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Dear Interfaith Families and Friends, As we enter 2007 (or 5767 and… - Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith

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[Jan. 9th, 2007|09:28 am]
Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith
Dear Interfaith Families and Friends,

As we enter 2007 (or 5767 and a half) I wish you all a great year. I read a very nice drash (literally "word" but used to mean a teaching from the Torah/Bible) by Rabbi Judy Shanks of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette. It is for last week’s portion, Va-Yiggash (he drew close). She makes a good point, we often wait for another person to make the first gesture, for them to approach us, especially if we feel emotionally vulnerable, but being strong and brave, taking the first step towards reconciliation or simply connection, may reap a great reward.

Take a look:


I hope that each of you will resolve, along with me, to reach out and connect with others. If you are wishing to connect with Judaism or with learning or just to ask questions and explore your uncertainly, be brave, call me. Dawn 510-839-2900 x347 or 925-943-1484.

A few topics to mention and discuss:

New Interfaith Book

A book came out recently, aimed at us, the interfaith community. It’s titled, Inside Intermarriage: A Christian Partner’s Perspective on Raising a Jewish Family. I think the book is a compilation of articles Mr. Keen wrote for the interfaithfamily.com website.

Here’s what the book cover says: The author of this much-needed book is a Christian father helping his Jewish wife raise Jewish children. It’s no secret that interfaith marriages are complex, especially when both partners maintain their own religious faith and community. Using a healthy dose of humor and insights gleaned from his own experience, Keen provides couples with practical advice for how to give children a clear Jewish identity while maintaining a comfortable level for both parents. Any family, no matter what the faiths of its individual members, can find his approach relevant. Interfaith homes come in all shapes and sizes. The foundations that will help them thrive, however, are the same, and Keen’s straight-forward ideas are sure to help. Also includes insights from professionals who work with interfaith families.

You can take a look at other things written by Jim Keen at http://www.interfaithfamily.com.

Interfaith Couples Discussion Groups in Oakland

January is here and I am calling back couples so that we would begin our next group this month. If I haven’t called or emailed you and you are interested, email me right now - Dawn@jfed.org. We will meet on Wednesday evenings from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. I want to start Jan. 31.

I am sure Helena is starting a group in San Francisco very soon, if you’re in the city email her at hmahon@jccsf.org and she’ll get you on the list.

Start Your Year off by Learning More

The new Lehrhaus Judaica catalog is out! There are ten classes listed in the "Introduction to Judaism" section and the classes are located all around the bay. Additionally, there are classes on both modern and biblical Hebrew, the Arts, History and Jewish text and thought. To view the classes you can call for a copy of the catalog (510-845-6420) or go online to www.lehrhaus.org.

There is a fascinating class that I’m hoping will be offered in the East bay so I can attend, Three Books, Three Faiths. It covers the Hebrew Bible, Christian Bible and Koran. This coming spring it is offered on the peninsula in Palo Alto.

In Berkeley, Rabbi Alan Lew is teaching Exoteric Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Lew is the author of One God Clapping and The Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi. He is also the founding Director of Makor Or, a Center for Jewish Meditation.

Hold on to your hats! Rabbi Roberto Graetz is teaching A Mitzvah Revolution with in the Reform Movement in Judaism. I love Rabbi Graetz and so will you. Sundays in Lafayette, put it on your calendar.

How about A Night of Feasting on Jewish Humor: What Makes Jews Funny and Why? with Michael Krasney. In Marin at the JCC in April. Go take a look; it’s only $10.

Take a look behind the scenes with A Sneak Preview of the 2007 Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco with the Executive Director of the Festival, Peter Stein. I hear it’s very popular so you better sign up now, the class is in July!

Feast of Jewish Learning

Do you live on the peninsula? Saturday, Jan. 27 from 7 to 10pm Congregation Beth Am is hosting the Bureau of Jewish Education’s 14th Annual

FEAST OF JEWISH LEARNING There will be a community Havdallah and oneg, poetry and art workshops, over 25 classes, programs in Hebrew and in Russian. And guess what? IT’S FREE!

For details go to www.paloalotjcc.org or call Mariana at the Bureau at 415-751-6983 x132 or email mroytman@bjesf.org.

Community Shabbat Dinner (San Mateo)

Share The Shabbat (Berkeley)

You Call This Jewish Food? (Dublin)

Jewish San Francisco (Palo Alto)

You Call This Jewish Food? (Dublin)

Jewish San Francisco (Palo Alto)

Tot Shabbat (Oakland)

Community Shabbat Dinner (Berkeley)

Parents Night Out in Oakland (Oakland)

Synaplex Weekend (Oakland)

Rick Recht Band in Concert (Tiburon)

Exploring Jewish Identity (San Francisco)

Taste of Judaism (Oakland and Walnut Creek)

Family Shabbat Dinner (San Francisco)

Summer Camp Fair (Walnut Creek)

Tu B’shvat Seder (Berkeley)

Movies and Messages (Walnut Creek)

Jewish Wedding Fair (Palo Alto)

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

You Call This Jewish Food?

Take a taste of the food of Jews around the world! We’ll begin with a brief presentation on the Jews of the region and then we’ll eat!

Meets the second Saturday evening of each month at 6:30 p.m. The schedule is:
Jan. 13 - Royal Afghan, 7178 Regional St., Dublin. Jews of Central Asia, not just Afghanistan.
Feb. 10 - Sugandh Indian Cuisine, 4515 Rosewood Dr. #700 Pleasanton. There are three different Jewish communities in India, come hear about them.
March 10 - Uncle Yu's Livermore. There haven't been Jews in China for over 100 years, but there's an old history and the descendants of the Jews still feel a kinship.
April and May are going to be Ethiopian and Italian, stay tuned for the details!

Date: Begins Jan. 13

Time: 6:30pm

Place: various restaurants

Cost: $20/person for materials. You pay for dinner. Space is limited so sign up early.

To sign up contact Rabbi Judy Seid at (925) 485-1049 or CulturalJews@aol.com
Sponsored by Tri-Valley Cultural Jews of Pleasanton.

Jewish San Francisco
with Rabbi Edward Zerin, Ph.D.

Edward Zerin describes a mother lode of Jewish history in San Francisco, the "instant city" of the Gold Rush days. Drawing on his experience as a rabbi, psychotherapist, professor and author, Zerin taps into a vein of social and cultural riches.

Date: Sunday, January 14, 2007

Time: 1:00pm

Place: Albert L. Schultz JCC Modular, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto


For more information contact: Heidi Stein, Director Senior Services Dept., 650-852-3505


Tot Shabbat

Join other families with young children for a short child-friendly service.

Date: Friday, Jan. 19

Time: 5:45 to 6:15pm

Place: Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland

For more information call the synagogue at 510-832-0936.

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.


Community Shabbat Dinner

with Gerry Tenney

Join us as we welcome Shabbat with candle lighting, a festive meal, schmoozing, singing, community building and Shabbat entertainment. Meet new friends and reconnect with old friends as we come together to share the beauty, joy, peace and friendship of Shabbat. Everyone is welcome!

Date: Friday, January 19

Time: 6 to 8pm

Place: Berkeley Richmond JCC, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley

Cost: $12 adult, $5 child (subsidies are available, contact ilyat@jcceastbay.org)

RSVP by January 17 to Ilya 510- 848-0237 x 127 or ilyat@jcceastbay.org

Parents Night Out in Oakland

Want a night on the town without your kids? We'll entertain and feed your kids for a fun evening at the JCC 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.

Synaplex Weekend

This is an all day opportunity. Yoga at 9am, Shabbat services at 9:30am, Storytelling at 10:15am, lunch, lectures, shmoozing, havdalah, kids’ night and more.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 20

Time: starts at

Place: Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland

For more information call the synagogue at 510-832-0936.

Rick Recht Band in Concert

Join us for a special evening with Rick Recht. Check out his website to hear some of his music.

Date: Saturday, January 20

Time: 7pm

Place: Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Road, Tiburon

Cost is $12 per adult and $7 per child; children 5 and under are free.

Co-sponsored by Kol Shofar and Rodef Sholom

Tickets will be available at the Rodef Sholom office. For more information, call Phil Hankin at 415-388-1818, ext. 14, or visit www.rickrecht.com.

Crepe Expectations: The Cooking of France

Tonight’s menu features sweet and savory crepes. Paired with the correct wine and a salad, these make a perfect meal.

Date: Sunday, Jan. 21

Time: 5 to 7pm

Place: JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., San Francisco

Cost: $50.00 per person

To enroll call 415-292-1200.

Exploring Jewish Identity

A Jewish Journey Group with Karen Erlichman, LCSW

What is your identity as a Jew? Is your Judaism cultural, religious, historical, ethnic, or, a combination? What makes a Jew: believing, belonging or behaving? This group is an opportunity to reflect and explore on what makes you Jewish, how the different parts of your Jewish self relate and how in turn your own identity relates to historical Jewish teaching and the contemporary Jewish community. Something here about developing deepening your Jewish practice regardless of what it consists of?

Date: Mondays, Jan. 22 - March 5 (6 classes)

Time: 7:00-9:00 pm

Place: JCC of San Francisco 3200 California Street, San Francisco

Fee: $60/members $65/non-members

A preliminary interview with the facilitator is required.

For more information or to register, please call 415.292.1278

Taste of Judaism

A Taste of Judaism is a 3-session class covering the three pillars of Judaism: spirituality, ethics and community. The first evening addresses questions around God - how have Jews believe, taught and struggled with the concept of a Divine Source? The second evening looks at Jewish ethics - what does Judaism teach about how we are supposed to behave, how should we treat one and other, what are we responsible for? The last evening covers Jewish community - what has traditionally been the make up of "Jewish community"? How is that different in modern times? Why are the Jewish people referred to as "the children of Israel." Why do Jews seem to stick together?

Walnut Creek class will meet on Thursday evenings beginning Jan. 25

Call for more information or to register. The class is free but pre-registration is required.

Call Alice at 925-943-1484

Oakland Class will meet Sundays in February.

Call for more information or to register. The class is free but pre-registration is required.

Call Alice at 510-839-2900 x249 or Dawn at x347.

Family Shabbat Dinner

Bring in the light of Shabbat with family and friends or meet new people at a special dinner. Relax, enjoy a catered kosher-style vegetarian dinner and sing festive songs at a warm evening of Shabbat celebration. Bring your own Shabbat candlesticks and share the Shabbat light with others at your table.

Date: Friday, January 26

Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm

Place: San Francisco JCC, 3200 California St., San Francisco

Cost: $14/adult, $8/child

To sign up call 415-292-1200.

Summer Camp Fair

Where will you send your kids to camp this summer? How about a Jewish summer camp? Come check out the options at the Camp Fair. Camps from all over the U.S., Israel and around the world will be there. Over 50 overnight camps, day camps, adventure programs, academic programs, specialty camps, and programs for the entire family. Israel programs for all ages: Teen trips, university, adult and family programs and more. Programs for Russian Speakers. Summer jobs for high school and college students. Representatives and alumni that will provide information. Scholarship information available. Children activities and food!

Date: Sunday, Jan 28th

Time: 4:00 to 7:00pm

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

For more information call Tali at 510-839-2900 x255.

P.S. I’m sending my son to Israel with Tali on the Teen Trip! For an entire glorious month! If your child is currently a sophomore in high school he or she is eligible to go. Don’t miss out on this amazing experience.

Tu B’shvat Seder

Join us in the celebration of the Jewish holiday honoring trees. This is a fundraiser for Rabbis for Human Rights. They are currently working on assisting with the olive harvest, replanting olive trees uprooted in Israel and other activities promoting peace, justice and hope in the Middle East. A Middle Eastern supper will be provided.

Date: Sunday, Feb. 4

Time: 5:30pm

Place: Berkeley Richmond JCC, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley

Cost: $10 per person

To RSVP or for more information contact (415) 789-7685 or email treesofhope@mindspring.com

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 realized… 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 with Beth Jacob of Oakland.

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

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