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"You've surely heard the phrase 'it takes a village to raise a child'. In the case of my children, it takes a highly specialized group of village leaders. My sons are unique in many ways, including that they are disabled, Jewish, adopted (from foster care) and have a single mom of a different race (who went through cancer treatment two years ago)..."
So began a letter we recently received from Emilie Bard, a long-time participant in our Special Needs Family Camp.  Like many Jewish families with special needs, Emilie and her family have often felt like outsiders.  There were other reasons -
"There are children at their school who tell the boys they can't be Jewish because they are Mexican; this is ignorance on the part of their classmates, but still hard and confusing for my children to hear." 
It's a funny thing - our Jewish organizations spend an enormous amount of energy trying to engage more people in Jewish life, with good will and good intentions.  And still, people end up feeling like outsiders, like they do not belong.  
We Jews come in many shapes, sizes, colors, languages, cultures, abilities, ethnic backgrounds, and interests.  None of those trappings should be confused with admission to (or rejection from) Jewish Peoplehood.
Engaging unengaged Jews does not mean "getting them to come to our stuff."  It means listening to their voices, understanding their needs, and finding the common ground between what they seek and what we have to offer.  
We and our partners are listening. And we are using what we hear to make Jewish learning work for more people.  How about you?  If you are a Jewish educator, clergy or organizational leader - is engaging unengaged people important to you?  If so, are you succeeding?  Let's talk.  We want to hear about your success and we want to know about your challenges. 
Emilie and her kids found their place through Family Camp - "Jewish Learning Works provided a place for my children where they felt included, helped me raise my children, and helped solidify the foundation upon which they've grown and flourished..."
The Talmud asserts that Torah has 70 faces.   The breadth and diversity of learning opportunities below reflect that rabbinic view.  As educators, we hope that the "faces of Torah" are the faces of our students.  When I look at this photo of Emilie's boys I see two of those faces of Torah.

David Waksberg
Jewish LearningWorks 

eventsUpcoming Events 
One Bay One Book
A Tribute to Primo Levi

One Bay One Book 
2015-2016 selection:
The Periodic Table 
by Primo Levi 

Monday, November 2nd
7:00 - 8:30 pm
JCCSF, San Francisco

Embodied Jewish Learning
Yoga and Wholeness 
With a Jewish Twist 
Wednesdays | November 4th - December 9 
12:35 - 1:35 pm
Peninsula JCC, Foster City

Journey of the Soul
Life, death, & what lies beyond

Wednesdays, November 4th - December 2nd
7:30 - 9:00 pm
Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto 

Presented by: Rabbi Yosef Levine

Embodied Jewish Learning
Yoga for Renewal - 2 Sessions!
Rooted in Jewish Mystical Teachings
Friday, November 6th + 13th
12:30 - 1:45 pm
4th Street Yoga, Berkeley

Presented by: Julie Emden
Exploring the World of Judaism
Teaching Jewish Values 
through Children's Literature

Sunday, November 8th 
9:30 - 11:40 am 
Congregation Shir Hadash, Los Gatos

Presented by: Diane Levin Rauchwerger
Jewish Community Library
for Preschoolers 
Sunday, November 8th
11:00  - 12:00 pm
Jewish Community Library, San Francisco

Stories & Puppets by: Koren Zuckerman
Jewish Community Library
The Shadow Puppet Show
Sunday Morning for Kids!

Sunday, November 15th 
10:30 - 11:30 am
Jewish Community Library, San Francisco

Puppeteer: Daniel Barash
Jewish Community Library 
Yiddish Paris: Theater & Culture 
During the Interwar Years
Sunday, November 15th
1:30 - 3:00 pm
Jewish Community Library, San Francisco

Presented by: Nick Underwood
Jewish Community Library
American Jewish History: 
Exploring the Sources

Monday, November 16th
7:00 pm Reception  
7:30 pm Program
Jewish Community Library, San Francisco

Presented by: Marc Dollinger
Exploring the World of Judaism
Intermarriage & 
American Jewish Culture

Sunday, November 22nd  
9:30 - 11:40 am
Congregation Kol Shofar, Tiburon

Presented by: David Biale Ph.D.
Professional Development Opportunities

Beyond Silence
Jewish Professional Development Day 
Focusing on Child Sexual Abuse

Wednesday, November 18th
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Peninsula Temple Sholom, Burlingame

Integration of the Arts
Get Moving! 
Dance Workshop for Educators
with Dancer/Choreographer Casey Lee Thorne

Thursday, November 19th  
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Jewish LearningWorks, San Francisco

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Jewish LearningWorks, 601 14th Ave, San Francisco, CA, 94118, United States