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Dear  

Have you ever heard of PewDiePie?  I hadn't either.  But if you know a 14 year old boy, I bet he has. PewDiePie is the world's top-rated YouTuber. With 54 million subscribers, nearly twice as many as the 2nd  most popular YouTube channel. His videos have garnered over 14 billion views - almost twice the population of the planet.
 
PewDiePie (his real name is Felix Kjellberg) is the world's most popular and influential video gamer.  PewDiePie is so influential in the gaming world, his words can make or break a new video game.
 
Another tidbit about PewDiePie - a couple of months ago, he displayed a banner on his YouTube site that proclaimed:  DEATH TO ALL JEWS.  PewDiePie has since removed and disavowed the video (as lucrative contracts with Disney and others were cancelled) and said it was a misunderstood joke.
 
I heard about PewDiePie from a mom of an adolescent boy who has recently experienced anti-Semitic comments at school.  At a pre- Bar/Bat Mitzvah class, the rabbi asked if any kids had experienced Anti-Semitism.  Most everyone knew about PewDiePie. 

Which reminds me that -
1.      Our kids are growing up in a really different world than the one we grew up in; and
2.      Jew hatred is still out there and if our kids have an Internet presence, chances are they will come across it.
 
It's not just on the Internet.  In the last two years, I've heard from numerous parents about anti-Semitic incidents in local secondary schools.  Last year, a Sunnyvale teen was arrested after making anti-Semitic threats against Jewish students.  And on college campuses, we hear more stories of Jewish students hiding their Jewish identities to avoid intimidation.
 
Anti-Semitic hate crimes increased in 2015, they rose again in 2016 and, while it's only April, there is eve ry indication they are increasing further (this year many of the recent bomb threats made against JCCs nationwide were made by a troubled Israeli teen, the day after he was arrested, another threat was made) . Anti-Semitism exists, here in California, in multiple forms.

There are many ways our community can, should, and does respond. Firstly, security for our institutions and those who visit them, and community relations with law enforcement, with schools, with other faiths and civic groups.  At Jewish LearningWorks, our concern is education.
 
Anti-Semitism can have insidious effects.  It is not only about swastikas on gravestones or about physical security.  It can become internalized and, as with any minority, that internalization can lead to psychic and emotional damage.  Jewish education cannot stop anti-Semitism, but it can help Jews deal with it, respond to it, and overcome it.
 
And, while there are aspects of anti-Semitism that are unique, there are also ways that it resembles other forms of xenophobia and racism. Studying anti-Semitism offers the opportunity to understand those connections and to find solidarity with others who have and who are oppressed by fear and hatred of "the other."
 
We've begun compiling resources for educators and parents here. This is a work-in-progress and we will continue to curate and share resources with educators and parents as we find or develop them.
 
Next week, at our Seder, we will again sing " V'hi she'Amda," which includes the words - "...in every generation they try to destroy us..."  We plan to unpack those words at our Seder this year.  Spring - from Purim to Passover to Yom HaShoah to Israel Independence Day, represents a virtual tour through our people's experiences with and responses to anti-Semitism, genocide, and power and powerlessness. 
 
These holidays offer opportunities to engage students in exploring our place in the world, ways in which our oppression has been unique and commonalities we share with other minorities, and how we have overcome oppression and thrived in spite of it. 
 
The greatest danger anti-Semitism poses at this moment might well be within the minds, hearts, and souls of our young people.  Our community relations organizations help us secure our institutions and our bodies. For our educators, our focus must be to protect and nurture our students' growing Jewish souls.

Happy Passover,
David Waksberg
CEO Jewish LearningWorks
Holiday Resources
Professional Development For Educators
 
Save the date and join educators from all over North America in our own backyard. 

Details and Info  Here!

Jewish Community Library 
Zionism in Theory and Practice









Today April 4th
7:00 - 8:30pm
Jewish Community Library, SF

Presented by Ephraim Margolin


Jewish Community Library
One Bay One Book:  Why Jews Love the Moon
 
Thursday,  April 6th
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Jewish Community Library, SF
Presented by Sydney Mintz

Jewish Community Library
An Afternoon with Naomi Newman and the Characters She has Created














Sunday, April 9th
1:30 - 3:00pm 
Jewish Community Library, SF

Presented by Naomi Newman
Jewish Community Library
Jews in Science Fiction: It's Not a Fantasy
   











Thusday, April 20th
7:00 - 8:30pm
Jewish Community Library, SF

Presented by Jacob Wiseman



Jewish Community Library
Jews, Muslims, and North African Music
in the Twentieth Century













S unday, April 23rd
1:30 - 3:00pm
Jewish Community Library, SF

Presented by Chris Silver

In The Community
YOM HASHOAH V'HAGEVURAH











S unday, April 23rd
7:00 - 8:15pm
Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills





Jewish Community Center 
Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day in San Francisco
 
Sunday, April 23rd
5:00 - 6:15pm
Jewish Community Center, SF

Presented by Stephen D. Smith, PhD

Jewish Community Library
Opening Reception: Jane Rice's Tree Diaries
 
Thursday, April 27th
7:00 - 8:30pm
Jewish Community Library, SF

Presented by Jane Rice

Jewish Community Library
Jewish Labor Songs: A Concert  and
Sing-Along











Sunday, April 30th
1:30 - 3:00pm
Jewish Community Library, SF

Presented by Gerry Tenney

Embodied Jewish Learning
Sacred Dance Circles for Women in Berkeley








Sunday, April 30th
7:30 - 9:30pm
Berkeley

Presented by Julie Emden


Jewish Community Library
Yom Ha'atzma'ut Celebration









Sunday, April 30th
11:00am - 12:00pm
Jewish Community Library, SF

Presented by Koren Zuckerman and 
Dikla Leon

In The Community
Yom Ha'atzma'ut Community Celebration







Monday, May 1st
5:00 - 7:30pm
Congregation Emanu-El, SF




In The Community
Yom Ha'atzma'ut Family Celebration










Tuesday, May 2nd
1:00 - 7:30pm
PJCC, Foster City



In The Community
Yom Ha'atzma'ut Family Celebration






Tuesday, May 2nd
3:30 - 7:30pm
Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto




Embodied Jewish Learning
Sacred Dance Circles for Women in 
Foster City






Wednesday, May 3rd
7:15 - 8:45pm
PJCC, Foster City

Presented by Julie Emden, offered in partnership with the Peninsula Jewish Community Center's Jewish Wellness Initiative

Rohr Jewish Learning Institute
Survival of a Nation: Jewish Homeland














Friday, May 3rd
7:30 - 9:00pm
Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto

Presented by Rabbi Yosef Levin

Jewish Community Library
Under the Wings of Rafa'el: A Healing Journe














Thursday, May 4th
7:00 - 8:30pm
Jewish Community Library

Presented by Cantor Sharon Bernstein


INCLUDE Special Needs
Family Camp









Friday, May 5th -
Sunday, May 7th
URJ Camp Newman, Santa Rosa

Presented by INCLUDE Special Needs

For Families with Young Children




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