Friday, April 6, 2012

news & features




opinions & letters






Artist talk. Deborah Miller discusses “Cradle of Wet and Burning,” her paintings exploring Kabbalah. At University Arts and Consciousness Gallery, 2956 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. 4 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.

“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. Through April 29. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F.

“Treasures from the Gershwin Archive.” Exhibit of memorabilia from the trust of Ira and Leonore Gershwin, including music covers, personal photographs and sketches. Through June 15. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. Free.

photo/courtesy of red hot chachkas
photo/courtesy of red hot chachkas

Cool music

The Red Hot Chachkas will perform traditional klezmer music infused with jazz, rock and Latin influences at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. The internationally acclaimed, Bay Area–based band has performed at a range of events and venues, from Toronto’s Ashkenaz Festival to San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall.

7 p.m. Sunday, April 15 at Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 7 p.m. $15-$25.


“Heather Klein’s Inextinguishable Trio.” Yiddish folk group performs Passover and Yiddish songs. At Jewish Family and Children’s Services, 200 Channing Way, Palo Alto. 1 p.m. Free. Also April 12 at JFCS, 2150 Post St., S.F. 1 p.m. Free.


“The Man That Got Away: Ira After George.” Musical revue on the life of Ira Gershwin after the death of his brother George. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 8 p.m. $60-$75. Also April 14 at 8 p.m. and April 15 at 2 p.m. In conjunction with “Treasures from the Gershwin Archive.”  


“Faiths in Harmony.” Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choirs performs with Jewish folk ensemble Vocolot. At Islamic Cultural Center, 1433 Madison St., Oakland. 7:30 p.m. Free.

on stage
photo/courtesy of custom made theater co.
photo/courtesy of custom made theater co.

‘A Bright Room’

The Nazis are coming to power, and Agnes Eggling welcomes fellow actors, revolutionaries, homosexuals and Communists into her cozy one-bedroom apartment in Pulitzer Prize–winner Tony Kushner’s first play, “A Bright Room Called Day.” As the group struggles to find love and meaning together, the play occasionally shifts to the 1980s and an American Jew who is conducting research in Berlin after seeing similarities between President Regan and Hitler. Eventually, the lines between past and present blur in this 1987 play offering biting humor and a poignant look at humanity in the face of one of history’s greatest tragedies. 

Through April 22, times vary. At Custom Made Theatre Co., 1620 Gough St., S.F. $25-$30.

“Red.” Play about painter Mark Rothko written by Oscar-nominated author John Logan. Through May 12. At Berkeley Repertory Theater, 2025 Addison St, Berkeley. Times vary.

film & video

The chosen pastime

The story of Sandy Koufax refusing to pitch on Yom Kippur is Jewish legend. Many baseball fans also know that a Jewish player, Ron Blomberg, was Major League Baseball’s first-ever designated hitter. But the relationship between Jews and the all-American pastime goes much deeper. The documentary “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story,” which offers a more complete picture beginning in the 1880s, will be shown at a movie night hosted by Congregation Etz Chayim. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, it includes footage of Koufax, Shawn Green, Al Rosen and more.

7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10 at Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto. Fruit and drinks provided; any outside foods must be kosher for Passover. Free.


“Free Men.” Opening day. Film about an Algerian spy in 1940s France who falls in love with a Jew. In French with English subtitles. At Lumiere Theater, 1572 California St., S.F. and Shattuck Theater, 2230 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley. Check theaters for times.


“Freilach.” Jewish music and cultural radio show for the Russian River area. KGGV 95.1 FM. 8 p.m.

“Binah: Creative Voices from the JCCSF.” Poet and translator Peter Cole on his book “The Poetry of Kabbalah.” KALW 91.7 FM. Noon.


“Got Balz.” Screening of documentary-in-progress on Mica Jarmel-Schneider of San Francisco, who collected and delivered baseball equipment to children in Cuba for his bar mitzvah project. With Cuban dance and food. At Sports Basement, 1590 Bryant St., S.F.


“Menachem and Fred.” Documentary on the reunion of two German Jewish brothers who separated after the Holocaust. At Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F. 6 p.m. Included with museum admission.

“The Rescuers.” Bay Area premiere of documentary on 13 diplomats who defied the Nazis to save Jews during World War II. At Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. 7 p.m. Free.

lectures & workshops

A vote for democracy

A panel featuring scholars of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism will address the connection between faith and democracy by looking at historical, theological and legal links. The panel is part of a series presented by Stanford’s Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and is co-sponsored by the Taube Center for Jewish Studies. 

6 p.m. Thursday, April 12 at Stanford Humanities Center, 424 Santa Teresa St., Stanford. Free.


Book talk with Harvey Gotliffe. Author discusses “The Oy Way,” a humorous guide to Yiddish. At the Capitola Book Café, 1475 41st Ave., Capitola. 7:30 p.m. Free. (831) 462-4415.


Book talk with Marty Brounstein. Author discusses “Two Among the Righteous Few,” about two Dutch Catholics who saved Jews during the Holocaust. At Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd. Foster City. 7 p.m. Free.

Elder care workshop. Suggestions and resources for adult children concerned about their aging parents. At Temple Isaiah, 3800 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. 7 p.m. Free.


Leena Corman. Author reads from graphic novel “Unterzakhn.” At Comix Experience, 305 Divisadero St., S.F. 5 p.m. Free.  Also April 12 at the Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free. (See story, 37)


Peter Beinart. Author and professor discusses his book “The Crisis of Zionism.” At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 7 p.m. $10-$20.


“Examining Etgar Keret.” Hebrew translator and Jewish Community High School teacher Merav Rozenblum leads a discussion about the Israeli artist, author and subject of the exhibit “Interpreting the Interior.” At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free.   

Michael David Lukas. Author discusses his novel “The Oracle of Stambul,” about a young Jewish girl in the late Ottoman Empire. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 7 p.m. Free.


“Museums and the Remaking of Holocaust Memory.” New York Times cultural critic-at-large Edward Rothstein and the Shoah Foundation’s Stephen Wolf discuss the architecture of Holocaust museums. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free. Advance reservations required.

benefits & social events


Jewish LGBTQ monthly mixer. Sponsored by Jewish LGBT Network. At Blush Wine Bar, 476 Castro St., S.F. 6:30 p.m. Free admission, discounted wine.

spiritual & holiday


Seder for families. Focus on families with children, 2-7, but all welcome. At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 5 p.m. $12-$24.

Oakland community seder. At JCC East Bay, 5811 Racine St., Oakland, 7 p.m. $36-$48. RSVP at

Berkeley community seder. At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 7:30 p.m. $36-$48. RSVP at

“A Luxury Passover Seder.” Presented by Chabads of Pacific Heights and San Francisco. At the Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., S.F. 7 p.m. $75. RSVP at

Community seder. Presented by Chabad of Oakland. At Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave., Oakland. 7 p.m. $20-$36. RSVP at

Community seder. At Chabad of Sunnyvale, 540 Utica Drive, Sunnyvale. 8:15 p.m. $35-$45. RSVP at

Community seder. At Chabad of Contra Costa, 1671 Newell Ave., Walnut Creek. 7:30 p.m. $45-$64. RSVP at

Three simultaneous seders. Different topics (“Glee,” “On One Foot,” “Musical Tot”). At Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto. 5:30 p.m. $10-$55.


Secular progressive seder. Presented by Tri-Valley Cultural Jews. Potluck, singing and traditional elements. At Bothwell Arts Center 2466 8th St., Livermore. 5 p.m. $10.

Family community seder. At Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central St., Richmond. 5:30 p.m. $8-$30. RSVP at

Community seder. Catered by Four Seasons Hotel. At Congregation Ner Tamid, 1250 Quintara St., S.F. 6:30 p.m. $35-$80. RSVP to (415) 661-3383.

Community potluck seder. Presented by Or Shalom Jewish Community. At Mission Blue Center, 475 Mission Blue Drive, Brisbane. 5 p.m. Free. RSVP required to (415) 242-9992.

Community seder. At Congregation Beth Ami, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. 6 p.m. $18-$54.

“ ‘Modern Exodus’ Humanist Seder.” Presented by Kol Hadash Community for Humanistic Judaism. At Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., Albany. 5:30 p.m. $15-$47. Community seder. At Congregation Beth Sholom, 301-14th Ave., S.F. 6 p.m. $35-$65.

Potluck seder for single adults. Presented by Haverim Connection, for Jews in their 40s, 50s and 60s. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 7 p.m. $15-$20.

Community seder. At Richmond Torah Center Chabad, 423-10th Ave., S.F. 6 p.m. Also April 7 at 8 p.m. $20-$40.

monday /9

Passover luncheon for seniors. At Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living, 4000 Camino Tassajara, Danville. 12 p.m. $8. RSVP to (925) 648-2800.

Older adult seder. At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 11:30 a.m. $10-$13.


“Food Justice Passover Celebration.” Sustainable, vegetarian dinner with social justice theme. At Golden Gate Room, Fort Mason Center, S.F. 6:30 p.m. $25-$36.


“Out of Order Seder.” Alternative enactment of the seder. At Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F. 6:30 p.m. $100.


“The Dance of Freedom: A 7th Night Passover Celebration for Women.” Stories and music celebrating Miriam’s last night of Passover dance. At Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley. 7 p.m. $18-$36.


Mimouna. North African celebration of the last day of Passover with food, dancing and singing. At Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F. 7: 30 p.m. Free.


Mystical seder. At Richmond Torah Center Chabad, 423-10th Ave., S.F. 6:15 p.m. Free.


Community freedom seder. Honoring the 100th anniversary of the Bread and Roses strike. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 6:30 p.m. $35-$40.


Peninsula interfaith freedom seder. At Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame. 5:45 p.m. $20. RSVP to



Tour of Ainsley House in Campbell. Sponsored by Silicon Valley Jewish Widow/Widower Singles. 1 p.m. $3. RSVP to (408) 266-6126.