Faces of Israel Hits The Bay Area!

posted on november 21, 2011

It’s been a crazy week of programming in the Bay Area and I almost don’t want it to end!  I presented four programs in four days and – after each event – a handful of inquisitive individuals received a tour of the RV.

Sunday’s program brought together the Berkeley community at Congregation Netivot Shalom for two hours of presentation and even-handed dialogue.  There was strong representation from different elements of the community and the evening included a cross-denominational panel with Rabbis Menachem Creditor, Andrew Straus and Yonatan Cohen.  Check out Menachem Creditor’s review of the program here.

Monday night took me to Berkeley Hillel where I met with a group of student leaders for some deep thinking, engagement and “devil’s advocate”-style conversations.  When I wrapped up the event at 8:45 pm, not a single student moved.  The students were captivated and spent another half hour discussing Israeli society, Jewish identity and – of course – what it’s like for me to live on the road.

I mixed things up on Tuesday evening by joining Beth David’s Hebrew High School teenagers for a fun and altogether different kind of program, complete with engaging activities and an arts and crafts project.  According to the hebrew high school principal Lindsay Greensweig Ehrman and Beth David Rabbi Daniel Pressman:  “You kept our teens engaged for two hours – even we can’t do that!”  Sweet.

I closed out my Bay Area marathon with a program in Contra Costa on Wednesday evening.  The event, hosted by Temple Isaiah and cosponsored by the Contra Costa JCC, Bnai Israel and Beth Chaim, yielded a turnout of over 100 people in a room that was packed to capacity!

This Bay Area mad dash followed two months of programming in the Pacific Northwest (in Portland OR and Eugene OR), in addition to a quick trip down to Los Angeles.  (Check out the Faces of Israel photo album for more pictures!)

East Bay, it was wonderful sharing Faces of Israel with you and I’ve been getting requests for follow-up programming.  Awesome!

Marin, Palo Alto, Peninsula, San Francisco and communities in the rest of North America: Let me know when you’re ready to schedule Faces in your community!  Is anyone planning Yom Ha’Atzmaut yet?  :-)

written by amy beth oppenheimer