off the shelf | Arab Jews, Latino Jews and other complicated identities

New books: Arab Jews, Latino Jews and other complicated identities - J.

The attention paid to identity politics in the past decade has made the word identity a fraught one. But questions of identity are very real and deserving of discussion, and notably for Jews.

off the shelf | Books on books: uncovering the role of libraries in Jewish history

Books on books: uncovering the role of libraries in Jewish history - J.

With such a radical shift in how we access ideas and information, it is difficult for children like mine who were born into the internet age to grasp how we were able to function without the ability to perform a Google search.

A friendship made through the Jewish Community Library Pushcart at the Oshman Family JCC

From Bronx to Palo Alto, these nonagenarians walked parallel paths in life - J.

Bernard Marcus and Marty Katz grew up one block away from each other in the South Bronx and attended the same high school. But it was 80 years before they met in Palo Alto, 3,000 miles away from where they began. How did this happen? It was all because of a book.

About Time: Closing the Gender Gap in Jewish Organizational Life

About Time: Closing the Gender Gap in Jewish Organizational Life

By Dana Sheanin Will our future be female? As I reflect on last summer's allegations against sociologist Steven M. Cohen, I see the seeds of a critical transfer of leadership in Jewish organizational life. In the past year, scores of women who have dedicated their careers to serving the Jewish community have spoken or written about the barriers to our advancement.

Blog post on Library program: Famous Father Girl author Jamie Bernstein delights a crowd of Lenny Lovers!

Famous Father Girl author Jamie Bernstein delights a crowd of Lenny Lovers!

There's an amusing family story that Leonard Bernstein's oldest daughter shares with innumerable audiences during her book tours, and it tumbles out with perfect timing, like a fresh and spontaneous wave of a baton. (Why not? She was exposed to decades of baton plastique, a seamless legato flow of singing pulses that carried Mahler Symphonies...

off the shelf | Two new books give Zionist feminists a well-deserved place in history

Two new books give Zionist feminists a well-deserved place in history - J.

As women have all too often been written out of history, I am always pleased when books emerge that cast light on women who might otherwise escape our attention. Such is the case with two new releases depicting the lives of two remarkable women, both ...

off the shelf | spiritual disquiet and atonement in Nathan Englander’s Kaddish.com

Spiritual disquiet and atonement in Nathan Englander's 'Kaddish.com' - J.

I do enjoy lighter reading, but I'm disposed toward works of fiction that leave me asking questions and thinking about ideas. Two new novels have done just that. At the center of Nathan Englander's just-released "Kaddish.com" is Larry, a 30ish bachelor who left the Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood of his childhood to lead an avowedly secular ...

World-famous Israeli composer Aviya Kopelman to speak at Library

World-famous Israeli composer Aviya Kopelman is around Bay for a bit - J.

Renowned Israeli composer Aviya Kopelman flew into the Bay Area on March 11 with seven new handbells, a nearly finished choral piece, nascent plans to compose another work and multiple opportunities to meet with students. Her two-month stay is courtesy of the Israel Institute's Visiting Artists Program, which brings Israeli film, music, dance and visual ...

Philip Roth’s prescient ‘Plot Against America’ is focus of event series

Philip Roth's prescient 'Plot Against America' is focus of event series - J.

As a generator of controversy, American Jewish writer Philip Roth has few peers. Everyone seems to have an opinion about Roth, author of the short-fiction collection "Goodbye Columbus" (1959), the graphic, male-centric novel "Portnoy's Complaint" (1969), and his elegy to the tumultuous '60s, "American ...

off the shelf | new memoirs explore home, food, and family

New memoirs explore home, food and family history - J.

For those attuned to the Torah reading cycle, now is a time of prolonged wandering in search of home - a theme that will remain powerful throughout Jewish history, long after the Israelites have made it out of the desert wilderness.

Toward a Strategic Philanthropic Approach to Field Building

Toward a Strategic Philanthropic Approach to Field Building

By Susan Kardos [As The AVI CHAI Foundation prepares to sunset, a year-long series from their staff about philanthropic lessons learned.] About ten years ago we, at The AVI CHAI Foundation, set out to determine our spend-down strategy for our Jewish day school work, which we have been documenting and sharing here.

off the shelf | new books on what we receive from our parents

How our parents keep telling us who we are, even after they're gone - J.

Our relationships with our parents abide well after they are gone. Two wonderful new books mark the enduring connection between generations in very different ways. Dani Shapiro's parents had already figured prominently in two of her popular memoirs: in "Slow Motion," which captures the impact ...

Presentation at the Library on African-American basketball players in Israel

How black U.S. basketball players became Israel's biggest fans - J.

They aren't soldiers or scientists. They aren't part of the startup nation. They don't win Eurovision song contests. In fact, they are quite an unlikely group to have become some of Israel's best ambassadors. The group David Goldstein writes about in "Alley-Oop to Aliyah" comprises the 800-plus black American basketball players who have gone to ...

Why Leaders of Jewish Teen Initiatives All Went to See "Dear Evan Hansen" - Jim Joseph Foundation

Why Leaders of Jewish Teen Initiatives All Went to See "Dear Evan Hansen" - Jim Joseph Foundation

As educators working to engage teens in meaningful Jewish experiences, all of us in the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative know the facts surrounding teen angst and concerns about young people's mental health. We wring our hands over the impact of social media on our teens, providing "connections" yet ultimately often leading to loneliness and self-loathing.

Work with Jewish Teens? This ‘Un-Conference’ is For You.

Work with Jewish Teens? This 'Un-Conference' is For You.

( JWeekly) - San Francisco-based Jewish LearningWorks is organizing a five-day conference for those who work Jewish teens that will emphasize themes of wellness and mental health. The Bay Area Teens Thrive Un-Conference is scheduled to take place at five locations over five days starting Monday, Feb. 4.

Toward a More Perfect Union

Toward a More Perfect Union

Last week, when I had heard there were protesters asking people to boycott Manny’s Café, I chose to show my support by picking up dinner from there on my way home. A “community café” in the Mission, Manny’s functions as a civic social gathering place to host discussions on community issues.

off the shelf | new books on Hannah Arendt and Franz Kafka

Tale of Kafka's writings and a graphic novel on Arendt's life show intellectual world destroyed by Nazis - J.

It is difficult to overstate the modern world's debt to the Jewish minds of early 20th-century Central Europe who helped transform science, psychology, literature, philosophy and other fields. Two new books renew our understanding of this rich world of intellectual ferment which was destroyed by ...

As 'Evan Hansen' arrives in S.F., lessons in teen social media literacy

As 'Evan Hansen' arrives in S.F., lessons in teen social media literacy - J.

The goal of the JCC of San Francisco's Teen Arts Immersion Program is to have life imitate art. TAIP brings teens to a musical twice a semester and uses that experience as a springboard to discuss issues such as empathy and inclusion. About 60 teens in the program went to the traveling Broadway musical "Dear ...