Shorts: Bay Area

Magnes director stepping down

Terry Pink Alexander, executive director of Berkeley’s Judah L. Magnes Museum, has announced her resignation, effective June 30. She said she is stepping down to “attend to some personal and family matters.”

Alexander has served as the museum’s leader since January 2005. During her tenure, the Magnes has received gifts and pledges topping $11 million, nearly one third of the total necessary to move the museum to its new facility in downtown Berkeley. The project is scheduled for completion in 2010, and will coincide with the museum’s 50th anniversary.

The board of trustees will work closely with Alexander to ensure a smooth transition for the institution.

Yavneh holds first middle school graduation

Yavneh Day School in Los Gatos will hold its first middle school graduation June 12.

The graduation ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Addison-Penzak JCC on the Gloria and Ken Levy Family Campus, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. One of the ceremony highlights will be the presentation of kippahs by the kindergarteners.

Samborer Rebbe visits East Bay

The Samborer Rebbe, a direct descendent of the Baal Shem Tov (the founder of Chassidism), will be a guest speaker at a popular Tikkun Layl Shavuot in the East Bay.

The event begins at 6:45 p.m. Sunday, June 8, and runs all night. It will be held at the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay in Berkeley.

Rabbi Hershel Yolles, known as the Samborer Rebbe, lives in Borough Park, Brooklyn. His class at the upcoming Tikkun Layl Shavuot is titled “Ruth: Royal Jewess and Holy Convert.” He will also serve as scholar-in-residence at Berkeley’s Beit Midrash Ohr HaChaim now through June 18.

For more information about the Samborer Rebbe’s local appearances, call (510) 558-0536. For information about the Tikkun Layl Shavuot at the JCC of the East Bay, call (510) 848-0237, or visit

Holocaust music featured in concert

At three upcoming concerts, San Francisco Choral Artists will present “Songs of Survival: Music of the Holocaust.”

To remember those who perished in concentration camps, the group will explore the music that helped survivors sustain hope.

Nick Strimple, Holocaust music scholar, has collaborated with the singers in a series that will include work by composers including William Hilsley, Gideon Klein and Felix Mendelssohn.

The first concert will be at 8 p.m. June 14 at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, 500 De Haro St., San Francisco. The following concert will be at 8 p.m. June 21 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto. The final concert will be at 4 p.m. June 22 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 114 Montecito Ave., Oakland.

Tickets are $9 to $28 and can be purchased at

East Bay JCC hosts LGBT film series

The Jewish Community Center of the East Bay will screen a series of documentaries about religious Jews, Christians and Muslims who also happen to be gay or bisexual. Each screening will be followed by a discussion featuring a panel of speakers from a range of faiths and backgrounds, including lay leaders and clergy.

The three films are “Trembling Before G-d,” “For the Bible Tells Me So” and “A Jihad for Love.”

The screenings are free for JCC members. General admission tickets are $8 per screening. Series passes for $15 are available.

“Trembling Before G-d” screens 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12. “For the Bible Tells Me So” screen 7:30 p.m. July 22. “A Jihad for Love” screens 7:30 p.m. September 18.

The JCC is hosting the series in tandem with Frameline, the Jewish Mosaic and the Queer Cultural Center. For more information or to buy tickets, visit All screenings take place at the JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley.