Friday, April 20, 2012

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“Maqama.” Opening of exhibit of nature photos by an Israeli photographer. The artist will be revealed at the opening. Benefit for Friends of IDF. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 6:30 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 Sept. 9. “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.

“The Sacred Word: A Sculptural and Print Exploration of Hebrew and Chinese Characters.” Art by Joyce Steinfeld. Through June 5. At Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael.

“These Are My People!” National touring exhibition telling the story of Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who saved 30,000 people during World War II. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. Through May 4. Free.

“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.



‘Israel in Egypt’

The San Francisco Choral Society will perform one of the great choral epics, Handel’s “Israel in Egypt.” In the oratorio, Handel tells the story of the Israelites’ struggle to achieve freedom from the Egyptians. The 175-voice chorus will perform in the acoustically rich Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco.

8 p.m. Saturday, April 28 and 4 p.m. Sunday, April 29 at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F. $26-$32.


Post Passover Celebration. Power blues and funk group the Tribal Blues Band and Israeli cover band the Peatot perform. At the Red Devil Lounge, 1695 Polk St., S.F. $20-$25.


“Wake Up!” Acoustic guitar and piano player Alison Faith Levy performs Sippy Cups classics and traditional Jewish songs for kids. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 10:30 a.m. Free.


Israeli JazzFest. Performance by Third World Love, with pre-concert talk by Anat Cohen. 8 p.m. Also April 29 performances by Eli Degibri and Kevin Hays at 3 p.m., and 3 Cohens and Gilad Hekselman Trio at 7 p.m. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. $25-$35. (See story, 29)


“Remembering Adrienne Cooper in Song.” Jillian Tallmer leads a Yiddish sing-along honoring the Oakland native who sang, taught and curated Yiddish music. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 1:30 p.m. Free.


“The Life and Poetry of Rachel the Poet.” Musical tribute to Hebrew poet Rachel Bluwstein by singer Rivka Amado. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free.

on stage


Firebird Dance Theatre. Contemporary folk dance troupe performs “The Best of 20,” a benefit for the Oshman Family JCC. At the JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 5 p.m. $15-$20.

Bruce Vilanch. Performance by the Jewish comedian and writer known for his spot on “Hollywood Squares” and his starring role in “Hairspray, the Musical.” At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 8 p.m. $40-$55.


The Touré-Raichel Collective. Israeli pianist Idan Raichel and guitarist Vieux Farka Touré of Mali perform. At Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F. 8 p.m. $25-$85. (See story, 29)


“The Garment” (Hamalbush). Adaptation of three stories by Nobel laureate Y.S. Agnon. In Hebrew with English subtitles. At Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos. 7:30 p.m. $20-$25.


“A Bright Room Called Day.” World War II drama by Tony Kushner about artists in 1930s Berlin evading the Nazis. Through April 22. At Custom Made Theatre Co., 1620 Gough St., S.F. Times vary. $25-$32.

“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


Monterey International Jewish Film Festival. “Precious Life,” 8:15 p.m. Also “Sixty-Six,” April 21 at 7:30 p.m.; “Crime After Crime,” April 22 at 4 p.m., “Live and Become,” April 24 at 7 p.m., and “An Article of Hope,” April 26 at 7:15 p.m. At Congregation Beth Israel, 5716 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. 6:30 p.m. $10-$12.


“The Syrian Bride.” Drama about a Golan Heights woman who must marry a man in Syria and lose the diplomatic status she needs to return home. Discussion to follow screening. At Congregation Beth Israel Judea, 625 Brotherhood Way, S.F. 7 p.m. Free.


“Mosaic.” Interview program hosted by Rabbi Eric Weiss. 5 a.m. KPIX Channel 5.


“Our Summer in Tehran.” Screening and discussion with Jewish director Justine Shapiro on her documentary about living in Iran with her son. At City College of San Francisco, Cloud Hall, 60 Phelan Ave., S.F. 7 p.m. Free. (415) 239-3580.


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

“Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference.” Documentary featuring former Harvard professor Tal Ben Shahar as he explores the core strengths of Israel. At Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland. 7:30 p.m. Free.


Holocaust hero film and exhibit. Documentary “The Rescuers,” about diplomats who saved Jews during World War II, and exhibition “These Are My People!” (more information, 34). At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 6:30 p.m. Free.

lectures & workshops

‘Becoming Ruth’

The biblical Ruth is a stranger in more than one sense. An outsider in her physical surroundings, she is also a stranger to her destiny, with her humble start before she becomes the mother of royalty. Visiting Torah scholar Avivah Zornberg will explore these themes in “I Am a Stranger — Becoming Ruth” at the Addison-Penzak JCC, the first of several Bay Area lectures on a variety of topics. Zornberg has taught Torah for 30 years in Jerusalem and at the London School of Jewish Studies. She travels widely while lecturing in Jewish, academic and psychoanalytic settings. For information on her other local appearances, see Lectures & Workshops.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26 at Addison-Penzak JCC 14855 Oak Road, Los Gatos. $7.


Dammit the Wonderdog lived to 19 1⁄2.   photo/scott beale
Dammit the Wonderdog lived to 19 1⁄2. photo/scott beale

Friend of the Jews?

In an age when Jewish dog owners celebrate their 13-year-old companions with a “bark mitzvah,” there is no doubt that Jews love their canines. But it hasn’t always been the case. In the early 20th century, for example, dogs were largely considered goyishe nakhes (“a gentile pleasure”). Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman, a professor at Vanderbilt University who co-edited “A Jew’s Best Friend? The Image of the Dog Throughout Jewish History,” will speak about the evolving relationship between Jews and dogs.

7 p.m. Tuesday, April 24 at BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. Free.



Book talk by Jay Michaelson. Author discusses “God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality.” At Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St., S.F. 6 p.m. Free.


Israel education and advocacy training workshop. To help prepare teens for life as Jewish college students. Sponsored by StandWithUs and Jerusalem Online University. At Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland. Also April 29 at Jewish Community High School of the Bay, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. $18 per family.

B’nai B’rith bagel brunch. With Bill Broder, author of “Taking Care of Cleo,” a novel about two young Jewish women in Prohibition-era Detroit. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. 10:30 a.m. $5, students free.


Etgar Keret with Michael Chabon. The Israeli author of the short-story collection “Suddenly, a Knock at the Door” is interviewed by the Berkeley Pulitzer-winning novelist. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 7 p.m. $10-$25.

“Israel Innovation Showcase.” Demos by Israeli-founded companies, venture capital keynotes and networking. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 6 p.m. Free. RSVP to

“Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem.” Elinor Sidi, executive director of Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, discusses her work. At A Wider Bridge, 2559 Diamond St., S.F. 7 p.m. Also April 27 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. 7:45 p.m., following Shabbat services. Free. RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Michael Walzer. Stanford political philosopher discusses his book “Exodus and Revolution,” which addresses the Exodus story as a model of social transformation. Aaron Roland Endowed Lecture, co-sponsored by the Oshman Family JCC. At Stanford University, Building 200, 450 Serra Mall. 7:30 p.m. Free.


Book talk by Bengt Jangfeldt. Author discusses his forthcoming “Raoul Wallenberg: A Biography” about the Swedish diplomat who rescued tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary. At Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. 4 p.m. Free.

“Jewish Practices: Death and Dying.” Workshop on the practice of taharah, the washing and preparation of bodies for Jewish burial. Led by Beth Chaim Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and Jay Lewis, executive director of Sinai Memorial Chapel. At Beth Chaim Congregation, 1800 Holbrook Drive, Danville. 7 p.m. Free. RSVP to


Book talk with Harvey Gotliffe. Author discusses “The Oy Way,” a humorous guide to Yiddish. At Hillel of Silicon Valley, 44 S. 11th St., San Jose. 7 p.m. Free. (408) 286-6669.

Avivah Zornberg. Torah and biblical scholar lectures in Bay Area.  April 27 and 28 at Congregation Beth Emek Beracha, 4102 El Camino Real, Palo Alto; 4 p.m. April 29 at JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. Free.; 3 p.m. April 30 at Graduate Theological Union, Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley; 7 p.m. April 30 at JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. $10-$20.


Rabbi Michael Lerner. Discusses his book “Embracing Israel/Palestine.” At Book Passage Marin, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 4 p.m. Free.

“The Painted Prenup: the Art and History of Ketubah.” Ketubah artist and calligrapher Melissa Dinwiddie discusses the Jewish marriage contract. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. 3 p.m. Free.


East Bay Women’s Torah Study. Torah study from female perspectives taught by a range of local rabbis and educators. At Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. 7 p.m. Free. (See story, 10)


“Saving Land and Life: A Community Defends Its Home.” American Jewish World Service Africa program officer Jaron Vogelsang and AJWS grantee Ikal Angelei discuss Angelei’s fight against a dam that would turn her community in Kenya into a desert. At GTU campus, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley. 11 a.m. Free. RSVP at

“Dinosaur Goes to Israel.” Author and storyteller Diane Rauschwerger reads her new book. Also cupcake decorating to celebrate Hadassah’s 100th anniversary. At Alef Bet Judaica, 14103 Winchester Blvd., Los Gatos. 4 p.m. Free. RSVP at


Dennis Prager. Talk by radio host and author of “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph,” At the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F. 6 p.m. $7-$20.

Book talk with Marty Brounstein. Author discusses “Two Among the Righteous Few,” about two Dutch Catholics who saved Jews during the Holocaust. At San Mateo Public Library, 55 West Third Ave., San Mateo. 6:30 p.m. Free. (650) 522-7818.


The Koren Mesorat Harav Siddur. Talk by Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Yonatan Cohen about the new prayerbook devoted to the teachings of “the Rav” Solovietchik. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. 6:30 p.m. Free.

benefits & social events


“A Walk Amongst Trees.” Hike in San Francisco’s Presidio with Bay Area Hazon director Deborah Newbrun, author of “Spirit in Nature.” Presented by Contemporary Jewish Museum. Starting location available at registration. 9:30 a.m. $15.


Chabad of Marin 10-year celebration. Honoring Rabbi Hillel and Chana Scop with klezmer soul band and comedian Elon Gold. At Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. 6 p.m. $85.


Israeli folk dance party. Café Shalom presents monthly dancing and munchies. At St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, 1399-43rd Ave., S.F. 7:30 p.m. $5-$8.


“Israel Activism, Leadership by Example.” JCRC benefit honoring chair Lenny Kristal and featuring radio talk-show host John Rothmann, with music by Israeli singer Rivka Amado. At a private home in Berkeley, address provided upon registration. $50. RSVP by April 26.

spiritual & holiday
William Danforth III with survivor Abram Geldman at last year’s commemoration   photo/rebecca meyer
William Danforth III with survivor Abram Geldman at last year’s commemoration photo/rebecca meyer

Holocaust remembrance

In honor of Yom HaShoah, “The Power of the Written Word: Diaries and Memoirs from the Holocaust” will be held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration will include a reading of names by high school students, as well as readings of Holocaust teen diaries and candlelighting ceremonies. The event is co-sponsored by the JFCS Holocaust Center, Lehraus Judaica, Jewish Community Relations Council and Bay Area schools and synagogues. For more Yom HaShoah listings, see Spiritual & Holidays.

4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22 at the Forum,Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 701 Mission St., S.F. Free.


Community dinner. Vegetarian Shabbat meal for families. At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 6 p.m. $7-$13.

Yom HaAtzmaut celebration. Potluck, Shabbat services and celebration of Israel. At Temple Isaiah, 3800 Mount Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. 6 p.m. Free. RSVP to


Mimouna. North African celebration to mark end of Passover. With food, henna tattoos and jamming. Bring an instrument. At Hillel at Stanford, Koret Pavilion, 564 Lane A, Stanford. Free. (415) 626-5062.


Berkeley Holocaust Remembrance. Honoring East Bay survivors, with performances by cellist Isaac Pastor Chernak and a cappella group Kol Hadov. At Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. 12 p.m. Free.

“Yes We Sang!” Three Bay Area choruses perform pre-Holocaust songs together. At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 4 p.m. $10.

“Choosing to Act: Stories of Rescue.” Memorial candlelighting with remembrances of rescue, including a former hidden child’s homage to those who saved him. At Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central, Richmond. 10:30 a.m. Free. (510) 223-2560.

“Treasuring the Stories We’ve Inherited.” Featuring storyteller Joel ben Izzy. At Temple Beth Torah, 42000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont. 7:30 p.m. Free.

Yom HaShoah commemoration. Sonoma County event focuses on three communities before and after the Holocaust. At Friedman Center, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. 2 p.m. Free.


Yom HaZikaron gathering. Readings, singing and sharing of memories in observance of Israel’s Memorial Day. At Jewish Community Federation, 121 Steuart St., S.F. 9 a.m. Free.


“Happy 64th Birthday Israel!” Sonoma County celebration with music, Israeli dancing, film “Israel Inside.” At Congregation Beth Ami, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. 7 p.m. Free.

Yom HaAtzmaut celebration. Performance by folk-rock singer Micha Biton, Israeli dancing, arts and crafts. At Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City. 5 p.m. Free.

Yom HaAtzmaut celebration. Israeli food, ceremony, fashion show, dancing. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 4:30 p.m. Free.

Yom HaAtzmaut celebration. Music and Israeli folk dance lessons with Alan King and the Nigunim Folk Chorus. At Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. 5:30 p.m. Free.

Yom HaAtzmaut seder. To commemorate 70 years of history in Israel. At Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F. 6 p.m. $5-$10. (See story, 4)

“Celebrate Israel at 64.” Israeli comedian Benji Lovitt performs. At Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton. 7:30 p.m. $10. For 18 and older.


Shabbat-O-Rama. Celebration with live music, workshops, book group, board games. At Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland. Starts 5:30 p.m. Friday with Shabbat dinner and ends 7 p.m. Saturday with post-Havdallah vegetarian potluck. Free.


Israel in Marin. Festival for all ages with food, art, live Israeli music and Hump-free the camel. At Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 9:30 a.m. Free. (See story, 12)