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!

Member news!

Rebecca, TVCJ board member and JCS alumna, organized and led a Woman’s March in Castro Valley on October 17th. 50 members of the community marched and chanted on our 2 mile route. The March was fighting for economic, racial, and gender justice and to oppose the Supreme Court seat confirmation before the election. 1,2,3,4 we won’t take it anymore 5,6,7,8 no more violence, no more hate!

October Havdalah

Our monthly Havdalah will be on October 24 at 7pm.
We will be having our short secular, humanistic observance and then hearing about one of Maya’s Brit Mitzvah projects. If you’d like to participate have a braided candle, glass of wine/juice, and spices.If there is time afterward we can play virtual games on Zoom.

Look for the evite with the zoom code or contact Jamie at Culturaljews@gmail.com for the zoom code.

Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

by Scott Pepper

Growing up in a conversative Jewish household, I came to dread the High Holidays. Yom Kippur meant hour upon hour of services in impenetrable Hebrew standing in an uncomfortable suit, hunger gnawing all the while. Rosh Hashanah was only better in the sense that there was no fasting, but then stretched across two days rather than one. I had little care for the significance of the days, and even the fact that it usually meant missing a few days of school was little consolation when measured against the discomfort and boredom. In discussions with others who were raised in conservative or traditional Judaism, I learned that I was not alone in this opinion.

As an adult, I have a greater appreciation for the meaning behind these days, but little interest in subjecting myself or my own children to what I mostly remember as torment.

However, the High Holidays as celebrated by Tri-Valley Cultural Jews bear little resemblance to my prior experience. The focus is on the meaning of the days, but expressed in contemporary terms that are both more relatable to secular Jews of all ages and surprisingly enjoyable. The key rituals remain — the blowing of the shofar, Tashlich, the round challah — but they are framed in a modern and meaningful way.

So today, rather than dreading the High Holidays, I find myself looking forward to them, more fully able to appreciate their significance and the opportunity to celebrate with the TVCJ community.

Virtual Rosh Hashanah

Please join us virtually for a Secular, Humanistic Rosh Hashanah observance as we start our fall holiday season. Tashlich will be included in the observance as the ritual of shedding the misdeeds of the last year.

The event will be on Saturday, September 19th from 4-5.

Children are welcome though it will not be child-centered. If you’d like to make a challah to eat during the observance make it sweet for the new year by adding a quarter cup of melted butter, 2 T sugar and about a cup of raisins during kneading.

Please put on your calendar our Yom Kippur observance, Kol Nidre that will take place September 27th 6-7pm.

Members are welcome to attend free of charge. Non-adult members- we ask a suggested donation of $10, if you are able. This year after operating costs are covered, we will send to donations to the First Nations Development Institute to help with Coronavirus relief. We will have other opportunities during the observance for all to donate as well.

If you have any questions please contact us at culturaljews@gmail.com and we will send you the link to the evite for the zoom event.

Philosopher’s Cafe

We are excited to bring this new event to our group.

Here’s how it will work….Each month we will rotate hosts who will choose a topic for us to talk about (keeping everything civil of course). The host will introduce the topic and come up with a few prompts/ questions to keep the conversation going if needed. And everyone shares their ideas about the topic to have a nice discussion. The thing is, the host doesn’t announce the topic until the meeting so we aren’t researching before the event…this should be fun…we hope many of you will join us!

Judy will be our first host. Please let Jamie Ireland know if you’d like to host future dates or if you have questions.

Our first Philosopher’s Cafe will be:
When: Aug 6, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.