Renna Khuner-Haber grew up in Berkeley, but left for the east coast to attend Barnard College. After completing her bachelor's degree, she returned to San Francisco where she chose the Mission District as her home, and became active in the Mission Minyan community. Sharon Shakked grew up in Tiburon with a more traditional Jewish upbringing, while her husband, Orr, grew up in Israel in a more secular setting. When the two met, Sharon was active in her congregation which Orr soon came to claim as his own. In this segment, both Khuner-Haber and the Shakkeds consider the thoughtful ways they observe Shabbat each week.
The decision to live in the Bay Area is personal and encompasses a wide range of experiences and motivations—some have moved here because of love, others to attend university, to seek a new job, to escape persecution, to establish new rituals, or just to dream a little.
In this documentary commissioned for the exhibition "California Dreaming: Jewish Life in the Bay Area from the Gold Rush to the Present", filmmaker Pam Rorke Levy interviewed a wide range of individuals who call the Bay Area home and identify in some way with being Jewish.
Learn more about "California Dreaming"
Hannah Seidel is a writer and native of Washington, DC. As the daughter of a rabbi with a tendency to compose new tunes when dissatisfied with the traditional ones, she has been surrounded by Jewish music all of her life.
Hannah recently graduated from Oberlin College, where she studied Religion and English. Her time at Oberlin exposed her to new tunes, new prayers, and new opportunities for Jewish leadership. At Oberlin Hannah led High Holiday services, regular Shabbat services, and taught many of her peers to leyn Torah and Megillat Esther. She was also a member of Oberlin's Kosher-Halal Co-op, which piqued her interest in interfaith cooperation and friendship.
Hannah's senior thesis explored modern Jewish prayers for healing, delving into questions of theology, history, tradition, and the ultimate value of prayer. In the process of research, Hannah discovered dozens of new and rare Jewish prayers, and was inspired to begin writing her own.
After graduating, Hannah became the Jewish Student Life Coordinator at Oberlin Hillel, continuing to serve the community to which she had become so attached. She is currently working on her first novel.
Kimberly Burnham writes in Music, The Carrier of Intention in 49 Jewish Prayers about the song, Adama V'Shamayim, Fellow editors and authors, Elizabeth Goldstein and Hannah Seidel also bicycled with Hazon on the Cross USA. Rabbi Goldstein rode from Seattle to Spokane, Washington. Kim and Hannah both rode the whole way across the US in nine weeks. Hazon created an amazing mobile Jewish community as we visited over 20 different Jewish communities from very small ones in Aberdeen, North Dakota to large communities in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC and everywhere in between.