Talks & workshops

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“The Pursuit of Harmony.” Three-day event for adults and kids opens with Shabbat dinner, service, discussion and songs by Jewish American songwriter Michael Hunter Ochs and Palestinian recording artist-peace activist Alaa Alshaham. At B’nai Israel Jewish Center, 740 Western Ave., Petaluma. 6 p.m. Dinner $30 (under 12 free). Also Jan. 30 concert at Petaluma Historical Library & Museum, 20 Fourth St. 7 p.m. $30. Also Jan. 31 workshops at B’nai Israel. 11 a.m. percussion circle (children) and 2 p.m. workshop (adults). Free. (707) 762-0340 or [email protected]


“Never the Last Road: A Partisan’s Life.” Talk by historian Fred Rosenbaum, co-writer of Mira Shelub’s memoir about her life and escape from Nazi-occupied Europe. Co-sponsored by Lehrhaus Judaica. At Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton. 7:30 p.m. $10 suggested donation.


Get a taste of this! Travel around the world and back in time at Kol Emeth’s Jewish Tasting Day. Professional chefs and talented cooks will talk about Jewish cuisine and demonstrate how to make healthy, delicious kosher dishes in family workshops. The tasting — that’s the easy part. Sponsored by Kol Emeth religious school.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31 at Congregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave., Palo Alto. $10. Register at

“Cultural Transformation in the Italian Ghetto.” David Ruderman of the University of Pennsylvania presents a history of the Jews of the Venice Ghetto in a half-hour video lecture, followed by discussion. 3 p.m. Free. At Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave. (510) 982-1455 or

“Simple Magic: The Art of Remy Charlip.” Musical presentation by Seth Eisen about the life and work of the gay Jewish artist-choreographer. Co-sponsored by Keshet. At Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St., S.F. 4 p.m. Free.

“Jewbilee: A Day of Jewish Learning.” Classes, workshops and performances for all age groups. At Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 1 to 8 p.m. $5, free for members and children under 5. Child care included.

“Documenting the Vilna Ghetto Library.” Presentation by Judy Baston on the history and legacy of the library established in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1941. At Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 1:30 p.m. Free.


“If I Were You: Dancers Across Borders.” Choreographer Casey Lee Thorne will discuss dance as a vehicle of activism and social justice in Israel and Palestinian areas. At Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City. 2 p.m. $4. Registration suggested.


Big Tent Judaism. Rabbi Kerry Olitzsky, executive director, will lead a community conversation about alternative financial and membership models for synagogues. At B’nai Israel Jewish Center, 740 Western Ave., Petaluma. 7 p.m. Free. (212) 760-1440 or [email protected]


“Creating Sacred Community.” Presentation by Rabbi Wayne Dosick, North Peninsula Jewish community’s 2016 scholar-in-residence. At Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City. 2 p.m. Free, but preregistration required. For complete list of talks through Feb. 10, see


“How to Be a Balaboosta.” Cooking workshop covers vegetable kreplach, apple-noodle kugel and potato knishes. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F. 7 p.m. $50-$55.

“Israeli Society in the 21st Century.” Presentation on ethnic diversity in Israel by Brown University professor Calvin Goldscheider. At the Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall, U.C. Berkeley. 5:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. lecture. Free, but registration required.

“Sounds From the End of the Earth: Jewish Music in Today’s Chile.” Presentation by Rabbi Reuben Zellman on Chilean Jewish musical culture and the challenges it faces in the modern Latin American world. Co-presented by Lehrhaus Judaica. At Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free.


“Genealogy Clinic: Brainstorming with the Mavens.” Bring questions for one-on-one guidance with experts. At Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis St., S.F. 12 p.m. Free, but registration encouraged.

“Endogamy: One Family, One People.” Genealogist Israel Pickholtz discusses the challenges in researching Jewish family trees with intermarriages. At Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto. 7:30 p.m. Free. (650) 813-9094

Women’s seminar. Jewish Study Network annual event with workshops, a teen program and keynote speaker Julia Blum, who tells her life story in song. Breakfast and lunch provided. Child care available. At OFJCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. $18-$45.

An Ottoman perspective on Israel. Historian Yuval Ben-Bassat discusses the Ottoman archives. At Congregation Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley. 10 a.m. Free.

“Inner Voices of the Mendelssohn Family.” Lecture by Michael Steinberg of Brown University followed by performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Song Without Words.” In conjunction with the “Mendelssohn to Mendelssohn” exhibit. At the Magnes, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley. 3 p.m. Free.


Jewish vegetarianism with Eve Jochnowitz. Lecture by the translator of “The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook.” Sponsored by Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring. At Congregation B’nai Emunah, 3595 Taraval St., S.F. 7:30 p.m. Free.