Shorts: Bay Area

Palo Alto JCC to host tryouts for Maccabi Games and ArtsFest

Tryouts for the JCC Maccabi Gamers and auditions for the JCC Maccabi Artfest will be held Sunday, March 5 at the Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto.

Both events are open to Jewish teens ages 13 through 16. Tryouts for the games begin 10 a.m. while auditions for ArtsFest will be scheduled throughout the day.

The JCC Maccabi Games provide teen athletes the chance to participate in 14 team and individual sporting events. Team Palo Alto will be participating in the Maccabi Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Aug. 13-18.

New this year is the JCC Maccabi ArtsFest, aimed at teens passionate about musical theater, movies, playing music, drawing or painting, stage production, singing, writing and photography. The JCC Maccabi ArtsFest takes place in Baltimore, from Aug. 20-25.

To register for the March 5 tryouts, visit or call (650) 852-3555. For information on JCC Maccabi ArtsFest, visit To schedule an audition, email [email protected] or call (650) 852-3506. Tryouts for both will be held at the Cubberley Modular, ALSJCC, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

Matisyahu headlines Chabad of S.F. Purim celebration

Rabbi Yosef Langer has become known for his extravagant Purim bashes, complete with not only a Megillah reading and plenty of booze, but also celebrities like Perry Farrell, former front man for Jane’s Addiction.

This year is no exception, with the rabbi feeling especially celebratory since he recently turned 60.

Chassidic reggae sensation Matisyahu is headlining this year’s Purimpalooza event at Ruby Skye on Monday, March 13.

The Chabad of S.F.-sponsored evening will also feature local Orthodox rapper Queen Esther, Jewish hip-hop group Chutzpah, observant Jewish rocker Peter Himmelman, the Shlomo Carlebach-inspired Moshav Band, DJ Alex Graham (son of rock promoter Bill Graham) and Farrell.

There will also be plenty of food.

The Megillah reading begins 7 p.m. Monday, March 13 at Ruby Skye, 420 Mason St., S.F. Tickets are $36 for students, $50 general admission. There will also be a $250 sponsoring VIP ticket that gives admission to the VIP section. The event is also a fund-raiser for the Chabad House. Tickets: (415) 387-5668 or

AMIT Women holds auction on eBay

The San Francisco Region of AMIT Women will be hosting an auction on eBay during the week of March 19.

Among the items that will be auctioned off are hot air balloon rides redeemable in 30 states, and lunch for two in Los Angeles with David Proval of “The Sopranos.”

AMIT is still accepting donations of other items to auction. Suggestions include tickets to theater, music or sporting events, jewelry, perfume, spa products and services, hotel nights in major cities, gift certificates to online businesses, as well as sports, film and television memorabilia.

All proceeds will benefit the more than 16,000 children in the AMIT network of schools, youth villages, childcare facilities and other programs in Israel.

Information: (415) 664-6309.

A look at detecting and correcting racism

Lani Silver, who co-founded and directed the Bay Area Holocaust Oral History Project for almost 16 years, has a new project that’s all about understanding and preventing racism.

As director of the James Byrd Jr. Oral History Project, Silver is now leading bimonthly “racism interviewing sessions” that are open to the public. At each session, three individuals are interviewed, with audience members offering their feedback.

The Byrd project collects interviews about individual experience with racism. The collection of interviews may help others understand how racism takes shape in the community, and devise collective strategies for racism prevention and treatment.

The project is named after the man who was chained to a truck and dragged to his death in Texas by white supremacists in 1998.

Information: [email protected] or (415) 485-4208.