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A Chanukah Message from Dawn [Dec. 18th, 2006|09:49 am]
Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith
[Current Mood |cheerfulfestive]

Dear Interfaith Families and Friends,

We are closing in on the big days of Chanukah (began Friday night at sundown, Dec. 15) and Christmas (I’ll leave it to you to guess when that is). For a number of people this means a couple of weeks of work, work, work. Remember to take time for yourself, time to enjoy the holidays.

More ideas for minimizing overload, and maximizing joy:

One thing parents have reiterated to me is the desire to teach their children values – compassion, responsibility, honesty, generosity. Not one has said, "I’d like my kids to be materialistic and focused on getting lots of things!” We are about to hit the glut of the December holiday season. Don’t make yourself crazy. I heard a radio ad that said, “You still have so many gifts to get and so little time!” Naturally they were selling something. Don’t let the marketers run your family. The best gift you can give ANYONE is your time. A woman in my office just lost her sister unexpectedly. What can a gift do for her? Not a thing. All we can do is show up. Listen. Give a hug. And do that again tomorrow.

Give something meaningful. Here are some ideas shared with me for Chanukah (many of them work for Christmas too).

Cupcake menorah

Night of giving books and reading aloud

Sock night – or scarf, mittens, home-make cards

Poem night – write a silly, sweet, short, rhyming, not rhyming, whatever, poem for each other

Adopt a needy family to give gifts to

Bake bread together

Build a fire and stare into the flames, let the kids fall asleep in front of it

Chanukah Ideas from the Reform Movement

If you're wondering what you can do this year to make your family's Chanukah celebration more meaningful and enjoyable, you'll find the Chanukah Holiday Resource page is filled with suggestions for recipes, blessings, and ways to make tikkun olam a part of this year's celebration.


1. Chanukah Lunch: The Miracle of Chanukah (Berkeley)

2. Hidden Jews (Berkeley)

3. Movie: Joyeux Noel (Berkeley)

4. Tot Shabbat (San Mateo)

5. Comedy Night with Heather Gold (Berkeley)

6. Kung Pao Kosher Comedy (San Francisco)

7. Klezmer Music and Yiddish Culture Event (San Francisco)

8. Community Shabbat Dinner (San Mateo)

9. Reysheet: Tot Shabbat (Lafayette)

10. Parents Night Out in Oakland (Oakland)

11. Movies and Messages (Walnut Creek)

12. Jewish Wedding Fair (Palo Alto)

1.Chanukah Lunch: The Miracle of Chanukah

A Special Holiday Program with Ira Levin

Celebrate the miracle of Chanukah with Ira Levin, song leader and singing storyteller as he brings to life the stories and songs of Chanukah.

Date: Monday, December 18

Time: 11:30am program;12:00 lunch

Place: JCC of the East Bay, Berkeley site, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley

Fee: $6 seniors & children; $6.50 all others.

For more information or to register call 510-848-0237 x110or info@jcceastbay.org

2.Hidden Jews

We will focus on those who, through historic processes of assimilation, have largely lost or been lost to their Jewish roots, and are seeking to re-connect and understand. Beth El will present a panel featuring speakers who are adult children of this largely hidden community and share what it has meant for them to "come out," rejoin, and rejoice in a vibrant Jewish practice and community.

Date: Wednesday, Dec 20

Time: 7:00pm

Place: Beth El 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley

For more information call the synagogue at 510-848-3988.

3.Movie: Joyeux Noel

Don't pass up this opportunity to see this film, share your insights and opinions in a lively facilitated group led by George Porter.

Joyeux Noel: this movie is inspired by a true story, which happened during the First World War, for Christmas Eve 1914, in many different places of the battlefront.

Date: Wednesday, December 20

Time: 7:00-10:00pm

Place: JCC of the East Bay, Berkeley site, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley

Suggested donation: $2-$5

For more information or to register call 510-848-0237 x110or info@jcceastbay.org

4.Tot Shabbat

Join Diana Shmiana and her puppets to uncover the Mystery of the Missing Candles. With the help of her Fairy Godmother Finklestina and a wacky cast of charcters, Diana Shmiana embarks on a singing, putppeteering, storytelling, clowning quest for her missing Chanukah candles... and learns there is more to Chanukah than presents!

Date: Saturday, Dec. 23

Time: 9:00am

Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo at Hwy 92

For more information call the synagogue at 650-341-7701

5.Comedy Night with Heather Gold

Stories on being from the Jewish shetl of Niagra Falls, Canada. Moving beyond identity politics through the kitchen to be your whole self. It’s not your mother's kitchen anymore! Heather is an award-winning comedienne who has appeared locally and nationally and has her own show.

Date: Saturday, December 23

Time: 7:30 doors open, show at 8pm

Place: Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley

For more information call 510-704-9687.

6.Kung Pao Kosher Comedy

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Kung Pao! SFJFF friend and comedy maven Lisa Geduldig has a brand new lineup to keep you cackling through the holidays (but don’t choke on a pot sticker).

The shows feature 4 hot and sour Jewish comedians. This year’s headliner is Cathy Ladman (The Tonight Show, Politically Incorrect regular); the show also features Stephanie Blum (Star Search winner, HBO's Comedy Minutes); Iranian-Jewish funny man Dan Ahdoot (Last Comic Standing); and your hostess, Lisa Geduldig. All of this year’s comics originally hail from New York.

Date: Dec. 22 - 25

Place: New Asia Restaurant 772 Pacific Ave. (between Grant & Stockton) San Francisco

TICKETS:$60 for Dinner Show tickets and $40 for Cocktail Show tickets Buy on-line: www.koshercomedy.com OR by phone: 925-275-9005

7.Klezmer Music and Yiddish Culture Event

You and your family are warmly invited to participate in KlezCalifornia, a weekend celebration of Yiddish culture and klezmer music.

Concert and Dance Party, Saturday evening, January 6, 7:00 – 10:00pm. Award-winning European band Budowitz in concert, followed by a party with spirited Yiddish dancing led by internationally-renowned musician and dance teacher Michael Alpert. JCC members $22, Public $25, Students $15. Tickets at jccsf.org/arts or 415/292-1233

Participatory Workshops, Sunday, January 7, 9:30am – 5:30pm. Play klezmer music (all instruments, levels). Programs for kids, teens and adults. Yiddish Songs. Klezmer Youth Orchestra. Traditional Jewish dance. Yiddish Poetry in Translation. Music from the Carpathians. My Life in the Yiddish Theater with Chayale Ash. Beginning Yiddish. Intergenerational Klezmer Band. Papercutting. Art for Kids. Let’s Make a Musical Yiddish Play. Instrumental and Vocal Technique.

Program details at www.klezcalifornia.org. JCC members $22, Public $24, Ages 5-18, $10. Tickets at jccsf.org/arts or 415/292-1233.

Dates: Jan. 6 and 7

Place: Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California St., San Francisco

8.Community Shabbat Dinner

Every month on the second Friday night Peninsula Temple Beth El welcomes EVERYONE to a delicious dinner with friends and families. Some months there is a participating class from the Hebrew school so you get to see their terrific kids. This month is just “everyone” so please join us for Shabbat. In February we’ll have the fifth graders helping out (Feb. 9).

Date: Friday, Jan. 12

Time: Dinner at 5:30pm

Place: Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda De Las Pulgas, San Mateo at Hwy 92

For more information call the synagogue at 650-341-7701

9.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, Jan. 19, 2007 (Every third Friday)

Time: 7pm

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

For more information call 925-283-8575.


10.Parents Night Out in Oakland

What a night on the town without your kids? We'll entertain and feed your kids for a fun evening at the J while you get a Night Out! The child must be out of diapers.

Date: Sat., Jan. 20

Time: 5:30pm to 10pm

Place: JCC of The East Bay, Oakland Site, 4500 Redwood Rd. Oakland

Must preregister by calling (510) 530-9222.

Cost: $25/child, siblings $10 each.

11.Movies and Messages

Feature films and friends meet up with fundamental Jewish concepts as we screen segments of well known movies and discuss the Jewish themes and concepts they suggest. Fun and educational: there is more to Hollywood than you ever realized¼ Join Rabbi Dardik to look with new eyes at films you may have seen, but didn’t think of as “Jewish.”

Dates: Thursday evenings Feb 22nd, April 26th and May 31st .

Time: 7pm

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

Co-Sponsored by Beth Jacob of Oakland.

For more information call Dawn at 925-943-1484.


12.Jewish Wedding Fair

The Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center's (ALSJCC) Jewish Wedding Fair promises to be an entertaining and informative event that will focus on culture, traditions, (both old and new), vendors and celebration. Open to the public, this free event is geared towards interfaith, LGBT and traditional Jewish couples. Community organizations and synagogues/temples can meet directly with brides and grooms, to highlight their venues for events and membership opportunities. Artists will exhibit custom designed ketubahs, huppahs and other ritual objects for order or purchase by the bride or groom. Businesses will promote reception venues, vacation sites, wedding dresses, linens, flowers, everything for the engaged couple!

Free lectures and workshops will be presented by professionals throughout the day, including such topics as: "Selecting A Rabbi", "Picking a Ketubah", and "Navigating Plans with Blended Families" A "Showcase of Jewish Wedding Bands" will present The Red Hot Chachkas, Kugelplex and Stu Cornick & Savoir Faire, plus pianists and strolling musicians.

Date: Sunday, February 25, 2007

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Place: Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto

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