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All events take place at the Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, unless indicated. Free garage parking is available on Pierce between Ellis and Eddy (click here for a map).

On Exhibition: Paintings by Shalom Flash

Flash, of Rehovot, Israel, regularly paints landscapes and city scapes of his native land as well the Bay Area on his frequent visits. He paints in the plein air style, meaning that he works on-site using natural light, seeking to portray a scene in natural hues. This exhibit offers a sampling of these realist scenes in varying media and sizes. 

Flash explains that "painting within realistic constraints is what gives one real freedom, i.e., the possibility to go to extremes. It is not an arbitrary freedom, but a freedom that gives joy."

View of San Francisco (c)  by Shalom Flash.

View of San Francisco (c)  by Shalom Flash.

Born on Kibbut Shfayim, Israel, Flash studied electronics, then shifted to fine arts, studying in London, Israel and Boston. His artwork has been displayed in Paris, Toronto, Boston, and throughout Israel.

The exhibit runs through April 23, 2017.

Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to the World


Blue jeans symbolize everything from the Old West to the hippie counter-culture. And perhaps the name most associated with blue jeans is Levi Strauss & Co., creator of this classic garment. Company owner Levi Strauss (1829-1902) left his home in Germany at age 18, and made his way to San Francisco in 1853, where he established a wholesale dry goods business. By the 1860s, Strauss was active in the business and cultural life of San Francisco, and supported the Jewish community, including Temple Emanu-El, the city's first synagogue. In 1873, he and a partner patented the first blue jeans as work pants.

Historian Lynn Downey researched and wrote this first full-length biography, Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to the World. She’ll discuss Strauss's life and legacy, which reaches into nearly every aspect of American culture: business, philanthropy, politics, immigration, transportation, education, and fashion.

Lynn Downey is an independent scholar and writer. She was the first in-house historian for Levi Strauss & Co., where for twenty-five years she developed the company’s archive, traveled as its global ambassador, and researched the life of its founder.

Program made possible, in part, by Tricia Hellman Gibbs.

Film Class: Everything Is Illuminated


A very loose adaptation of Jonathan Safran-Foer’s debut novel, the quirky film follows an obsessive young American Jew as he travels to western Ukraine in search of the woman who saved his grandfather during the Holocaust. After his guides—a colorfully tongued admirer of American pop culture and his anti-Semitic grandfather—take him on a winding journey in search of the mysterious town, what they eventually find transforms all of them. 2005, 106 minutes, in English, Russian, and Ukrainian with subtitles.

Taught by Library Director Howard Freedman. Film will be shown in video projection.