Donate Now

Civic Engagement

 

Civic Engagement Mission Statement

The Jewish Community Center of the East Bay serves a diverse community and people with various points of view. We provide space for civic discourse, offering opportunities to talk across differences, discover shared values, and establish respectful engagement.

The JCC East Bay stands for equal rights and safety for people of all backgrounds and faiths. We view this as a moral obligation. We welcome and support our diverse Jewish community, people of all religions, nationalities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, communities of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.

 

What Civic Engagement Means to Us

We are committed to bringing you opportunities to learn about social issues, get involved, and make a difference - all while building and strengthening our local community. We were inspired by Tikkun Olam, the Jewish value that speaks to social justice and the importance of helping to make the world a better place. Traditional Jewish texts teach us that it is not any one person's duty to complete the work of repairing the world, but we are not free to neglect that work either (Pirkei Avot 2:21). We hope that you find these programs and resources to be an effective and fun way to make a positive impact!

 

Help Shape Our Programs

What can we do to make our programs more accessible? What social causes would you like to see us address?

Email your feedback to Alystar Sacks, Program Manager.

 

 

Power Through Protest

A new series of events brought to you in collaboration with Peninsula JCC, the Los Gatos JCC, and the Osher Marin JCC. Explore the history and meaning of protest with us through a contemporary and Jewish lens. Check back here for more events, updated frequently!

 

Theodore Bikel's "The City of Light" with Aimee Ginsburg Bikel
 
Wednesday December 16, 7-8:30pm
 
Join Aimee Ginsburg Bikel, Theo’s wife and director of the Theodore Bikel Legacy Project, for this up-close-and-personal look at the man behind the legend. Aimee shares stories about Theo’s life and reads from their recently released book, "Theodore Bikel’s The City of Light", based on a Hanukkah story Theo wrote about his childhood in Vienna on the eve of WW2. The program also showcases his acting roles, music, and passion for tikkun olam (repairing the world). We will hear a little-known Hanukkah song recorded by Theo in the final months of his life.
 

 

 

The Day After: A Post-Election Community Gathering

A powerful gathering that provided a space to be together, resources and tools to take action, and inspiration to move forward towards a more just and vibrant future for all.

Speakers:
Rabbi Adina Allen, Jewish Studio Project; Tonda Case, Jewish Women of Color Resilience Circle; Melissa Chapman, JCC East Bay; Tyler Gregory, Jewish Community Relations Council; Adrienne Mermin, Jewish Youth for Community Action; and Avi Rose, Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay.

Music by Candace Goodwin and Isaac Zones.

CLICK HERE to view our Post-Election Resources for Reflection and Action.

 

 

     POWER THROUGH VOTING SERIES

In recognition of the 2020 election, and in collaboration with all seven Bay Area JCCs, we offered events and resources focused on getting out the vote and addressing voter suppression. This nonpartisan series will featured guest speakers, phone bank opportunities, discussion happy hours, and more. Explore our resources and event recordings here!

 

Kickoff Event

We were thrilled to kick-off our new series of Power through Voting programs on zoom! This 45 minute introduction spoke to the history of voter suppression and what we can do to make a difference. Featuring guest speaker Andrea Miller, founder of Reclaim Our Vote, part of the Center for Common Ground.

WATCH THE RECORDING HERE.

Due to a small glitch, the recording begins partway through a brief introduction. For a complete transcript of the introduction, click here.

  

The 2020 Elections and the Jewish Vote

The results of the November election are not only important for us as a society, but also for our own community. We were glad to have guest speaker Dr. Steven Windmueller join us on Zoom, where he shared a nonpartisan election analysis designed to educate about the diverse and significant roles Jews have played and continue to play in American politics. Dr. Windmueller's work in Jewish political behavior has been central to his research and writings. His 2014 book, The Quest for Power, seeks not only to define the nature of Judaism as a political system but to demonstrate how Jews have historically governed themselves over the course of their complex historical journey.

WATCH THE RECORDING HERE. 

 

Reading List: Jewish Involvement in Voting and Politics

Check out these resources on the Jewish community’s involvement in voting and political movements throughout history!

Curated by the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco.

 

 

 

 

 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's Legacy

Sign the Petition.

Send a Condolence Message to the Ginsberg Family.

Explore other ways to honor her memory.

Resources provided by the National Council of Jewish Women. 

 

Racial Justice

A rabbi fighting racial injustice for decades says he hasn't done enough.
 
Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner z”l support Black Lives Matter.
 
There is a civil rights tour of the American South - take virtual tours right here.
 
How Blacks and Jews are connected. 
 
Racial justice to drive the Jewish vote.
 
6 moments that showcase an enduring alliance with John Lewis z"l.
 
Why Black lives matter to Jews.
 
Fight racism this Tisha B'av.
 
 

Celebrating Jews of Color

This Black Jewish Musician powerfully blends Yiddish poetry and African American spirituals.
 
This Black orthodox woman is opening minds.
  
The long road for Jews of Color.
 
 
The story of a Black Jewish Shabbat marathon.
 
Exploring what it means to be Black and Jewish in the middle of a social struggle.
 
Embracing Mexican-Jewish identity through baking.
  
 
 

 

Staying in the Fight for Racial Justice: A Conversation with Yavilah McCoy and Eric Ward

This webinar from the National Council of Jewish Women explores how our fight for racial justice and our work combating antisemitism intersect. See Eric Ward, Executive Director of the Western States Center, and Yavilah McCoy, CEO of Dimensions Educational Consulting, discuss how we show up and stay in this critical work. View the recording here.

 

Reboot Ideas Conversation: Anti-Semantics Sifting Through Whiteness and Jewish Identities

This Reboot Ideas conversation features two authors: Adam Mansbach and Kevin Coval. Adam Mansbach is the author of the worldwide bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep, the novels Rage is Back, Angry Black White Boy, and The End of the Jews (winner of the California Book Award) and a dozen other books. He wrote the award-winning screenplay for the Netflix Original BARRY, and his memoir, I Had A Brother Once, is forthcoming from One World/Random House in January. Kevin Coval is the author of Everything Must Go: The Life & Death of an American Neighborhood, A People's History of Chicago & ten other collections, & anthologies. He's the Creative Director and a founding editor of The BreakBeat Poets imprint on Haymarket Books. Check out the recording here.

 

In Defense of Democracy: Getting Out the Vote in an Age of Heightened Voter Suppression

The SF Black-Jewish (& Allies) Unity Group presented their third Forum on Racial and Economic Justice. In our increasingly divided political climate, the San Francisco Black-Jewish-(and Allies) Unity Group used a virtual forum to spark discussion among diverse groups to inform, build bridges and community, promote greater democratic participation, and turn back the tide of voter suppression. Watch the recording here.

 

ADL Supreme Court Review

The Anti-Defamation League partnered with the National Constitution Center for an annual Supreme Court Review, when distinguished legal scholars broke down the most important legal questions of the term, including separation of church and state, immigration and Title VII employment discrimination. They also discussed what to expect at the Supreme Court next year. Watch the recorded broadcast here.

  

PIVOT Conversation with Ilana Kaufman

The Osher Marin JCC Taube Center for Jewish Peoplehood recorded a conversation with Ilana Kaufman, Director of the Jews of Color Initiative. PIVOT is a serial program that explores this unique moment in time. In this interview, Kaufman shares her personal experience growing up Black and Jewish and the racism she experiences in the Jewish community. She provides an overview of this moment and the work that must be done by individuals and organizations to address racism that adversely impacts everyone. The interview is conducted by Joanne Greene, the Osher Marin JCC's Director of Jewish Engagement. Listen to the conversation here.