Friday, March 23, 2012

cover story

news & features




opinions & letters






Gallery reception. For oil painter Deborah Miller’s exhibit “Cradle of Wet and Burning” exploring Kabbalah. At U.C. Berkeley Arts and Consciousness Gallery, 2956 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. 7 p.m. Free. 


“An American Experience: Growing Up Jewish in America.” Exhibit displays heritage of residents and family members of the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living. Through July 29. At the Jewish Heritage Museum, 4000 Camino Tassajara, Danville.

“Bernard Zakheim: Art of Prophetic Justice.” Photo exhibit explores life and work of the Jewish muralist. Through March 29. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto.

“Book Sculptures.” Works by Brian Dettmer. Through March. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F.

“California Dreaming.” Multimedia exhibit exploring Jewish life in the Bay Area from Gold Rush to present. Through Oct. 16. “Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought.” Tu B’Shevat–themed exhibit that explores tree design, purpose and Jewish thought. Through May 28. “Stanley Saitowitz: Judaica.” New perspectives from the S.F.-based architect. Through Oct. 16. At Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F.

“Dissolving Localities.” Multimedia exhibit by Israeli musician Emmanuel Witzthum connecting Berkeley to Jerusalem. Through July 3. At Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley.

“Interpreting the Interior.” Exhibit on Etgar Keret’s Israeli film “Jellyfish” and short story collections and graphic novels. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. Through April 29.

“King Solomon Tarot Cards.” Paintings by Israeli artist Orna Ben-Shoshan. Through April 1. At Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City.

“Last Jews of Yemen.” Photo exhibit by Rachael Strecher and Josh Berer. Part of Congregation Beth Israel’s Festival on Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewish Culture. At Cal State University, Chico. Through March 28. .

Bessie and Boris Thomashevsky
Bessie and Boris Thomashevsky

Maestro’s masterpiece

San Francisco Symphony conductor Michael Tilson Thomas had Jewish immigrant grandparents who followed a path similar to that of other Ukrainian Jews of the late 19th century who left for America. But once here, Bessie and Boris Thomashefsky made quite a name for themselves, performing on stage in Yiddish and becoming important pioneers of American Yiddish theater. Tilson Thomas honors their music and lives in “The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater.” The production on PBS’ “Great Performances” features musical reconstructions of the old Yiddish repertoire, projected images and dramatized stories from the Thomashefskys’ memoirs.

8 p.m. Thursday, March 29 on KQED-TV Channel 9. Also Friday, March 30 at 7 p.m. and Monday, April 2 at 10 p.m. on KQED Life.


Aya Korem. Israeli pop-rock singer performs. At Britannia Arms, 1087 S. De Anza Blvd., San Jose. 7:30 p.m. $30-$35.


Dan Bern. Jewish singer-songwriter performs in a benefit for Urban Adamah. At Urban Adamah, 1050 Parker St., Berkeley. 8 p.m. $25-$30. www.


“Israeli Music: A Retrospective.” Cantor Leigh Korn leads a discussion and sing-along of Israeli music. At Temple Isaiah, 3800 Mount Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. 12:45 p.m. $10-$12.

on stage

A touch of ‘Grace’

Jewish Theatre co-founder Naomi Newman takes the stage alone in “Becoming Grace,” an original production that she also wrote. Newman embodies the late writer, bringing Paley’s essays, poetry and stories to life.

Closing performances 8 p.m. Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 25 at the Jewish Theatre, San Francisco, 470 Florida St., S.F. 8 p.m. $10-$25.


Musaique. Interfaith Middle Eastern musicians combine traditional and village music with sacred songs. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 8 p.m. $10-$15.


“What If?” Jewish Circle Productions presents children’s play with a touch of Hebrew about a fantastic journey. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 11 a.m. $15-$17.

“The Vagina Monologues.” Ensemble Bama Ivrit performs the play in Hebrew with English subtitles. At Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. 8 p.m. $20-$30.


“A Bright Room Called Day.” World War II drama by Tony Kushner about evading Nazis. Through April 8. At Custom Made Theatre Company, 1620 Gough St., S.F.

“Red.” Tony Award–winning Broadway hit about abstract expressionist Mark Rothko (Marcus Rothkowitz) struggling with his inner demons, directed by Les Waters. Through April 29. At Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley.

film & video


“Out of Cordoba.” San Francisco premiere of documentary questioning the concept that religious conflict is inevitable between the West and the Muslim world. With music and talk by director Jacob Bender. At Or Shalom Jewish Community, 1250 Quintara St., S.F. 7 p.m. $10.


“The Prince of Egypt.” Dinner and screening of the animated adaptation of the Book of Exodus. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 4 p.m. $5-$7.

“Footnote” (Hearat Shulayim). Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival presents the Oscar-nominated Israeli film on the rivalry between a father and a son who are both talmudic scholars. At Camera 3 Theater, 288 S. Second St., San Jose. 4:30 p.m. $9.50-$11.


“Torn.” Israeli documentary about a Polish Catholic priest who learns he was born to Jewish parents. At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 7:30 p.m. $6-$8.


“Jews of Cuba.” Screening of documentary on 1,500 Jews who remained after Cuba’s 1961 revolution. Followed by panel with participants from JCC of San Francisco and Lehrhaus Judaica mission to Cuba. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free.

lectures & workshops
photo/courtesy of towson university
photo/courtesy of towson university

Observant jump shot

As a college hoopster, Tamir Goodman drew attention in the Jewish community and the sports world alike when he refused to play on Shabbat. His religious statement spoke for itself, and he had the basketball skills to warrant the attention. Sports Illustrated dubbed him the “Jewish Jordan,” and after playing Division 1 college basketball he played professionally in Israel. Goodman will share his experiences as part of a series on Jewish athletes sponsored by Chabad of Greater South Bay.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 at the Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. $15.


“Belonging, Behaving, Believing.” Day of learning about Reconstructionist Judaism. At Or Shalom Jewish Community, 1250 Quintara St., S.F. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $18.

Passover acting workshop. Explore ensemble performance through storytelling about Passover. With foolsFURY’s Deborah Eliezer. At Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon. For 18 and older. 10 a.m. $36. www.

Tribute to the life and poetry of Simon Krinsky. Rabbi Edward Zerin, author of “Jewish San Francisco,” reads and discusses the work of his teacher. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 1:30 p.m. Free. www.

Book talk with Marty Brounstein. Author discusses “Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust.” At Belmont Library, 1110 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont. 3 p.m. Free. (650) 591-8286.


“Alienation and Prayer.” Talk by Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, executive director of Mechon Hadar: An Institute for Prayer, Personal Growth and Jewish Study, on the first blessing of the Amidah. At Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon. 7 p.m. Free.


“The Birth of a New Social Movement in Israel.” Talks by Israeli journalists Stav Shaffir and Yonathan Levi , activists during last summer’s protests in Israel. In downtown S.F., location upon RSVP to (415) 543-5055. 6:30 p.m. Also March 28 at the Graduate Theological Union, Easton Hall, 2401 Ridge Road, Berkeley.7:30 p.m. Free.

“Queering Sacred Texts.” The Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Synagogues and Kehilla Community Synagogue sponsor an interfaith discussion. At Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont. 7 p.m. Free.

“Jewish Identity Development for Multiracial Jews.” Psychotherapist and Berkeley professor Jerry Diller on the experiences of multiracial Jewish children. At Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland. 7:30 p.m. $18.


Book talk. Poet and translator Peter Cole discusses his book “The Poetry of Kabbalah.” At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 7 p.m. $10-$20.


Storytelling in Hebrew. Stories by Israeli actress and author Sagit Emet and author and psychologist Shirley Yuval. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 4:15 p.m. (ages 3 to 6) and 5:30 p.m. (ages 5-8). $12.

“Creating Green Teams.” EcoJews of the Bay sponsors panel discussion on greening Jewish organizations. At SF Environment, 11 Grove St., S.F. 6:30 p.m. Free.


Philosophers’ Café. Discussion of ethical issues hosted by Tri-Valley Cultural Jews. At Café Rumi, 799 Heyer Ave., Castro Valley. 10:45 a.m. $5 suggested. (925) 240-5612.

“Help with Your Family Tree.” Genealogy clinic. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 12 p.m. Free.


Diane Ackerman. Author discusses her memoir “One Hundred Names for Love.” At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 7 p.m. $10-$18.


Book talk with comedian Moshe Kasher. Discusses his childhood memoir, “Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Be-came a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16.” At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 7 p.m. $10-$15.

benefits & social events
Seder plate by Robert Couse-Baker
Seder plate by Robert Couse-Baker


It’s all about freedom

Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame will get an early start on Passover next week when it hosts its multicultural “Four Freedoms” seder. Led by clergy from the synagogue and the First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame, the seder will analyze the status of freedom in the modern world in four areas: speech and expression, worship, want and fear.

5:45 p.m. Thursday, March 29 at Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame. $20.


Fammy Awards Gala. “Family Matters” fundraiser for Jewish Family and Children’s Services. Cocktails, dinner, auction, awards. At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 600 Stockton St., S.F. 6:30 p.m. $200 and up.


Matzah-making family event. At Chabad House Berkeley, 2730 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley . 1 p.m. $5. RSVP to (510) 540-5824.

Kosher-for-Passover wine tasting. Sampling from Covenant Wines, a kosher label from Napa. At Hillel of Silicon Valley, 44 S. 11th St., San Jose. 2 p.m. $10.

Kosher-for-Passover wine tasting. California and Israeli wines with food and silent auction. At Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland. 2:30p.m. $36. 

“The Creative Energy That Is Israel.” Dinner and talk by past national president of AIPAC Amy Friedkin, head of pro-Israel advocacy group Benefit for Berkeley Hadassah. At Beth Israel, 1630 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. 4:30 p.m. $80. 

Simcha Fair. Vendors on hand for families planning b’nai mitzvah, brit milah, wedding or other special occasions. At the Renaissance Club Sports, 2805 Jones Road, Walnut Creek. 12:30 p.m. Free.

spiritual & holiday


Chocolate seder. For families with children in grades K-7. At Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame. 5:30 p.m. Free. RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


 “Women’s Evening: A Taste of Passover.” Study, dessert-making demonstration and tasting. Sponsored by Chabad of Oakland. At a private residence in Piedmont. 7:30 p.m. $18 suggested. 


Bob Dylan Shabbat. Service featuring folk balladeer’s songs and melodies. At Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto. 7:30 p.m. Free 



Bay Area Jewish Singles Hiking Club. Eight-mile round-trip hike in Berkeley’s Tilden Park. Meet at Orinda BART. 10:30 a.m. $1. (925) 228-4213.


Speed dating. Event for singles in their 20s and 30s. At Congregation Beth David, 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga. 9 p.m. $10.