Friday, April 27, 2012

cover story

news & features




opinions & letters




Bible’s mystery women

Was Eve an innocent teenager or a seductress? Did Sarah belong to an Egyptian harem? Was Isaac really Abraham’s son? Many of the biblical stories that include female figures are shrouded in mystery. In the workshop “Wives, Mothers and Women of Ill Repute: Feminine Figures of the Bible,” Rabbi Moshe Levin sheds light on Jezebel, Bathsheba, Rachel and others.

7 p.m. Thursday, May 3 at Congregation Ner Tamid, 1250 Quintara St., S.F. Free, but register at (415) 661-3383.


Enrique Goldenberg. Artist displays fused glass works influenced by Judaica. Also May 6. At Chrome Architecture, 905 Fourth St., San Rafael. (See story, 23)


Israeli art exhibit and sale. More than 100 artists and 1,500 works, sponsored by Safrai Fine Art Gallery in Jerusalem. Opening includes Israeli Lag B’Omer celebration, with bonfire and falafel. Though May 13. At Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. 6 p.m. Free.

“Territory.” Opening reception for Israeli artist Yigal Ozeri’s large-scale, photo-realistic oil paintings pairing women with natural settings. Through June 30. At Jenkins Johnson Gallery, 464 Sutter St., S.F. 5:30 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.

“The Courage to Remember.” Visual panels outline the beginning of World War II and the Holocaust. Through May 30. At Napa Valley College, Napa.

“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.



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.

“Israel in Egypt.” San Francisco Choral Society performs Handel’s oratorio. At Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F. 8 p.m. Also April 29 at 4 p.m. $26-$32.


“Remembering Adrienne Cooper in Song.” Jillian Tallmer leads 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.


Selected works of Leonard Bernstein. Performance by Kimberly Gelbwasser. Includes lunch. For ages 55 and older. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 12 p.m. $5-$7.50. RSVP by April 30 to (408) 357-7488.


“An Evening with Marvin Hamlisch.” Songs and stories with the award-winning Broadway and film composer. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 4 p.m. $72-$85. (See story, 21)


“The Musical Genius of Leonard Cohen.” Listen to Cohen’s songs and learn about the Jewish texts that inspired them. Also May 16. At Congregation Beth Chaim, 1800 Holbrook Drive, Danville. 7 p.m. Free. RSVP to (925) 736-7146.

on stage


“An Evening with Madame F.” Claudia Stevens plays an Auschwitz survivor in a solo piano and acting piece. At Sonoma State University, Warren Hall, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 4 p.m. Free.


“The Garment.” One-man play based on short stories of Israeli Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon. In Hebrew with English subtitles. At Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos. 7:30 p.m. $20-$25. Also May 5 at Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 8:30 p.m. $30-$35. (See story, 21)


“Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again.” Author, comic and Buddhist meditation teacher Wes “Scoop” Nisker performs a comedic monologue in a benefit for Chochmat HaLev. At Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince St, Berkeley. 8 p.m. $18.


“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


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


“Srugim.” Screening of the hit Israeli TV series about 30-somethings in Jerusalem. At JCC of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 11 a.m. $10.

lectures & workshops


Prehistoric good times

After celebrating Shabbat, Passover and Chanukah, Dino the dinosaur is ready for some more adventure — this time in the Holy Land. Local author Diane Rauschwerger will introduce the latest book in her series on the friendly dinosaur during a lively reading at Alef Bet Judaica in Los Gatos. Come hear about Dino’s visit to Tel Aviv, the beach, the Western Wall and the Dead Sea. Following the reading, decorate birthday cupcakes in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Hadassah.

4 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 at Alef Bet Judaica, 14103 Winchester Blvd., Los Gatos. Free.



Spreading the word

Dennis Prager, the radio talk-show host and author, argues that three pillars of American society have made the country great — “E pluribus unum” (“Out of many, one”), in God we trust, and liberty. In his talk “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph,” Prager, a former professor of Jewish history, will explain why it is essential to commit to these values and spread them abroad.

6 p.m. Wednesday, May 2 at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, 595 Market St., S.F. $7-$20.


“Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem.” Elinor Sidi, executive director of Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, discusses her work. 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).

Avivah Zornberg. Torah and biblical scholar lectures in Bay Area. Appearances free unless noted. 8:15 p.m. April 27 and 5:45 p.m. April 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; 9 a.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.

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. Also May 9 At Jewish Family and Children’s Services, 200 Channing Way, Palo Alto. 1 p.m. Free.


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.” Artist and calligrapher Melissa Dinwiddie discusses the Jewish marriage contract. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. 3 p.m. Free.

“Creating a Contemporary Talmud.” Workshop trains lay people to become practitioners of Talmud and apply it to contemporary issues. At Congregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave., Palo Alto. 1 p.m. $85-$100. (415) 387-6890.


East Bay Women’s Torah Study. Torah study from female perspectives taught by local rabbis and educators. At Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. 7 p.m. Free.


“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


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.

“Inside the Prime Minister’s Office.” Talk by Herb Keinon, diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem Post. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 7:30 p.m. Free. RSVP to (415) 989-4140.


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

“Perspectives on Israel.” Talk by Matthew Gabe, AIPAC East Bay director. First of a four-part series. 7:30 p.m. Also 7 p.m. May 10 with Mike Harris, co-founder of San Francisco Voice for Israel (StandWithUs Bay Area chapter). At Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. Free.


“An Afternoon with Mayim Bialik.” Actress, author and neuroscientist discusses the experience of the mikvah in a benefit for the Community Mikvah of Silicon Valley. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 4855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 1 p.m. $18. RSVP to

Philosophers’ Café. Discussion of ethical issues hosted by Tri-Valley Cultural Jews. At Café Rumi, 4799 Heyer Ave., Castro Valley. 10:45 a.m. $5 suggested donation.

“The Worlds of Contemporary Judaism.” Talk by professor Nathaniel Deutsch, co-director of the Center for Jewish Studies at U.C. Santa Cruz. At Congregation Shir Hadash, 20 Cherry Blossom Lane, Los Gatos. 9:30 a.m. Free.


“World War II in the Soviet Shtetl: From the Shoah to Victory Day.” Talk by professor Jeffrey Veidlinger, director of Jewish Studies at Indiana University. At Stanford University, Margaret Jacks Hall, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford. 5:15 p.m. Also 12 p.m. May 8. Free.

“The New Middle East and Israel.” Panel discussion with Akiva Tor, Israeli consul general of the Pacific Northwest region, and John Diaz, editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 12 p.m. Free for students, $20 for nonmembers.


“Persecution of Jews and Christians in Muslim Lands.” Panel discussion with Middle East specialist and author of “The Al Qaeda Reader” Raymond Ibrahim and expert on Iran’s Jewish population Elliot Benjamin. Sponsored by JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 7:30 p.m. Free. RSVP By May 7 to (415) 626-5062.

benefits & social events


The other Promised Land

If you’re looking to celebrate Israel this weekend and spend some quality time with the family, look no further than San Rafael. A whirlwind experience of the Jewish state awaits at “Israel in Marin,” a free fair at the Osher Marin JCC. Attractions for all ages will include music, arts and crafts, food, film, and the opportunity to meet Hump-free the camel.

9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29 at Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. Free.


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.

Trivia night. Benefit for emerging synagogue in Poltava, Ukraine. At Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. 7 p.m. $20. RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


“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. 3 p.m. $50.

Bay Area Walk Against Genocide. Speeches, advocacy training, three-mile walk around Lake Merritt. At Lake Merritt, Oakland. Event starts 12 p.m., walk starts 2 p.m.


Jewish American heritage celebration. Includes flag raising and proclamation ceremony recognizing Jewish contributions to American culture and the San Jose community. At City Hall Plaza, 200 E. Santa Clara St. 12:30 p.m. Free.   


Celebrating Israel. Featuring guest speaker Akiva Tor, consul general of Israel for the Pacific Northwest, and choral performances. At Temple Emanu-El, 1010 University Ave., San Jose. 7 p.m. Free.


Yom HaAtzmaut dance for high-schoolers. At Addison Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 7 p.m. $5.


Hillel house opening gala. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and auction to celebrate new facility for Hillel of Davis and Sacramento. At Hillel house, 328 A St., Davis. 4:30 p.m. $125.

Contemporary Jewish Museum kids’ day. Stories, art gallery explorations and sing-alongs with Camp Tawonga song leader Isaac Zones. Separate events for preschoolers through teens. At Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free for children.


Hazon California Ride. Hazon’s third annual environmental bike ride fundraiser from Sonoma County to San Francisco includes two days of riding and a Shabbat retreat. Accommodates a variety of cycling levels. Minimum sponsorship required. Through May 13.

spiritual & holiday


“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.