Lectures & workshops

(from left) Ilan Vitemberg, Tiffany Shlain, Josh Kornbluth

Grown-up story time

At times it seems there are more stories of Bay Area Jewish identity than there are Jews. On Nov. 11, eight of the best local storytellers around will describe what made them who they are today, kicking off the “One Bay One Book” project. From Marin-based filmmaker Tiffany Shlain to East Bay monologist Josh Kornbluth to Ilan Vitemberg, who grew up on a kibbutz, the event is sure to reflect the diversity of the Bay Area Jewish community — and its reputation for original insight and sharp wit.

1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 at Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F. $5-$7. www.jewishlearningworks.org/for-adult-learners/one-bay-one-book


Scholar-in-residence Nily Shiryon. Israeli educator and psychologist gives four days of talks and sermons on subjects such as women who created Israel, Jewish humor, the Days of Awe and Jerusalem. Through Nov. 4. At Congregation Beth Ami, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. Free. www.bethamisr.org.

Judy Klitsner of the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem. Scholar-in-residence gives two talks at Shabbaton. Dinner at 7 p.m. followed by 8 p.m. talk, “Preparing to Be Surprised: Noah, Abraham and Jonah on the Human Capacity for Change.” Also Nov. 3 at 4:45 p.m. “The Tower of Babel and the Midwives of Egypt: Comparing an Unlikely Pair.” At Emek Beracha, 4102 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. RSVP for dinner; $12-$18. Talks free. www.emekberacha.org.

“Railroad to Freedom.” Mark Hetfield, CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, discusses helping Jews and other minorities emigrate from Iran. At Congregation Sinai, 1532 Willowbrae Ave., San Jose. 7:30 p.m. Free. www. sinai-sj.org.


“Two Paths to Awakening.” Rabbi Burt Jacobson and Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein in conversation with Naomi Newman, co-founder of A Traveling Jewish Theater. At Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont. 7 p.m. $12-$36. www.kehillasynagogue.org.


“The Search for Jewish Identity.” Workshop with Rabbi Daniel Landes. At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 4 p.m. Free. www.jccsf.org.

“Remembering Soviet Yiddish Culture.” Conference with performance by the Yiddish-language chorus Nigunim. At Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. 2 to 7 p.m. Free. www.magnes.org.

“How to Get Up When Life Is Down.” JLI Torah Studies class. At Richmond Torah Center Chabad, 423 10th Ave., S.F. 8 p.m. $10. (415) 386-8123.

“Beginnings of Jewish Life Under Islam.” Video, lecture and discussion. At the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., Albany. 4 p.m. Free. www.kolhadash.org.


“Understanding Israel.” Three-part class examines Israel from pre-state era to present. At Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City. 7 p.m. $30. www.pjcc.org.


“Women in Interfaith Relationships.” Group discussion. At Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. 6:15 p.m. $7, free for members. www.buildingjewishbridges.org.


“The Other Peace Process.” Rabbi Ron Kronish, director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, discusses interreligious dialogue, education and peace-building in Israel. At Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. 7:30 p.m. Free. www.betham.org.


“The Status of Pluralism and Women’s Rights in Israel.” Talk by Rabbi Pam Frydman, co-chair of Rabbis for Women of the Wall. At Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont. 7 p.m. $10 suggested. www.kehillasynagogue.org.


“All in the Family: Jews Talk About Their Multiracial Families.” Panel discussion. At Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. 10 a.m. $5. www.tbaoakland.com.

Genealogy workshop. With San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society. At Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 12 p.m. Free. www.bjesf.org/adults_events.htm.

“The Sunni-Shia Schism and its Effect on Middle Eastern Politics.” Presentation by San Francisco State professor Maziar Behrooz at the Kol Hadash bagel brunch. At Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., Albany. 11 a.m. $10. www.kolhadash.org.

“Behind the Wedding Ring.” JLI Torah Studies workshop. At Richmond Torah Center Chabad, 423 10th Ave., S.F. 8 p.m. $10. (415) 386-8123.


“Aging Without Children: Planning for the Future.” Workshop with Sara Diamond, estate planning lawyer. At Jewish Family & Children’s Services of the East Bay, 2484 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. 5:30 p.m. Free. RSVP by Nov. 8 to [email protected] or (510) 558-7800.


“The Art of Doing Good.” Talk by Jeffrey R. Solomon and Charles R. Bronfman of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. At Levinthal Hall, 424 Santa Teresa St., Stanford University. 5 p.m. Free. www.stanford.edu/dept/jewishstudies.

“Jewish Emigration from Communist Poland.” Talk by Dariusz Stola, professor of history, Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. At Encina Hall West, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford University. 12 p.m. Free. www.stanford.edu/dept/jewishstudies.


Haaretz editor Aluf Benn. Discusses the U.S. election, the Arab Spring, Israeli politics and journalism in the digital age. At U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, library at North Gate Hall. 6 p.m. Free. www. journalism.berkeley.edu/events.

“Nonproliferation Challenges for the Next Administration.” Talk by Michael Nacht, former assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration and professor at U.C. Berkeley. At Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton. 7:30 p.m. $10; free for Israel trip registrants. www.jfed.org/israel2013.

“The Seven Beggars.” Five-week course at Chochmat HaLev with Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man, the founder of Metivta, a center for contemplative Judaism. At Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley. 7 p.m. $75-$100. www.chochmat.org .