Jewish Federation

  • October 2018 Family of the Month
    The Greenbaum Family of Walnut Creek Todd and Assia Greenbaum live in Walnut Creek with their children Amaya (11) and Kenzo (7). Their story is a typical East Coast Jewish Boy meets African Muslim girl, and 18 years later they are raising a modern Jewish family in the East Bay. They belong to Congregation B’nai Tikvah, and love the family and children’s programs offered there, including student led shabbat services and Mesibaba camps. They also love how B’nai Tikvah incorporates the outdoors and nature into their programs. The outdoor Tefillah service before Sunday School is magical, and they love having “Shabbat in the Park” with a children’s puppet show. Amaya and Kenzo have received PJ Library books and especially love finding stories that have a modern twist on traditional Jewish stories and Jewish values. Would your family like to be our Family of the Month? If so, we invite you to contact to share your story. ... read more
    Source: Jewish FederationPublished on 2018-10-11
  • Preserving Memory at Yad Vashem
    Max Coleman was a participant on the East Bay Community’s Birthright Israel trip this summer. He is sharing reflections, stories, and photos of what he experienced on Birthright in Israel for ten days with us.  “It is not enough just to remember. Their lives will in a sense continue as they are fulfilled through you.” —World War II memorial address, 1946  Yad Vashem is not a standard museum. Unlike most museums, including Holocaust museums, its goal is not to objectively portray a historical event. Its focus lies emphatically and unapologetically on the side of the victims—it is their memory that Yad Vashem seeks to preserve, not the memory of the perpetrators, despite their important contribution to atrocity. Others have already dedicated their energies to studying the perpetrators and their unique (or perhaps, all-too-common) psychologies: the Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt did so in her classic work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, and even my own relatives did so in their lesser-known Hitler’s Hangups. Yad Vashem takes a different tack, focusing exclusively on the lives of the victims—not only the lives that were tragically cut short, but the lives that might have been lived had someone intervened. ... read more
    Source: Jewish FederationPublished on 2018-08-21
  • Fighting Anti-Semitism and Bigotry: The Weil Family Fund
    Quotes have been slightly edited for clarity. In 1938, when he was only 12 years old, Arthur Weil was shipped out of Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport on the eve of the Holocaust. Though himself spared from the worst of the Holocaust, Weil nevertheless lost all his family — except, miraculously, his parents — to the unadulterated cruelty and barbarity the Nazis wrought upon the Jews of Europe. Since then, he has made it his life’s work — as both a poet and high school history teacher — to promote Holocaust education, often through his own story and experience, so that such an atrocity never happens again. But even though Weil is at a ripe age of 92, there is still much work to be done to ensure we continue to heed the lessons of the Holocaust for generations to come. After all, Weil says “never again,” not “not again for the next 50, 100, or 1000 years,” and he means it. That’s why he has established the Weil Family “Never Again” Fund, an endowment that will — in perpetuity — fight the evil specter of racism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry by supporting programs that educate, engage, and empower people to create ... read more
    Source: Jewish FederationPublished on 2018-04-09
  • 5 Must-Attend Local Chanukah Festivities to Satisfy your FOMO
    Chanukah is here! But when you’ve lit the candles, exchanged gifts, and gorged on all the latkes and chocolate gelt… what then? If you’re looking to continue celebrating the Festival of Lights, we’ve got some news for you!     Source: Comedy Central / GIPHY We’ve assembled a list of 5 East Bay events for you, selected from our Community Calendar. How does a gourmet oil tasting sound? How about free sufganiyot? We’ve got ’em, and then some! By the by, if you want to learn about even more events, or even add your own, check out the Community Calendar. Meanwhile, shall we get started? 1. *Free* Sufganiyot Party    Source: 20th Century Fox / GIPHY Wednesday, December 13: Arguably the best park of Chanukah (besides the loads of gifts, of course) is stuffing yourself silly with greasy, oily, artery-clogging treats… like sufganiyot! Well, what if I told you that you could eat FREE sufganiyot with others in the community who also love these creamy (or jammy) confectionary delights. The party will take place from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Krispy Kreme on 32450 Dyer ... read more
    Source: Jewish FederationPublished on 2017-12-13
  • 8 Tips for Sharing Philanthropy with Your Family
    Including your family in your charitable giving journey is a wonderful way to support your most cherished causes and grow closer to your most treasured people. It facilitates continuity, not just for the organizations you care about, but also your values, legacy and family bonds. It is a great way to care for your family while caring for your community. The end of the year is a time when many of us will spend more time with family. Use this opportunity to think about how you can share stories of your values and favorite causes and learn about your loved ones during this time. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some resources to get you started. 1. Make Time for Stories Time with family is a great opportunity to tell your family’s favorite stories. It can be as simple as asking, “What was it like growing up in your house when you were a kid? Tell me about a person who influenced your life for the better? Do you have any favorite stories about Chanukah?” Tell a story that shares something important about who you are. All ages can participate or, a young person can interview ... read more
    Source: Jewish FederationPublished on 2017-12-07
  • A Day in the Life of… a Judaica Store Owner
    Rabbi Chaim Mahgel is the co-owner of Afikomen Judaica, the East Bay’s longest-running brick-and-mortar Judaica store, which he has co-owned with his wife, Nell Friedman, since 2008. Together, they make sure Afikomen—located on Claremont Ave. right on the border of Oakland and Berkeley—lives up to its slogan, “Live, Shop, Schmooze.” Under their stewardship, Afikomen has become a treasured anchor of the East Bay Jewish community. Chaim and Nell meticulously curate the emporium of objects and resources that form Afikomen’s inventory, which Chaim categorizes in terms of Ritual, Culture, and Community—including essentials like mezuzot and Shabbat candles, as well as stunning menorahs, Israeli wine, and a robust book selection. But that’s not all you’ll find at Afikomen, and many Jewish families from the East Bay have turned to Afikomen to rent a chuppah, pick out a ketubah, or attend a local Jewish author’s book signing. In light of this, Chaim repeatedly implores people to think of Afikomen as “more than a store.” It is also space for people to seek answers, and connect with their Judaism. “Today, someone brought in her great-grandfather’s tallis, to read the faded white-on-white embroidered inscription on the corner pieces of the tallis,” he said. In the ... read more
    Source: Jewish FederationPublished on 2017-12-01