Join like-minded people to do good in the world, make friends, and build community.
Count Me In engages participants to help repair the world (tikkun olam) and make a positive impact in our local community, regionally, and in the world.
We offer our volunteers the opportunity to build lasting relationships with each other, other agencies, and the community around them. We offer opportunities for people of all ages—children and adults. We believe that all people can help those in need and be a part of something larger than themselves.
Each person makes a difference. Together we are responsible for making our community a place where we uphold dignity for all and seek to improve the world through our actions. Join us!
“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway… And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!”—Anne Frank
The Clint Edwards Show: What a Wonderful World
Tuesday, April 20 • 2:00-3:00 pm
Don’t miss a note of this virtual piano concert! Join us for a special Earth Week selection of hits from the American Songbook, Broadway, Standards, and Pop. Clint Edwards, a New York City/New Jersey-based pianist/composer will share his musical talents, along with commentary and historical points about the selections. Dive into this glorious world of music celebrating our wonderful world!
Registration required. Takes place via Zoom.
Earth Day Every Day
Thursday, April 22 • 3:30-4:00 pm
It’s Earth Day! Let’s discuss ways we can take responsibility of our planet. In what ways do you help reduce, reuse and recycle? Do you bike more and drive less? Have you planted more flowers? Or maybe you’re not sure why we need to do all this and want to learn more. Our special guest, Nilu Motiwala, will help guide our conversation on ideas and tips on how to take care of Mother Earth.
Earth Day: Death Over Expression
Thursday, April 22 • 6:30-8:00 pm • $5 requested donation to JCC East Bay
Grief around climate change is powerful: the loss of biodiversity, the new normal of “fire season,” the rising sea levels. This Earth Day, join the JCC East Bay and Reboot for a virtual gathering that will provide a meaningful pause for people of all backgrounds to reflect on what we have lost recently, as well as what we have gained, through guided meditation led by Dorothy Richman and mandala art facilitated by Ava Sayaka Rosen.
Foster City Team-up & Clean-up: Clean-Up Day
Sunday, April 25 • 10:00 am
Say “Count Me In” to keep our community clean! Join in on a clean-up day, when we’ll work together to clean up a Foster City neighborhood: We’ll be cleaning behind Lantern Cove Apartments (244 Rock Harbor Lane, Foster City). Please bring the following supplies, if you have them at home: gloves; a “grabber”; and a bucket.
Visit the Foster City Team-up & Clean-up Facebook Group to stay up to date on this event. If you’d like to join in, please RSVP via the Facebook group as well, so that the organizers can plan for supplies. Thank you for making a difference!
Take simple steps to help conserve and preserve our natural resources!
1. Buy in bulk at farmers markets and opt for reusable cloth produce bags or no produce bags at all.
2. Eat more meat-free meals.
3. Ride your bike as a mode of transportation.
4. If you receive bills for utilities or other services, opt for online only. Remove yourself from mailing lists to cut back on plastic marketing mail. Catalog Choice, a free online service can help.
5. Take your own reusable water bottle or cup and utensils to food outlets that only provide disposables.
6. Plant flowers for the bees and butterflies that help pollinate our environment.
7. Bring your own containers to restaurants for leftovers.
8. Give up single-use plastic straws, cutlery, and food containers. (Getting takeout? Let the restaurant know you don’t need utensils!)
9. Bring reusable cloth bags to the grocery store.
10. Replace your bottled shampoos and soaps with bars that require no plastic packaging or get them at bulk stores to put in your own reusable containers.
11. Buy local! Not only does this support our local economy (and your neighbors, who own and work at these businesses), you reduce the amount of packing materials and transportation resources in use for your purchase. For more information on why this helps, read these articles from One Green Planet and Sustainable Connections.
12. Plant flowers for the bees and butterflies. When you fill your yard with native plants, you naturally attract pollinators that support our local ecosystem. And, you make your surroundings lovely at the same time! For additional tips, read these publications from the US Department of Agriculture and Let’s Talk Science .
Multiple Dates: Saturday, May 8; Saturday, June 12
Do a mitzvah (good deed) and make sandwiches for our neighbors at the Samaritan House. On the 2nd Saturday of the month, please make 20 sack lunches. Each lunch should include:
Please decorate your lunch bags and/or include a note of kindness.
Deliver your lunch bags to the back lot of the Samaritan House located at 4301 Pacific Blvd in San Mateo between 10:00am–12:00pm.
Friday, May 28 • 9:00 am-1:00 pm • Group Exercise Room
Did you know that every blood donation has the potential to save the lives of 3 patients in need? Peninsula Jewish Community Center is sponsoring a blood drive on Friday, May 28, 2021 form 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the Exercise Room located at 800 Foster City Blvd in Foster City. You can help rebuild the blood supply to adequate levels as we continue to provide lifesaving blood to patients across Northern California. If you are currently healthy, please register via the Vitalant website to schedule your lifesaving donation appointment.
Appointments are strongly encouraged to help maintain social distancing, and donors and staff must wear a mask. In addition, temperature checks are performed upon arrival and sanitizing and disinfecting measures are taking place throughout the process. Be a lifesaver, schedule an appointment today!
The North Peninsula Jewish Community and the Jewish Community Relations Council present a series of three lectures exploring the experience of Black People and People of Color in America and the many aspects of injustice manifest in our society. We will be guided in our learning by experts and leaders in their fields, who will invite us to ask hard questions and draw our own conclusions.
The Black Experience in America from Reconstruction to Today
March 4, 7:00-8:30 pm
View the recording of this presentation.
How have the politics and polices in our country since Reconstruction led to the racism and injustice of our time?
Dr. Peniel Joseph, Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and Barbara Jordan Chair of Ethics and Political Values, University of Texas, Austin.
Perspectives on Criminal Justice Reform and Police Reform
March 11, 7:00-8:30 pm
View the recording of this presentation.
How does inequity in our criminal justice system and in the process of policing manifest in the Bay Area and across the country? Featuring Dr. Paul Henderson, Director of the San Francisco Police Oversight Office.
The State of Educational Equity in California
April 8, 7:00 pm
View the recording of this presentation.
How do discrimination and inequity manifest in California’s educational system and what impact does this have on the lives of Black people, People of Color, and the poor? Featuring Natalie Wheatfall-Lum, Director of Policy, Education Trust-West.
Sponsored by Peninsula Temple Beth El, Peninsula Temple Sholom, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Peninsula Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.
We believe that respecting and discussing diverse opinions and perspectives is what makes us a strong and vital community. We are committed to promoting civil discourse and being a “living room” where discussions on challenging topics can take place in open, inviting, and respectful ways.
Sign Up to Be a Vaccination Volunteer
Want to help people at vaccination sites but don’t know where to begin? Vax Volunteers is a grassroots effort started by healthcare and public health professionals to match volunteers with organizations where they can make a significant impact on vaccine distribution. Both medical and non-medical volunteers will be crucial to the success of the vaccine campaign to combat COVID-19. We are all in this together – everyone’s contribution, from vaccinators to greeters to traffic control, gets us one step closer to getting the majority of our country vaccinated.
For more information, visit the VaxVolunteers website.
Want a personal perspective on volunteering? Read this recent article from J.Weekly.
Challah After School
This fall, Challah for Hunger will be continuing their virtual community programming with Challah After School. At Challah After School, young children and their loved ones will have the opportunity to participate in events and activities revolving around the three pillars of Challah for Hunger: advocacy, philanthropy, and community building. You’ll receive two activity “bingo cards,” where you can check off completed activities. Join them for weekly virtual gatherings to do these activities together as a community!
Challah After School will also offer adult-only programming. Our Speaker Series, through Challah for Hunger’s Campus Hunger Project, will bring in professionals working to eliminate food insecurity and hunger among college students in our country.
Serve with Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest needs help with sorting and distribution. Visit their website for ways you can help.
Support Jewish Family and Children’s Services
JFCS needs to stock their food pantries for clients and community members who are looking for groceries. Here’s how you can donate:
For more information on Jewish Family & Children’s Services, go to https://www.jfcs.org
Become a Foster Parent!
There are San Mateo County children currently placed outside of the County due to a lack of local families available to foster. Help to bring these kids back to our community! Opening your heart to a child in foster care can be an amazingly rewarding experience. You can make a difference in a child’s life. Please visit www.helpsanmateokids.com to get more information on how you can help kids in need.
Get Involved: Be a Smithsonian Digital Volunteer
Help make African American history accessible to the world by becoming a Smithsonian digital volunteer!
As a “volunpeer,” you can log in to the Smithsonian Transcription Center, select an African American historical document, and then transcribe—type—what you read into a new, electronically searchable document that will shine light on some of the untold stories of the African American experience. Help current and future genealogists, historians, students, and scholars—anyone with access to the internet—learn about the full, unvarnished history of this nation.
Learn more at the Smithsonian Transcription Center website.
Books for Adults
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I Am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer
Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry
If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement by Gwendolyn Hooks
Civil Rights Then and Now: A Timeline of the Fight for Equality in America by Kristina Brooke Daniele
12 Years a Slave
The Hate U Give
As a Jewish organization with a heritage built on an unambivalent call to justice, the PJCC recognizes that we must take a firm stance against the injustice, inequality, and hate that blights our society.
We condemn the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and all those who came before them. As a diverse PJCC community, we stand with the Black community in this moment. We cannot be silent or stand idly by while people inside and outside our immediate community are in pain and are unsafe because of the color of their skin.
The writer James Baldwin said it best, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
We must advocate for change while also reaching to care for one another and striving to listen to those who are most impacted. We must face this moment head on and work together for change.
Join us—stand up and say “Count Me In” as we work together as a community to educate ourselves, educate our children and take steps to combat racism.
Be an UPStander!
We have all been a bystander at one time or another. It can be uncomfortable. Often people do not respond because they do not want to be a target of abuse themselves. Raise you voice when you hear racist remarks. Standing up to racism can be a powerful sign of support. It can also make the offender think twice about their actions. When responding, always assess the situation and never put yourself at risk. Your actions do not need to involve confrontation.
Make Your Home a Safe Zone
Ten-year-old Cruz of Burlingame invites the Peninsula community to come together and put up signs of support in our windows. He says, “I want my generation to come together and be kind to each other. Love more. Smile more. I know we can stand together and see past color and see people for who they are inside. We all have beautiful skin.” Join Cruz and put a sign in your window showing your support for the Black community.
One Anti-Racist Action a Day
This newsletter serves as a means of accountability and support by sharing one concrete, anti-racist action you can take each day—for example, a petition to sign or an email to send to a congressperson. Subscribe now.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is a national network of groups and individuals organizing for racial justice. Join a local SURJ Chapter and get engaged with the struggle for racial justice in our community.
Get More Weekly Action Tips
Our partner 2 for Seder has begun to send “Weekly Action Tips” with suggestions for small, meaningful activities you can do. Each Action Tip is effective against the bigger picture of hate and anti-Semitism. Most activities are quick and the most effective ones for you will involve an activity that you are already doing. Sign up today!
Talking to Your Kids about Race: A (Virtual) Conversation
How should parents talk to their children and teens about race? In this video, brought to you by the The Parent Education Series, they bring together a distinguished panel of experts to address this question, and to offer insights into an often difficult, fraught subject: race in America.
Panelists include Julie Lythcott-Haims, JD, MFA: Former Dean at Stanford, speaker, activist, New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult and Real American: A Memoir; Donald E. Grant, Jr., PhD: Executive Director, Center for Community & Social Impact, Pacific Oaks College; Eric Abrams, MBA: Chief Inclusion Officer, Stanford Graduate School of Education; and Kareem Graham, PhD: Senior Scientist (Immunologist), author of “White parents, talk to your kids about race” (San Francisco Chronicle, Opinion, June 9, 2020).
Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good
Talking With Children About Racism, Police Brutality and Protests by Laura Markham
Help Distribute Vital Relief Supplies to Our Communities
Volunteer to ensure the provision of vital supplies to the most vulnerable communities. As partof our COVID-19 response, we are seeking volunteers to sort, assemble and distribute food packages at regional distribution centers. Current locations of operation: Los Angeles & San Francisco Bay Area.
Criteria to volunteer: Age 14+ (16+ for Santa Clara operation); Ability to lift up to 25 pounds; Active health insurance; US citizenship/permanent resident; Access to a car.
Teen volunteers are eligible to receive volunteer credits upon completion of volunteer shifts.
Right now, everyone is being told that staying at home is the safest thing to do. Unfortunately, staying home is not safe for those who are in abusive relationships, who are now having to stay at home with their abusers. During Shelter-In-Place, the Bay Area has reported an increase in domestic violence related ER visits and 9-1-1 calls. It is more difficult than ever for victims to access the safety and support they need. Survivors of domestic violence often report that community silence and the feeling of being alone are part of the trauma of abuse.
In the spirit of Kol Yisrael Arevim zeh ba-zeh, we are leading an effort to let survivors of abuse know that their Jewish community is here to support them. If you have someone you’re worried about right now, this is the time to message or call them. They might not be able to safely speak with you, but if you reach out they will know that you are there for them. If they are able to get a private minute, let them know that they don’t deserve to be abused, that it isn’t their fault, and that help is available.
Let them know that they can call Shalom Bayit’s free, confidential helpline: 866-SHALOM-7.
Friends and family of the person being abused are also welcome to call to get ideas for how to support.
The PJCC partners with several agencies to do good, including IsraAID, Mission Hospice, the Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL), Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS), Samaritan House, and more.
Stay tuned for more ways to serve partner organizations alongside the PJCC, or check the “Ideas for Getting Involved” tab for additional drives & service opportunities!