Talks & workshops


Defending Israel from media bias. How much news reporting about Israel is accurate? Misinformation from mainstream media sources abounds, according to Gary Kenzer of the media watchdog site HonestReporting. As scholar-in-residence at Congregation Beth Ami, Kenzer will lead three days of lectures and workshops on the topic. The weekend includes a Shabbat dinner on Friday and a kosher dairy potluck lunch on Saturday.

Friday, Jan. 9–Sunday, Jan. 11 at Congregation Beth Ami, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. Talks free; Shabbat dinner $20 (RSVP required).

“Exploring the World of Judaism: Blessings of a Skinned Knee.” Rabbi Joshua Fenton, associate director of Jewish LearningWorks, will discuss the importance of Jewish teachings in raising self-reliant children. At Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon. 9:30 a.m. Free.

“Happiness.” Russian-language lecture by Israeli author and journalist Esther Segal on the meaning of happiness according to the Torah, Jewish religious writings and Russian literature. At Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 6 p.m. $20. (408) 266-0026 or [email protected]

“A Holocaust Survivor’s Story.” Author and lecturer Dora Apsan Sorell talks about her experiences during the Holocaust and her autobiographical book, “Tell the Children.” At Rossmoor Hillside Clubhouse, 3400 Golden Rain Road, Walnut Creek. 4 p.m. Free. (925) 548-7755

Hebrew name clinic. Learn about Hebrew naming conventions and choose a Hebrew name for the first time, or change an existing one. At Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Free.

“Daniel Lurie and Ronnie Lott: The Future of Philanthropy.” Founder Daniel Lurie and board member Ronnie Lott from the Tipping Point Community grant-making organization discuss the changing face of philanthropy. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F. 7 p.m. Event is sold out, but live stream is available for viewing at


“Is It Good for the Jews? Black Power and the Jews.” S.F. State Jewish studies professor Marc Dollinger speaks about the relationship between American Jews and the black civil rights movement. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 7:30 p.m. $15.

“Israel’s Future: An Insider Analysis of the Upcoming Israeli Elections.” Presentation by Einat Wilf, former member of the Israeli Knesset and adjunct fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. At Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon. 7 p.m. Free.


“Ideas of Late: Hacking Jewish Tradition.” Second of three seminars, focusing on what the Jewish world can learn from “hacking,” in the larger context of self-empowerment and freeing information. Speakers include Kevah founder Sara Bamberger, U.C. Berkeley professor Ken Goldberg and G-dcast producer Sarah Lefton. Program of the Jewish Federation of the East Bay. At Magnes, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. 7 p.m. Free. (See story, 2)


FAFSA cash for college workshop. JFCS offers free assistance on completing the 2015-2016 application for federal student aid, plus information on additional resources for scholarships, grants and loans. At Jewish Family and Children’s Services, 600 Fifth Ave., San Rafael. Also Jan. 22 at JFCS, 200 Channing Way, Palo Alto. Also Jan. 27 at JFCS, 2001 Winward Way, San Mateo. 6 p.m. Free.

 “Jews by Choice, Jews by Chance: Leadership in Bay Area Jewish Life.” Rabbi Susan Leider, Brandeis Hillel Day School Marin head Peg Sandel and J. editor Sue Fishkoff talk about their journeys to Judaism and how it has affected their leadership roles. Moderated by S.F. State Jewish studies professor Marc Dollinger. At Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon. 7 p.m. Free.


Gabriel Nussbaum, Elia Burns and Ella Sklan (from left) at Hervana, a Jerusalem company that develops nonhormonal, probiotic products for women photo/courtesy hervana

Startup nation, up close and personal. For such a small country, Israel has made tremendous strides in science and technology. To celebrate this accomplishment, the Peninsula JCC will host “Israeli Innovation,” an exhibit showcasing Israeli innovators and inventions that have come out of “Silicon Wadi.” An opening night reception will include a presentation by Rafi Nave, manager of the Entrepreneurship Center at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology. The event is co-presented by the American Technion Society.

7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21 at Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City. Reception at 5:30 p.m., presentation at 7 p.m. RSVP suggested. Exhibit on display through March 23. Free.

“With Heart in Mind: Judaism as a Transformative Pathway.” The tradition of Mussar, the practice of contemplative exercises meant to promote enlightenment, will be discussed by Mussar Institute dean Alan Morinis. At Congregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave., Palo Alto. 8 p.m. Free.