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!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Secular Rabbis and Jewish Leaders Ordained

Farmington Hills, Michigan, November 10th, 2017
The International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ) celebrated the graduation of 3 new Leaders and ordained 2 new rabbis this past Friday at The Birmingham Temple Congregation for Humanistic Judaism. An honorary ordination of a recently deceased Rabbinic student was also observed.
The newest leaders, known as Madrikhim/ot in Hebrew and Vegvayzer in Yiddish, are Jamie Ireland (San Francisco Bay Area), Mary Raskin (Portland, OR), and Jeffrey Schensnol (Phoenix, AZ). They joined over 60 other leaders certified since the founding of the IISHJ in 1985. Rabbi Joysa Winter (Philadelphia) and Rabbi Jeremy Kridel (Washington DC) are the newest of the almost 50 Secular Humanistic Jewish Rabbis ordained worldwide to date. These leaders and clergy are tasked with shepherding the movement into the future.
Especially moving was the posthumous ordination of David J. Steiner as honorary rabbi. The certificate was accepted by his son Itamar who shared how much it would have meant to his father. Steiner was a polymath with skills as varied as cow midwifery and documentary filmmaking. The next evening, his award-winning documentary film, “Saving Barbara Sizemore,” was screened in tribute.
The ordination ceremony took place the Birmingham Temple, the flagship congregation of the over 50- year-old Secular Humanistic Jewish movement, as well as numerous current leaders of the movement from around the U.S. and the world.
Luminaries in the audience included Rabbi Miriam Jerris, Rabbi of the Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ); Richard Logan, President of the SHJ; Paul Golin, Executive Director of the SHJ; Rabbi Adam Chalom, Dean – North America of the IISHJ, Rabbi Sivan Maas, Dean-Israel of Tmura-IISHJ; Jay Cohen, President of the IISHJ; Terry Waslow, Chair, Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations (CSJO), and Rabbi Jeffrey Falick, Rabbi of the Birmingham Temple.
Secular Humanistic Judaism and the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism
Secular Humanistic Judaism is a cultural Jewish identity lived through a human-focused non-theistic philosophy of life. Secular Humanistic Jews believe that Judaism is the evolving civilization of the Jewish people, created, lived and recreated in response to the needs and beliefs of each generation. In our days, we believe in the power of people to understand their world and to influence it for the better. We celebrate human freedom and responsibility for our choices and actions. And we know that if justice is to exist in our world, we must create it together.
The International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism is the intellectual and educational arm of the Secular Humanistic Jewish Movement. The Institute presents and promotes the philosophy of Secular Humanistic Judaism by exploring Jewish cultural identity through academic inquiry and by training Leaders and Rabbis of the movement in North America and in Israel. Information about the Institute and its programs is available at its website, http://www.iishj.org, or by contacting info@iishj.org or 847-777- 6907.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 5.03.37 PM
(From left to right, Madrikha Mary Raskin, Madrich Jeffrey Schesnol, Rabbi Jeremy Kridel, Rabbi Joysa Winter, Rabbi Adam Chalom, Rabbi Sivan Maas, Madrikha Jamie Ireland, Rabbi Miriam Jerris)
For more information, contact, Rabbi Adam Chalom, achalom@iishj.org, 847-602-4500.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Our members had a fantastic time raising a sukkah at this year’s Sukkot celebration.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



On October 8th,from 10:30-12:30 the Tri-Valley Cultural Jews will be raising a sukkah! It will be at 19663 Fremery Ct in Castro Valley we will come together to build the sukkah and to enjoy a potluck brunch and other activities for adults and kids. Please bring a branch for the roof of the sukkah, a potluck brunch dish to share and a fruit to hang from the sukkah. Suggested donation for non-members is $10 per adult.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

L’Shana Tovah!

Our Rosh Hashanah ceremony was filled with thoughtful readings, discussion, and music. Here, some of our younger members are providing musical accompaniment to Zol Zeyn Sholem.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yom Kippur Observances

yom kippur
Join Tri-Valley Cultural Jews for two Yom Kippur events.  First, is our Kol Nidre observance on Friday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bothwell Arts Center (2466 8th St.) in Livermore. This will be a one-hour program of readings in English with music.  Suggested donation of $10 per non-member adult.  The following day, Saturday, September 30 will be our Yom Kippur Observance (also at the Bothwell Arts Center) from 2:00pm – 5:00pm.  This will be another program of music and readings in English.  Breakout sessions will focus on working in local interfaith organizations, confronting our privilege, the Enlightenment (historical and personal), and storytelling.  Suggested donation $20 for non-member adults.  We’ll be collecting donations for hurricane relief at both events.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The August 24th Independent published a story about our upcoming event.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 6.11.34 AM

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Charlottesville Vigil

TVCJ members attended a vigil for the murdered anti-Nazi protester in Charlottesville.  May our lives always bring honor to her memory.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment