Tu B’Shvat fun!

Our Tu B’Shvat event at the Sulphur Creek Nature Center was so much fun. The Nature Center is located in a beautiful area of Hayward, sheltered by trees. Christine was a wonderful host who introduced us to a few very special friends: a rosy boa, a banded dove, a bantam hen and a chinchilla. We were able to crack plum seeds and pot them to take home. Happy Tu B’Shvat Everyone!

Here we go again

As the news of Omicron spreads, even alone in my house, I can hear the head-banging and the groans from all over the world.  Not again!  I thought we were done with this!  I can’t do this any more!  It has to stop! No no no no nonononooooooo!

Well, it’s yes yes yes.  It is happening again, the same thing, yet one more time.

Kinda like being Jewish.  We know all about doing the same thing over and over again.  Our holidays with their standard readings and songs.  Our seder – the same every year, down to the menu.  Our Rosh Hashanah resolutions and our Yom Kippur regrets.  

And don’t forget that in religious congregations, the Torah is read over and over, every year, with the same Haftarah readings attached, all in the same melody.  

The challenge is to find something different every year, to make the holiday or the reading say something about our present times, to learn something new, to find another way of looking at something we see over and over again.

That’s the challenge we find now.  We have to accept that COVID has come for us yet again and we have to use this as an opportunity re-examine our responses.  What did we learn during the Alpha and  Delta surges that we can use this time?  What’s different about this wave?  How are we different this time?  How are the people around us different?  What choices can we look at anew?  What techniques can we use against the tendency to despair?  In short, how can we make this Jewish?

JFI Short Film of the Month

Eight Nights

After years as a struggling actor, Daniel was cast to play a part in Conan O’Brien’s “human-centipede-menorah.” His bizarre experience evolved from one of shame into a deepening connection with his personal heritage, a reckoning with the choices he’d made, and ultimately a desire to tell the story of EIGHT NIGHTS. This is a film about our deep connection to the people we love. At a time when we couldn’t see some of those whom we love most, the making of this film felt even more poignant.

Contains depictions of violence and humiliation. Parental discretion advised.

Click here to watch the film.

Hanukkah Celebration

Hanukkah 2021 was another adventure! Many thanks to the Mogilefskys for hosting our outdoor gathering. Everyone enjoyed their climbing wall and hammock, as well as meeting their gorgeous pets. We lit our giant Menorah, as is our custom, played dreidel, and had a Hanukkah trivia guessing game with gelt prizes. Although no latkes were cooked communally this year, jelly donuts or sufganiyot, were available as take-home treats. As always, we found another way to welcome the light into our lives and into the world. Pictures can be found (and uploaded!) here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/RB32f6Wv9oSD9u7u7

Eden Area Interfaith Annual Meeting

Dear friends,

Please join us for the Eden Area Interfaith Council’s Annual Meeting for 2021. The theme is “Renewal” – as we’ve been thinking about how caterpillars cocoon for a while before transforming into butterflies, and thinking about how we are coming through the pandemic, hopefully transforming ourselves and our communities for the better.

Please feel free to share with other friends but don’t post the Zoom information on a public-facing website, as we would like to avoid zoom-bombers.
https://zoom.us/j/97037590551?pwd=QkZ1Y1JIRURpZ29YRVRvcHV4RkhjQT09

Hanukkah Celebration

Hanukkah Party

Join us outside to celebrate the Festival of Lights on November 28 at 10:30am (address to follow in evite). Come for games, music, and a short secular, humanistic ceremony. Jelly donuts and gelt will be available to take home. Masks are required for all in person attendants. Zoom details to follow in evite for remote attendance. 

Date: Sunday, November 28
Time: 10:30am
Cost: Free to members; suggested donation $10/non-member

Questions? Contact culturaljews@gmail.com or 925-399-8029.