Arts, Entertainment & Judaica

Arts & Books

Folk Dancing


Café Kineret

Sunnyvale Recreation Center Mail to: 153 Race St. San Jose, CA 95126 Fax: 550 East Remington Sunnyvale, CA 94086
408) 287-9999/ (408) 771-4542
Loui Tucker

Meets Mondays: 7:30-8:30 p.m. beginners; 8:30-9 p.m. intermediate/advanced; 9-11:30 p.m. recreational dancing. $7. Does not meet on major Jewish holidays, Memorial Day or Labor Day. Call before coming to check scheduling.

San Francisco

Café Shalom of San Francisco

St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church 1399 43rd Ave. (at Judah) San Francisco, CA 94122
(408) 406-6766
Udy Gold

Israeli folk dance party meets the second Saturday of the month. Warm-up and beginners' session at 7:30 p.m. followed by open dance party until 11:30 p.m. Information on Facebook.


Israeli Folk Dancing

Meets at: 890 Church St. Mountain View, CA 94041
(408) 464-6969

Meets Thursdays: 7:45-8:45 p.m. beginners; 8:45 - 9:45 p.m. intermediate/advanced lessons; open dance and requests until midnight. Spacious wooden dance floor. $9 general, $6 students.


Israeli Folk Dancing in Marin

Osher Marin JCC 200 N. San Pedro Road San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 444-8000 Fax: (415) 491-1235
Instructor Carol Friedman

Israeli folk dance class for fun and exercise. Meets Thursdays, with beginners from 10:15-11:30 a.m. and intermediates from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

San Francisco

Tuesdays in San Francisco

St. Francis Episcopal Church 399 San Fernando Way (off Ocean Blvd. near Junipero Serra Blvd.) San Francisco,, CA 94127
(408) 406-6766
Udy Gold

Israeli folk dance class, all ages and all levels welcome. Teachers: Udy and Ori Gold. True beginner class: 8 p.m.-8:45p.m. Learn basic Israeli dance steps and beginner dances. Requests: 8:45-11 p.m. Adults $8, students $5.

Genealogy & History

North Bay

Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley

P.O. Box 6753 Napa, CA 94581
(707) 251-9092/ (707) 259-5332 Fax: (707)255-6082
Contacts: Donna Mendelsohn, Lauren Chevlen

Started in 2002 by Donna Dover Mendelsohn and Zoe Kahn Stein, the society continues to highlight the contributions of Jews to the Napa Valley and beyond through dynamic programming. Two books commissioned by the society, “Under the Vine and the Fig Tree” by Lin Weber and “The Jews of Napa Valley” by Mendelsohn and Henry Michalski, highlight the invaluable contribution of Jewish merchants, winemakers and others toward the creation of Napa Valley.


San Francisco

Masha Archer

(415) 861-8157 Fax: (415) 487-1515

Contemporary/ethnographic art-to-wear jewelry designs of ancient and modern components from throughout the world. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and hair ornaments. At select stores, galleries and museum shops nationwide. Bay Area venues and trunk show schedules on the website. Jewelry also available on website and online through eBay and Etsy.

Judaica, Gifts & Books

Judaica can also be found at gift shops in synagogues and JCCs.

East Bay

Afikomen Judaica

3042 Claremont Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 655-1977 Fax: (510) 655-3598
Owner Rabbi Chaim Mahgel-Friedman
Owner Nell Mahgel-Friedman

Pacific Northwest's full-service Judaica shop serves the entire Jewish community and those interested in Jewish culture. Providing friendly service and knowledgeable staff, with a children's play space on site. Specialties include works by local artists, Israeli products, Fair Trade Judaica and a tallit boutique with over 100 tallits to try on. Chuppah rentals, ketubah gallery, children's books and toys, jewelry, ritual items, holiday items, menorahs, seder plates, haggadahs and shofars. Noshables include organic grape juice, kosher wines, chocolate, seasonal treats and more. Special events gather community for book talks, lectures, concerts and classes. Perennial winner  J. weekly Readers Choice Awards. A gateway to Jewish life in the Bay Area.

San Francisco


3220 California St. at Presidio (inside the JCCSF) San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 563-6563
Hiroko Nogami-Rosen

A San Francisco brick-and-mortar Judaica store, with a knowledgeable staff to guide customers to the perfect item for themselves, the home or a gift. The only independent Jewish gift shop in San Francisco, Dayenu opened with the new Jewish Community Center in 2004. It offers a wide assortment of art, jewelry and ritual items from Israel, America and some Bay Area artists. Need a new Star of David? Want a piece of ancient glass excavated from Jerusalem? Looking for a fun piece of jewelry or tableware with no religious content? It's here.  Getting married? Ketubot from dozens of artists, with texts from Orthodox to egalitarian, interfaith and same sex. Plus an online gift registry. Also chuppah rentals, and a variety of breaking glasses and ways to display the shards after the wedding. Also  Jewish art, books, tallitot, kippot, cards, jewelry, sterling silver Kiddush cups and candlesticks, Chanukah menorahs, mezuzot, ritual and holiday items, music, toys, Ahava products, Israeli snacks and chocolate, and Irving's Premium Challah on Fridays. Rents cell phones for use in Israel.

Bay Area

Fair Trade Judaica

(510) 926-2056
Founding director Ilana Schatz

Building a fair trade movement in the Jewish community, linking Jewish values of human dignity, self-sufficiency and environmental sustainability with fair trade standards assuring fair and livable wages, no child labor, healthy and safe working conditions. This is accomplished through outreach and education, and expanding the production, distribution, and sale of Fair Trade Judaica products (FTJ online store). New products developed by Fair Trade Judaica include Torah yads, a tzedakah box, menorahs, Jewish blessing flags and more

East Bay

The Gift Shop at Temple Isaiah

Temple Isaiah of Contra Costa County 945 Risa Road Lafayette, CA 94549
(925) 283-8575
Kim Drucker (925) 284-1404

Largest selection of Judaica east of the Berkeley Hills. The gift shop is a member-run store featuring items of Judaica for every day, Shabbat, holidays and special celebrations. It is a part of the Women of Isaiah (WOI) sisterhood, and all purchases support Temple Isaiah and its extended community projects. The gift shop is open not only to all members of the synagogue, but also to people around the East Bay searching for Judaica. Open September-May on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 4-6 p.m., and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All other times are by appointment. Call Kim Drucker at (925) 284-1404 or email


A marriage contract, customarily signed before and read during the marriage ceremony.

Museums & Galleries

East Bay

Jewish Heritage Museum

The Reutlinger Community 4000 Camino Tassajara Danville, CA 94506
(925) 648-2800
Contacts: Judy Greif, Raine Rude

Collection of Judaica includes ritual objects, works on paper, sculpture, stained glass, poster art, displays of Jewish holiday celebrations and special exhibits.  The depth of the collection lies in objects from the 19th and 20th centuries, including an extensive array of spice boxes and Hanukkah lamps. Of special interest are three stained glass synagogue windows, which survived World War II. The oldest piece in the collection is a 17th-century Italian Hanukkah lamp.

San Francisco

Katz Snyder Gallery

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco 3200 California St. San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 292-1209
Barbara Lane

Rotating exhibits featuring art, photography, artifacts, multimedia that illuminate history, culture and individuals. Guided tours, lectures and opportunities to meet the artists. Past exhibits featured Jewish writers, book sculptures, collage artists, history of Jews in Asia, multimedia sculptures and a survey of Mexican art.

San Francisco

The Contemporary Jewish Museum

736 Mission St. San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 655-7800 Fax: (415) 655-7815
Museum director and CEO Lori Starr
Marketing and communications director Linda Butler

Located in downtown San Francisco. Presents dynamic exhibitions and educational programs that explore contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art and ideas.

East Bay

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

U.C. Berkeley 2121 Allston Way Berkeley, CA 94720-6300
(510) 643-2526
Leah Sherwood

Established in 2010 following the transfer of the Judah L. Magnes Museum to the University of California, Berkeley. Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music, and historical documents about the Jews in the global diaspora and the American West. As one of the world's preeminent Jewish collections in a university setting, it provides highly innovative and accessible resources to both researchers and the general public.

South Bay

Visual and Fine Arts Center

Addison-Penzak JCC of Silicon Valley 14855 Oka Road, Suite 201 Los Gatos, CA 95032
(408) 357-7492 Fax: (408) 358-7311
Hugh Seid-Valencia

Gallery featuring local, national and Israeli artists and traveling exhibits of Judaica, often accompanied by lectures by the featured artist. Exhibitions include sculpture, photography, collage and tapestry, as well as several mediums of painting styles and techniques.

Music & Choruses



(650) 321-4262
President Allen Podell

Singing together enhances a connection to Judaism, deepening the spiritual experience while singing in harmony. HaShirim's primary mission is community outreach, bringing Jewish music to senior facilities, where residents might not otherwise have a chance to hear this music as well as participate. Reaching out also brings pleasure to the singers, who improve their vocal techniques while learning new music and new harmonies. HaShirim's repertoire ranges from folk to Broadway to contemporary liturgical music, sung in Hebrew, Yiddish, English and Ladino. Begun in 2003, HaShirim numbers about 30 singers of all ages from San Francisco to San Jose. The director, Billie Bandermann, teaches singing at De Anza College. No auditions. Meets 7:30 p.m. Mondays at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills.

East Bay

Nigunim Community Chorus

Jewish Music Resource Center (JMRC) 921 Everett St. El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 528-8872
Achi Ben Shalom

Founded in 2000, this chorus now maintains two groups in Berkeley and San Francisco, meeting weekly. Sings and performs Jewish folk, liturgical and modern songs in Hebrew, Ladino and Yiddish. New singers are always welcome. Sight-reading skill is helpful but not a requirement.


Yiddish Choristers
Musical director Karen Bergen

An opportunity to sing in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino, Russian, English. Group performs at local Jewish events. Meets in Palo Alto most Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. during the school year.  All ages are welcome to celebrate our heritage with songs of happiness, sadness and yearning. Melodies and pronunciation are taught during the class, so there is no need to read music or Yiddish writing. No auditions necessary and performances are optional. First rehearsal visit is free. Requested donation of $5 per subsequent rehearsal. To "try out" the group, singers should email to ensure that a rehearsal is scheduled on a particular date.

Party Planning

North Bay

My Eventology

41 Hamilton Drive, Suite G Novato, CA 94949
(415) 246-7996

A Bay Area-based event-planning and event-management company offering a wide range of options, from full service planning to day-of event coordination and everything in between. Working closely with clients to create events that align with each client’s personal tastes and budget. Whether it's a bar or bat mtzvah, wedding, corporate function or intimate birthday celebration, this company brings expertise and professionalism to every production, as well as a personal network of reputable vendors to ensure a smooth, low-stress experience.

Performing Arts

East Bay

Context: Tracks in Jewish Culture

JCC East Bay 1414 Walnut St. Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 848-0237 x142
Adult and community program manager Rachel Whittom

Arts and culture programming offers a multitude of ways to explore Jewish culture, identity, and history through experiential and original music, film, local food and literary events. Public programs are designed in partnership with guest curators and artists-in-residence.

San Francisco

JCCSF Arts & Ideas

3200 California St. San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 292-1233
Director of arts and ideas Barbara Lane

Presents artists and performers in comedy, dance, film, music and theater. Plus family-friendly performances including children’s theater, children’s book authors and illustrators, and interactive events. Enlightening conversations with and lectures by renowned authors, chefs, artists, media personalities, filmmakers, politicians, critics, educators and thinkers whose ideas are reshaping our world. Plus Jewish personalities, culture and current events. Intimate setting with access to personalities through Q&As and book signings. Forum for experiencing Jewish culture and thought in multiple ways, including film festivals, Jewish cuisine, plus talks with Israeli authors and journalists. On-site parking available plus easy access by public transportation. Conveniently located next to the JCCSF café, Community Table, for pre- or post-event food and drinks.

Bay Area

Jewish Circle Theatre

(510) 990-5078

The theater's mission is to appreciate the diversity of the Jewish people and to celebrate the richness of Jewish learning and heritage through entertaining and thought-provoking stage performances. The overarching goal is to foster greater awareness and understanding of Jewish American and Israeli culture. Offers classes and produces live stage performances open to the public throughout the Bay Area.


Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts

Osher Marin JCC 200 N. San Pedro Road San Rafael, CA 94903
Tickets: (415) 444-8000/ (415) 444-808 Fax: (415) 491-1235
Managing director Linda Bolt

Year-round performances featuring singer-songwriters, concerts, eclectic music, conversations with authors; spotlights up-and-coming performers. Summer evening outdoor concerts.


PJCC Cultural and Performing Arts

Peninsula Jewish Community Center 800 Foster City Blvd. Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 212-PJCC (7522) Fax: (650) 378-2799
Cultural arts director Kimberly Gordon

Lecture series, award-winning art gallery, concerts, author readings, renowned performers, cultural events and much more.



Bay Area


1728 Allston Way Berkeley, CA 94703
(415) 789-7679
Executive director Judy Kunofsky
President Gerry Tenney

KlezCalifornia is a living resource that connects individuals and communities with Yiddish culture:

Major programs:

  • Cabarets by the Bay – Multi-performer cabarets at Jewish Community Centers
  • Tam – Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids & Teens –presentations  at religious schools, day schools and day camps
  • Klezmer Workshops & Jams — in Berkeley, Palo Alto and San Francisco.
  • Yiddish Conversation Salons for fluent speakers, monthly.
  • Digital communications, including a website, a Bay Area-wide calendar of klezmer- and Yiddish-inspired events in a free monthly e-newsletter to 2,300 subscribers, and social media.
  • KlezCalifornia Geleh (Yellow) Pages — 44-page directory of Bay Area Yiddish cultural resources,
  • Fiscal sponsorship services for programs involving Jewish and related cultures.
  • Production and co-presentation services for many additional Tastes of Yiddish Culture, including musical and theatrical performances, lectures, sing-alongs, and dance parties.

Invites everyone who is even a bisl (a little bit) curious about Yiddish culture. No need to sing, speak Yiddish or be a musician. All ages and backgrounds participate, from all nine Bay Area counties and beyond.

Informing people about events throughout the Bay Area and beyond; producing events; linking people with teachers, bands, classes, and each other; teaching about Yiddish culture; supporting artists; building intergenerational community; and celebrating Yiddish culture.


Kutner Yiddish Resources

1128 Tanglewood Way San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 349-6946
Philip Kutner

Yiddish website, network and directories; international Anglo-Yiddish newsletter; Yiddish classes and Yiddish Book Center-Book Zamler.

der bay:  International Anglo-Yiddish newsletter that lists all Yiddish activities in the Bay Area as well as national and international calendars of Yiddish events.

The Yiddish Network (TYN): Network of Yiddish contacts and extensive calendar of all Yiddish activities happening each month in 136 U.S. cities and 35 other countries.

Yiddish Book Center - Book Zamler: Collects and preserves books written in Yiddish. Over 1 million rare and out-of-print books have been rescued, preserved and distributed to universities and other organizations.

Directories: Lists teachers, clubs, klezmer bands, pen pals, translators and Yiddish resources.