Summer Resource Guide & Activities

Temple Sinai Family School
Resource Guide & Activities
Summer 2016

There are an infinite number of ways to “do Jewish”, “learn Jewish”, and celebrate Jewish life throughout the year – and this guide intends to provide our Family School community with a few possibilities to consider – listed in alphabetical order.  We hope that you and your family shall enjoy a wonderful summer!

And in the words of the wise sage Dr. Seuss - “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”


Attend / participate in our weekly Shabbat Services! Yes, there are Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat services at Temple Sinai every week – even during the summer months!  Would you prefer to go to services with friends? Invite another family to join you!  Come sing and pray with the Temple Sinai community – and check our Temple Sinai calendar for times and special events.

Consider setting aside special time on Friday evening and/or Saturday to celebrate Shabbat at Home! Lighting candles, enjoying wine and grape juice and challah, having pretty flowers on your table, enjoying a yummy meal together as a family, relaxing together  – what’s not to like about Shabbat? When most people think of holidays, they think of annual celebrations, but in Judaism, there is one holiday that occurs every week - the Sabbath. Known in Hebrew as Shabbat and in Yiddish as Shabbos, this holiday is central to Jewish Life.  Information about Shabbat customs and blessings recited at home during Shabbat, along with fun Shabbat family activities can be found at

Discover a calendar of new and ongoing local Bay Area Jewish events, updated weekly, published online at jWeekly.   

Family read-together time. Our wonderful library at Temple Sinai is open year-round! This summer, consider borrowing and reading some books which possess Jewish content.  Interested in learning about recently published and recommended Jewish children’s books? Check out the 2016 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winners.  The Sydney Taylor Book Award honors new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience.

Plan a family field trip – or arrange a play date with another family - to one of our two local Jewish museums: the Magnes Museum at UC Berkeley and The Contemporary Jewish Museum

Help Protect the environment.  Consider scheduling family time to volunteer to help restore the habitat at an East Bay Regional Park.

Provide your child with a Jewish Summer Camp experience!  There are way too many, excellent options to list them all. Might your child be interested in a local summer day camp program? Check out three local favorites: Camp Kee TovJCC Camp Tzofim, and Urban Adamah. Interested in a summer sleep-away camp program? Check out two additional local favorites: Camp Newman and Camp Tawonga.  While you’re on their websites, consider checking out possibilities for Family Camp weekends at Newman and Tawonga.

Revisit any of the Temple Sinai 2015-2016 Family School Resource Guides, either to try out an activity that your family has not yet had the opportunity to do– or revisit doing any of the activities which your family particularly enjoyed! Please let us know if you’d like us to resend you any past issues of the Resource Guides.   

Summer Travels Plans?  Consider including in those plans stops at places of Jewish interest. To locate a list of potentially interesting Jewish points of interest, try “google-ing the name of your destination and the word Jewish in your search phrase.  Consider going to a Shabbat service wherever you happen to be: synagogues in Paris, France or synagogues near Paris, Texas. Or visit Hagafen Cellars, a Kosher winery in Napa Valley.  On the road? Try out one of many recommended Kosher restaurants.

Tikkun Olam Projects.  Please refer to our November 2015 Thanksgiving-themed Resource Guide, containing suggestions and ideas on helping to “Repair the World” through volunteer work.  Consider scheduling family time to volunteer and support one or more of many local worthy causes – check out the guide to discover both one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities for families with children. Please refer to The Volunteer Center of the East Bay and Project Open Hand.

Visit Israel – consider planning a family trip to Israel – or maybe just taking a “virtual trip” to Israel.  Check out the information provided on the Israel Ministry of Tourism website!  Create / customize your own Travel Guide to Israel. Check out the Virtual Israel Experience or Experience Israel

Watch a film with Jewish content at home – and / or attend a screening of a new film at the annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.  Check out Moment Magazine's list of Great Jewish Films.