Lectures & workshops

Life on the bench

Alex Kozinski (right), chief judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Dorit Beinisch, former president of the Supreme Court of Israel, have been at the forefront of important decisions on civil liberties, technology, religion and national security. They will discuss these issues and their experiences on the bench in a conversation moderated by U.C Berkeley School of Law dean Christopher Edley.

5 p.m. reception, 5:45 p.m. program, Tuesday, Oct. 23 at Booth Auditorium, 2778 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. Free. RSVP to folivares@law.berkeley.edu. www.law.berkeley.edu/14248.htm


Book talk by Marty Brounstein. Author discusses “Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust.” At Martinez Public Library, 740 Court St., Martinez. 1:30 p.m. (925) 646-9921. Also Oct. 14 at Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. 2 p.m. Free. (650) 342-1627. Also Oct. 16 at St. Teresa of Avila Church, 1490 19th St., S.F. 7 p.m. (415) 285-5272.

Book talk by Rabbi Joshua Plaut. Author of “Kosher Christmas: ’Tis the Season to Be Jewish,” in conversation with j. editor Sue Fishkoff. Part of Litquake’s Berkeley Ramble. At Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. 1 p.m. Free. www.magnes.org. Also Oct. 14 at Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame. 9:15 a.m. Nonmember donation requested. www.sholom.org.


Winning the White House. Samuel L. Popkin, U.C. San Diego political scientist and author, on the presidential race. At Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon. 10 a.m. Free. www.kolshofar.org.

Forum on state propositions. Discussion of anti-death penalty and three-strikes-rule measures. At Congregation Shomrei Torah, 2600 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 3 p.m. www.shomreitorah.org.

Discussion on the elections. At Albany Community Center, Marin Ave., Albany. 11 a.m. $10. www.kolhadash.org.

“The Ferocity of Jewish Intellectual Debate.” Rabbi Daniel Landes on open debate and opposing ideas of the Talmud. At Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F. 4 p.m. Free. RSVP requested to (415) 292-1233 or arts@jccsf.org. www.jccsf.org.

Book reading by Mani Feniger. Author discusses “The Woman in the Photograph: The Search for My Mother’s Past,” her memoir on reconstructing her German-Jewish mother’s life. At Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 1 p.m. Free. Also Oct. 15 at Albany Library, 1277 Marin Ave., Albany. 12:30 p.m. Free. Also Oct. 17 at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Fireside Room, 2727 College Ave., Berkeley. 7 p.m. By donation. www.manifeniger.com.


“Jews and Ukrainians in Russia’s Literary Borderlands.” Book presentation by U.C. San Diego professor Amelia Glaser on Jewish, Russian and Ukrainian writers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free. www.bjesf.org/adults_events.htm.

“What Is Jewish Studies?” Discussion featuring professors Jeffrey Shandler of Rutgers University and John Efron of U.C. Berkeley. At Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. 5 p.m. Free. www.magnes.org.


Forum on the 2012 ballot propositions. At Congregation Beth David, 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga. 7:30 p.m. Free. www.beth-david.org.


Poetry reading. Poets Dan Bellm and Chana Bloch read new and old works. At Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. 7:30 p.m. Free. www.bethelberkeley.org.

“Book of Nosh” signing. Gluten-free and kosher holiday treat recipes. At Books Inc., 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto. 7 p.m. Free. www.booksinc.net/event.


“Birthright Vegas: Wandering the Desert in Search of Jewishness.” Talk by professor Daniel Itzkovitz of Stonehill College on Jewish identity. At the Center for Jewish Studies, 2465 Le Conte Ave., Berkeley. 12 p.m. Free. www.gtu.edu/events.

“If I Convert, What Will Judaism Change?” Panel discussion with Jews-by-choice. At Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland. 7:30 p.m. Free. www.oaklandsinai.org.

“Reflections on Neuroscience and Immortality.” Talk by Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger. Part of Contra Costa Jewish Book Festival. 7:30 p.m. Free. www.jfed.org/bookfestival. (See story, 19a)


Book talk with Harvey Gotliffe. Author discusses “The Oy Way,” a humorous guide to Yiddish. At Bird & Beckett Books, 653 Chenery St., S.F. 2 p.m. Free. www.theoyway.com.

“How a Playwright Changed History.” Talk on Theodor Herzl by Riva Gambert, director of the Israel Center and Community Programs at the Jewish Federation of the East Bay. At Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. 4 p.m. Free. www.jfed.org/israel2013.

Book talk with Hyla Shifra Bolsta. Author-illustrator discusses “The Illuminated Kaddish.” With music by Aharon Bolsta & Friends. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. 3 p.m. Free. www.afikomen.com.

“Caring for Your Aging Parents.” Workshop led by staff of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay and Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living. At Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton. 10:30 a.m. Free. RSVP to rtufel@jfcs-eastbay.org or (510) 558-7800 ext. 352.

“Storytime: Cookies and Milk.” Program for kindergartners and preschool children. Stories in Hebrew and English. Part of Contra Costa Jewish Book Festival. At Contra Costa Jewish Day School, 955 Risa Road, Lafayette. 2:30 p.m. Free. www.jfed.org/bookfestival.


Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan. Following the presidential debate, the authors discuss their book “The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope.” At Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 6 p.m. $10-$15. www.marinjcc.org.

Panel discussion. With Ghaith al-Omari, American Task Force on Palestine, and Jonathan Schanzer, Foundation for Defense of Democracies. At Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette. 7 p.m. $36. www.jfed.org.


“Swimming the Sea of Reeds.” Class led by monologist Josh Kornbluth and Rabbi Menachem Creditor on liberation, paradox and power. At Congregation Netivot Shalom, 316 University Ave., Berkeley. First of four classes. 7:30 p.m. $50 for series. www.netivottest.org.

Leon Wieseltier. Literary editor of the New Republic discusses “A Passion for Waiting: Messianism, History, and the Jews.” At Chevron Auditorium, International House, 2299 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley. 4:10 p.m. Free. www.grad.berkeley.edu/lectures.

“Out on a Ledge: The Story of Jewish Partisans.” Talk by author-historian Fred Rosenbaum on Jews who fought the Nazis. At Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton. 7:30 p.m. $10, East Bay federation Israel trip registrants free. www.jfed.org/israel2013.


“Controversial Laws in the Bible.” Class led by Nitzhia Shaked. At Congregation Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley. First of six classes. 7:30 p.m. $100 for series. www. netivottest.org.