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Past Events

Your Presence Is Mandatory, with Sasha VasilyukVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. “Wonderfully written, elegiac and necessary, Sasha Vasilyuk uncovers the history behind the recent headlines with great skill and grace.” — Gary Shteyngart Based on real events, Sasha Vasilyuk’s riveting debut novel begins in Ukraine in 2007. Yefim Shulman was beloved by his family and his coworkers. […] ...
18 Jun
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Walkers in the City: Jewish Street Photographers of Midcentury New York, with Deborah Dash MooreVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. In the middle of the twentieth century, good cameras became smaller and lighter, enabling street photographers to roam alleyways, ride elevated trains and subways, and stroll beaches in summertime to capture daily life with urgency and intimacy. Deborah Dash Moore’s Walkers in the City, which received […] ...
09 Jun
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Israel’s Black Panthers, with Asaf Elia-ShalevVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by New Lehrhaus. Inspired by the American group of the same name, Israel’s Black Panthers were young and impoverished Israelis, primarily from a Moroccan background, who mounted protests and a yearslong political campaign in the 1970s for the rights of Mizrahim, or Jews of Middle […] ...
29 May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Under the Hood: Using Jewish Archival Materials to Create New Music and Arrangements, presented by Cookie Segelstein with live examples by Veretski PassIn-PersonExpired

To register for this free in-person program, click here. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy.  In this presentation Cookie Segelstein will explore ways that traditional musicians balance old-school research and learning with digital resources. How does Veretski Pass […] ...
16 May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Tap Dancing on Everest: A Young Doctor’s Unlikely Adventure, with Mimi ZiemanIn-PersonExpired

To register for this free in-person program, click here. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy.  Raised by immigrant parents, one a Holocaust survivor, in an Orthodox Jewish community in New York, Mimi Zeiman blazed an unexpected path. As a […] ...
12 May
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Sephardi Jewry and the Rise and Fall of Ladino, with Aron Rodrigue (in person in Palo Alto)In-PersonExpired

Register here for this free in-person program at the Oshman Family JCC co-presented by the Jewish Community Library, the Oshman Family JCC, and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford University. Ladino was the vernacular Jewish language of the Sephardim in the Ottoman Empire, emerging after the expulsion from Spain in 1492. Initially closely […] ...
09 May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Oshman Family JCC
3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303

Elizabeth Graver on KantikaVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. Elizabeth Graver will speak and answer questions about her acclaimed novel Kantika, which is the One Bay One Book selection for 2023-2024. From Constantinople to Barcelona, Havana, and New York, Kantika sings of the joys, hopes, and devastation experienced by twentieth-century Sephardi emigres. Rebecca Cohen’s odyssey begins […] ...
05 May
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Virtual via Zoom

The Hebrew Teacher, with Maya AradIn-PersonExpired

Please note new date for this event. To register for this free in-person program, click here. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy.  “One of the most talented Israeli novelists of her generation and who here offers profoundly moving […] ...
02 May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Pathways to Preserving Family Histories, with Basya PetnickVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society. The novel Kantika, based on Elizabeth Graver’s interviews with her grandmother, can be a stimulus to collect, organize, and preserve your own family history. This workshop will provide guidance for doing so. What photos and documents […] ...
17 Apr
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Moses: Provocations from a Disabled Prophet, with Rabbi Julia Watts Belser VirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by New Lehrhaus. When God sends Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery, the prophet famously says no. Why?  Moses describes himself as “slow of speech and slow of tongue”—in other words, a stutterer. While some commentators treat Moses’ speech disability as a spiritual […] ...
14 Apr
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Drop-In Book Discussion: Kantika by Elizabeth Graver, Facilitated by Jim Van BuskirkIn-PersonExpired

Join us for a lively in-person discussion at the Jewish Community Library. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking on Pierce between Ellis and Eddy. To register, click here. You may borrow a copy of Kantika at no charge by contacting us at info@jewishcommunitylibrary.org. It can also […] ...
07 Apr
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Temptation Transformed: The Story of How the Forbidden Fruit Became an Apple, with Azzan Yadin-IsraelVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event with Azzan Yadin-Israel, co-presented by New Lehrhaus. Although the apple is one of the most widely-recognized biblical symbols, the Book of Genesis does not identify the species of the Forbidden Fruit, nor do the earliest translations of the Hebrew Bible, not to mention that there were […] ...
07 Apr
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

The Kennicott Bible: A Masterpiece of Jewish Book Art, with Katrin Kogman-AppelVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by New Lehrhaus. The Kennicott Bible is one of the most celebrated illuminated Hebrew Bibles that survives today, delighting readers since its completion in 1476. Originating from La Coruña in northern Spain, it features lavish carpet pages, gold leaf silhouettes, and abundant marginal decorations. This […] ...
31 Mar
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Stranger in the Desert: A Family Story, with Jordan SalamaVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society. One Thanksgiving afternoon at his grandparents’ house, Jordan Salama discovered a large binder stuffed with yellowing papers and old photographs—a five-hundred-year wandering history of his Arab-Jewish family, from Moorish Spain to Ottoman Syria to Argentina and […] ...
20 Mar
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

The Dybbuk Century: 100 Years of the Jewish Play that Possessed the World, with Debra CaplanVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by New Lehrhaus, the Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco, KlezCalifornia, and Workers Circle / Arbeter Ring of Northern California . A little over 100 years ago, the first production of An-sky’s The Dybbuk, a play about the possession of a young woman by a dislocated […] ...
17 Mar
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

The Women’s Orchestra at Auschwitz-Birkenau with Susan J. Eischeid (in person)In-PersonExpired

To register for this free in-person program, click here. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. This event is co-presented by the JFCS Holocaust Center. The women’s orchestra at Auschwitz-Birkenau, composed entirely of prisoners, was the only one of its […] ...
12 Mar
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Hebrew Storytelling and Puppet ShowIn-PersonExpired

To register for this free in-person program, click here. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. Come meet our storyteller, Koren Zuckerman of Treehouse Learning, and other families that speak Hebrew, and enjoy a Purim-themed puppet show. The Library […] ...
10 Mar
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

An Introduction to the Music of Bukharian Jews, with Evan RapportVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. Jews lived in Central Asian cities such as Bukhara and Samarkand for centuries, where they played an active role in musical life. Now generally referred to as Bukharian Jews, they were instrumental in developing and preserving the court music known as the Shashmakom (“six modes”), and […] ...
10 Mar
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Drop-In Book Discussion: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride, Facilitated by Jim Van BuskirkIn-PersonExpired

Join us at this free and lively in-person discussion at the Jewish Community Library. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking on Pierce between Ellis and Eddy. To register, click here. You may borrow a copy of The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store at no charge through […] ...
03 Mar
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Why the Bible Began: An Alternative History of Scripture and its Origins, with Jacob L. WrightVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. The Bible’s existence, according to Jacob Wright, is not only a testimony of survival, but an unparalleled achievement in human history. Forged during Babylonian exile after the shattering destruction of Jerusalem, the Bible places total humiliation at the foundation of a new idea of belonging. Lamenting […] ...
28 Feb
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

The Hebrew Letter: A Calligrapher’s Journey, with Izzy Pludwinski (virtual)VirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. Izzy Pludwinski will offer a peek into a thousands-year-old scribal and mystical tradition through his own personal journey from traditional religious scribe to the world of modern calligraphy. The fascination of a single Hebrew letter led Pludwinski to become a Hebrew scribe (Sofer STaM). He eventually […] ...
25 Feb
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Virtual via Zoom

The Cost of Free Land: Jews, Lakota, and an American Inheritance, with Rebecca ClarrenVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. Growing up, Rebecca Clarren only knew the major plot points of her tenacious immigrant family’s origins. Her great-great-grandparents, the Sinykins, and their six children fled antisemitism in Russia and arrived in the United States at the turn of the 20th century, ultimately settling on a 160-acre […] ...
22 Feb
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Virtual via Zoom

A Sephardic Journey through the Twentieth CenturyVirtualExpired

Presented by Sarah Abrevaya Stein Click here to register for this free virtual event co-presented by New Lehrhaus. For centuries, the bustling port city of Salonica was home to the sprawling Levy family. As leading publishers and editors, they helped chronicle modernity as it was experienced by Sephardic Jews across the Ottoman Empire. The wars […] ...
07 Feb
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Beyond Words and Borders: Poetry and Translation with Mireille Gansel (in person)In-PersonExpired

To register for this free program organized by the Center for the Art of Translation in partnership with the Jewish Community Library and World Poetry Books, click here. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. Acclaimed French poet, translator, […] ...
06 Feb
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

A Revolution in Type: Gender and the Making of the American Yiddish PressVirtualExpired

Presented by Ayelet Brinn Click here to register for this free virtual event, which is co-sponsored by the Workers Circle / Arbeter Ring of Northern California and co-presented by KlezCalifornia. Between the 1880s and 1920s, Yiddish-language newspapers rose from obscurity to become successful institutions integral to American Jewish life. During this period, Yiddish-speaking immigrants came to […] ...
04 Feb
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Ladino in the Twenty-First Century, with Bryan KirschenVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. Ladino (also known as Judeo-Spanish or Judezmo) refers to the variety of Spanish that developed among Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and subsequently settled primarily in the Ottoman Empire. In this presentation Bryan Kirschen will provide an overview of the development of Ladino […] ...
28 Jan
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Demystifying Sephardic Song with Judith CohenVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. As Sephardic songs in Ladino/Judeo-Spanish thrive,  several myths about them still persist. Canadian Ethnomusicologist Dr Judith Cohen, a longtime scholar and performer of this repertoire, explains “medieval,” “flamenco,” and other often romantic notions about the tradition. Recorded and also live – sung by Cohen – examples will be […] ...
17 Jan
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Jewish Languages Today: Endangered, Surviving, and ThrivingVirtualExpired

Presented by Sarah Bunin Benor Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by KlezCalifornia. Over the past two centuries, migrations and other historical events have led to major changes in the linguistic profile of Jewish communities around the world. Yiddish is thriving in Hasidic communities, even as its use is diminishing elsewhere. […] ...
10 Jan
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Two Tribes, with Emily Bowen CohenVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by the Cartoon Art Museum and Be’chol Lashon. In her poignant debut graphic novel inspired by her own life, Emily Bowen Cohen embraces the complexity, meaning, and deep love that comes from being part of two vibrant tribes. Mia is still getting used to living with […] ...
07 Jan
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Virtual via Zoom

EVENT CANCELED: George Prochnik on Strangers in Strange Lands: Sigmund Freud, Gershom Scholem, and the Dream of BelongingIn-PersonExpired

DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES, GEORGE PROCHNIK IS UNABLE TO COME TO THE BAY AREA, AND THIS EVENT IS NO LONGER OCCURRING. WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO RESCHEDULE AT SOME FUTURE POINT. Join us at Congregation Emanu-El‘s annual Rabbi Joseph Asher Memorial Lecture, held this year at the Jewish Community Library. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis […] ...
14 Dec
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

The Dissident: A Novel with Paul GoldbergVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. On his wedding day in 1976, Viktor Moroz stumbles upon a murder scene: two gay men, one of them a U.S. official, have been axed to death in Moscow. Viktor, a Jewish refusenik, is stuck in the Soviet Union because the government has denied his application […] ...
10 Dec
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

The Soviet Jewish Bookshelf: Jewish Culture and Identity Between the LinesVirtualExpired

Presented by Marat Grinberg To register for this free virtual event, click here. In an environment where Judaism had been all but destroyed, and a public Jewish presence routinely delegitimized, reading provided many Soviet Jews with an entry to communal memory and identity. The bookshelf was both a depository of selective Jewish knowledge and often […] ...
06 Dec
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Drop-In Book Discussion: The Postcard by Anne Berest, Facilitated by Jim Van BuskirkIn-PersonExpired

Join us at this free and lively in-person discussion at the Jewish Community Library. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking on Pierce between Ellis and Eddy. To register, click here. You may borrow a copy of The Postcard at no charge through the Library’s Book Club […] ...
03 Dec
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

We Are Not Strangers: A Graphic Novel, with Josh TuiningaVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by the Cartoon Art Museum. When Marco Calvo arrives at the synagogue to attend his grandfather’s funeral, he is caught off guard by something unexpected. Among his close family and friends there are some people he doesn’t recognize at all. Several Japanese American families have arrived, […] ...
29 Nov
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Jewish Life in Medieval Spain: A Religious Minority during the Best and Worst of TimesVirtualExpired

Presented by Jonathan Ray To register for this free virtual event, click here. The great cultural legacy of Spanish Jews has long symbolized a “Golden Age” of Judaism and of interfaith relations. Yet, the Jewish experience in medieval Spain was actually quite complex. The intellectual achievements and general prosperity of Spanish Jews was marred by […] ...
19 Nov
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

A Ukrainian Chapter: A Jewish Aid Worker’s Memoir of Sorrow (Podolia, 1918-20)VirtualExpired

Presented by Michael Nutkiewicz To register for this free virtual event, co-presented by New Lehrhaus, click here. Eli Gumener’s 1921 Yiddish memoir, A Ukrainian Chapter: Two Years in Podolia (A Kapitl Ukraine. Tsvey Yor in Podolye), is set in a region in southwest Ukraine. The memoir depicts the fate of Jews caught in the middle of the […] ...
15 Nov
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Jewish Sunday Schools: Teaching Religion in Nineteenth Century AmericaVirtualExpired

Presented by Laura Yares To register for this free virtual event, click here. Jewish Sunday Schools describes how nineteenth-century Jewish women laid the foundations of Jewish education in America. The Jewish Sunday school movement began with one school in Philadelphia in 1838 and quickly evolved into an entire system that educated vast numbers of Jewish […] ...
12 Nov
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

The Golem of Brooklyn, with Adam MansbachIn-PersonExpired

Join us at this free in-person event at the Jewish Community Library, co-presented by Reboot. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking on Pierce between Ellis and Eddy. To register, click here. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Read about The Golem of Brooklyn in […] ...
09 Nov
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Dwell Time: A Memoir of Art, Exile, and Repair with Rosa LowingerVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-presented by Jewtina y Co. Dwell Time is an illuminating debut memoir by one of the few prominent Latinas in the field of art and architectural conservation; a moving portrait of a Cuban Jewish family’s intergenerational trauma; and a story about repair and healing that will forever […] ...
05 Nov
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Two Roads Home: Hitler, Stalin, and the Miraculous Survival of My FamilyVirtualExpired

Presented by Daniel Finkelstein Click here to register for this free virtual event co-presented by the JFCS Holocaust Center. Click here to order Two Roads Home from Afikomen Judaica. In Two Roads Home (Knopf, 2023) British journalist Daniel Finkelstein tells the extraordinary story of the years before his mother met his father—years of war and trials […] ...
31 Oct
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Sculpting a Life: Chana Orloff between Paris and Tel Aviv, with Paula BirnbaumIn-PersonExpired

Join us at this free in-person event at the Jewish Community Library, co-presented by Congregation Sherith Israel. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking on Pierce between Ellis and Eddy. To register, click here. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Sculpting a Life is the first book-length […] ...
29 Oct
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

By Accident: A Memoir of Letting Go, with Joanne GreeneVirtualExpired

Click here to register for this free virtual event. Joanne Greene grew up in Boston during the 1960s and ’70s, a turning point for women in the United States. Doors were opening wider, and Joanne walked through as many as she could. As a young woman, she dove headfirst into San Francisco radio and television, […] ...
25 Oct
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

The Bund: A Graphic History of Jewish Labour ResistanceVirtualExpired

Presented by Sharon Rudahl, Michael Kluckner, and Paul Buhle Click here to register for this free virtual event, co-sponsored by the Workers Circle / Arbeter Ring of Northern California and co-presented by the Cartoon Art Museum and KlezCalifornia. Told in an engaging graphic novel format, The Bund (Between the Lines, 2023) explains the oppressive origins of Jewish […] ...
22 Oct
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom

Amos Oz: Writer, Activist, Icon, with Robert AlterIn-PersonExpired

Join us at this free in-person event with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street. To register, click here. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Amos Oz (1939–2018) was one of Israel’s most prolific and prominent writers, as well as a regular contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was the author […] ...
15 Oct
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Places We Left Behind, with Jennifer Lang in conversation with Marc DollingerIn-PersonExpired

Join Jennifer Lang, author of Places We Left Behind: a memoir-in-miniature, and Marc Dollinger to discuss her new book about cross-cultural marriage, interdenominational relationships, making aliyah, and identity. Click here to register for this free in-person event, with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street. Books will be available for purchase and signing. About the […] ...
28 Sep
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Ilan Vitemberg Memorial Program with Yair Qedar, Maya Arad, and Arthur SlepianIn-PersonExpired

Join us at this free in-person event at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto co-presented by New Lehrhaus, the Oshman Family JCC, Congregation Beth Am, the Jewish Community Library, A Wider Bridge, and the East Bay International Film Festival. For details and registration links, click here. This event is held in memory of Ilan […] ...
27 Sep
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Oshman Family JCC
3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303
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