Virtual Passover Seder

The TVCJ annual community Seder will be held virtually on Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 5 p.m via Zoom. Everyone will participate in the comfort of their own home. Our progressive, secular humanistic Seder includes English-language readings highlighting the power of community and the value of freedom, along with songs in English, Yiddish and Hebrew. The hour-long ceremony is followed by optional schmoozing time while your family eats the dinner that you’ve prepared in your home. The event is family-friendly. We will provide a shopping list for your seder plate, suggested recipes, and the Passover Haggadah. We ask non-member adults to give a donation of $10 if you are able to support our programming.

If you have any questions or if you would like to be put on the evite list for this event, please email culturaljews@gmail.com

Why I chose Jewish Secularism and Joined Tri-Valley Cultural Jews

by Joy Randel

I was eight years old.  My family, uncle, aunt and cousins sat at my grandmother’s dining room table set with her plates and bowls made of green Depression glass. Food sat on beautiful platters in the middle of the table.  But we couldn’t eat it yet. It was another one of those Jewish holidays where we had to read from the thick prayer book written in Hebrew with Yiddish supplements until midnight before we could eat. My grandfather had passed away when I was one years old but we felt his presence.  My grandmother took over the reading of the prayer book and kept a kosher kitchen.  My mother had grown up in this home full of tradition and culture.  My father sat impatiently while awaiting his meal, helping my brother and me sneak food.  Other than those little tidbits, we just had to sit there hungry, listening to grown-ups recite words we couldn’t understand.  Not a great motivator for us to be really into the religious part of Judaism. 

My father’s parents were both Jewish, but he was raised with a Christmas tree and celebrated Christian holidays.  His mother thought it was easier to do what everybody else did around them.  I decided that I enjoyed the culture and traditions of Judaism, but I chose not to practice it as a religion.

My husband was raised Protestant and is also not religious.  When we had our daughter, we decided that we would raise her as Jewish and teach her Jewish culture and traditions.  When we moved to the Tri-Valley, I attended a local festival where Tri-Valley Cultural Jews had a booth.  I learned that Tri-Valley Cultural Jews is a secular organization where my daughter could learn about Jewish culture, history and traditions without being religious.   Our daughter attended Jewish Culture School where she learned about Jewish holidays, Jews from Around the World and cooked traditional Jewish recipes.  She also participated in community service projects, learned about Jews during the Black Plague, and researched Jewish authors and read their books as part of her preparation for her Bat Mitzvah.  She had a beautiful Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Bat Mitzvah that celebrated her coming of age in accordance with Jewish tradition.  We continue to be part of the Tri-Valley Cultural Jews as our daughter goes off to college because we enjoy the feeling of community that it provides.  

Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Virtual Tu B’Shvat

Tu B’Shvat has become a “Jewish Earth Day” when we focus on the environment. This year will be a virtual Tu B’Shvat event on Zoom. We will be have Leah Morrison speak to us about her journey making a zero-waste household, and give us tips. In addition, we will have a short Tu B’Shvat seder. On Tu B’Shvat it is traditional to eat 7 foods native to Israel, so we invite you to make a dish that incorporates one or more of the following: olives, grapes(raisins), figs, dates, citrus, almonds, and carob. Please share with us what you make at the event, and we will collect recipes to distribute. Look for the evite or email culturaljews@gmail.com for the Zoom code.

When: January 24, 10:30 – 12:00
Cost: Free to members. $10 suggested donation per non-member adult

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.

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.