Shorts: Bay Area

Full day of workshops at ‘Bible by the Bay’ in S.F.

The third annual “Bible by the Bay” — an all-day program of religious scholarship and discussion — will thoroughly explore the Good Book this weekend, every nook and cranny of it.

This year’s program Sunday, Dec. 4 features keynote speaker Richard Elliott Friedman, author of “Who Wrote the Bible?” His speech, “Then and Now,” will address the Bible’s significance for the Israelites and modern Israelis some 3,000 years later.

Twenty-four workshops will follow, including “The Biblical Prophets and Their Relevance to Building a Spiritual Alternative to the Religious Right in Contemporary America,” “Homosexuality in the Bible: Jewish and Christian Perspectives” and “Translating the Bible: Sacred and Profane.”

The program is sponsored by Lehrhaus Judaica, the Taube Center for Jewish Life at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and the Bureau of Jewish Education.

It will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California St. For more information or to register, visit or call (510) 845-6420.

Meditative weekend in Santa Rosa

The theme of this year’s second annual Sonoma County Jewish meditation retreat is “koach HaShem,” or “the Divine within.”

Sponsored by the Jewish Community Agency, the retreat will be a weekend of meditation, chant, prayer, storytelling and dance at Camp Newman in Santa Rosa. Rabbis from all streams of Judaism will be involved in the Dec. 16 to 18. event.

Those interested in participating can call (707) 849-5944 or email [email protected] to sign up.

Martial arts instructor offers beating victims free training

The chief instructor of a San Francisco martial arts studio has offered the victims of an allegedly anti-Semitic beating three months of free training at his Hapkido Institute in the city.

Steven Menasche, who holds a third-degree black belt from the International Hapkido Federation, wrote to j. offering his services. While not Jewish, his father was, and Manasche grew up in the largely Jewish community of Forest Hills, N.Y. Hapkido is a Korean martial art somewhat resembling Judo.

San Francisco residents Josh Feinerman and Cameron Matthews were beaten unconscious in mid-October outside a Marina pizza parlor by a group of unknown assailants. Andrew Crawford, who allegedly triggered the attack and made anti-Semitic statements, was arrested on the scene.

He will be arraigned on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

New Web site for Palo Alto JCC

The Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center has rung in the New Year with a revamped Web site. This virtual expansion mirrors the physical expansion of the center, with its planned move to its new “Campus for Jewish Life.”

The site,, contains descriptions of more than 100 programs, including arts and culture, literacy and learning, health and fitness, early childhood education, adult enrichment and Israeli/Russian connections.

JFCS launches cleaning service

S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services is introducing Cleanerific, a new home cleaning service for San Francisco residents.

Cleanerific employees are drawn from underserved segments of the community and earn a living wage plus health benefits.

Through Dec. 31, new customers will receive one free home cleaning. For information, call (415) 820-7235.

JNF chanukah gift guide touts trees, cards, candles

What better gift this Chanukah season than the gift of a tree?

While the Jewish National Fund would be eager to sell you a sapling, a new JNF gift guide shows the organization is willing to diversify.

Cards, candles, books, movies and, of course, trees can be purchased at or by calling (800) 542-TREE, with proceeds benefiting projects in Israel.