Shorts: Bay Area

Local kids try at ‘Hatikvah’ record

More than 1,500 Jewish children and adults at nine schools in the Bay Area participated in a global “Hatikvah,” sing-along May 7 in an attempt to break the world record for most people simultaneously singing a national anthem.

Galit Rand, local chair of the Women’s International Zionist Organization and an Israeli visiting scholar at Stanford, organized the Bay Area contribution to the global “Live Hatikvah” event on Israel’s 60th Independence Day.

“By participating in ‘Live Hatikvah,’ wearing white and blue, holding the Israeli flag and singing ‘Hatikvah’ in real time with the Jewish people around the world, we turn May 7 into a special day,” Rand said.

The logbooks, pictures and CDs documenting local efforts were recently sent by Rand to Israel, where similar records from around the world will be gathered and sent to the Guinness Book of World Records office in London.

Choir taking ‘Sacred Service’ to Europe

On its upcoming European tour, Bay Area choir Cantare Con Vivo will perform a classic of the modern Jewish repertoire, Ernest Bloch’s “Sacred Service,” to be sung in the original Hebrew.

The choir will tour the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria in June, with a cantor from the Jewish community in Zlin, Slovakia, taking part in the performance at the Bratislava Cultural Festival.

The Swiss-born Bloch came to America in 1917 and served as director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 1925 to 1930. He was a professor of composition at U.C. Berkeley from 1940 until his retirement in 1952.

In 1929, Cantor Reuben Rinder of Congregation Emanu-El raised $10,000 to commission Bloch to write his “Sacred Service” for cantor, chorus and orchestra.

Class explores roots, meaning of mikvah

Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley is sponsoring a three-part series on the mikvah (ritual bath), which will be led by Deborah Grenn, founder of the Lilith Institute and a board member for Kohenet: The Hebrew Priestess Institute.

Kohenet is an organization that highlights earth-based, feminist Jewish traditions.

The first class is Thursday, June 5, followed by meetings June 22 and July 10. Participants will be asked to think about the mikvah’s ancient roots and modern meaning, and if the mikvah is an oppressive patriarchal rite or a ritual of renewal and transformation first created by women. Participants will leave the program knowing ways to create monthly sacred time.

The series costs $195 ($150 for Chochmat members). It includes one class at Chochmat HaLev and two field trips, to natural swimming holes in Point Reyes and to a mikvah in Berkeley.

To register or for more information about class times, call (510) 704-9687 or email [email protected].

Folk chorus presents Yiddish music

The Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco will perform its final concert of the season June 8.

Its 82nd annual concert of Yiddish music begins 2:30 p.m. at Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., S.F. Transliterations and translations will be provided.

General admission is $10; seniors and students pay $7. For more information on the Jewish Folk Chorus, call (415) 928-5465.

KQED airs Jewish survival stories

From pogroms to the Holocaust, the Jewish people have proven themselves survivors, according to the film “The Jewish People: A Story of Survival.” KQED Channel 9 will air the 90-minute show 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 5.

Hosted by “CBS News Sunday Morning” senior correspondent Martha Teichner, the program follows the history of the Jewish people and their oppressors. The film includes historical photographs, documents and interviews with authors, archaeologists, professors and rabbis.

Silicon Valley federation hosting poolside event

The Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley’s annual meeting, which is open to the public, will be held poolside with a barbeque dinner 6 p.m. June 23.

The meeting will include presentations on veteran staff members, introduction of new board members and a state of the union address.

The meeting will take place at the Levy Family Campus, 14855 Oka Rd., Los Gatos.

To make reservations for the $10 event, call (408) 358-3033 or visit