Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yossi Chajes, "Entzauberung (De-Magic-ing) and Jewish Modernity."

Professor Yossi Chajes of the University of Haifa will present a talk entitled: "Entzauberung (De-Magic-ing) and Jewish Modernity."

Monday, February 2, from 5:00- 6:45 in Room 222 of Oakes College, UC Santa Cruz

Modern identity was forged, in large part, through a self-conscious distancing from a past construed as magical. Until the late nineteenth-century, to be modern meant to have "faith" in "reason & materialist science." The rejection of the "magical" allowed the modern proponent of Enlightenment to express that he was neither low class (e.g., poor, eastern, provincial) nor a woman (e.g., a folk healer rather than an educated physician). We will explore the ways this identity project worked in Jewish culture, as expressed by figures including the Italians Leone Modena (1571-1648) & Tobias Cohen (1652-1729), as well as in later eastern European Jewish debates on the border between the newly emerging realms of the "natural" and "supernatural."

One of the most important historians of Jewish mysticism and spirituality of his generation, Professor Chajes has been a Visiting Professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, a fellow at the Hartman Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His book, "Between Worlds: Dybbuks, Exorcists, and EarlyModern Judaism," was a Koret Jewish History Book Award finalist.

It is the inaugural event in a series of lectures on Jewish mysticism made possible by a grant from the David B. Gold Foundation. Supported by the Institute for Humanities Research (UCSC).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The 24th Jewish Music Festival, March 21-29, 2009

The 24th Jewish Music Festival, March 21-29, 2009

A program of the JCC of the East Bay with concerts throughout the Bay Area.

This local cultural gem showcases artists from Germany, New York,
Toronto and the Bay Area. The Festival Week opens Saturday night, March
21st, with Kosher Gospel featuring *Joshua Nelson and the Oakland
Interfaith Gospel Choir*. Highlights include America's First Lady of
Sephardic music, *Flory Jagoda*; klezmer and bluegrass giant *Andy
Statman* at Yoshi's SF and *several concerts* celebrating Swiss-American
composer *Ernest Bloch*. The Festival is premiering a JMF-commissioned
work by experimental Bay Area composer Dan Plonsey with the Dandelion
Dancetheater; presenting the American premiere of Canadian Yiddish swing
sensation Sisters of Sheynville; and hosting the CD release party for
the radical Yiddish group Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird, direct from
Germany. Info: (510) 848-0237, x 148

Tickets go on sale February 1^st : 1-800-838-3006 or

Discounts available for groups of ten and more

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jewish Photo Sources @

The day after posting the following item, my wife read me an article about the Magnes Museum's Jewish Digital Archives posted on Since this is not maintained as a group (and doesn't have the word "Jewish" in its title) it didn't turn up in the search I did earlier. In fact I found it by Googling "Magnes flickr."

That sent off looking for other Jewish collections in flickr. By searching "flickr Jewish" I've discovered that the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco actively encourages photo sharing via its own flickr group.

If you are aware of other such collections, let me hear about them.

I've been a fan at for more than a year and I've only recently started noticing some wonderful subject collections or "groups" users have created. My brother just alerted me to one of Jewish interest and I've spent some time discovering others. You can also search for images by user-supplied tags or headings but it is also just fun to browse. Here's a small selection.

Synagogues of the World

The Jewish World

Jewish People and History - Ancient and Modern

East-European Jewish Heritage

Jewish Heritage in Poland

Krak├│w Kazimierz- ┼╗ydowska dzielnica/Jewish district

Cuban jewish nostalgia photo archive

Jewish Philadelphia

Shabbat/Shabbos: G-d's precious gift to the Jewish people

Jewish Cemetery

Classic Jewish cuisine photography: Ashkenazic or Sephardic

Thursday, January 8, 2009

January & February Events

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

Ambassador Martin Indyk: An Insider's Look at the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process
Middle East expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin S. Indyk was a key player on President Bill Clinton's Middle East peace team, responsible both for developing policy in Washington and then applying it on the front lines in Israel.
January 26, 2009 - 8:00 pm
JCCSF, 3200 California Street, San Francisco

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
Morrison Library (north entrance of Doe Library)
UC Berkeley

January 29, 2009 - 8:00 pm


Ismail Khaldi, the Deputy Consul General at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, will speak after Friday night Shabbat Service on January 30th.

Consul Ismail Khaldi began his term at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco in December 2006. Prior to his appointment as Consul, Khaldi worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in both the North American Division and the Arabic Media Department (where he served as the Spokesperson to Arabic media on the issue of Disengagement from Gaza). Before then, Khaldi served in the Defense Ministry, the Israeli Police, and the Israeli Defense Forces. Khaldi holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from Tel Aviv University, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Haifa. Khaldi was born and raised in the Bedouin village of Khawalid in the Western Galilee of Israel.


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