Shorts: Bay Area

Panels to preview presidential election

Three upcoming forums will focus on the presidential election.

The Jewish Community Relations Council will hold a forum at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, with Larry Greenfield, state director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and Andrew Lachman, Democratic activist from Los Angeles. Michael Krasny, host of KQED’s “Forum,” will moderate. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, the free event will take place at the Levy Family Campus, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos.

The JCRC wraps up its series at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Way, Burlingame.

The Graduate Theological Union’s Center for Jewish Studies will hold a panel discussion on “The Election and the Jewish Vote” at 5 p.m. Oct. 19, at the Pacific School of Religion chapel, 1789 Scenic Ave., Berkeley.

Participants are Rabbi Michael Lerner of the Berkeley-based Tikkun, Michael Berenbaum of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Commentary senior editor Gabriel Schoenfeld. Maria Echaveste, a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley School of Law, will moderate. Admission is free. For more information, call (510) 642-7747 or visit online.

Congregation Sherith Israel’s social action committee will hold a pre-election forum focusing on Israel and the Middle East, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 24, following Shabbat services and oneg. Krasny will moderate a debate between local attorneys Daniel Kolkey representing the McCain campaign and Fred Altschuler representing Obama.

Sherith Israel is located at 2266 California St., S.F. For more information about the free event, call 346-1720 ext 24.

‘No on 8’ discussion set at Beth Am

“Marriage Equality Is a Jewish Issue: An Evening of Learning & Celebration,” will present speakers and educators discussing Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage in California. The event takes place at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Sponsoring agencies include the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council, Kol Tzedek, the National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay and Congregation Beth Am. Rabbi Janet Marder of Beth Am will serve as moderator. The discussion will be followed by a civil marriage ceremony of three Jewish same-sex couples and a dessert reception.

For information, call (650) 493-4661.