children’s recording artist, will perform Chanukah songs along with original tunes such as “The Teasing Bird,” “Molly the Moose.” and the “There Once Was a Bagel” at this annual free concert. Latkes, lunch and treats will follow.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 17

Time: 10:30 am

Location: Social Hall, Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland.

For more information: Call the synagogue office at 510-832-0936.</b>

15. Nancy Linder Chanukah Concert

Come join us for a Chanukah Concert and celebration. Participate in our candle lighting, listen to Nancy Linder and our children's choir and eat Chanukah treats.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 17

Time: 4:30pm

Place: Peninsula Sinai Congregation, 499 Boothbay Ave., Foster City

Cost: $20 per adult, Children under 12 are $10.

Contact: Joyce Gushka, Phone: (650) 349-2816

16. Community Hannukah Celebration

Bring your families, bring your friends and bring your menorahs to revel in the lights and festivities of the season! This event is for children and adults alike with songs, music, food and entertainment for all. With Rabbi Sara Shendelman.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 17

Time: 5:30

Place: Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince Street, Berkeley

17. Chanukah Celebration

Vegetarian Potluck Luncheon - Please bring either soup, latkes, blintzes, salad, or desert. Harp & Flute Music by Wind in the Strings; Singing with guitar; Folk dancing; activities for children of all ages.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 17

Time: 12noon

Place: Kehillah Jewish High School, 3900 Fabian Way, Palo Alto

For more info Contact: Sue Dinwiddie, Phone: (650) 325-3033

Sponsored by Keddem Congregation, 4600 El Camino Real, Suite 211, Los Altos

18. Community Chanukah Party

Come to a brunch potluck and bring a potato, as well, for making latkes, the traditional fried potato pancakes. We’ll have crafts, a special naming and candle lighting ceremony for the Jewish Culture School students, and a raucous game of “ganef,” in which participants steal small gifts from each other. Those wishing to participate in the game should bring a small gift worth not more than $10. Tri-Valley Cultural Jews is using the Chanukah party as a collection point for gifts for the family it has adopted for the holiday season, an Afghan Muslim refugee family. Those wishing to contribute should contact TVCJ at CulturalJews@aol.com or 925 485 1049 to find out what gifts are needed, or can bring Safeway or Target gift cards for the family. Monetary contributions can also be made; TVCJ members will shop for gifts for the family.

Date: Sunday, December 17

Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm

Place: The Bothwell Center, 2466 8th St. between I and G, Livermore

For More information call Judy Seid at 925-485-1049 or email CulturalJews@aol.com

Sponsored by Tri-Valley Cultural Jews.

19. Hanukkah Party for Families with Young Children

Join us to celebrate Hanukkah by eating pizza and sufganiyot (jelly donuts), playing dreidel and singing and dancing. Bring your favorite Hanukkiah (menorah)and four candles for a community candle lighting. This program is designed for children age 10 and under.

Date: Sunday, December 17

Time: 5:00 - 6:30 pm

Place: Temple Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., San Francisco

Cost: The cost is $18 per family. Please RSVP by December 8 by writing to lticktin@emanuelsf.org or leaving a message at (415) 751-2541 x167.

20. JCC Festive Chanukah Menorah Lighting!

Join with the preschool families and Center staff as we come together to celebrate the holiday.Hot Chocolate and Jelly Donuts!

Date: Tuesday, December 19

Time: 3:30pm

Place: Contra Costa JCC, 2071 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek

For more information call 925-938-7800.

21. 8th Night of Chanukah Potluck

Preceding the service on the last night of Chanukah, we’ll hold a Community Potluck Dinner in the Social Hall. Please bring a dish large enough to serve 10 people, according to the first letter of your last name, as follows: A–F: dessert: a platter of cookies, bars, cake cut into serving size pieces, or a fruit platter; G–N: vegetable or fruit salad; O–Z: fish, chicken, or vegetarian main dish. The Beth Am Membership/Community Committee will provide latkes, applesauce, challah, and wine.

Date: Friday, Dec. 22

Time: 7:30pm

Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills

Please RSVP to Anna Beall at abeall@betham.org or call (650) 493-4661.

22. Family Day on Christmas Day

Join the Contemporary Jewish Museum in a day for the family.

Explore your own family identity

Make a unique family portrait

Participate in gallery activities

Discuver works from The Jewish Identity Project:: New American Photography

Sing and Dance with musician Jonathan Bayer

Date: Monday, Dec. 25

Time: noon to 3pm

Place: Contemporary Jewish Museum, 121 Steuart St., San Francisco

For more information call Janine at 415-344-8836.

23. Ruach Shabbat Dinner

A kosher Shabbat dinner preceded by fun, family oriented singing led by our own Cantor Doron.

Date: Jan. 5, 2007

Time: 5pm

Place: Peninsula Sinai, 499 Boothbay Avenue, Foster City

For more information contact Elana Lieberman at ruachshabbat@peninsulasinai.org

Thanks for reading!

Building Jewish Bridges:
Outreach to Interfaith Couples
(510) 839-2900
Dawn Kepler, Director, ext. 347
Alice Hale, Associate, ext. 249
In Contra Costa: 925-943-1484
300 Grand Ave.
Oakland, CA 94610