Sunday | January 28, 2024 | 10:00am - 2:00pm

Kids Jewbilee | 9:30am - 12:00pm

Event Schedule


9:45 AM - 10:15 AM


10:15 AM - 11:15 AM


11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

1st Breakout Session

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM


12:15 PM - 12:30 PM

2nd Breakout Session

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM


1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

Lunch includes: baked salmon, brown rice with sautéed mushrooms and green onions, oven-roasted potatoes, steamed veggies, and fresh fruit.


Longing for the Fruit of the Land | A Sensory Experience

Join us at this year’s Jewbilee as we unpeel the mystical and physical dimensions of Tu Bishvat and explore our longing for the fruits of the Land through our study and with our senses. 

Tu Bishvat: After the exile of Jews from Israel, Tu Bishvat, which has biblical roots,  became a day for Jewish communities to remember their spiritual and physical connection to the Land.

After a keynote exploration of this theme as it emerges from Jewish texts, choose from a range of breakout sessions focusing on bringing this mystical awareness into our bodies through our five senses.

Kid's Jewbilee!

Children in Kindergarten through 7th grade are invited to join us for a one-of-a-kind, fun, and enriching morning.  

Students will choose their own learning sessions taught by the talented teachers from the Religious Schools of the synagogues and will also have opportunities to socialize with others their age from all over Silicon Valley.  

Kids sessions include learning through comic strips, singing, music, STEAM challenges, Tu B’shvat lessons, and so much more!

Kids’ Jewbilee is co-sponsored by Congregation Beth David, Congregation Shir Hadash, Congregation Sinai, Jewish Silicon Valley, PJ Library, Temple Emanu-El, and Yavneh Day School.

Keynote Speaker: Rabbi Ariel Evan Mayse, Ph.D.

Bringing mystical awareness into our bodies through our five senses.

This presentation will explore the ongoing, spiritual yearning of the Jewish people for the produce of the Land of Israel, drawing upon the full range of Jewish sources from the Tanakh, Talmud, and halakhah to mysticism, poetry, and philosophy. We will contemplate the nature of this longing as an intellectual, embodied, and religious quest, considering its implication for our complex experiences of exile and diaspora alongside a strong sense of place and groundedness. At the same time, we will explore yearning for the fruits of Israel as a prompt for environmental consciousness and action, grappling with some of the most pressing ecological, social, and theological issues facing us today. 

Moderator: Rabbi Lisa Levenberg

Ariel Evan Mayse is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University, rabbi-in-residence at Atiq: Jewish Maker Institute, and the senior scholar-in-residence at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and Society where he is the founder of Nahara: Beit Midrash for Environmental Renewal. He holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and rabbinic ordination from Beit Midrash Har’el in Israel. His publications include Speaking Infinities: God and Language in the Teachings of Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezritsh (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020), the two-volume A New Hasidism: Roots and A New Hasidism: Branches, with Arthur Green (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society and University of Nebraska Press, 2019), and the forthcoming Laws of the Spirit: Ritual, Mysticism, and the Commandments in Early Hasidism. He is currently working on a book about Jewish mysticism and environmental ethics, and another exploring how Jewish spirituality can help us rethink the purpose, aims, and practice of higher education. 

Rabbi Levenberg, also known as Rabbi Q, is a reflective and creative local rabbi-educator with commitment to building inclusive, values-based community. 

Breakout Session Offerings

🏺 “Kalaniyot before the rain”: Clay & Glazing Workshops

Clay Workshop:
In the hands-on session we will learn how to create a Kalanit (poppy like) flower from potters’ clay. The flowers will be fired in a special pottery kiln and will later be part of a community memorial installation. You can stay for the next session to learn how to color the Kalanit.  

Glazing Workshop:
In this hands-on  session we will focus on glazing (coloring with glass-like colors) a few pre-made Kalaniot. The glazed flowers will be fired in a special pottery kiln and will later be part of a community memorial installation.

About “Kalaniyot before the rain”:
The project was initiated by Israeli ceramic artists, to commemorate the victims of the October 7 terror attack. We will echo this initiative and connect to our brothers and sisters in Israel by making Kalaniot (red poppies) out of clay. These flowers will be installed in community centers around the bay. This endeavor serves a dual purpose – not only to honor but also to support those affected by the attack. We kindly request a contribution of $50 from each workshop participant, to be donated to our Israel Emergency Fund.


Since moving here from Israel 17 years ago, Henriette Cons Ponte dedicated herself to clay artwork and to sharing her knowledge and expertise through ceramic classes in her studio, teaching both adults and young students.

An artist and art instructor, based in Sunnyvale.

🌳 Tu Bishvat: The Evolution of a Day

In this session, we will trace the way the significance of the fifteen of the month of Shevat has evolved through Jewish time, and, taking our cue from Reconstructionist thought, we will assess how we revalue the Holiday in our own time and place.


Chief Community Officer, Jewish Silicon Valley. Rabbi Hugh previously served as Jewish Community Liaison for VITAS Healthcare and prior to that, spent ten years teaching Jewish Studies at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, where he served most recently as Director of Israel and Jewish Studies Curricula. He has completed both the Rabbinic Leadership Training Program and the Tikkun Middot Training Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and is an alumnus of the Mandel Executive Leadership Program.

🎶 Ki HaAdam Etz Hasadeh

Singing and yearning for Eretz Yisrael through contemporary Hebrew poetry and Jewish texts.


Hebrew Coordinator/Teacher at Yavneh Day School. In the past years, Aviva has been teaching Hebrew, Jewish Studies and music at Yavneh Day School in Los Gatos. Aviva has an M.A. in teaching of English as a foreign language, a B.A. in theater and English, and a teaching certificate from Haifa University.

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🍊 Tu BiShvat Seder: Connect to the roots

1st Session led in Russian | 2nd Session is Kid Friendly

Join Rabbi Ilana Baird as she unfolds the 400-year-old tradition of blessings and mindfulness. Symbolic tastings and drinks are included.


Russian Speaking Jewish Programs Director, Jewish Silicon Valley. During her rabbinic studies, she helped young Russian speaking Jews discover their lost Jewish heritage and culture by creating a space of inclusion, support and study in Israel. Following ordination, she founded a reform congregation to serve the new and dynamic community. Rabbi Ilana continues to help multiple communities and cultures rediscover and nurture their Jewishness.

💐 Blooming together - Sustainable Floral Design Activity

In this hands-on session, you will create your own floral centerpiece using everyday materials with an emphasis on sustainability.  At the end of the workshop, please help us decorate the lunch tables with your centerpiece, and then you are welcome to take it home to enjoy. 


Relli Siegel, a certified professional floral designer, has been serving the community since 2003. Relli received her Floral Design certificate from The College of San Mateo and has since been immersed in studying Floral Design with renowned teachers from Europe and Canada. Relli’s passion has always been using everyday materials to create something out of the ordinary.

🧘‍♀️ Yoga Practice

During our 45 minutes together, we will practice postures that reflect Earth’s Elements: EARTH (grounding & calming), WATER (flowing & adapting), FIRE (confidence & courage), AIR/WIND (expression & compassion) and SPACE (wisdom & expansion).  This will be a gentle practice. 


Janine is an experienced local yoga instructor. Her journey began in the early ‘70s in a hatha yoga class at West Valley College and has blossomed ever since. Her classes are balanced with breath work, meditation, and asana practice.  She strives to meet students’ needs with adjustments, modifications and encouragement.  Each and every class she learns something new from her students.  “As my teacher Baba Hari Dass writes, teach to learn.” 

🌎 Tu BiShvat: the Jewish Environmental Holiday

Members of Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action tell how we can curb climate change.

Session 1: State Senator Josh Becker on climate action in the California legislature.

Session 2: Glenn Fieldman on Fossil Free California’s work.

Professor Glenn Fieldman (SFSU), State Senator Josh Becker, and Shannon Brown, Michal Strutin, and Eric Rosenblum, Dayenu Circle of Jewish Silicon Valley steering committee members.

🌲 Eitz Hayim – Ethereal and Material

Trees play an important role in esoteric and exoteric Judaism. They are seen as both the source of spiritual and physical sustenance.  Our tradition also examines their importance, vis a vis the environment. During this session we will examine the diverse meanings attached to trees within our tradition.


Rabbi David Kunin has served communities as rabbi in Glasgow (Scotland), Elmira, San Diego, Edmonton, and Tokyo (Japan). He now is rabbi of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga.   He believes that spiritual growth, as we build our relationship with the community and God, should be a continuous part of Jewish life. 

This program is made possible through JCC Association of North America in partnership with Israel’s Ministry for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism, and through the support of Hebrew Free Loan, the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest SF, the Koret Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood, and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.

Thank You to our Sponsors