“RitLab: Paper and Cheese.” Shmooze with artist and author Kayte Terry, create art out of recycled paper, and taste cheese from Cowgirl Creamery for Shavuot. At Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F. 6 p.m. Included with admission. http://www.thecjm.org.
“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. http://www.rcjl.org.
“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.” 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. http://www.thecjm.org.
“The Last Jews of Yemen.” Photos and journal entries by Rachael Strecher and Josh Berer documenting Yemen’s Jewish population. Through June 29. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. http://www.paloaltojcc.org.
“Maqama.” Photographs of U.S. by Israeli Chami Lerner. Through June 29. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. http://www.paloaltojcc.org. (See story, 25)
“More Than Enough: Redefining Excess.” Jewish artists answer “When do we need more than enough?” Through Aug. 5. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. http://www.bjesf.org/adults_events.htm.
“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. http://www.marinjcc.org.
“Territory.” 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. http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com.
“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. http://www.jccsf.org.
music & dance
Noam Sheriff photo/muki schwartz
The Cadenza orchestra in Santa Cruz will perform the U.S. premiere of “Canarian Vespers,” a new work by Haifa Symphony Orchestra composer and conductor Noam Sheriff. The recipient of the 2011 Israel Prize for music, he burst onto the music scene in 1957 when Leonard Bernstein, conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, chose Sheriff’s “Festival Prelude” to open the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv. The Santa Cruz program, “Love and Romance,” includes selections by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.
7 p.m. Sunday, May 27 at First Congregational Church, 900 High St., Santa Cruz. $15-$25. http://www.scmusic.org
“Music in the Mishkan.” Chamber music performances of Ernest Bloch, Joachim Turina and Antonin Dvorak. At Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St., S.F. 4 p.m. $15-$20. http://www.shaarzahav.org.
Soulfarm. Performance by Israeli-American jam band founded by Grammy Award–winning guitarist C Lanzbom. At Congregation Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley. 7 p.m. $6-$10. www. masorticenter.blogspot.com.
Greening of the Promised Land
Trailblazing Israeli environmentalist and chairman of Israel’s Green Party Alon Tal will be in the Bay Area next week to share his thoughts on Israeli environmentalism and the future at two events. Tal is the founder of Adam Teva V’Din, Israel’s first environmental watchdog, and is the author of several books, including “Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel.”
7 p.m. Wednesday, May 23 at Peninsula Sinai Congregation 499 Boothbay Ave., Foster City. Free. (650) 349-2816
Also 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24 at Urban Adamah, 1050 Parker St., Berkeley $5. www. urbanadamah.org
“Nu Wurks.” Festival of plays written and performed by students at Jewish Community High School of the Bay. At JCHS, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. $5-$10. http://www.jchsofthebay.org.
“The Kugelmass Episode.” Staging of Woody Allen’s short story about a dissatisfied man who travels into a Flaubert novel. Performed by Word for Word. At Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F. 8 p.m. $22-$27. http://www.cityarts.net.
film & video
“Dolphin Boy.” A teenager from an Arab-Israeli village recovers from violence by spending time with dolphins. Presented by the Silicon Valley
Jewish Film Festival. At Camera 12 Theater, 201 S. Second St., San Jose. 4 p.m. $9.50-$11. http://www.svjff.org.
“Freilach.” Jewish music and cultural radio show for the Russian River area. KGGV 95.1 FM. 8 p.m.
lectures & workshops
Freeing their minds
Many faiths are centered around the idea of redemption or salvation for their followers. But how universal is this idea of redemption? What do faiths share and where do they differ? Convening on a panel to discuss these kinds of otherworldly questions are Bay Area spiritual leaders Rabbi Nat Ezray of Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City; Imam Tahir Anwar of the Islamic Center of San Jose; the Rev. Kristi Denham of Congregational Church of Belmont; and the Rev. Ryuta Furumoto of the San Mateo Buddhist Temple.
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 22 at the Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City. Free. http://www.pjcc.org
Israel education and advocacy training workshop. To help prepare teens for life as Jewish college students. Sponsored by StandWithUs and Jerusalem Online University At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 9 a.m. $18 per family. http://www.paloaltojcc.org.
“Theological Responses to the Holocaust.” Video lecture by history professor David Ruderman of the University of Pennsylvania. At Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., Albany. 4 p.m. Free. http://www.kolhadash.org.
Book talk by Michael Cooper. Author discusses “Foxes in the Vineyard,” his novel about a son searching for his archaeologist father on the eve of the Israeli War of Independence. At Bookshop Benicia, 856 Southampton Road, Benicia. 4 p.m. Free. http://www.bookshopbenicia.com.
“Stand with God, Against Man.” Granddaughter of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese diplomat who saved thousands of refugees during World War II, tells her family’s story. At Congregation Beth David, 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga. 7:30 p.m. Free. http://www.beth-david.org.
Ambassador Dennis Ross. Former chief Middle East adviser to three presidents reflects on strategies for peace. At Stanford University, Cemex Auditorium, 641 Knight Way, Stanford. 7 p.m. Free. http://www.hillel.stanford.edu.
“Mystery of the Book of Ruth.” Discussion in Russian with Rabbi Ilana Baird. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14885 Oka Road, Los Gatos. Free. http://www.siliconvalleyjcc.org.
“Muslims, Jews, and a New Song.” Tricia Hellman Gibbs discusses her journey back to Judaism and findings from the Koran, as well as her novel “A New Song,” in conversation with author Nafisa Haji. Includes Middle Eastern music by the Yuval Ron Trio. At Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 7 p.m. $12-$15. http://www.marinjcc.org.
“Perspectives on Israel.” Talk by J Street’s S.F. Bay Area chair and national board member Molly Freeman. Also May 31 with Orli Bein, New Israel Fund co-director, S.F. region. At Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. 7:30 p.m. Free. http://www.bethel-berkeley.org.
“The Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank’s Family.” Buddy Elias, Anne’s first cousin and close friend, shares family stories. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 7 p.m. $10-$25. http://www.jccsf.org.
“Reclaiming Jewish Activism: Rediscovering Voices of Our Ancestors.” Presentation and discussion by Jewish activists Julie Gilgoff, Rae Abileah and Elaine Elinson. At Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free. http://www.shaarzahav.org.
“Settling the Land of Israel — Contemporary Perspectives.” Talk by Eran Kaplan, professor of Israel and Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University. At Stanford University, Building 360, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford. 12 p.m. Free. http://www.stanford.edu/dept/jewishstudies.
Book talk with Marty Brounstein. Author discusses “Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust.” At Hillsdale United Methodist Church, 303 W. 36th Ave., San Mateo. 8:30 a.m. breakfast, 9:30 a.m. presentation. Free. RSVP for breakfast to (650) 345-8514. Also May 30 at Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View. 7 p.m. (650) 428-1234.
“Sacred Treasure—The Cairo Genizah.” Author Rabbi Mark Glickman discusses his book about the 1896 discovery of medieval manuscripts in a Cairo attic. At BJE Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free. http://www.bjesf.org/adults_events.htm.
benefits & social events
Melita Silberstein and Doug Chermak celebrate Wilderness Torah’s Shavuot on the Mountain in 2011.
Torah, Torah, Torah
The joyous festival of Shavuot, coming up May 26-27, commemorates the day God gave the Israelites the Torah on Mount Sinai. The Torah’s “birthday” will be celebrated around the Bay Area with Tikkun Leil Shavuot, or all-night Torah study sessions. Several community events are listed below.
San Francisco. Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., S.F. 5 to 10:15 p.m. $10. http://www.sherithisrael.org
East Bay. JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Free. http://www.jcceastbay.org; Wilderness Torah’s Shavuot on the Mountain, Anthony Chabot Regional Park, Oakland. May 25-28. $140-$275. http://www.wildernesstorah.org
North Bay. Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon. 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Free. http://www.kolshofar.org or http://bit.ly/KQasT4
Bonfire. Yeashore community presents Havdallah service followed by songs and stories. At Emeryville Marina, 3300 Powell St., Emeryville. 6 p.m. Free. http://www.yeashore.org.
Young adults’ afternoon with special-needs kids. Hang out and play games with children from Friendship Circle, which supports special-needs kids and their families. At Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F. 3 p.m. Free. RSVP to http://www.friendshipcircle.eventbrite.com.
East Bay Mitzvah Day. Volunteer for community service projects throughout East Bay. Opening ceremony at Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland. 9 a.m. http://www.jcceastbay.org.
“Mesibah! Fun Day.” Party for children ages 2-10 and their parents. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 3 p.m. Free. http://www.svjcc.org.
Young adults’ potluck Shabbat. Bring a vegetarian dish to share for dinner. At a private residence in Fremont. 7 p.m. RSVP to http://www.cbdyag.wordpress.com.
Shalom Bayit 20th anniversary. “Creating Hope” dinner honors Jewish agency that works to prevent and end domestic violence. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 6:15 p.m. $118. http://www.shalom-bayit.org.
Cooking lesson. Silicon Valley Jewish Widow and Widowers group meets for lunch and instruction on how to make stuffed cabbage. At a private residence in San Jose, location available with RSVP. 12 p.m. (408) 525-2323.