Our next event: Guest Speaker Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia on Jewish Perspectives on Medical Ethical Dilemmas


Advances in medical technology extend our life spans and enhance the quality of our lives. At the same time, these advances often raise vexing ethical dilemmas. In this session Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia will discuss Jewish perspectives of contemporary bio-ethical dilemmas. He will look at Jewish medical ethics in issues such as defining life and death, and the role of palliative care. This event will take place on October 18th, 4:00 pm at the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore (2466 8th Street) and costs $15 for non-TVCJ members. Refreshements will be served.

Get your tickets here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trivalley-cultural-jews-speaker-jewish-perspective-on-medical-ethical-dilemmas-tickets-18623220554

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Welcome to Tri-Valley Cultural Jews

We are a Secular Humanistic community serving those who identify with the Jewish People through family, culture and history, rather than through religion. Serving the Greater East Bay with holiday celebrations, opportunities to express your progressive social values, and education for children, adults and families. We are affiliated with the Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations.  Please view the Upcoming Events link for a look at future activities. We look forward to seeing you!

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Please join TVCJ for our annual Sukkah raising as we celebrate the season. We will be meeting on Sept 27th 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at 1817 Sinclair Drive in Pleasanton. Bring a brunch dish to share and a piece of fruit or vegetable (or something else) to decorate the sukkah. If you have one, also bring a large green branch for the roof. We will have crafts for the children and fun games for all! Please donate healthy non-perishable food to our our annual High Holy Days Food Drive. A $5 donation is requested for each adult non-member attending. We hope to see you there!

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Yom Kippur


Observe Yom Kippur in a Secular Humanistic way that’s authentic both to Jewish tradition and to your own beliefs.  Join us Tuesday evening, September 22 (Kol Nidre night) at 7 p.m. at the Bothwell Center, 2466 8th St. in Livermore for a non-religious program of readings, poetry, music and a memorial ceremony.  Suggested donation is $20/non-member adult, but if you decide you belong with us and become a member, your donation will be applied to your membership fee.

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Rosh Hashanah

Sunday Sept, 13, 5:00 pm — 7:30 pm: Rosh Hashana at the Bothwell Center, 2466 8th Street, Livermore.

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah in a Secular Humanistic way that that’s authentic both to Jewish culture and to your own beliefs.

Meet at 5:00pm for our tashlikh walk to the arroyo; 6:00 for our one-hour program of music and readings followed by apples and honey reception.   Kids are welcome. Suggested donation $20/non-member adult. We will have our annual food drive, so please bring non-perishable food items to be donated to a local food bank.

If you decide you belong with us and become a member, your donations will be applied to your membership fees.

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TriValley Cultural Jews 10th Anniversary Celebration

Tri-Valley Cultural Jews invites the community to a “kumzits” to celebrate our 10th anniversary on Sunday, August 30 from 10:30 – 12:00 at the Bothwell Arts Center; 2466 8th St., Livermore. Come and meet your local Secular Humanistic Jewish community. We’ll teach some easy Jewish songs and dances, tell a story, and talk about being part of a cultural Jewish community. Invite your friends! All are welcome. Please let us know if you’re coming so we can plan for food.   RSVP to reservations@tri-valleyculturaljews.org

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Jewish Holiday Preschool Program

apple and honey

Are you Jewish, but not religious? So are we! Come meet us at the Tri-Valley Cultural Jews. TVCJ is starting a new PRESCHOOL program to explore the Jewish holidays in a secular way. Holiday crafts, activities and food. Apples and honey for the new year! A great way to spend Grandparent’s Day- bring your grandparents along to do crafts together.

  • We also have Sunday School for school age children and Bar/Bat Mitzvah programs as well.
  • Call 510-888-1404 if you have questions
  • When: September 13th 2015, 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m.
  • Where: Ireland Home-19663 Fremery Ct., Castro Valley
  • We will be offering this program several times a year during the Jewish holidays.
  • Cost: $7.00 per child
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Secular Rabbi Judith Seid, on the same sex marriage ruling and dayenu.

I performed my first wedding ceremony in 1987, but before I did, I agonized over whether I should perform a ceremony that wasn’t available to everyone.  As it happened, a couple of my gay friends told me – in these exact words – “Don’t be stupid.”  So I performed legal wedding ceremonies between men and women and non-legal wedding ceremonies between people of the same sex.

A couple of times a year, a gay couple (back then both men and women were just called “gay”) would come to me and ask me to perform a “commitment” ceremony.  I would say no. I would tell them I did not perform commitment ceremonies but that I would be happy to perform a wedding ceremony for them.  And I did.  These weddings were not legal, but they were real.

I’m proud that our Secular Humanistic Jewish movement has always supported the right to marry and we were the first Jewish movement to include openly gay clergy members.  I’m proud that the Jewish community is at the forefront of every fight for equality.

While I am sensible that struggles remain, America has come a long way.  It took Black Americans almost 400 years to attain equal legal rights.  It’s not even 40 years from Stonewall, and we’re on our way to equal legal rights for people of all sexual orientations.  We’re not there yet, but we’re on our way.

At our Passover seder, we ask why we say “dayenu” – it would be enough for us – even though we know each thing we are happy for is not everything we need, want or hope for.  We say “dayenu” because it feels good to be on our way.  When we say “dayenu” it means we celebrate each step toward our goals as if  it were enough – and then start out on the next step. It means that if we reject each step because it is not the whole liberation, we will never be able to achieve the whole liberation. It means to sing each verse as if it were the whole song – and then sing the next verse!

So, yes, there’s still inequality, brutality and bigotry.  There’s still progress to be made.  But we’ve made another huge step forward, so let’s celebrate.  Let’s say DAYENU!

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