Welcome to Tri-Valley Cultural Jews

We are a Secular Humanistic community serving those who identify with the Jewish People through family, culture and history, rather than through religion. Serving the Greater East Bay with holiday celebrations, opportunities to express your progressive social values, and education for children, adults and families. We are affiliated with the Cultural and  Secular Jewish Organizations.  Please view the Upcoming Events link for a look at future activities. We look forward to seeing you!

A message from JCFS East Bay

We’ve reached a critical and urgent moment.

The United States has almost concluded our military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Along with this pull-out is an emergency evacuation of Afghans who worked alongside the U.S. military over the past twenty years. These people and their families are now being targeted by the Taliban, and our country has an obligation to offer them safety and refuge. From just the first planeload of arrivals to Fort Lee, Virginia, JFCS East Bay committed to welcoming six large families to begin their new lives in the East Bay. And the arrivals will keep coming. By the end of this month, we will resettle more than 60 new refugees here in our community, with more to follow.

JFCS East Bay is here and ready to uphold the Jewish values of welcoming the stranger and caring for the vulnerable, as our staff and volunteers work with compassion to resettle these interpreters, drivers, and other workers and their families.

Our country has not undertaken a refugee evacuation of this size in many years, not since the Vietnam War. It is therefore time for JFCS East Bay to put our 144-year history of successful and dignified refugee resettlement into hyperdrive.

Our Refugee Services team will need a significant amount of support to pull off the demands of the next few weeks and months. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. We are one JFCS East Bay, and this is the time to come together in service to our newest community members.

It’s time to mobilize. Here are some ways you can get involved and support our immediate refugee needs:

VOLUNTEER: Please fill out our Community Sponsorship Groups form. These groups of 4 to 6 volunteers will assist our case managers with tasks such as airport pickups, signing up refugees for their social services benefits, helping register children for school, providing ESL language support, and other related needs.

DONATE: Your financial donations are needed now more than ever to ensure we have the proper staffing to support new refugees. Please click here to make a donation to JFCS East Bay.

SUPPORT: Please consider purchasing something from our Amazon Wish List. These items are shipped to our office in Concord and put directly into the hands of refugees.

CONTRIBUTE: We are looking for gently used household items and furniture in excellent condition. Dishware, small appliances, and pots and pans can be dropped off at our Concord office by appointment. Mattresses, small nightstands, small dressers, lamps, and rugs must be delivered to our storage unit in Walnut Creek. Please contact Ami Dodson at adodson@jfcs-eastbay.org for more information.

Thank you so much for joining us in this urgent effort. Together, we can replace fear and displacement with a new home and renewed hope.

Current TVCJ Mask Policy

Thank you to all who participated in our survey about COVID safety and masking at TVCJ events. The survey revealed that:

  • About half of respondents were comfortable with indoor events. 
  • Three-quarters of respondents wanted everyone masked indoors regardless of vaccination status.
  • Only a quarter of respondents were comfortable with masks being optional, even outside. 
  • A majority of respondents were only comfortable with food if the event is held outdoors or with social distancing.

Our events bring together people from different geographical areas and include many young, unvaccinated, and vulnerable people. Based on the survey results as well as growing concerns over the Delta variant and changing government guidance, the TVCJ Board has decided on the following policies for upcoming events:

  • Events will be held outdoors; in poor weather, events will be held virtually.
  • All event attendees must wear masks except when eating.
  • Family groups will maintain 6’ distance while eating. 

We will continue to monitor new guidance and trends in the pandemic’s progression, and will make changes to these policies as needed.

We look forward to seeing you (outside) soon.

The TVCJ Board

Virtual Havdalah

Please join us on July 24th at 7pm for a short Humanistic Havdalah
ceremony and a chance to share some of our favorite Yiddish phrases.
Did you learn some growing up? Or recently on Duolingo? Come to share
or to learn…it should be an entertaining discussion.

Hope to see you there.

Free to members; suggested donation $10/non-member.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5685997884

Zoom Meeting ID:  568 599 7884
If a password is requested, use 123123.

International Institute For Secular Humanistic Judaism’s “Shavuot Eve Study”

May 16 – 4 PM-8:30 PM Eastern Time

Feel free to drop in anytime during the program and stay as long as you like!
Schedule Will Be Posted Soon!

Secular Humanistic Jews celebrate Shavuot with Jewish literature and ideas from all eras, not only the Torah, and we agree with the Talmud’s sages that “study leads to action.” Join Leaders and Rabbis in Secular Humanistic Judaism as they turn our Tikkun Leil Shavuot into Tikkun Olam/Repairing the world through learning experiences with people and organizations doing good here and now! REGISTER HERE.

CSJO Conference

We are very excited about this year’s conference. While we are unable to meet in person due to the pandemic, we are still able to be together and share in some wonderfully inspiring workshops and other fun activities – all because of the wonders of the virtual world.

Of course. we will begin the weekend with our shabes program and oneg. It will be a chance to see old friends and meet new ones. Saturday will be filled with workshops and some Saturday night fun. We will meet again on Sunday for more inspiring workshops and then our famous talent show. Throughout the weekend, we will set time aside to schmooze, have rousing political discussions, plan to save the world and just relax with some friends.

In honor of our theme, we will have a number of speakers from organizations whose missions speak to us on many levels. Here is just a sample of what to look forward to;

Rebecca Ireland: social justice activist, member of our Tri-Valley Affiliate and youth representative to our Board of Directors
Liv Randall from US Together: Their mission is to “coordinate, organize, and initiate services to refugees and immigrants through education, advocacy, support services, information, referrals, and networking opportunities…”
Rebecca Markert from Freedom From Religion Foundation
Mark Tiborsky from Northern Ohio FreeThought Society
Kevin Bolling from Secular Student Alliance

More information will be coming soon. Registration is currently open!
https://www.tickettailor.com/events/congressofsecularjewishoragnizations/504707

Interfaith Interconnect Religion Chat

Please join Interfaith Interconnect at our virtual Interfaith Interconnect Religion Chat!
Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 5:00–6:15 p.m.
Online via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81203340837
Meeting room opens at 4:45. Program begins at 5:00.

Topic: How does your community provide for those who come in need of forgiveness?
Speakers: Rev. Ellie Kilpatrick, Unitarian Universalist Church, Livermore; and Bishop Roger Persson, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After the presentations, there will be time for questions, followed by optional participation in break-out groups.

We look forward to having you join us April 14!
Ruth Gasten and Marcia Elchesen
Interfaith Interconnect Leadership Committee