Want a good excuse to head to Santa Cruz? Here’s one: the Jewish Cultural Festival on Sunday, June 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Temple Beth El in Aptos. If you go, you’ll have plenty of company. Organizers expect about 1,500 people to show up for the live music, food, local arts and crafts, kids’ activities, water slides, brief TED-style talks and more. And don’t forget to check out the “Ask the Rabbi” panels, too. Best yet: It’s all free. The synagogue is at 3055 Porter Gulch Road.
Feed your heart and mind — and boost your Israeli spirit, too — on Saturday, June 10 at “Witness to the Birth of Israel: An Interview with Ephraim Margolin.” The prominent San Francisco attorney, philanthropist and once-secretary to former Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin will share his observations as an eyewitness to the birth of the Jewish state, and analyze modern expressions of Zionism. The talk is free and takes place at Congregation Beth Sholom, 301 14th Ave., San Francisco, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
On Sunday, June 11, grab a lawn chair or blanket and bring the family to the Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos for an afternoon of music, fun and (hopefully) sun. The Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival has a diverse lineup this year — from kid-friendly “puppet rock opera” performers the Pop Ups, to the Brooklyn-based indie rock band DeLeon, to the Mediterranean rock and surf group Boom Pam from Tel Aviv. Expect plenty of food and liquid refreshments, plus a KidZone. It’s happening on the JCC campus at 14855 Oka Road, from 2 to 7 p.m.