Stay connected to the OFJCC Jewish Learning Community from home! Join an online event via Zoom, read an e-book or sign up for a virtual Jewish camp session.
NEW! Just Added:
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- Tuesday, August 4, 1:00–2:00 PM | Z3—What is it and why is it important?
- Wednesdays, August 5–September 9, 10:00 AM | Pray with Transgressors: Rereading the High Holiday Prayer Book with Tova Birnbaum and Zoe Jick
- Wednesday, August 5, 7:00 PM | For Goodness' Sake: Jewish Women's Theatre
- Registration Now Open! Saturday, August 29, 8:30–10:00 PM and Sunday, August 30, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM | Awaken and Return: A Virtual Jewish Meditation and Yoga Retreat
- ENGAJ Virtual Fellowship 2020–2021 Applications Now Open!
Click here for all our new offerings!
NEW! Z3—What is it and why is it important?
Tuesday, August 4, 1:00–2:00 PM
For the past five years, the OFJCC's Z3 Department has successfully produced five large regional conferences. Join this zoom session with Rabbi Amitai Fraiman, Director of the Z3 Project, to learn more about the underpinnings of the conference, why it is important and the plans for this year's event.
Rabbi Amitai Fraiman was raised in Jerusalem, ordained in New York and is now living in Palo Alto. He is the Director of the Z3 Project, an initiative of the Oshman Family JCC aimed at strengthening the relationship between Diaspora Jews and Israel based on a peoplehood-oriented Zionism. Rabbi Fraiman is also the founder of שזור/Interwoven, an organization specializing in telling the story of American Jewry to Israelis. Amitai is an ELI speaker, a musmach of YCT, and a graduate of NYU's dual MPA-MA program. Together with Michal, they are the proud parents of Mia and Yahli, who they love bigger than the sky.
The program is free but requires pre-registration. Click here to register.
NEW! Pray with Transgressors
Rereading the High Holiday Prayer Book with Tova Birnbaum and Zoe Jick
Wednesdays, August 5–September 9, 10:00 AM
Pray With Transgressors is a six-week series to help you get ready for the High Holidays. The phrase "to pray with transgressors" is taken from the Kol Nidre prayer that opens Yom Kippur services, in which the cantor declares that the congregational "we" is permitted on this night "to pray with transgressors." The series is an unconventional tour through the High Holiday prayerbook. Tova Birnbaum and Zoe Jick will reread six of the most important and well-known High Holiday prayers. Each class offers the opportunity to learn one prayer in greater detail and to connect that prayer's themes to modern, secular texts that turn the prayer on its head.
This project is a partnership between the Oshman Family JCC, jewishLive and BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change.
The program will be broadcast live on OFJCC's Facebook page. Click here to join. It will also be available to watch on jewishLive's website here.
NEW! For Goodness' Sake: Jewish Women's Theatre
Wednesday, August 5, 7:00 PM
Join JWT live on Zoom for a unique theatrical experience exploring hilarious and heartfelt stories of the places where our moral compass leads us—good and bad. Register here and use the code JWTPartner24 to get a FREE ticket!
Just Text: An Introduction to Social Justice and Social Activism Through The Lens of Ancient Jewish Sources
Wednesdays, through August 19, 7:00–8:00 PM
We are living in an unexpectedly vulnerable time. The global health crisis (dayenu!) surfaced our society's pre-existing social gaps, and shone a light on our society's pre-existing systematic injustices. The need to better understand and respond to these issues is more urgent than ever. This course aims to relate the contemporary headlines to Jewish themes of social justice. We will study ancient Jewish sources in order to investigate and contextualize the Jewish vision of a more perfect society. Participants are welcome to attend any individual class or to enroll in the entire course for a discounted rate.
For more information and to register, click here.
Registration Now Open! Awaken and Return: A Virtual Jewish Meditation and Yoga Retreat
Saturday, August 29, 8:30–10:00 PM and Sunday, August 30, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM
The High Holiday season begins with the month of Elul: a call to wake up to our lives and return again to what is essential. We will be guided to experience awakened awareness and the wisdom that renews us through meditation, yoga and Qigong infused with Jewish wisdom, as well as text study, periods of silence and chanting.
Cost: $18–$72 (sliding scale basis)
No one turned away for lack of funds. Multiple payment levels are offered to make this workshop accessible. If payment is difficult or prohibitive at this time, please contact [email protected]. Please select your ticket level at check-out. A zoom link will be provided upon registration.
Offered by Shalem, the Jewish Wellness Initiative of the Peninsula JCC, Embodied JewishLearning, the Addison-Penzak JCC and the Oshman Family JCC. Shalem was created in 2012 by the Peninsula JCC and Embodied Jewish Learning and is
now a collaborative partnership with the Addison-Penzak JCC and the Oshman Family
JCC to promote wellness and well-being infused with Jewish wisdom to help support the
entire community in times when these tools are greatly needed.
The faculty includes Rabbi Lavey Derby, Julie Emden, Tracey Green, Scott Green, Rabbi Hugh
Seid-Valencia, Rabbi Laurie Matzkin and Tova Birnbaum.
For more information, email [email protected]. Pre-registration is required by Friday, August 21. Click here to register.
LEAP Internship for High School Graduates
September 1–December 1, 2020
Are you a high school graduate whose plans for college this fall have suddenly changed? Consider spending September-December interning at the OFJCC in Palo Alto. The OFJCC has teamed up with BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change to create LEAP: Learning, Experience, Action and Peoplehood. This program will offer opportunities for local Bay Area high school graduates to spend their fall semester doing serious Jewish learning, volunteering with local social action sites, and building a social network of Jewish peers. For more information, click here.
NEW! ENGAJ Virtual Fellowship 2020–2021 Applications Now Open!
ENGAJ works to identify, connect and empower young Jewish professionals and graduate students in Palo Alto and the surrounding area. ENGAJ Fellows will have the opportunity to bond with a diverse group of peers via online platforms, learn from prominent leaders in the Jewish and professional communities and design programs and events for Palo Alto-area Jews in their 20s and 30s. Fellows enjoy free membership to the OFJCC (contingent on Covid-19 regulations) and the opportunity to connect with an impressive network of Fellowship alumni. Click here to learn more here.
Beged Kefet Hebrew Language School 2020–21 Registration Open
Registration is now open for Beged Kefet Hebrew language afterschool program for kids learning modern Hebrew in grades kindergarten through high school with college accreditation. Learn all about our weekly Hebrew courses in all levels, the amazing team of teachers, community celebrations of Israel and the Jewish holidays. Visit the Beged Kefet website for more information and to register.
Last Week Today with Luba and Andy
Fridays, 4:30–4:45 PM
As you and your families get ready for Shabbat, join us weekly on Friday afternoon for "Last Week Today with Luba and Andy!" Co-hosted by Luba Palant from the OFJCC and Andy Palant, her young son, this 15-minute event will combine ritual and conversation ... and is bound to get your family in the mood for Shabbat! Join us on Facebook Live on the OFJCC Hang & Learn Group page.
Shabbat Neshama with Elan Loeb—Song and Meditation for People in their 20s and 30s
Saturdays, 10:30–11:15 AM
In partnership with Bina
Create a little holy space in your home this Shabbat! Join Elan Loeb, OFJCC's music specialist, for singing and meditation. Feel free to bring a percussion instrument and anything that makes your space feel cozy and holy: candle, tea, your favorite sweatshirt, your pet, etc. Join via Zoom
Missed an event? Catch the recording:
OFJCC Community Seder (April 8)
Flip the Script: Judaism, Intermarriage and Joy: A Conversation between Rabbi Denise Handlarski and Zoe Jick (April 12)
Unorthodox Conversation: An Inside View of the Acclaimed Series with Actress and Film Maker Michal Birnbaum (May 10)
Judaism Unbound: Becoming Unorthodox with Tova and Michal Birnbaum
Sisters Michal Birnbaum, a cast member from the hit Netflix series Unorthodox, and Tova Birnbaum, Director of Jewish Content at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, join Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation reflecting on what Unorthodox can teach us. Topics include what it was like for the Birnbaums to grow up in an Ultra-Orthodox community, their journeys to other forms of Jewish community, and their migrations to the United States. Listen here. For more from Judaism Unbound, scroll down.
Division Ave: A Short Film by Michal Birnbaum
Division Ave is an award-winning short film written and co-produced by Michal Birnbaum, from the Netflix hit Unorthodox, about the fight for justice of a Latina cleaning lady in Hasidic Brooklyn.
A few days before Passover, Fernanda, a young Mexican woman, is hired by a Brooklyn cleaning agency to work in the local Jewish Hasidic community. Despite a prolonged wait for her payment, Fernanda continues to faithfully show up for work each day at Nechama's house. An unexpected connection between the two leads to a fight for justice against the cleaning agency at fault, bridging the gaps between their very different worlds. Inspired by true events. Watch the film here.
Dodi Li Single from Deborah Sacks Mintz Streaming Now
Renowned New York musician Deborah Sacks Mintz and the Hadar ensemble present their latest single from the album, The Narrow and The Expanse. The recording of this track is proudly sponsored by the OFJCC. Listen to it here.
Judaism Unbound's portal for live-streamed Jewish experiences, from cultural events to spirituality to kids' programming. Explore jewishLIVE here.
jewishLIVE is the place for curated Jewish content and experiences online. A virtual festival, jewishLIVE offers a stage to world class innovators, thinkers, artists, musicians and ritualists to showcase their creativity and expertise. Together with the best Jewish live-streaming events from across the internet, jewishLIVE assembles an unparalleled line-up. Unconstrained by barriers of time and place, jewishLIVE lives beyond the walls of doing Jewish one way. Sparking individual paths of engagement, participation and discovery, jewishLIVE is a catalyst for generative and unbound Jewish.
Learn more at jewishLIVE.org (full calendar of events here). Or follow jewishLIVE on Facebook or join the Facebook Group.
Social Action During Coronavirus
Help IsraAID Distribute Vital Relief Supplies to Our Community
Our friends at IsraAID are urgently seeking volunteers to assist efforts in providing vital relief supplies to our most vulnerable communities. Operations are conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines. Activities include:
- In San Jose Warehouse: Sorting and packing of relief supplies
- From San Carlos: Distribution of food packages to people's homes
Get more information or sign up for a volunteer orientation/training here.
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00 PM Pacific / 3:00 PM Eastern
The OFJCC is proud to partner with Unpacked in presenting this series to our community.
A live interview series whose line-up includes innovators, change makers and influencers who challenge the status quo. Each episode features a thought leader in the Jewish community who is pushing boundaries and reaching beyond their comfort zone. New episodes every Thursday. Find the schedule and more information here.
Jewish Meditation and Yoga with Shalem
The following are programs of Shalem, the Jewish Wellness Initiative of the Peninsula JCC, Embodied JewishLearning, the Addison-Penzak JCC and the Oshman Family JCC. Shalem promotes wellness and well-being infused with Jewish wisdom to help support the entire community. Learn more about Shalem on the registration page for each event.
Guided Meditation, Mondays, 9:30–10:00 AM
Join Rabbi Lavey Derby from the Peninsula JCC every Monday morning at 9:30 for 30 minutes of guided meditation to help us find our center and to cultivate calm during this unusual time.
Registration and password required; join Zoom at the start time. Email [email protected] in advance for assistance.
Lovingkindness Meditation, Thursdays, 4:00–4:30 PM
In this meditation, we silently repeat blessings of lovingkindness for ourselves and others. Join Rabbi Lavey Derby from the Peninsula JCC in this practice that opens the heart and cultivates compassion.
Registration and password required; join Zoom at the start time. Email [email protected] in advance for assistance.
Jewish Virtual Camps
California Pop-Up Virtual Camp: Overnight camps are joining forces to offer different programs daily. Awesome virtual camps are offered here!
E-Books from Jewish Learning Works: Access a huge selection of Jewish-themed physical books, CDs, and DVDs and to downloadable e-books and audiobooks at no charge! Anybody in the San Francisco Bay Area may apply for borrowing privileges here.
PJ Library Podcast—Have I Got a Story for You: Every episode of Have I Got a Story for You takes a classic Jewish folk tale and gives it a modern twist. You can explore episodes here and if you find one you really like, be sure to click on the episode page to find activities, book lists, and keep the fun going. Produced by PJ Library, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
PJ Library Resources for Quarantined Families: A program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library provides oodles of ways for your family to stay busy and have fun at home. Offerings are organized by: Family Together Time, Activities for Babies & Toddlers, Learning Languages, Arts & Crafts, Unplugged Time, Kids in the Kitchen and Hands On Activities from Favorite PJ Library Books. PJ Library also includes a section on How to Talk to Your Kids about Scary Situations to help with conversations about the COVID-19 crisis.
From the Live Fully Blog
Saturday Night Seder Favorite Moments: There was a lot to love in Saturday Night Seder's delightful Passover shtick on YouTube, but here are OFJCC staffer Andrea's favorite moments. Plus: learn the hidden OFJCC connection!
Social Distancing: Moldaw-Style: Our campus-mates at Moldaw Senior Residences show us how it's done! Residents keep their spirits up with daily balcony waves and sing-alongs. We can only hope that they keep them up when campus reopens so the rest of us can join in. Read the story from our fabulous friends at J. The Jewish News of Northern California.