Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has kept the members of the Jewish community glued to screens instead of being together physically, creative minds have found numerous ways to have events, celebrate holidays and help people to cope with “the new normal.” February highlights include on-line lectures, virtual tours and even virtual or drive-through Purim celebrations. Jlife wishes everyone a Chag Purim Sameach and a great February.
Judaism for the World: Reflections on God, Life, and Love
Rabbi Arthur Green, live from Sharon, MA, will be in conversation with Rabbi Ed Feinstein, live from Encino, CA on Monday February 1, at 12:30 PM PST. The program is presented by the Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP). Judaism, one of the world’s great spiritual traditions, is not addressed to Jews alone. In his most recent book, Rabbi Arthur Green calls out to seekers of all sorts, offering a universal response to the eternal human questions of who we are, why we exist, where we are going, and how to live.
Drawing on over half a century as a Jewish seeker and teacher, he shows us a Judaism that cultivates the life of the spirit, that inspires an inward journey leading precisely toward self-transcendence, to an awareness of the universal Self in whose presence we exist. As a neo-Hasidic seeker, he is both devotional and boldly questioning in his understanding of God and tradition. Engaging with the mystical sources, he translates the insights of the Hasidic masters into a new religious language accessible to all those eager to build an inner life and a human society that treasures the divine spark in each person and throughout Creation.
Irvine Hebrew Day School will hold virtual tours to acquaint families with the curriculum. On Wednesday, February 3 at 10 AM, parents of prospective kindergarteners are invited to get a program overview and meet the staff. On Monday, February 8, at 12:30 PM, parents can learn about the middle school. The Hebrew and Jewish Studies open house is set for Thursday, February 11, at 7:30 PM, and the K-8 virtual open house is slated for Wednesday, February 17, at noon. Schedule these open houses at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 478-6818.
Staci Kessel will lead mat pilates to strengthen the body’s powerhouse on Sunday, February 7, at 9:30 AM. The event is sponsored by BJi2OC and is free. It is the third in a series of the Women’s Wellness program. Access it at www.bethjacobirvine.org/event/mat-pilates-with-staci-kessel.html.
Tikkun Olam – Care Bags
University Synagogue’s Tikkun Olam team is spearheading the collection of “Care Bags” for Orange County’s homeless population. People who wish to donate to the cause should fill a gallon bag with critically needed hygiene and health items. Tikkun Olam team members will be in the synagogue parking lot on Friday, February 12, 10 AM to noon, for drop off. RSVP to Stephanie Schneider (email@example.com) with the approximate number of bags being dropped off.
15th Annual CSP Adult Retreat
The CSP retreat, with Dr. Erica Brown, live from Silver Spring, MD, honors Community Scholar Program (CSP) Patrons. “The Book of Esther in Art and Text” is free of charge to CSP Patrons (includes Persian treats), free to CSP Legacy members ($75 if you would like the Persian treats) or $75 per household general public ($180 if you would like the Persian treats). The cost includes 3 presentations with Dr. Erica Brown, musical event with Deborah Sacks Mintz and Persian treats delivered to your door.
Sunday February 14
12 PM PST
Esther in Botticelli’s Eyes
Sunday February 14
4 PM PST
Jan Lievens and the Destiny Moment
Sunday February 14
7 PM PST
An evening of music with Deborah Sacks Mintz
Live from Manhattan, NY
Monday February 15
10 AM PST
Mordechai, Haman and Rembrandt
News from Israel
A four-part online series from the Merage JCC will take an in-depth look at current events and recurring themes in Israeli news. Merage JCC’s favorite Israeli tour educator, Muki Jankelowitz, will lead the series. The series Includes:
Tuesday, February 16, 11 AM
Ahead of the Curve: How Israel got to be a world leader in vaccine roll-out, and its impact on Israeli society.
Tuesday, March 2, 11 AM
Elections Again: Why, how, and what could be different this time?
Tuesday, March 9, 11 AM
“Normalization” of the Middle East: What new relations with UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco mean for Israel.
Tuesday, March 16, 11 AM
Reading the Writing on the Wall: A Graffiti Tour of Tel Aviv
Cost is: JCC Members: $10 per session / $36 for the 4-part series; public: $12 per session / $42 for the 4-part series. Zoom information will be provided upon registration.
Drive-Thru Purim Car-nival
Congregation B’nai Israel’s youth group presents a Drive-Thru Purim Car-nival on Sunday, February 20, at noon, at CBI, 2111 Bryan Avenue, Tustin. There will be games, crafts, fun, excitement and Purim cheer at this family-friendly event. Various levels of sponsorship are available. For details, call CBI at (714) 730-9693.
Temple Beth Sholom offers three Purim events for families with kids:
Sun 2/21 at 11:00am
Join us for a puppet show! Great for ages 0-7
2/26 at 4:30pm Kindergarten through 7th graders are invited to join Temple Beth El for a fun, interactive performance by The Bible Players!
Purim story Through LEGOs
2/28 ECC and RS students are invited to come together at 10:30 to hear the Purim story told through LEGOs! Have your own LEGO nearby and be ready to create Shushan and the characters of the story!
On Thursday, February 25, at 5:30 PM, the Jewish Collaborative will host A POSITIVELY PLAYFUL PURIM. The Jewish Collaborative joins with six congregations for a fun-filled Purim program with something for the entire family.
5:30 PM Family Fun
6:15 PM Ma’ariv
6:45 PM Megillah and Shpiel