A human being mints many coins from the same mold, and they are all identical. But the Holy One, blessed be God, strikes us all from the mold of the first human and each one of us is unique. (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5)


February is National Jewish Disability Awareness Month. We at Jewish LearningWorks, along with many of our community collaborators are celebrating difference. Between our Jewish Disability Awareness Month events, our Navigating Difference, Embracing Inclusion workshop series (a groundbreaking collaboration starting on February 23rd), our Special Needs Family Camp weekend and more, we are working every day to improve and extend Jewish learning to those who have had to live without it for too long. We are challenging ourselves to shift our attitudes, to recognize that having a disability is part of the human condition, and to see that humanity in each person we meet.     


Jewish Disability Awareness Month is recognized in February; the need to belong goes on month after month, day after day.
Thank you for being a part of this holy work.

Read more about the need for inclusion.



David Neufeld, Ph.D.

Director of Special Needs Programs and Services
(Sharing these thoughts on behalf of David Waksberg and the entire team at Jewish LearningWorks)

A Multisensory Experience 
at The Contemporary Jewish Museum
Sunday, February 23rd 10am-1pm
Schedule of Events

Studio of the Senses Art Workshop, 10am-12:30pm
Art reaches a new level as you experiment with different textures, consistencies, and scents in this art workshop.


Dance Workshop, 10:30am-11am
AXIS Dance Company offers a 30 minute creative movement workshop for children and youth of all abilities.


Family Tour, 11:30am-12:15pm
Join us for a hands-on, multisensory gallery tour of Frog and Toad.   


Frog and Toad on the Big Screen, 12:15pm-1pm
Arnold Lobel's two favorite friends come to life in the claymation films Frog and Toad Together and Frog and Toad are Friends.

Presented in partnership with 


Connect on our Bay Area Inclusion Events page! 

Introducing a groundbreaking series of interactive workshops 
on inclusion for synagogue communities.  
Delve into the complicated issues that arise around inclusion. 
Assess your congregation's inclusivity and discover new ways of building inclusion into worship, education, and community programming with other congregational representatives. 
Workshop dates are February 23March 30April 27, and June 8 Attend just one or sign up for all four. 
For all synagogue leaders, including congregational rabbis, educators, teachers, board members,
 staff and congregants.

Brought to you by:

Join us on Lag B'Omer for the Feast of Jewish Learning!
Sessions 1-6pm, music, dancing and shmoozing until 7:30



Sunday, May 18th, 1:00pm -6:00pm
3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto   
Our NEW Sunday afternoon format brings more of what you love about the Feast: the innovative, vibrant, wide-ranging adult learning that has made the Feast special for over 15 years, while making this special day accessible to families through family learning activities, music, art, movies, performances and more.


Like Feast of Jewish Learning on Facebook 


Feast Coordinator, Jen Wakefield can be reached at  JWakefield@JewishLearningWorks.org / 650-494-6983 x183 
A new approach to Jewish learning--Groups forming now!

Shalom Explorers gets your kids out and about while making new friends and learning Jewish values and traditions. If your family is looking for a new way to "do Jewish", we encourage you to check it out.   

Sign up for our FREE pilot session!  

Like Shalom Explorers on Facebook

For more info contact Aliya Fastman

explorers@jewishlearningworks.org  or 510 292 9562 


Shalom Explorers is provided by Jewish LearningWorks, the Osher Marin JCC, Congregation Kol Shofar and Congregation Rodef Sholom and funded in part by the Covenant Foundation and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.

Exploring the World of Judaism
 Show your kids that 
Jewish education is important!

The World of Our Great Grandparents

 A History of the Jews of Eastern Europe with Ken Blady

Sunday February 23, 9:30AM - 11:30AM

Take a journey through the history of Eastern European Jewry from the arrival of the German Ashkenazim in the eleventh century to the assassination of Czar Alexander II and the mass stampede to the New Worlds.
Sunday, March 09, 9:30AM - 11:30AM
Become acquainted the wonderfully flavorful ingredients and dishes that make Israeli cuisine so captivating and delicious. 

Life's Vulnerable Moments: How Our Tradition Can Guide us in the Dying and Mourning Process with Rabbi Chaya Gusfield 

Sunday February 23, 9:30AM - 11:30AM

Learn about the many healing spiritual tools Judaism has to offer such as the viddui (end of life recitation,) shiva, the kaddish, yizkor and more.   


Sunday March 02, 9:30AM - 11:30AM
Take a peek into the fascinating world of Chabad-Lubavitch. Where did Chasidism begin? You will understand the significance of the Yiddish word Ufuratza,  spreading forth, and so much more.     

What kind of responsibility do children have to their parents, and parents to their children? Analyze such questions though the lens of traditional sources.


Questions? - ExploringWJ@jewishlearningworks.org


Exploring the World of Judaism is a partnership between Jewish LearningWorks and the Synagogues above. It is supported in part by the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust.

Through a Different Lens
A Three-Session Series
offering a new approach to professional development 
for Bay Area Jewish Educators 
Led by Rabbi Joshua Fenton, Vavi Toran, Ilan Vitemberg

Through a Different Lens explores big ideas in Jewish education through a variety of lenses. Each exploration includes three perspectives on a specific topic presented over three sessions.  Each session is led by a different master educator, connecting participants to the best of Bay Area Jewish educators. The foci include Israel, Hebrew language, pedagogy, philosophy, the arts, movement, tradition, text and more. Jewish LearningWorks partners with a host of Bay Area organizations to connect teachers to the larger Jewish educational community.   


This year we are excited to announce that our pilot initiative will focus on Tefillah/prayer.


Tefillah and Space with Rabbi Joshua Fenton

Thursday, March 13

What can our liturgy and traditional texts on prayer teach us about how to cultivate a culture and community of prayer?


Embodying Tefillah with Ilan Vitemberg

Thursday, March 27

We will use drama, dance and movement to explore how to engage students with Tefillah in interactive personal and physical ways.


Thursday, April 10

We will harness the power of the arts and explore ways to inspire and engage participants through a variety of creative forms. 


Prizes awarded for those who attend all three sessions! 


For information, contact  rabbifenton@jewishlearningworks.org 

To RSVP, contact Robin Smith at rsmith@jewishlearningworks.org 

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February 2014 / 
Adar 5774

To Be a Jew in the Free World 

Wednesdays Feb 5-March 12  
7:30PM - 9:00PM
Oshman Family JCC 

Overcome perceived incompatibilities between Judaism and modern society; and gain the clarity and conviction to pass on a legacy of Jewish pride to the next generation through this new course.

Hosted by Chabad of Greater South Bay


Yoga and Wholeness: 

With a Jewish Twist

 8-session series

Peninsula JCC

Each session is an experiential exploration of text-based teachings rooted in a gentle Iyengar-style yoga class.

Special behind-the-scenes presentation of new work, Lilith, the Night Demon, based on the Jewish mythological alternate story of creation, in advance of it's presentation in May 2014 in association with the 29th Jewish Music Festival.
Sunday February 23
10:00AM - 1:00PM
Contemporary Jewish Museum

In celebration of Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month, families of children with disabilities are invited for a multisensory Museum experience including a family tour of Frog and Toad, a dance workshop by AXIS Dance Company, a Studio of the Senses Art Workshop, and a screening of a claymation film inspired by the characters in Frog and Toad.   

Sunday February 23
2:00PM - 4:30PM

The first of four sessions for Navigating Difference, Embracing Inclusion: Opening Your Synagogue Door Even Wider.

Assess your congregation's inclusivity and discover new ways of building inclusion into worship, education, and community programming with other congregational representatives.  


Sunday February 23
4:00PM - 5:30PM
Jewish LearningWorks' Peninsula Learning Center

For 5-7 year olds and their families. Meet PJ Library author Pamela Mayer as she reads her new book Don't Sneeze at the Wedding. Children will leave with a small craft of their own.


Sunday March 02
12:00PM - 2:00PM
Jewish Community Library

Whether you're trying to find your great-grandmother's elusive town or your grandfather's passenger manifest, take advantage of the Library's extensive reference collection and Internet connection to countless searchable databases - all with one-on-one guidance from experienced genealogists.

Sunday March 02
1:30PM - 2:30PM
Jewish Community Library

Presentation and text study with Deena Aranoff. The main character in Dara Horn's A Guide for the Perplexed is kidnapped and placed in solitary confinement, and the only item left in her possession is Maimonides' famous philosophical work The Guide to the Perplexed.  


Remembering Vilna

Thursday, March 06
7:00PM - 8:30PM
Jewish Community Library

A presentation by Ellen Cassedy.

Ellen Cassedy explores the Jewish history of the city once known as the "Jerusalem of the North.," using images and quoting from the illustrious Jewish writers for which the city is renowned. She discusses how the city of Vilnius today is - and is not - remembering Jewish Vilna.  


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Each month, through June, watch here for a deeper look into one of our areas of focus.  
This month, in honor of Jewish Disability Awareness Month, we highlight our work which aims to:
We help educators and schools make Jewish learning accessible and welcoming to all learners.

Parenting is always a challenge. For Sally, who has a daughter with special needs, her weekend at Jewish LearningWorks' Special Needs Family Camp, is a cherished time to connect with other families while her daughter is safe and having fun in a Jewish setting.  "When I get home, all the parents call and email each other, and we collaborate and support each other. We go to camp to spend time together and have fun, but when we're not at camp we are each other's support network." 

These families help each other with challenges they face in every arena, from school, to synagogue, to insurance providers.


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