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 ...

Howard Freedman chooses some of his favorite Jewish books of 2018

The best Jewish books of 2018: feminism, seltzer, race and beyond - J.

This has been a great year for Jewish books, and I'm thrilled to share some of my favorites of 2018 in several areas of interest, helping to shine much-deserved light on books that haven't always received the attention they deserve. Among religiously oriented titles, I am drawn to two, partially for their potential to break ...

off the shelf | Sci-fi visions of future and alternate Israels

Sci-fi visions of future and alternate Israels - J.

The quest for Jewish nationhood is entwined with the exercise of imagination. Theodor Herzl's best-known words, "If you will it, it is no dream" (or, translated more accurately from the original German, "it is no fairy tale") attest to the nature of Zionism as the fulfillment of a fantasy.

Ilan Vitemberg speaks at the Library about Israel and Eurovision

Deep dive into Israel's Eurovision history a real ear-opener - J.

"This is one of the most horrible songs you'll ever hear," Ilan Vitemberg said with a grin as he cued up Israel's Eurovision submission for 2000. "Sameyakh," by Ping Pong, is truly terrible, but that's not why Vitemberg was playing it for his audience at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco on Nov.

The Jewish Community Library celebrates Rabbi Ed Zerin

Ed Zerin, the 98-year-old who wrote the book on "Jewish San Francisco" - J.

Ten books, three languages, two bar mitzvahs - Rabbi Edward Zerin has seen a lot in his 98 years. Now people are gathering to celebrate his erudite life and long career with an event at the Jewish Community Library on Oct. 25. "It was completely unexpected," Zerin said of the celebration in San Francisco.

The Chosen: Is the classic book frozen in time, or still relevant? (features Howard Freedman)

'The Chosen' onstage: Is the classic book frozen in time, or still relevant? - J.

When playwright Aaron Posner was seeking a Jewish-themed book to adapt for the stage in the late 1990s, he went to the author Chaim Potok for advice. To prepare for the meeting, he read some of Potok's works - and quickly found the one he wanted to adapt: "The Chosen."

off the shelf | Two books explain how Israel became what it is

Two 2018 books explain how Israel became what it is - J.

When faced with a vexing situation, I tend to think that part of the answer lies in finding out how we got there. And this is particularly so in the case of Israel, whose history is complicated and contested. The title of Michael Brenner's "In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea" is fitting.

Dutch and French ‘underground railroad’ in WWII: presentation at Jewish Community Library

Dutch and French 'underground railroad' in WWII at Jewish Community Library- J.

Historian Megan Koreman's book on the Dutch Resistance network that saved hundreds of lives during World War II has been a long time coming. In a way, it started when she was just 5 and visiting her uncle in Holland. "He told me how he had been in the resistance," she said.