Adult Groups and Gatherings

Virtual and In-Person Programs for Adults

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Virtual Program

In Person at the PJCC

Featured Program

Legacy Letter Workshop with Jay Sherwin
Tuesday, December 12 • 9:45 am – 2:00 pm • $18 (Includes Lunch)

A legacy letter (also called an “ethical will”) is a written document that allows people to reflect on your important life experiences, and transmit your values, life lessons and blessings to future generations. Ethical wills (tzava’ot in Hebrew) are deeply rooted in Jewish tradition, beginning with Jacob’s instructions to his sons in Genesis 49. There has been a recent resurgence of interest in this tradition and people of all faiths and backgrounds are choosing to write an ethical will or legacy letter, especially in the current moment, when so many are thinking about what is really important to them, what lessons they have to share, and how they want to be remembered. Through this hands-on workshop, participants will be guided in beginning to craft their personal legacy letter.

About the presenter: In a long and varied career, Jay Sherwin has practiced law, given away money for Jewish and secular charitable foundations, worked as a philanthropy consultant and served as a hospital chaplain. Drawing on all those experiences, Jay created the Life Reflections Project to educate people about legacy letters and ethical wills; he now teaches classes and workshops on legacy writing and helps people craft their own legacy documents. From 2007-2018, Jay lived in the Bay Area and served on the board at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette. He moved back home to New England in 2018 and now lives in Portland, Maine. You can read more about Jay and the Life Reflections Project on his website at www.jaysherwin.com.

In partnership with Development, Jewish Life, and Adult Programs Departments. Space is limited. Register by December 5. Lunch included. Register here.

Ongoing Programs

California Mahjong
Tuesdays, January 9–February 13 • 1:00 – 3:00 pm • $120
Thursdays, January 11–February 15 • 10:30 am – 12:30 pm • $120
What is the difference between California Mahjong and American Mah Jongg? Hint: It’s not just the spelling! Come join our own Shelley Williamson from the Welcome Center as she teaches California Mahjong, an adapted form of the British, Hong Kong, and Shanghai game. No card is needed. As Shelley says, “it’s a bit like Gin Rummy meets Yahtzee with a nice mix of skill and luck!” A great game to challenge your brain while building friendships. Registration required; sign up here.

Beginning Drawing & Watercolors
Fridays, January 12-February 16 • 9:00 am–12:00 pm • $260 Members/Public
Sundays, January 7-February 11 • 1:00–4:00 pm • $260 Members/Public

Experience the fun and excitement in painting with watercolors. This class will focus on learning basic watercolor techniques such as washes, gradation, color mixing, and blending. There will also be strong emphasis on design and composition of subject matter. Students will learn how to draw a pencil layout with accuracy and balance with the guidance of step-by-step demonstrations by the instructor. A small class size ensures that each student receives significant individual attention from the instructor, Shirley Lim.

Registration required. Sign up here.

Guided Mindfulness Meditation
Mondays • 9:30 am
Join us for meditation practice led by respected scholar and mindfulness mentor Rabbi Lavey Derby.

Meditation is an invitation to cultivate awareness of the present moment without judgment. We approach each moment with courage, curiosity, and compassion, creating space for whatever arises. As we practice, we learn to let go of the struggle with what is, to embrace ourselves and others in compassion, and to rest in the Mystery.

Registration required; email Rabbi Lavey Derby to sign up. Takes place via Zoom.

Let’s Talk About It: Virtual Discussion Group
Mondays · 3:30-4:30 pm
Meet for a lively discussion about topical events. All opinions are welcome, creating a forum for stimulating and thought-provoking conversations led by David Nigel & Jon Levinson. Takes place via Zoom. Please register using this link.

Yiddish Club
Tuesdays • 11:00 am • Zoom
Increase your Yiddish vocabulary, learn about Yiddish culture, and make sure the mamaloshen lives! Yiddish speakers of all levels are welcome; fluency not required. Peer led.

If you are interested in joining the virtual group, please contact Kimberly Gordon (kgordon@pjcc.org) to get the Zoom link.

Food for Thought
Join us for engaging monthly discussions! Register here.

Upcoming Dates and Topics:

December 12: Alystar Sacks: Antisemitism on the Rise (Note: time 2:15-3:15 pm)

January 9, 2024: Breaking the Cycle of Violence in Israel and Palestine

February 13, 2024: My Two Years Behind Barbed Wire During World War II In the US

March 12, 2024: Food For Thought: A Catskill Carnival by Bart A. Charlow

Get Up and Go Social Hour for Older Adults
In partnership with Peninsula Temple Beth El’s Senior Friendship Club

Every Other Wednesday • 1:00-2:00 pm • At the PJCC & Virtual (Except Where Noted)
We’re pleased to announce the return of in-person Social Hours! Build friendships, make connections, and enjoy our special times of community and conversation.

Most events are hybrid (offered both at the PJCC and virtually); please see program name and description for specifications.

Attending in person? Come at 12:00 pm and socialize! Bring your lunch, or purchase Rafael’s delicious dishes from Café at the J.

For more information, or to register for these events, contact Debi Bohmerwald by email at dbohmerwald@pjcc.org or by phone at 650.378.2718.

Learn More and Register

Upcoming Dates:

December 6: Rabbi Gershom Sizomu from Uganda
December 20: We’ll play Bingo!
January 10: Live Musical Performance
January 24: Learn from Master Gardeners about Succulents!

Life, It’s Complicated
Thursdays • 10:15 am
Life, It’s Complicated is an ongoing community of learning in which each week we explore and discuss ideas, beliefs, and practices found in Jewish wisdom, as well as Jewish perspectives on contemporary issues and personal experience. A different topic is discussed each week, often at the suggestion of participants. These weekly conversations are highly interactive as we all learn with and from each other.

Life, It’s Complicated is free and open to anyone who wishes to participate. The group meets both in person at the PJCC as well as on Zoom. You are welcome anytime; weekly participation not required.

Attend in person or via Zoom. Registration required; email Rabbi Lavey Derby to sign up.

Drop-in Mah Jongg
Thursdays • 12:30 – 3:00 pm • Members Free / $4 Public
Come play Mah Jongg with your friends at the PJCC! Sessions are available for Beginning & Intermediate players and Advanced players. No instructor will be present. Bring your current Mah Jongg card and set.

Drop-in Bunco
Second and Fourth Fridays • 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Join us on the second and fourth Fridays of the month for a social afternoon playing Bunco, a fun, dice-rolling game of chance. Beginners welcome.

Book Discussion: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth by Noa Tishby
Monday, December 4 • 10:00 – 11:00 am • Free

Join community volunteers Rene and Tom to discuss this fascinating chronological timeline spanning from Biblical times to today that explores the portrait of a tiny country of outsized relevance: Israel. Register here.

Drop-in Game Time
Thursday, December 21 • 1:00 – 3:00 pm • Free
Join fellow game enthusiasts for a friendly afternoon of cards, word games, and board game play. Bring in a game you’d like to share with others, or choose one of the rotating selection of games we’ll have available for you in the Adult Lounge.

Mobility & Independence: Transportation Resources in San Mateo County
Tuesday, January 16 • 2:00 – 3:30 pm • Free
Come join us and learn about different transportation options in San Mateo County. Information presented will be beneficial to individuals who prefer not to drive, are unable to drive, or just want to be prepared for future transition. We will cover options available through public transit (including free 1-on-1 training on how to ride by trained Mobility Ambassadors), local shuttles, free or low-cost transportation programs available through senior centers and community groups, as well as private services. We will be distributing the latest issue of the Senior Mobility Guide. Register here.

Just For Us: Performance at Berkeley Rep
Sunday, January 21 • Meet at PJCC 5:30 pm • $65 per person (includes transportation)

Expertly crafted by Alex Edelman, one of comedy’s most distinctive voices, and critically acclaimed, this singular theatrical experience is an exploration of identity and our collective capacity for empathy—and it’s also “belly-laugh funny!” (The New York Times).

In the wake of a string of antisemitic threats pointed in his direction online, standup comic Edelman decides to go straight to the source; specifically, Queens, where he covertly attends a meeting of White Nationalists and comes face-to-face with the people behind the keyboards. What happens next forms the backbone of the shockingly relevant, utterly hilarious, and only moderately perspirant stories that comprise Just for Us.

Meet in PJCC Lobby: 5:30 pm
Depart PJCC: 5:45 pm
Return PJCC 9:30 pm (Note: We will arrive back to the PJCC after the center is closed.)

Please note: This is a mask required performance.

Sign up here.

The Dybbuk Meets Tony Kushner
Tuesday, January 30 • 2:00 pm
Focusing on scenes from the plays The Dybbuk and Angels in America, Oded Lipshitz leads us on a thought-provoking discussion about the role of magic in drama in times of cultural transformation.

Oded Liphshitz is an Israeli playwright and director whose plays have been performed in Israel and in festivals around the world. He currently resides in Foster City with his family.

Sign up here.

Jewish Community Library One Book, One Bay 2024: Kantika by Elizabeth Graver
Monday, February 26 • 10:00 am
From Constantinople to Barcelona, Havana, and New York, Kantika sings of the joys, hopes, and devastation experienced by twentieth-century Sephardi emigres. Rebecca Cohen’s odyssey begins amid a settled, privileged childhood embraced by generations of well-to-do Ladino speakers. It quickly devolves through loss of home, a tragic marriage, and decrease of family cohesion. Rebecca’s indomitable resilience, good sense, and traditional values propel her across international boundaries and expectations as she becomes a thoroughly original American.

One Bay One Book is a year-long conversation connecting Bay Area readers through discussions and events centered around a single title and its themes. Sign up for our discussion here.

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