raviv sings into a mic
Israeli composer and singer Maya Raviv has several concerts coming up in Berkeley.

Let there be music! Here are some high notes for the weekend

Some best bets for this weekend — musical and otherwise:

Join Cantor Jack Mendelson on “The Cantor’s Couch” at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 20, in the glorious Martin Meyer Sanctuary at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco. The renowned cantorial soloist from New York will sing songs and tell stories about legendary cantors of Brooklyn and his own childhood. When he visited the Bay Area in 2015, J. described him a sa proud traditionalist who “relishes a bit of shmaltz, and he wants others to learn to love it, too.” Tickets are $22-$72; Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F. Details at tinyurl.com/cantorcouch

Corned beef sandwiches, knishes, kugel — no, it’s not a Jewish food festival but it sure sounds yummy. It’s Simcha Sunday, the annual Jewish culture festival in Sonoma County. In addition to the aforementioned nosheri (and other edible goodies), the annual family event will feature live music by local bands, lots of kids’ activities, arts and crafts for sale, and more. Organized by the Sonoma County JCC, the afternoon will of course offer information on Jewish community resources in the area. It’s free, from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 21 at Sonoma Mountain Village, 1400 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park. jccsoco.org/simcha-sunday-2017

Also on Sunday, the inspirational Israeli composer and singer of sacred music Maya Raviv brings her lilting, healing score to Berkeley, where she’ll appear at R. Kassman, 843 Gilman St., at 4 p.m. She has several other concerts lined up in Berkeley during the week: at 7 p.m. Monday, May 22 at Urban Adamah, 1151 Sixth St.; 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 24 at Congregation Beth Israel, 1630 Bancroft Way; and 7 p.m. Thursday, May 25 at Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., in Piedmont, For ticket information: mayaraviv.com

Finally, the acclaimed Jewish Women’s Theatre of Los Angeles, in partnership with NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, presents the original play “More Courage” at 2 p.m. Sunday at the JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., in Berkeley. It’s a performance piece of stories, plays and poems about acts of courage, large and small. Tickets $18-$25 at jcceastbay.org. There’s a Palo Alto performance the next day — 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 22 at the Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way. Tickets $25-$30 at paloaltojcc.org

Liz Harris

Liz Harris is a J. contributor. She was J.'s culture editor from 2012-2018.