Talks & workshops


“Middle East Hotspots: Geopolitics and Stability.” Middle East scholar and translator Banafsheh Keynoush presents an overview of trouble in the Middle East; situations in specific countries such as Qatar, Turkey and Iran; and regional U.S. interests. At Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F. 11:30 a.m. $20, free for members.


“A New Understanding of the Middle East.” Israeli analyst Avi Melamed will lead seminars on recent changes in the Arab world and their impact on Israeli security. At Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F. 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $20-$45. Also Oct. 20 at Osher Marin JCC, 200 N. San Pedro, San Rafael. 7 p.m. Free, but registration required.

“A Very Short Course in Hebrew for Family History Researchers.” Introduction to the Hebrew alphabet and common words and terms that appear in family documents. Kosher refreshments. Presented by San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society. At Oakland FamilySearch Library, 4766 Lincoln Ave., Oakland. 1 p.m. Free.


“The Future of the Peace Process.” Marc Yudof moderates a discussion with former State Department legal adviser Abraham Sofaer and former Washington Post Jerusalem bureau chief Janine Zacharia. Reception before event. At Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. 5 p.m. Free, but RSVP requested.

“The War in Syria.” Discussion about the situation in Syria with Israeli strategic analyst and Arab culture expert Avi Melamed. At Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F. 12 p.m. $5, members free.


Middle East discussion group. A member-led, informal roundtable discussion about current events in the Middle East. At Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F. 5:30 p.m. Free, but registration required.


“An Insider’s View of the Raid on Entebbe.” Israel Defense Forces paratrooper Sassy Reuven will talk about his personal experience taking part in historic Operation Entebbe, in which the IDF rescued more than 100 hostages from a hijacked Air France plane. Part of Contra Costa Jewish Book & Arts Festival. At Contra Costa JCC, 2071 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. 7:30 p.m. $10.

“The New Anti-Semitism in Europe.” Panel discussion about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe with consul generals of Israel, Germany, Hungary, Sweden and Poland. At Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free.


photo/courtesy jimena

Honoring forgotten refugees. A ceremony to remember the 850,000 Mizrachi Jews displaced from North Africa and the Middle East in the 20th century (some shown in photo, left) will be held in San Francisco, launching International Mizrachi Remembrance Month. The event will feature remarks by Semha Alwaya, co-founder of JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa), and Andy David, consul general of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, as well as a musical performance by Israeli artist Yair Harel. 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30 at Congregation Beth Sholom, 301-14th Ave., S.F. Free, RSVP requested.

‘The Celebrations of Diwali and Hanukkah.” Learn about the two “Festivals of Light,” hear about current events in India and Israel and sample traditional holiday foods from both cultures. Co-sponsored by American Jewish Congress San Francisco and the Hindu American Foundation. At Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City. 7 p.m. $5-$10. (415) 777-3820

“Day of Philanthropy.” A full day of lectures and workshops by professionals about finances, philanthropy and international issues. Includes community lunch and networking reception. Sponsored by Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. At Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F. 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Prices vary. (415) 512-6207