Jews hike, study, help the needy at Christmastime

Kung Pao founder Lisa Geduldig joins Cathy Ladman, winner of Best Female Stand Up Comic award in 1992, and Jaffe Cohen of Funny Gay Males in dinner shows at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24 and 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 25, plus cocktail shows at 10 p.m. Christmas Eve and 9 p.m. Christmas Day.

Tickets are $20 for the cocktail show and $35 for the dinner show. Some of the proceeds benefit the Jewish Film Festival and Family Link, a hospitality house for visiting families of people with AIDS. Call (415) 431-7363.

For the second year, Jewish Museum San Francisco at 121 Steuart St. hosts "Being Jewish on Christmas," a daylong series of events focused on the exhibit "Light Interpretations; A Hanukah Menorah Invitational" which ends Monday. Also on view is "The Great-Spin-Off: A Student Dreidel Invitational."

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., museumgoers may play computer games, courtesy of the S.F.-based Bureau of Jewish Education, or watch videos on loan from the Jewish Film Festival.

The Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco sings at 10 a.m.; Joel ben Izzy tells stories at noon; Jessica Miller conducts an art workshop at 1 p.m.; and Israeli folk violinist Yoram Youngerman performs at 3 p.m.

Cost is $1.50 for students and seniors, $3 general admission, and $5 per family. For information, call the museum at (415) 543-8880.

Also for the second year in a row, Berkeley's Congregation Beth Israel presents discussions on Judaism titled "Jewish Warmth on a Cold December Day."

East Bay mohel Chanan Feld talks about "The Tsadik: The Perfect Righteous Person and Spiritual Master According to Judaism," at 9 a.m. Then Abraham Socher, U.C. Berkeley graduate student of modern Jewish history, addresses "Jews, Africans, and Indians in Early Colonial Wilderness Under the Shadow of the Inquisition" at 10:15. At 12:30 p.m. Jonathan Schorsch — also a U.C. Berkeley graduate student in Jewish history — speaks about "Histories of Idolatry in Midrash, Maimonides and Mendelssohn." A bagel brunch takes place at 11:45 a.m.

The synagogue is located at 1630 Bancroft Way. Cost is $15 for students, $25 for non-students. Reservations are requested. Call Darren Kessler at (510) 559-9017.

Offering a study of the second book of Maccabees is Keddem Congregation at 10 a.m. Dec. 25 in the Palo Alto home of Randi Brenowitz and Marty Klein. For location, call (415) 856-6533.

Repeating last year's Christmas day dinner and movie, members of Contra Costa East Bay Jewish Singles for ages 30-55 will meet at 6 p.m. For locations, call (510) 653-4390.

The Bay Area Jewish Singles Hiking Club, as in previous years, sponsors a Dec. 25 hike and brunch. This year it begins at 11 a.m. at Strawberry Recreation center, 118 East Strawberry Drive, Mill Valley.

Participants are asked to bring a potluck dish, board games, musical instruments and $3 to be donated to Mazon, a Jewish agency working to fight hunger around the world. For information, call (510) 287-9194.

Members of the Hiking Club also gather at 5 p.m. Christmas Eve at Berkeley BART station to have dinner and see a movie. Cost is $10 for dinner. Marv Langsam handles reservations, (415) 665-6289.

Elsewhere on Christmas Eve, singles from the Young Adults Division of the S.F-based Jewish Community Federation plan to eat at Yet Wah at San Francisco's Pier 39, then go see a movie. Cost is $15 for dinner. For reservations, call (415) 436-0711.

Rabbi Natan Segal offers an eighth-night of Chanukah service at 7 p.m. Dec. 24 at his Natan Arts gallery, 128-1/2 Greenfield Ave., San Anselmo. (415) 457-7800.

San Francisco's Magain David Sephardim Congregation, at 351 Fourth Ave., provides a Chanukah celebration with Israeli folk dancing, falafel and sufganiot, and a children's performance at 7 p.m. For information, call (415) 752-9095.

Congregation Emanu-El cantor Roslyn Barak leads songs and talks about "The Light of Chanukah and other Spiritual Awakenings" at a 6 p.m. meeting of Addicted Jews in Recovery Anonymous (AJIRA) at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California St. For information, call Claire Silver at (415) 292-1254.

On Christmas Eve, the ninth annual Matzo Ball occurs at 8 p.m. at San Francisco's Babylon Club, 2260 Van Ness Ave. The dance, sponsored by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals, is aimed at singles ages 21-49.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call (800) 829-0404.

Also on Dec. 24, the eighth candle of the Bill Graham Chanukiah in San Francisco's Union Square will be lit at 5 p.m.

Some find the best way to spend Christmas is to help the needy. Three Jewish singles organizations are volunteering on Dec. 25.

Chavers delivers food to shut-ins beginning at 9 a.m. at Salvation Army, 1275 Harrison, S.F. Those wishing to carpool may meet at 8 a.m. at Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. Lunch follows. For information, call Robin Bradley at (415) 560-8030.

Members of Simcha of San Francisco's Congregation Sherith Israel serve the homeless at St. Vincent de Paul. For information, call (415) 931-9951.

Members of Young Jewish Community for ages 21-35 serve Christmas dinner to the homeless at 4 p.m. at San Jose Family Shelter, 1590 Las Plumas Ave. Carpoolers meet at 3 p.m. at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. Dinner follows at Hangen Restaurant, 134 Castro St., Mountain View. Cost is $12.99. For information and dinner reservations, call Dave Bloom at (415) 960-3103.