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Jewbilee 2022: Make a Change

This year, the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat (the Jewish new year for trees) and Martin Luther King Jr. Day both fell on Monday, January 17. These coinciding holidays, during the Jewish year of shmita (release), call upon us to create a more just world, pursue environmental justice, and inspire us to plant seeds for a better future. Over the course of five days (Jan. 13–17), we experienced specially curated opportunities for people of all ages to restore, release, and renew our relationships, our communities, and our world.

Session Recordings

Facing Social Issues in Visual Art

Renewing Our Communities Panel

Ramla, Israel: Cultivating Culture -- Making a Change

Bust the Taboo on Menstruation

Making Magical Trees Watercolor Workshop

Click below to view descriptions of this year's programs

Join four Bay Area JCC executives for insights on how they are restoring, releasing, and renewing our local Jewish communities. These leaders have spent nearly two years navigating numerous pandemic challenges, political turmoil and polarization, and they still manage to bring people together in community. Learn from their stories and offer your thoughts about our shared future.
Zack Bodner President & CEO, Oshman Family JCC
Scott Brockman Executive Director, Sonoma County JCC
Melissa Chapman  CEO, Jewish Community Center of the East Bay
Lael Gray CEO, Jewish Silicon Valley

Moderated by Dr. Anat Balint, Jewish Studies Program, San Jose State University. 

Save the planet – Share with others – Expand your wardrobe with “new” clothes!
Whether it’s last year’s dress or a purse you never use, here’s your chance to gather items from your closet that no longer spark joy and join us for a stylish (yet thrifty) clothing swap party! Bring your nicest unwanted items to swap and then go “shopping” for free! You may bring any clothing item fit for ages 14 and up (no children and baby wear please), including accessories and shoes. You will find a QR code at the drop-off spot – scan it! This is your entry ticket for the free “shopping” at the fashion swap and for a FREE GIFT! A new sustainable tote bag!

This event is generously supported by Team Sigura and Encore Marketing Solutions.

Students will be given the opportunity to express their own personal style or direction in making magical trees. Expect to have a fun-filled 2 hour painting experience! A list of necessary materials will be sent to registrants. The instructor is John Giannotti, our Watercolor instructor and an accomplished painter.

Modern visual art, and especially contemporary visual art, is a reflection of the times in which it is created. Nowadays, there are many social issues brought to light in need of attention. How do artists respond to social issues? How do they present these issues? Do artists intend to present a solution and make a change or just attract attention? In this workshop, we will observe some visual artworks and examine the audience/observer’s response. What impression does social justice focused art leave on a community? Does social justice driven art change an observer’s perspective?

Join us with Sigal, a professional in the art community. Originally from Israel, Sigal was an educator for many years in a variety of Jewish institutions. She has over a decade of experience as a docent at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Join artist Marina Paz as she brings the new Jewish Silicon Valley community mural to life.

Join the APJCC Fitness team for a 4 mile hike on the Los Gatos Creek Trail & Jones Trail. We’ll walk, talk, and break a sweat while we enjoy the beauty in our backyards. We will meet at the trailhead at 12:30pm. Afterwards we’ll head to Loma Brewery for a post-hike refreshment & reflection.

Dayenu Circle of Jewish Silicon Valley is taking action to halt climate change. Join us at Jewbilee to learn, discuss, and act!
We’re working to:

  • Save rooftop solar by stopping power companies from adding onerous fees.
  • Keep oil/gas drilling away from where people live and work. And, putting an end to toxic air and water, resulting in medical problems and climate change caused by fracking.
  • Support bills to lessen or eliminate our use of plastic, a growing climate concern.

People who menstruate have been shunned and silenced for millennia. It’s about bloody time to talk about it and take action! Join the Silicon Valley Period Equity Project for a virtual viewing of “Pandora’s Box,” a documentary that explores the global pandemic of menstrual inequity and period poverty. A panel discussion will follow the film, and include Assembly member Cristina Garcia, who has been a champion in the California Assembly for Menstrual Equity and Lauren Babb, Vice President of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.  Let’s break down the stigma and make moves to menstrual equity! Watch the trailer.

Mitzvah Day
Sunday, January 16Mitzvah Day at Congregation Emeth
Meet us at the end of Cochrane the Visitor Center at Coyote Creek Trail for a gentle hike, for all ages. 

Monday, January 17
Mitzvah Day at Oshman Family JCC
Join hundreds of your neighbors for a community-wide day of Tikkun Olam (repair of the world) as part of a national day of service to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This intergenerational event will feature a range of hands-on service projects; participants will work in small groups on projects addressing issues of poverty, hunger, housing and homelessness, aging, the environment, and more. 

Imagination is the only thing you’ll need for this eco-friendly session! Use cardboard, plastic and other items to create your own kingdom, because as they say “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Facilitator: Gali shapira, an artist, actress, dancer and a dreamer.

Tu B’Shvat (the Jewish new year of trees) and MLK Day coincide this year, so what better opportunity to connect with the earth and engage in justice work on a day off from school! Starting with PJ Library stories, making your own Tu B’Shvat trail mix, and then moving into trash pickup, this event will give us a concrete mitzvah (good deed) to help others. Disposable gloves, trash bags and “grabbers” provided by our partner, the anti-Litter Program of the City of San Jose. This event is family-friendly, fresh-air oriented, and community-minded!
This event is a collaboration between PJ Library of Silicon Valley and the Russian Speaking Jewish Community (RSJ) of Jewish Silicon Valley.

Join us for a talk about Ramla, one of the most diverse cities in Israel, with Jewish-Arab, religious-secular communities and immigrants that came from 90 different countries. The new Contemporary Art Center is forging community connections through and around art and art activities.
Speaker: Dr. Smadar Sheffi, Founder and Chief Curator, Contemporary Art Center Ramla (CACR)
Introductions: Deputy Consul General Matan Zamir and Lior Reshef Deri, CEO, The Ramla Foundation

Join Rabbi Hugh for a Tu B’shvat (the Jewish new year for trees) redwood experience. We will meet at the Peterson Grove wooden deck at Sanborn County Park in Saratoga. We will engage in text study, practice qi gong, and discuss the ways trees can inspire our spiritual development. Those who would like, can use this gathering as a launching point for hikes in Sanborn park. Rain or shine. Open to all. 

Join our circle of songs to celebrate the possibility of growth as we end the month of Shvat. Hebrew words and melodies inspire us spiritually, with a pause between breathing and quieting the mind. All words are transliterated and explained for a spiritual journey during these difficult times. No experience necessary, just an open heart and willingness to be present for an audio/video immersive experience (over Zoom!).

Jewbilee – a Jewish learning experience, is made possible by our sponsors: Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest SF, Dianne Portnoy Endowment for Jewish Life & Learning, Encore Marketing Solutions, Team Sigura, and through support from the Koret Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.

A special thank-you to Abrahamic Alliance International, Americans for Ben-Gurion University, Congregation Beth David, Congregation Emeth, Congregation Shir Hadash, Congregation Sinai, Dayenu, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, PJ Library, Repair the World, and Temple Emanu-El for supporting the event.

And a big thank-you to our Chair, Dana Grietzer Gotlieb, and to our Jewish Life & Culture Committee Chair, Bonnie Slavitt.