Most Jews know this much about the High Holidays: If you don’t go it’s bad and bubbe will be upset. Also, they get the sense that if you don’t show for Rosh Hashanah dinner or the break-fast at the end of Yom Kippur, it’s bad. What about the moments in between? What about the services that most of us spend counting how many pages are left before we get to leave? Are these just time fillers or can we gain a better understanding of the days of awe that enrich our lives?

Jewish Sparks is the answer to giving you the knowledge that you need to know to help you understand what Judaism is all about. Gain the basic knowledge of the holidays, essential ritual practices and decipher their meaning. Find out creative ways to allow Jewish cultural practice to illuminate your life. Enjoy starting or restarting your Jewish journey with activities, music, food and discussion.  

In our first session together, “High Holidays and a Whole New You,” we will discover the major themes surrounding Rosh Hashanah, such as its celebration of the “birthday of the world.” Plus, we’ll discuss why Yom Kippur is not always about atonement for sins. You will also get to taste different types of honey with different apples to really taste a sweet new year. 

The best part of Jewish Sparks is that our program welcomes people from every Jewish journey. No prior knowledge base is required, but we enjoy different perspectives and experiences as part of our discovery. Myself, I enjoy walking with people as they discover Judaism in depth. At one point, I was the person who didn’t even know the basics of Judaism. Over time, I have grown to appreciate sharing, learning, trying and breathing new life into the Jewish experiences I have each and every day. Jewish Sparks is designed to create the same love for Jewish growth, no matter where you are in the process. 

I encourage you to join us for all of our free workshops. Click here for the list of upcoming workshops. Bring a friend who is also interested in creating meaningful Jewish experiences and enhancing their basic Jewish knowledge. 

Our first session meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28. All sessions meet at the East Valley JCC (908 N. Alma School Road).  To register, contact me at  See you there!

– Andre Ivory