Each season, the Library presents engaging cultural and literary events.
To access our new 2014 Spring/Summer Program Catalog, click here.
For our 2013 Fall/Winter Program Catalog, click here.
All events are
- Open to everyone
- Held in the Main Library, unless noted otherwise
Programs are made possible by the Friends of the Jewish Community Library. The Jewish Community Library is a member of the Jewish Book Network, coordinated by the Jewish Book Council.
MARCH PROGRAMSMolly Antopol
Thursday, March 13, 7 pm
Molly Antopol's impressive debut story collection, "The UnAmericans," is about the weight of family history, the obstacles that the past can impose on the present, and the fraught meaning of home. These eight stories shift from New York City to Los Angeles to Jerusalem and elsewhere. Although they follow Jewish families, all the stories seem universal. - from Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle, click here to read more.
'The UnAmericans' By Molly Antopol: The Book We're Talking About - from The Huffington Post, click here to read why.
Stories Herald Arrival of a Great 'UnAmerican' Author: Molly Antopol Offers the Gamut of the Immigrant Experience - from The Jewish Daily Forward, click here to read more.
======================Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine
A presentation by Nina S. Spiegel
Tuesday, March 18, 7 PM
Queen Esther beauty competitions, “Jewish Olympics,” dance festivals: What do these events from the 1920s to 1940s reveal about the development of Israeli culture? What has been the impact on contemporary Israeli society?
In her new book, Embodying Hebrew Culture, Spiegel argues that the Jewish community of that era created enduring social, political, religious, and cultural forms through festivals and performances. Their physical nature represents one of the key innovations of Zionism, and remains a significant feature of contemporary Israeli culture.
Spiegel demonstrates the ways political and social issues can influence a new society and provide a framework for interpreting present-day Israeli culture. Incorporating examples from then and now, the presentation will include rare archival film footage.
Nina S. Spiegel is the Rabbi Joshua Stampfer Assistant Professor of Israel Studies at Portland State University. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University, and her articles have appeared in publications such as Jewish Cultural Studies, Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, and Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice. She has also served on the board of directors of the Congress on Research in Dance.
Co-sponsored by the Israeli Consulate and co-presented by the Israel Center
FACING EAST: A JEWISH ORIENTATION
Exhibition opening and reception with the artists
Sunday, March 23, 1 - 3 pm, with Curator's remarks and meet the artists at 1:30 pm
Jews have always faced east, their ancient birthplace, point of departure and longed-for destination in the Diaspora. East (Mizrah in Hebrew) is the direction of prayer and the name for an ornament that adorns the eastern wall in home and synagogue. Modern Jewish culture has a more complicated vision of the East as the past, present, and future of the Jewish people.
These ideas have played out in Jewish art from folk crafts and synagogue architecture to political posters. For this exhibition we asked Bay Area artists to explore the East in their own contemporary idiom. The wide array of sculpture, textiles, graphic art, paintings, and collage, contributed by more than 25 participants, allow the viewer to navigate a real and symbolic east-west Jewish geography.
The exhibition is on display through August 3 and can be viewed during regular Library hours.
At right, Compass Rose by Amy Kassiola
Artist's statement: I was born and raised in New York City, so this is my tongue-in-cheek
geographical interpretation inspired by the artist Saul Steinberg.
Into the Fullness of the Void: A Spiritual Autobiography of the Secular Renaissance in Israel
Dov Elbaum in conversation with Rabbi Menachem Creditor
THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 7 P.M.
One of Israel’s leading cultural figures, Dov Elbaum was born into an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem family in 1970 and grew up immersed in the cloistered yeshiva studies and lifestyle of that community. During his army service he dramatically broke with the ultra-Orthodox world and set out into secular Israeli society. In his newly translated book, Into the Fullness of the Void, Elbaum seeks to understand what compelled his decision and to grasp its consequences. In conversation with Rabbi Creditor, he will discuss his spiritual journey to secular Jewish culture and his work in shaping the secular Jewish cultural renaissance taking place in Israel today.
Dov Elbaum is a journalist, television host, and lecturer on Jewish philosophy. He hosts the popular Israeli TV show Mekablim Shabbat. He is a founder of BINA's Secular Yeshiva, which is a grantee of the New Israel Fund. Rabbi Menachem Creditor is the spiritual leader of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley.
Program made possible, in part, by Larry Burgheimer
Co-sponsored by the Israel Center and BINA and co-presented by Congregation Ner Tamid, the New Israel Fund, and the Israel Education Initiative, a program of Jewish LearningWorks
Help with Your Family Tree: Brainstorming with the Mavens
ONE SUNDAY PER MONTH, 12 NOON – 2 P.M.
Upcoming sessions are: April 6 · May 4 · June 1
Whether you’re trying to find your great-grandmother’s elusive town or your grandfather’s passenger manifest, take advantage of the Library’s extensive reference collection and Internet connection to countless searchable databases all with one-on-one guidance from experienced genealogists. Bring your materials and your questions to the Library, generally the first Sunday of the month. Registration requested, but not required; call 415.567.3327, ext. 704.