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Our Stories

New biographies paint portraits of two Jewish luminaries (one with S.F. ties)

New biographies paint portraits of two Jewish luminaries Books coverage is supported by a generous grant from The Milton and Sophie Meyer Fund. We depend on biographies to bring giants to our level and offer us entry into otherwise inaccessible worlds. I was glad to see the recent publications of…...

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David’s farewell message

Dear friends, When I began at the Bureau of Jewish Education thirteen years ago, every community survey announced with ever-greater alarm that the Jewish people were sliding  toward oblivion.   Throughout our history, “there was hardly a generation in the Diaspora that did not consider itself the final link in Israel’s chain,”…...

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1980s Soviet Jewry activist turns his eyes toward a battle for today: Black Lives Matter

By David Waksberg Originally from the j. Jewish News of Northern California When I was a teenager, I wore a huge Jewish star around my neck, and on it was the name of Mark Dymshitz, a Soviet Jewish prisoner of conscience. One day, an African American friend of mine stopped…...

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A Round Up of Jewish Virtual Programming for Teens in the Bay Area

Debra Sagan Massey, Senior Educator at Jewish LearningWorks in San Francisco, has for the last year been holding regular pop-up meetings for Jewish educators working with teens. As a result of the pandemic crisis, these meetings have recently gone virtual, but have, as a result, become fertile ground for sharing…...

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Daughters of the Holocaust uncover old stories in new memoirs

Daughters of the Holocaust uncover old stories in new memoirs – J. Jews place a premium on remembering, and particularly so when it comes to the Holocaust. But how can we recall what we never learned? Two outstanding new memoirs by daughters of Holocaust survivors focus on uncovering the stories…...

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Class dismissed: Jewish LearningWorks CEO David Waksberg retires

Originally published in J. Jewish News of Northern California – May 28, 2020 Around the time David Waksberg became CEO of the Bureau of Jewish Education 13 years ago, he had a heart-to-heart with a colleague. And not just any old colleague. He called former Soviet Jewish refusenik Natan Sharansky.…...

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Be the campfire for our teens

When I accepted the position of CEO at Jewish LearningWorks, I was motivated by optimism about the future of our work, elevating the art of Jewish teaching and the practice of Jewish learning. In spite of this historical moment, I continue to be driven by that optimism. Though none of…...

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Two authors delight in the remnants of generations past

Two authors delight in the remnants of generations past – J. How can we draw meaning from the remnants of past generations – be they photographs, candlesticks, documents or letters – and squeeze out the stories they tell? It’s a challenge that only increases over time. Hadley Freeman grew up…...

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Farewell from our Director of Inclusion

Dear Friends, For nearly a decade I have had the privilege of supporting, advising, and working with all of you to make the Bay Area Jewish community more welcoming and inclusive. From our humble beginnings with five schools in the North Peninsula, to our work today offering special needs support…...

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Jewish Education and Engagement Award Winners

Jewish LearningWorks is proud to announce the recipients of two new awards for 2020. Devra Aarons, Executive Director of Contra Costa Midrasha, is receiving the Award for Excellence in Jewish Youth Education and Engagement. Rick Concoff, Director of Chaverim at the JCC of Sonoma County, is the recipient of the…...

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