San Francisco Shorts Jewish culture to be topic of discussion

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He will be joined by Rabbi Brian Lurie, president and CEO of the Jewish Museum San Francisco; Ha'aretz journalist Daniel Ben-Simon and Berlin-based architect Daniel Libeskind, who is designing the Jewish Museum San Francisco.

Steven Spiegel, UCLA professor of political science, will moderate.

The forum will be presented in conjunction with "Desert Cliché: — Israel Now — Local Images" which is on display at Yerba Buena Center.

Tickets are $5 for general admission, $3 for seniors and students and free to Yerba Buena Center members.

For information, call (415) 978-ARTS.

Sherith Israel hosts 2 classes

Congregation Sherith Israel of San Francisco will host two short courses in Judaism this month, one by Lehrhaus Judaica and the other by Chochmat HaLev, both of Berkeley. The Lehrhaus class, "Discovering Judaism: Spirituality, Ethics and Community, a Reform Perspective" is a three-session course for Jews and non-Jews that covers the basic concepts of Judaism. The class, designed for beginners, will rely upon Jewish texts and group discussion. Rabbi Stan Zamek will teach the course, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at 2266 California St. The course is $25 for Sherith Israel members and $30 for the public.

The Chochmat HaLev class, "Jewish Meditation: Finding a Place of Quiet in this Frantic World," will teach beginners about the theory and practice of Jewish meditation. The five-session class will be taught by Avram Davis, founder and co-director of Chochmat HaLev, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20. The fee is $40 for Sherith Israel members and $45 for the public. For information about either class, call Zamek at (415) 346-1720, ext. 25.,

Women's group supports Shalom Bayit phone

Jewish Women International in the Bay Area has voted to continue sponsoring the telephone answering service for Shalom Bayit, the Bay Area Jewish Women's Task Force on Domestic Violence.

Not a hotline, the number is used to provide awareness about family violence, schedule speakers and provide non-emergency assistance. The phone number is (415) 241-8874.

Jewish Women International was formerly B'nai B'rith Women.

Torah study offered in downtown S.F.

San Francisco Congregation Emanu-El and the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation are offering a full year of early morning Torah study in the city's Financial District. Study sessions will take place from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. on the first and third Thursdays of the month at the offices of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., 555 California St., 43rd floor. Emanu-El's Rabbi Sydney Mintz will lead the sessions, focusing on the weekly Torah portion. For information, call Steve Sattler at (415) 217-8016.

Bach choir to sing Renaissance music for opening concert

The San Francisco Bach Choir will open its 63rd season with a concert featuring late Renaissance works by Italian-Jewish composer Salamone Rossi at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at First Unitarian Center, Franklin and Geary, S.F.

The concert — which will repeat at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18 at Temple Sinai, Summit and Webster, Oakland — will focus on Rossi's polychoral prayer settings sung in Hebrew. Tickets are $14 to $24. For information, call (415) 441-4942.