Monday, December 15, 2008

Upcoming Events: December and January

Hanukkah in Venice: Music and Traditions of the Italian Jews
Italian Dinner and Presentation

A Dinner and Presentation with Francesco Spagnolo and Sharon Bernstein

Venice, a cradle of Jewish modernity, was home to the first ghetto in history. Since the early 16th century, Jews and non-Jews lived in close proximity. This presentation brings to life compelling historical evidence about daily life, culture and music within the ghetto walls and links them to global Jewish culture through stories and songs.

Presented in partnership with the Judah L. Magnes Museum and Museo ItaloAmericano - Il Ghetto: Forging Italian Jewish Identities, 1516-1870 at the Fort Mason Center from September 25, 2008 - February 15, 2009.

To register, please contact the JCCSF Box Office at 415.292.1233.

Tue, Dec 23 6:30 PM

Greeting the Season
The "December Dilemma" in American Television & Film

With Jeffrey Shandler of Rutgers University

From the early days of television to the present day, television programs have addressed the question of the "December Dilemma" - what Jews do during the American holiday season. Cultural historian Jeffrey Shandler guides us through the joys and oys of the holidays in clips from South Park to thirtysomething, from The OC to The RuPaul Show. A Chinese food buffet follows the lecture, followed by screenings of full-length features.

Portions of the program after the buffet may not be suitable for children under thirteen

Lecture and screenings free of charge.
Chinese buffet $10.00 at the door.

Thu, Dec 25
2:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Advance Reservation Required.
Please call the JCCSF Box Office at 415.292.1233 or email

Hollywood Legend Tony Curtis

In conversation with Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle Movie Critic

Born Bernard Schwartz to immigrant parents in the Bronx, Tony Curtis rose to stardom at the height of Hollywood's Golden Age. He made comedy history with Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot and carried on notorious romances with such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Janet Leigh and Natalie Wood. In his new biography, American Prince, Curtis tells the story of his life and illustrious career - sparing no detail, no name and no ego.

JCCSF, Wed, Jan 7, 8:00 PM

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel on Fixing the Healthcare Crisis

Even with the cost of healthcare in the U.S. at a staggering 2.1 trillion per year, 47 million Americans are without any form of coverage. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel proposes a straightforward plan to save America from its healthcare crisis, while enhancing our options, improving quality, and revitalizing our economy.

"This may be the most important book on healthcare policy written in the last decade." - Larry Summers, former Secretary of the United States Treasury and Harvard University Professor

JCCSF, Fri, Jan 9, 2:00 PM

JCCSF Art & Healing Presents
Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky's first two terms as United States Poet Laureate were marked by such visible dynamism that the Library of Congress appointed him to an unprecedented third term. Pinsky's poetry is noted for its combination of vivid imagery and clear language that explores such themes as the transcendent aspects of simple acts. His books include The Figured Wheel and Gulf Music.

Robert Pinsky's reading is the keynote for a day-long program on the end of life, mourning, and life after loss. To purchase tickets for this day-long event, please click here.

A program of the JCCSF Art & Healing Program, the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and Next Steps at Sinai Memorial Chapel.

JCCSF, Sun, Jan 11, 4:00 PM

David Mamet
In conversation with Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

On Anti-Semitism, Self Hatred and the Jews

A unique voice in contemporary letters, David Mamet is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright as well as a director, novelist, poet and essayist. Mamet's prolific stage and screen history includes The Untouchables, House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy, Wag the Dog, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross. His recent analysis of the modern Jewish psyche, The Wicked Son, is a scathing look at anti-Semitism and a lament over what he variously calls "lapsed", "fallen-away", "opted-out" or "conflicted winter" Jews. In trademark Mamet style, The Wicked Son is blunt, bracing and refreshingly original. Rabbi Lawrence Kushner (Kabbalah: A Love Story, Five Cities of Refuge) joins Mamet for what promises to be a fiercely provocative exchange on the vicissitudes of anti-Semitism and the complex fate of Jewish identity.

This lecture is SOLD OUT.
Tickets for the simulcast in Fisher Family Hall are now available.

JCCSF, Tue, Jan 27, 8:00 PM

Historian Benny Morris
With his latest book, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War, Israeli historian Benny Morris further opens the field of Israeli history in his distinctive even-handed manner. Morris's view has continuously shifted along the political spectrum and has always been a controversial and fascinating figure. More...

January 27, 2009 - 9:00 pm
Congregation Beth Am

January 28, 2009 - 7:30 pm
UC Berkeley, exact location TBA

January 29, 2009 - 8:00 pm

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Crossing Boundaries and Building Bridges"

December 2, 2008
UCSC receives $150,000 grant for Jewish Studies program
By Scott Rappaport (831) 459-2496;

UC Santa Cruz has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the David B. Gold Foundation to support a new project in the campus's Jewish Studies Program.

Titled "Crossing Boundaries and Building Bridges," the project will integrate contemporary issues that are most important to students, faculty, and the community—including the environment, science and technology, the arts, women's issues, and race relations—with a range of perspectives and methods unique to Jewish Studies.

The new project will include:

• An ongoing series of lectures and readings by prominent scholars and writers on such topics as "Jewish Women Writers," "Jews in Muslim Lands," and "Jewish Mysticism."

• An annual interdisciplinary conference that will redefine the boundaries of Jewish Studies and cross over into many different fields.

• An annual moderated dialogue between a UCSC Jewish Studies scholar and a renowned scholar from another field.

The first moderated dialogue is scheduled to take place in February 2009 between Professor Sudhir Venkatest of Columbia University—a sociologist featured in the acclaimed book Freakonomics, who is one of the nation's premier experts on inner-city poverty—and UCSC professor of history and literature Nathaniel Deutsch.

Titled "Shtetl and Ghetto," the event will contrast the Eastern European Jewish shtetl and the African American ghetto.

The first annual conference will take place in April 2009 and is titled "Jewish Studies at Santa Cruz: On the Cutting Edge of Tradition." The 2010 conference will focus on "Judaism and the Environment," and the topic for 2011 will be "Judaism and the Internet."

UCSC's Professor Deutsch is planning to publish a book with the University of California Press titled Virtual Religion: How the Internet is Transforming the Way We Worship God, Build Community, and Perform Ritual in conjunction with the "Judaism and the Internet" conference.

"With the generous support of the David B. Gold Foundation, UCSC's Jewish Studies program will be embarking on a series of exciting and important interdisciplinary dialogues, lectures, and conferences that will enrich both the campus and the wider Santa Cruz community," Deutsch noted.

"The commitment of the Gold Foundation will help UCSC to shape a distinctly Santa Cruz approach to Jewish studies, one that is both anchored in tradition, and cutting edge in sensibility."