Local events embrace challenge to unplug on Shabbat

Reboot’s fourth annual National Day of Unplugging will begin at sunset on Friday, March 1 and end at sunset on Saturday, March 2, the conclusion of Shabbat.

Reboot developed the annual tech-detox day to remind adults and kids — and especially young, hyperconnected people — to take a 24-hour break from all things digital and a respite from their “unhealthy” dependence on technology.


Aviva Frank of Oakland

In conjunction with the event, the Jewish nonprofit is asking individuals, organizations and schools to publicly share what they plan to do when they’re not using technology in the “I Unplug To …” campaign. For more information, visit www.nationaldayofunplugging.com.


“Over the past four years, people have confided that they are so connected to their devices they are now at a loss as to what to do when they unplug,” said Amelia Klein, associate director of Reboot. A website of options is available at www.theundolist.com.

In the Bay Area, where the Koret Foundation is sponsoring the National Day of Unplugging, Reboot is partnering with Digital Detox, a tech-free initiative, on a “device-free drinks” evening in San Francisco from

7 p.m. to midnight on March 1. The event at Inner Mission, 2050 Bryant St., will include typewriters, board games and a massage lounge. Admission is free, but attendees must leave their phones and other tech devices at home or check them at the door. For details, visit www.thedigitaldetox.org.


Jennah Craig of San Francisco

In addition, Berkeley Hillel is offering two weeks of programs focused on the question “Why do you unplug?” Events include a photo booth on Sproul Plaza, a discussion session, a chance to use graffiti to express personal thoughts on unplugging, and a device-free Shabbat service and dinner. For more information, visit www.berkeleyhillel.org.


In Silicon Valley, the Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos is presenting a March 2 lecture by a visiting rabbi/scholar who will “talk about the National Day of Unplugging and the value of taking time to learn from each other,” said Rabbi James Greene, director of the JCC’s Center for Jewish Life and Learning. For details on this event, see page 2.


Leyna Bernstein of Alameda

Farther south, Congregation Emeth in Morgan Hill will be holding “Shabbat in the Redwoods” from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 2 at Mount Madonna State Park. “It is a great fit with the National Day of Unplugging,” said Rabbi Debbie Israel. “We are out of the temple, we are out in nature. There is no wireless out there. It is a way to connect with one another, person to person, instead of with our various devices.” For more information, visit www.emeth.net.


Also on March 2, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco is going to be handing out Reboot’s cellphone sleeping bags and encouraging patrons to use them in the museum — and beyond.

Founded in 2002, Reboot seeks to engage and inspire young adults in a Jewish context through creativity and innovation. Among other things, the agency has produced books, films, music, websites and large-scale projects such as Sukkah City, the Sabbath Manifesto and Beyond Bubbie. For more information, visit www.rebooters.net.