Lectures & workshops

Prehistoric good times

After celebrating Shabbat, Passover and Chanukah, Dino the dinosaur is ready for some more adventure — this time in the Holy Land. Local author Diane Rauschwerger will introduce the latest book in her series on the friendly dinosaur during a lively reading at Alef Bet Judaica in Los Gatos. Come hear about Dino’s visit to Tel Aviv, the beach, the Western Wall and the Dead Sea. Following the reading, decorate birthday cupcakes in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Hadassah.

4 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 at Alef Bet Judaica, 14103 Winchester Blvd., Los Gatos. Free. www.jvalley.org/pjlibrary


Spreading the word

Dennis Prager, the radio talk-show host and author, argues that three pillars of American society have made the country great — “E pluribus unum” (“Out of many, one”), in God we trust, and liberty. In his talk “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph,” Prager, a former professor of Jewish history, will explain why it is essential to commit to these values and spread them abroad.

6 p.m. Wednesday, May 2 at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, 595 Market St., S.F. $7-$20. www.commonwealthclub.org


“Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem.” Elinor Sidi, executive director of Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, discusses her work. At Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. 7:45 p.m., following Shabbat services. Free. RSVP to [email protected].

Avivah Zornberg. Torah and biblical scholar lectures in Bay Area. Appearances free unless noted. 8:15 p.m. April 27 and 5:45 p.m. April 28 at Congregation Beth Emek Beracha, 4102 El Camino Real, Palo Alto; 4 p.m. April 29 at JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley; 9 a.m. April 30 at Graduate Theological Union, Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley; 7 p.m. April 30 at JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. $10-$20. www.avivahzornberg.com.

Book talk with Harvey Gotliffe. Author discusses “The Oy Way,” a humorous guide to Yiddish. At Hillel of Silicon Valley, 44 S. 11th St., San Jose. 7 p.m. Also May 9 At Jewish Family and Children’s Services, 200 Channing Way, Palo Alto. 1 p.m. Free. www.theoyway.com.


Rabbi Michael Lerner. Discusses his book “Embracing Israel/Palestine.” At Book Passage Marin, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 4 p.m. Free. www.bookpassage.com.

“The Painted Prenup: the Art and History of Ketubah.” Artist and calligrapher Melissa Dinwiddie discusses the Jewish marriage contract. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. 3 p.m. Free. www.afikomen.com.

“Creating a Contemporary Talmud.” Workshop trains lay people to become practitioners of Talmud and apply it to contemporary issues. At Congregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave., Palo Alto. 1 p.m. $85-$100. (415) 387-6890.


East Bay Women’s Torah Study. Torah study from female perspectives taught by local rabbis and educators. At Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. 7 p.m. Free. www.tbaoakland.org.


“Saving Land and Life: A Community Defends Its Home.” American Jewish World Service Africa program officer Jaron Vogelsang and AJWS grantee Ikal Angelei discuss Angelei’s fight against a dam that would turn her community in Kenya into a desert. At GTU campus, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley. 11 a.m. Free. RSVP at www.ajws.org.


Book talk with Marty Brounstein. Author discusses “Two Among the Righteous Few,” about two Dutch Catholics who saved Jews during the Holocaust. At San Mateo Public Library, 55 West Third Ave., San Mateo. 6:30 p.m. Free. (650) 522-7818.

“Inside the Prime Minister’s Office.” Talk by Herb Keinon, diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem Post. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 7:30 p.m. Free. RSVP to (415) 989-4140. www.aipac.org.


The Koren Mesorat Harav Siddur. Talk by Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Yonatan Cohen about the new prayerbook devoted to the teachings of “the Rav” Soloveitchik. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave. , Berkeley. 6:30 p.m. Free. www.afikomen.com.

“Perspectives on Israel.” Talk by Matthew Gabe, AIPAC East Bay director. First of a four-part series. 7:30 p.m. Also 7 p.m. May 10 with Mike Harris, co-founder of San Francisco Voice for Israel (StandWithUs Bay Area chapter). At Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. Free. www.bethelberkeley.org.


“An Afternoon with Mayim Bialik.” Actress, author and neuroscientist discusses the experience of the mikvah in a benefit for the Community Mikvah of Silicon Valley. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 4855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 1 p.m. $18. RSVP to www.jvalley.org/mikvah.

Philosophers’ Café. Discussion of ethical issues hosted by Tri-Valley Cultural Jews. At Café Rumi, 4799 Heyer Ave., Castro Valley. 10:45 a.m. $5 suggested donation. www.trivalleyculturaljews.wordpress.com.

“The Worlds of Contemporary Judaism.” Talk by professor Nathaniel Deutsch, co-director of the Center for Jewish Studies at U.C. Santa Cruz. At Congregation Shir Hadash, 20 Cherry Blossom Lane, Los Gatos. 9:30 a.m. Free. www.shirhadash.org.


“World War II in the Soviet Shtetl: From the Shoah to Victory Day.” Talk by professor Jeffrey Veidlinger, director of Jewish Studies at Indiana University. At Stanford University, Margaret Jacks Hall, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford. 5:15 p.m. Also 12 p.m. May 8. Free. www.stanford.edu/dept/jewishstudies.

“The New Middle East and Israel.” Panel discussion with Akiva Tor, Israeli consul general of the Pacific Northwest region, and John Diaz, editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 12 p.m. Free for students, $20 for nonmembers. www.paloaltojcc.org.


“Persecution of Jews and Christians in Muslim Lands.” Panel discussion with Middle East specialist and author of “The Al Qaeda Reader” Raymond Ibrahim and expert on Iran’s Jewish population Elliot Benjamin. Sponsored by JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 7:30 p.m. Free. RSVP By May 7 to (415) 626-5062. www.jimena.org.