Talks & workshops


Burning for learning. Whether you’re an accomplished scholar or a beginner in the quest for Jewish knowledge, look for an engaging session at JCC Sonoma County’s “A Day of Jewish Learning: Ignite Your Mind.” Classes range from Urban Adamah’s “Harvesting Ancient Jewish Wisdom for a Just and Sustainable Society” to author Ira Steingroot’s two workshops on the Kabbalah. Free child-care is available. 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 4 at Finley Community Center, 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. Free.

“Israel in World Relations.” Preview of a pro-Israel curriculum proposed for Jewish high schools. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 11 a.m. Free; RSVP to

“Journey to Revelation.” Renewal Rabbi Shefa Gold leads an evening of Hebrew chant honoring the counting of the Omer and receiving Torah. At Congregation Ner Shalom, 85 La Plaza, Cotati. 7 p.m. $18-$25.


“Romans and Jews: Was Ethnicity an Issue?” Talk by author Erich Gruen, U.C. Berkeley emeritus professor of history and classics. At Graduate Theological Union, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley. 5 p.m. Free.

 “Connecting to the Divine Through Earth, Water, Fire and Air.” Rabbi Shefa Gold discusses using the power of the elements in our spiritual journeys. At Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley. 7 p.m. $20-$30.


“Mikvah, Life Transitions, and Spirituality.” Discussion of how mikvah immersion can add a spiritual dimension to life’s changes. At Addison Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 7:30 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

“The Prominent Role of Jews in the California Gold Rush.” Historian Stephen Kinsey discusses Jews in mid-19th century California. At Napa Women’s Club, 281 Franklin St., Napa. 11:30 a.m. Free. (707) 259-5332.


“Is Peace Possible?” U.C. Davis foreign affairs professor Ze’ev Maoz leads part three, “Security,” of a four-part series on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. At Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. 7:30 p.m. Free.


“Arthur Szyk and the Art of the Haggadah.” Syzk expert Irvin Ungar leads a gallery tour.  At the CJM, 736 Mission St., S.F. 3 p.m. Included with museum admission.


“How to Manage Finances for Aging Parents.” Free workshop on financial and legal planning sponsored by Hebrew Free Loan. At YMCA Embarcadero, 169 Steuart St., S.F. 7 p.m. RSVP at