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Feb. 7, 2007 Dear Interfaith Families and Friends, This is a busy… - Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith

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[Feb. 13th, 2007|04:50 pm]
Building Jewish Bridges:Bay Area Interfaith
Feb. 7, 2007

Dear Interfaith Families and Friends,

This is a busy month and I’m hoping that I’ll see many of you at one place or another. If you’re going to the Jewish Wedding Fair in Palo Alto on Feb. 25 do come by and say hello. I’ll be there doing a workshop on how to pick a rabbi for your wedding.


I have a whole string of events in Walnut Creek.

Dinner and a movie anyone?

Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Contra Costa JCC is the first night of the Contra Costa Jewish Film Festival.

Check out the website: www.jfed.org/filmfest07

Films from all over the world: France, Germany, Israel, Spain, England, the US and more.

On opening night they are showing The First Time I was Twenty, which I very much want to see, at 7pm and at 9pm, The Schwartz Dynasty. Here’s my proposition to you, if any of you would like to join me for dinner and a movie, get a ticket (!) and email me that you’re interested. The Agave Grill is right next to the theater (Brenden Concord 14 Theatre, 1985 Willow Pass Road, Concord) and we can have dinner before the films.


Contact me at dawn@jfed.org or (925) 943-1484.

On Feb. 21 is the Asian Jews panel at the Contra Costa JCC for The Asian American Jewish Experience. This will be a wonderful eye opener for everyone. Let’s delight in our diversity.

I’ll be back on Thursday, Feb. 22 at the CC JCC for Movies and Messages: Lashon Hara, a look at what Judaism teaches about gossip with the movie, Mean Girls. I’ll have to see if they have a microwave where I can pop some corn.

Here is a terrific resource for Jewish holidays. A Reform synagogue in Southern California has put together a website that explains the major holidays, including Shabbat, and has the following detail for each one:

A Parent’s perspective

What to teach your children

Checklist (of what you’ll need)









The next holiday will be Purim, beginning at sundown on Saturday, March 3. The congregations all do a reading of the story of Esther, called a Megillah reading or Purim spiel. Often a congregation will choose a theme to make the story extra fun and funny. For example, Temple Sinai in Oakland will be doing Purim according to the Beatles, meaning that they will make up and sing songs that tell the story but are in the tune of Beatles’ melodies. Rabbi Mates-Muchin’s example was “Hey Jews” to the tune of “Hey Jude.” Call your local synagogue and see when they are having their Purim spiel and Purim carnival. If you aren’t sure what synagogue is near you, you can ask the friendly volunteers at Jewish Community Information and Referral at 415-777-1212. If you’re in the East bay, you can call me, Dawn, at 510-839-2900 x347 or 925-943-1484.

Baby is a Blessing: Parenting Jewish Children (San Rafael)

What Makes a Home “Jewish”? (Walnut Creek)

Taste of Mah-Jongg (Los Altos)

Parenting Our Children (El Cerrito)

Mizmor Shir! (Musical Shabbat) (Oakland)

Community Shabbat Dinner (Berkeley)

Daddy Breakfast Club (San Francisco)

Tot Shabbat (San Francisco)

The Asian American Jewish Experience (Walnut Creek)

Family Pot Luck Shabbat Celebration (Albany)

Candlelight Shabbat Service (Los Altos)

Community Havdalah (Los Gatos)

Preschool Family Education: Purim (Walnut Creek)

Purim Dance Party – Adults only (Saratoga)

Jewish Wedding Fair (Palo Alto)

Family Purim Celebration (Walnut Creek)

A Taste of Midrasha – Jewish Teen Program (Oakland)

Potluck and Family Services (Richmond)

Rockin' Family Shabbat (Redwood City)

Hairspiel (San Mateo)

Purim Celebration! (Piedmont)

Purim Spiel - According to the Beatles (Oakland)

Kehilla's First-Ever Purim Carnival (Piedmont)

Taste of Judaism: Are you Curious? (San Jose & Santa Rosa)

The Music of Dan Nichols & Eighteen (Pleasanton)

Twelfth Annual Women’s Seder & Passover Potluck Dinner (Oakland)

Baby is a Blessing: Parenting Jewish Children

Janet Harris, director of Early Education and Family Learning at the Jewish Community Center of San Rafael and Karen Kushner of Project Welcome invite parents of children birth to age 5 to:

Baby is a Blessing. Join us for a three-session workshop on Jewish rituals and traditions that welcome and guide your relationship with your child!

Jewish and interfaith parents, single, LGBT, intercultural and interracial, and adoptive parents are all invited!

o Create a customized blessing for your child

o Teach your child an ethical system

o Learn how to talk about holiness/spirituality to children of all ages

Dates: February 13, 20 & 27

Times: 11:45am - 1:15pm

Place: Osher Marin JCC, 200 No. San Pedro Rd., San Rafael

To register call Janet Harris at (415) 444-8040. Space is limited so register now!

For more information visit www.projectwelcome.org

What Makes a Home “Jewish”?

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!

Topic for February: What Makes a Home Jewish?

Date: Wednesdays, Feb. 14, March 14, April 11 and May 9

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. Facilitated by Dawn Kepler and Alice Hale of Building Jewish Bridges: Outreach to Interfaith Couples. Sponsored by Building Jewish Bridges and the Contra Costa JCC.

Taste of Mah-Jongg

Spend a "Girls' Night Out" playing the ancient Chinese game of Mah-Jongg and enjoying a potluck dessert! All levels of player are welcome! To help us plan the event, we're taking RESERVATIONS, along with a $5 donation to a local women's shelter; and let us know your experience level.

Date: Thursday, Feb. 15

Time: 7:30pm

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

RSVP to Sheila Strosberg (650)578-8725 or sheilastrosberg@hotmail.com . Please bring a dessert to share, according to the first letter of your last name: A-J, dessert with chocolate; K-S, dessert without chocolate; T-Z, fruit.

Parenting Our Children

Sending the Right Messages in an Overindulgent World

What are the challenges we face in sending the right messages to our children while avoiding the temptations presented by our over-indulgent world? Parents will have an opportunity to join in an engaging discussion of the challenges faced in raising their pre-K through elementary school age children. While not directly focused on adolescents, the themes addressed by this talk will assist parents of older children as well.

Bathea James is Tehiyah Day School's In-Coming Head of School and is currently the President of RAVSAK, The Jewish Community Day School Network and frequent presenter on educational topics with an emphasis on mental health.

Date: Thursday, February 15

Time: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Place: Tehiyah Day School, 2603 Tassajara Ave., El Cerrito

For more information, contact Amy Utstein at 510.233.3013 ext. 239 or email autstein@tehiyah.org

Mizmor Shir! (Musical Shabbat)

Join the adult choir and a group of lively musicians for a rousing evening of welcoming the Sabbath!

Friday, Feb. 16

Time: 7:30pm

Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

For more information call the synagogue at 510-451-3263.

Community Shabbat Dinner

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.

Date: Friday, Feb. 16

Time: 6-8pm

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

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

R.S.V.P Ilya 510- 848-0237 x 127 or ilyat@jcceastbay.org

Daddy Breakfast Club

Connect with other fathers, discuss parenting and raising a Jewish family, and best of all, spend time with your kids playing! Led by Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller.

Date: Saturday, February 17

Time: 9:30am

Place: Newman Hall at Sherith Israel, 2266 California Street, San Francisco

Cost is $5/father.For questions and to RSVP, contact Rebecca Spielman at school@sherithisrael.org or 415-346-1720 ext 27.

Tot Shabbat

Join Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller and families with young children (ages 0-5 years) for a child-friendly Shabbat experience. We'll enjoy latkes and guests from Chai Baby, a Jewish Federation program that connects families with young children with local Jewish programs. We'll sing songs, dance around with stuffed Torahs, learn a bit about Shabbat rituals, and take time out of our busy lives to connect with our families and community. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends also are invited.

Date: Saturday, February 17

Time: 10:30am

Place: Sherith Israel, 2266 California Street, San Francisco

For more information contact Rebecca Spielman at school@sherithisrael.org or 415-346-1720 ext 27.

The Asian American Jewish Experience

A panel of Asian Jews discuss identity concerns. Whether they were born into Asian Jewish families, have chosen Judaism as adults, or have been adopted into Jewish families, the personal stories of these panel members help illustrate the varieties of the Asian American Jewish experience.

Date: Wed., Feb. 21

Time: 7:30pm

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

Call or email for info to Dawn, 925-943-1484 or dawn@jfed.org

(My own rabbi will be a part of this exciting and engaging group. I hope you will come. Please call or email to RSVP)

Family Pot Luck Shabbat Celebration

Service led by Rabbi Jay Heyman; Music led by Cantorial Soloist Bon Singer; Special Guest, Rabbi Sherwin Wine, Dean of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. Please bring simple main dish/vegetables/pasta/dessert to share, and non-perishable food for the needy.

Date: Friday, Feb. 23

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Avenue, Albany

For more information call 510-428-1492.

Candlelight Shabbat Service

Bring your flashlight and enjoy our beautiful candlelight service, a Beth Am tradition. Several years ago, our area suffered a blackout during our Friday night service just as our speaker began his teaching. Our quick-thinking Beth Am staff gathered flashlights to illuminate the aisles and additional candles for the bimah. Congregants shared key chain lights for reading the siddurim, Tizmoret played unplugged, and the speaker came down from the bimah to be closer so we could hear him. The loss of electricity created a special sense of intimacy and spirituality that night. Thus began Beth Am’s annual candlelight service. We promise an evening of community, closeness, and magic as we worship together.

Date: Feb. 23

Time: 6:15pm

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

For more information call 650-493-4661

Community Havdalah

And Jewish Learning Night

An entire evening of Jewish learning featuring over 10 classes with local rabbis and teachers. The evening begins with a community Havdalah, each couple or family will make their own spice box. Then you choose from a variety of classes, such as “Spices and Seasons of the Year,” Spice of Life: Sexuality in Judaism, “Living in the Land: Can anything Taste as Sweet outside Israel?” and many more. The event is appropriate for adults and teens age 13 and up.

Date: Feb. 24

Time: 7 to 10pm

Place: Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, Levy Family Campus 14855 Oka Rd. Suite 201, Los Gatos

No babysitting. For more information call Lisa Goldfus at 408-357-7492 or email lisacg@svjcc.org

Preschool Family Education: Purim

Congregation B’nai Tikvah’s monthly education program for families with young children ages 2-5. Dr. Debi Silverman, a preschool family education specialist who has worked in both secular and Jewish preschool education, facilitates sessions that encourage parents and grandparents as the Jewish teachers of their preschoolers. These sessions are open both to B’nai Tikvah members and non-members. The final 20 minutes will be a Tot Shabbat service led by either Rabbi Asher or Cantor Chabon.

Date: February 24, 2007

Time: 10:30-12:30 pm

Location: Congregation B'nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek

To register call: Congregation B’nai Tikvah’s Religious School Director, Robin Wood. 925 933-5397.

Purim Dance Party – Adults only

Celebrate Purim with Beth David at an adults only costume dance party. Featuring live music, wine, beer, appetizers and gourmet desserts.

Date: Sunday, Feb. 25

Time: 7:30pm

Place: Beth David, 19700 Prospect Rd., Saratoga

For more information call the synagogue at 408-257-3333.

Jewish Wedding Fair

Showcase of the simcha bands, workshops, Judaic artists, food sampling, fashion show and more. All are welcome: interfaith, same-sex couples, parents and friends.


11:15am What Makes a Wedding Jewish? -with Karen Kushner of Project Welcome

12:15pm How to Pick a Ketubah -with Ellen Bob of bob and bob

1:15pm Two Faiths, One Ceremony: A Guide to Interfaith Ceremonies -with Rabbi Mychal Copeland

2:15pm Tips and Pitfalls that make or Break a Wedding -with Rabbi Moshe Levin

3:15pm Finding your Perfect Fit (in a Rabbi) -with Dawn Kepler

Date: Sunday, Feb. 25

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

Place: Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto


For more information, contact Stephanie Brown at 650.852.3506 or sbrown@paloaltojcc.org

Family Purim Celebration

A very interactive, engaging Purim performance with Diana Shmiana. Designed especially for families with children in preschool-2nd grade. Singing, dance, merriment and of course, noshing on some Hamanataschen!.

Date: Sunday, Feb. 25

Time: 11:00-12:00 noon

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


For more information call 925-933-7633.

A Taste of Midrasha

Curious about the program for teens in Oakland? Join teens and their parents for an open house event at “Jewish high school” better known as Midrasha. You’ll sit in on some of the elective classes. Prospective teen students may also visit core classes in the first hour. You will meet the teachers, rabbis and students. Classes range from Jewish Meditation to Holocaust to Jews in American Film. Oh, and they are serving dessert all evening!

Date: Tu. Feb. 27

Time: 7:15 to 9:15pm

Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

Need more information, call Elaine Bachrach, Director of the program at 510-444-6744. Feel free to tell her that I told you to call her. I’ve know Elaine for a very long time!

Potluck and Family Services

Join the cozy congregants of Beth Hillel for dinner and services.

Date: Friday, March 2

Time: dinner at 6:30pm, family services at 7:30pm

Place: Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central, Richmond, just a stone’s throw from the Hilltop exit off of 880.

For more information call the synagogue at 510-223-2560.

Rockin' Family Shabbat

The first Friday of each month Temple Beth Jacob (TBJ) hosts a wonderful Rockin’Family Shabbat. The program, which features energetic music combining the traditional liturgy with contemporary music relevant to the prayer themes. We welcome Shabbat with singing and clapping and enthusiastic participation from people of all ages. The program is especially designed to appeal to families with school-aged children. In addition, we offer a program for younger children during the service. We conclude with a delicious Shabbat meal. Please join us!

Date: Friday, March 2

Time: Call Cynthia for the time

Place: Temple Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City

For more information, please contact Cynthia Brickman in the TBJ Office 650.366.8481.


The Megillah According to ???

You’ll get the answers during this great night of fun when the story of Queen Esther is read from the traditional Megillah and then told through songs you’ll be sure to recognize.

Date: Saturday, March 3

Time: 7:00 pm

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

For more information call 650-341-7701

Purim Celebration!

Kehilla Community Synagogue and Aquarian Minyan invite you to their Purim Celebration. It starts with children’s arts & crafts, followed by Megilla reading (story of Esther), Purim Shpeil (adult-oriented humor), and music and dancing with Gerry Tenney & the California Klezmers. Please remember these traditions: Wear a costume, adults and children alike; bring noisemakers/groggers; bring hamentaschen and other light refreshments to share; bring Shalach monos (small gifts of two different foods). NOTE: If you still want to celebrate after 10pm, an “After-Party” will be held at the Tin Alley Piano Bar, 3325 Grand Avenue.

Date: Saturday, March 3

Time: 6:15pm arts and crafts; 6:45 Megilla reading; 7:30 Purim Shpeil; 8:30-10:00 pm Dancing.

Cost: $10 Kehilla & Aquarian Minyan Members, $20 Non-Members

Location: Kehilla, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont

For more information call 510-547-2424.

Purim Spiel - According to the Beatles

Join the staff and congregants of Temple Sinai as we join the Fab Four in a musical rendition of the Purim story. You never heard John, George, Paul and Ringo sing quite this way.

Date: Sat., March 3

Time: 5pm

Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

For more information call 510-451-3263.

Kehilla's First-Ever Purim Carnival

Fun for the Whole Family! Hamentaschen -- Raffle Prizes -- Cake Walks -- Play Games -- Face Painting. Come dressed in costume to our FIRST ANNUAL Family Purim Carnival!

Date: Sunday, March 4

Time: 1:00-4:00 pm

Location: Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont

For more information call 510-547-2424.

Taste of Judaism: Are you Curious?

Come learn the core tenets of Judaism: Jewish spirituality, Jewish ethics and Jewish community. Join other adult learners – you’ll learn from their questions. The class is free but pre-registration is required.

In San Jose, Thursdays, March 13, 22, 29In Santa Rosa, Sundays, April 15, 22, 29. To register or for more information call 888-756-8242 x16 or visit www.projectwelcome.org.

The Music of Dan Nichols & Eighteen

Mark your calendar in ink, as the Beth Emek sanctuary transforms to host one of the most famous Jewish contemporary musical groups in the world. Open to the first 225 people to buy tickets, this concert will be the largest and most ambitious public event in Beth Emek history. We have set up an entire website to address your every question and need, so visit www.bethemek.org/dan_nichols in order to:- Learn more about the musicians themselves and their musical roots- Hear what they sound like, from several high-fidelity audio clips- And to buy tickets! We have many tiers of ticket-pricing available, from child seating, a teen lounge, general admission, and special reserved seating.

More: http://www.bethemek.org/dan_nichols

Date: Sat. March 17

Time: 6:30pm

Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct., Pleasanton

To speak to a live person, call the synagogue at 925-931-1055

Twelfth Annual Women’s Seder & Passover Potluck Dinner

Mark your calendars for this joyful celebration of the Passover Festival in story and song as we honor the heroines of Jewish liberation.

Date: April 5

Time: 6pm

Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

For more information call the synagogue at 510-451-3263.

(Ladies, just FYI, Sherri Richards is in charge and you just want to get her contact info.)