Lectures & workshops

Healing the past

Sonia Taitz grew up in a family that would sit around the table discussing the Holocaust. Her parents were Yiddish-speaking Orthodox survivors, and her father was a watchmaker who saved lives at Dachau. In her memoir “The Watchmaker’s Daughter,” Taitz describes how she tried to save her parents from the enduring trauma of their past, and in the process found a way to heal herself. She will discuss her book on Jan. 26-27.

9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at Berkeley YWCA, 2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. $75; part of daylong Festival of Women Authors, www.ywca-berkeley.org; 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27 at Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. Free. www.jewishlearningworks.org/


Dinner with Consul General Nuno Mathias of Portugal. Final installment of American Jewish Committee’s “Dinner with a Diplomat” series. In San Francisco, RSVP for location. 7 p.m. $50-$85. www.ajcsanfrancisco.org/dinnerwithadiplomatsf.


“On the Wings of Eagles: The Story of Israeli Immigration.” Talk by Riva Gambert of the Jewish Federation of the East Bay. At Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton. 7:30 p.m. $10. www.bethemek.org.

“Meeting Israel’s Environmental Challenges.” Talk by Madeleine Levine of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. At Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. 7:30 p.m. Free. (510) 318-6453.


“Mysteries of the Mikvah.” Talk by Rabbi Judah Dardik on uses of the ritual pool. At Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland. 7:30 p.m. $7. www.bethjacoboakland.org.

Current events in Israel. Talk for young adults by Israeli Consul General Andy David. At Jewish Community Federation, 121 Steuart St., S.F. 6:30 p.m. Free. www.jewishfed.org.


Rabbi Laibl Wolf. Psychologist, lawyer and Hassidic rabbi discusses positive psychology and Kabbalah. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 5 p.m. $36-$180. Also Jan. 26 at Chabad of Pacific Heights, 3014 Clay St. #2D, S.F. 9 a.m. Also at a private residence in S.F. 7:45 p.m. www.jewishpacheights.com.


“A Tribute to Yip Harburg.” Multimedia lecture with educator Bonnie Weiss on the life of the lyricist who wrote “Over the Rainbow” and “Brother Can You Spare a Dime.” At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 1:30 p.m. $10-$15. www.jewishmusicfestival.org.

“Jewbilee! A Day of Jewish Learning.” Lectures, book fair and keynote speaker Jonathan Sarna, author of “When General Grant Expelled the Jews.” At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 1 p.m. $7-$10. www.siliconvalleyjcc.org.

“Helping Families Deal with Today’s Academic, Social and Sports Pressures.” Panel discussion. At Congregation Beth Emek, 400 Nevada St., Pleasanton. 10:15 a.m. Free. A2zkids@comcast.net.


“The Origins of American Jewish Politics.” Jonathan Sarna, a professor at Brandeis University and the chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History, discusses “General Grant and the Jews in 1868.” At Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 150 E. San Fernando St., San Jose. 5 p.m. Free. RSVP to victoria.harrison@sjsu.edu. www.sjsu.edu/jwss/community_events/index.html.

“The Top Ten Myths About Zionism.” Talk by StandWithUs volunteer Nico Black. First in a five-part StandWithUs lecture series on Israel. At Missouri Street Theatre, 1125 Missouri St., Fairfield. 7 p.m. $10-$30. www.standwithus.com.


“Controlling Culture.” Presentation in conjunction with “Degenerate Art” exhibit (see ONGOING). Panelists include Stanford University scholars Amir Eshel and Henry Lowood. At Stanford University Cantor Arts Center, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. 6:30 p.m. Free. www.museum.stanford.edu.

Yiddish women writers. Shaina Hammerman presents first of four sessions on Jewish women writers in America. At Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St, S.F. 7:30 p.m. $10. (415) 566-7235.