• Outdoor Fitness now open. Many on-campus programs still suspended-see paloaltojcc.org/StayHealthy
  • Share:

    Virtual OFJCC: Talks & Adult Programs

    Recorded Past Events
    From the Living Fully Blog
    Featured Events
    Fun for All Ages

    NEW!  Just Added:
    (Scroll down for details)
    • Mondays, August 10–31, 11:00 AM–12:00 PM | Community Conversations Presents Still Traveling: Captivating Cambodia
    • Tuesday, August 11, 1:00–2:00 PM | Community Conversations Presents The Complicated World of Frida Kahlo
    • Wednesday, August 12, 11:00–11:45 AM | Community Conversations Presents Practical Ways to Improve Your Memory
    • Fridays, August 21–October 2, 9:30–10:30 AM | Yoga for Renewal
    • Tuesday, August 25, 1:00–2:00 PM | Community Conversations Presents Shalom Uganda with Janice Masur
    • Sunday, August 30, 3:00 PM | Community Conversations Presents Terrific Tastings: Crazy-Incredible Caramels
    • Tuesday, September 1, 1:00–2:00 PM | Community Conversations Presents Living with Chronic Illness with Dr. Kate Lorig
    • Wednesday, September 2, 11:00 AM | Jewish Identity in Art: Lecture by Tal Gozani, former curator at the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum, Los Angeles
    • Recording Now Available: "Chutzpah, Tzuris and Simcha: The Inside Story of Creating our Jewish Campus" with Shelley Hebert, former Executive Director for Development of the Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life

    Click here for all our new offerings


    Featured Events:

    Virtual OFJCC programs for Community Conversations are made possible, in part, by a generous contribution from the John R. Schwabacher Family.

    NEW!  Community Conversations Presents Still Traveling: Captivating Cambodia
    This program is sponsored in part by the JCF Senior Excursion Grant

    Mondays, August 10–31, 11:00 AM–12:00 PM (PDT)

    Would you like to still travel? Now you can without leaving your home. In this new series, let us and our program partner, the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael, CA, whisk you away for an "armchair adventure" on an interesting, educational and fun live, guided group tour in a destination beyond your front door. Forget the long, masked airplane ride—let us take you there by Zoom, where a local, professional guide from a distant destination will lead us while we explore a site or topic. Yes, we will Zoom across the time zones to be with him/her. Live Q&A, photos, graphics and video clips (when available) will transport us to the destination! Your ticket purchase helps support our special guests—professional guides—who are mostly or completely out of work.

    China, Japan and even Thailand are popular Asian destinations for U.S. travelers. However, tucked in Southeast Asia is the fascinating, and often overlooked, Kingdom of Cambodia, which offers rich, interesting and beautiful multi-layered experiences to fulfill any curious voyager. Let us Zoom you there to spend an hour with our terrific, local, professional guide Tek on our "visits" to his fabulous country.

    Optional Travel Talk: If you like, stay after the class for an additional 30-minutes to meet other travel lovers in a small chat room and discuss a proposed question or just connect over the topic of the small group’s choice. No need to register for the chat; it will be offered at the end of each class.

    Participants are welcome to attend any individual class or to enroll in the entire course for a discounted rate.

    • August 10 | The Great Angkor Civilization: Cambodia's most famous attraction is undoubtedly Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. At the center of current national pride and an ancient advanced culture, the majestic structure dates back to the 12th century. However, it is only one of some 72 major buildings and the remains of several hundred other minor sites scattered throughout the 150-square-mile landscape. Today, join Tek to learn about this UNSECO World Heritage Site and the glorious Khmer Empire. Click here to register.
    • August 17 | Pagodas and Spiritual Life: Spiritual practice is an important, integrated part of life in Cambodia as seen in the vast number of sites throughout the country where ceremonies and rituals occur daily. Although many religions including Christianity, Islam and tribal animism exist in Cambodia, over 97% of the population practices Theravada Buddhism. See and learn about Cambodian pagodas, different than those in China or Japan, as Tek takes you on our group visit and shares insights into his personal practices. Click here to register.
    • August 24 | Phnom Penh: Vibrant Capital, Turbulent History: Since the French colonization of Cambodia, Phnom Penh has been the capital of Cambodia and, in the 1920s, was considered "one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina." Today, Tek takes us on a guided visit of his city—once nicknamed, the "Pearl of Asia"—as we visit some of its stunning sites, learn about its dark history and see how it is flourishing today. Click here to register.
    • August 31 | Traditional Wedding Customs: Don't miss our final "visit" as Tek invites us into his life, sharing photos, stories and explanations of his traditional Cambodian wedding. Learn about the customs and symbolism of these colorful three-day/three-night celebrations comprised of many ceremonies, music, meals, gifts and guests. Click here to register.

    Participants are welcome to attend any individual class or to enroll in the entire course for a discounted rate.
    Fee: $40/series of four classes, $15/single class
    Register here for the series.

    Registration through EventBrite must be received by noon (PDT) on the Sunday before class. The Zoom confirmation and link to class will be emailed to registrants by 3:00 PM (PDT) that same Sunday. Please check your email between 3:00–5:00 PM (PDT) to make sure you have the confirmation and link email. If it's not in your inbox, by please check your junk or spam folders. No confirmation? Please contact Danielle at [email protected].

    Registrations are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Unfortunately, single classes cannot be credited to series purchase. For more information, email James at [email protected].

    NEW!  Community Conversations Presents The Complicated World of Frida Kahlo
    This program is sponsored in part by the JCF Senior Excursion Grant
    Tuesday, August 11, 1:00–2:00 PM

    Enjoy an art talk about the de Young Museum's exhibit "Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Complicated World of Frida Kahlo." Due to the pandemic, the exhibit is closed. The next best thing is to enjoy a presentation by docent Christina Crosby highlighting pieces from the exhibition.

    Frida Kahlo is a complicated figure. Explore how an illness, an accident and her marriage to Diego Rivera drove the development of Kahlo's art as well as the development of her iconic sense of style. Frida's life and work will be set in the context of the emergence of Mexican culture as a vital artistic force on the world stage.

    Christina Crosby graduated in art history from Pomona College. After attending Loyola Law School, she focused her 30-year legal career on finance, helping public agencies and nonprofit organizations raise money for capital projects through the issuance of bonds. She particularly enjoyed working on transactions that financed schools, libraries, a minor league baseball stadium and the new Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Christina entered the docent program at the Fine Arts Museum in 2011, feeling she had come full circle to where she had started with her undergraduate training in art history. In addition to giving lectures throughout the Bay Area, Christina shares her love of art with museum visitors at the de Young and Legion of Honor. She also loves to travel, with museums always a featured part of the itinerary. This program is free but requires pre-registration. Click here to register.

      Community Conversations Presents PAVE Your Way to a Better Memory

    Wednesday, August 12, 11:00–11:45 AM

    Community Conversations is partnering with Sally Duplantier, founder of Zing, to offer you a webinar featuring memory and brain health expert Dr. Linda Sasser. Dr. Sasser will explain how memory works and let you experience the limitations of attention and short-term memory. She will also share her distinctive PAVE strategies for improving retention and recall of tasks, names and information.

    Dr. Sasser is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of brain fitness, maximizing memory and productivity, using memory to write a memoir, and enhancing emotional intelligence. She is the author of Brain Sense: A Guide and Workbook to Keep Your Mind and Memory Sharp. Her "BE! Brain Enrichment" curriculum is taught at numerous senior living communities across the US.

    This session will not be recorded, so try to attend. All registered participants will receive a detailed handout with Dr. Sasser's key points. For more information on Zing and the Wellness Wednesday webinars visit www.myzinglife.com.

    It is free to attend but you must register in order to receive the zoom link. Click here to register. 

    Yoga for Renewal

    Fridays, August 21–October 2, 9:30–10:30 AM

    Join us for this six-week series of Iyengar-based yoga classes, a journey through the Hebrew month of Elul (beginning August 21) into the High Holiday season. Each class is infused with Jewish wisdom teachings to cultivate balance and wholeness.

          Class Dates and Themes (no class September 11):

    • August 21: Embodying Etzem (Essence)
    • August 28: Embodying Shevarim (Broken-ness)
    • September 4: Embodying Tshuva (Return)
    • September 18: Embodying Renewal for Rosh Hashana (New Year)
    • September 25: Embodying Unity for Yom Kippur (Day of At-one-ment)
    • October 2: Embodying Inner Spaciousness for Sukkot (Festival of Temporary-ness)
    Click here to register.
    NEW!  Community Conversations Presents Shalom Uganda with Janice Masur

    Tuesday, August 25, 1:00–2:00 PM

    Janice Masur grew up in a tiny, remote European Jewish community in Kampala, Uganda, under British Imperial rule, with no rabbi or Jewish infrastructure. And yet, this community of only twenty-three families formed a cohesive group that celebrated Jewish festivals together and upheld their Jewish identity. Sadly, while Kampala Jewry made every effort to survive, it eventually failed and withered under the hot African sun. In Shalom Uganda: A Jewish Community on the Equator, Masur tells her story of living in this little-known Ashkenazi Jewish community from 1949 to 1961. Because so many Jewish communities were obliterated in the last century, she documents, remembers and preserves Kampala European Jewry with all the respect that it deserves. Supported with interviews, photos and research, this compelling memoir is a must-read for Jewish scholars as well as anyone interested in Jewish history and life in far-flung places. The eBook and print-on-demand book are available on Amazon. Click here to purchase.

    Janice Masur was born in Eritrea, spent her childhood in Uganda, and attended university in New Zealand—all countries where Jewry was barely visible on the Jewish diaspora spectrum. Today, Masur feels strongly rooted in her Jewish community in Vancouver, Canada, where she lives with her husband.

    This program is free but requires pre-registration. To register, please click here.

      Community Conversations Presents Terrific Tastings: Crazy-Incredible Caramels

    This program is sponsored in part by the JCF Senior Excursion Grant

    Sunday, August 30, 3:00 PM

    Join us to meet sisters Jule Vranian and Hope Klocker, founders of the award-winning Sweet Jules Caramels, which are made in small batches with only quality ingredients, without any preservatives, stabilizers or artificial anything. Hear about their small family-owned business; tour their shop and kitchen; and, of course, taste and discuss these divinely, delicious delectables!

    Come for the caramel; stay for the fun! It's the perfect event for pandemic social distancing!

    Order caramels by August 13 to ensure on-time delivery. For caramel ordering details and tasting event ticket purchase, click here. We hope to see you at the tasting!

    Community Conversations Presents Living with Chronic Illness with Dr. Kate Lorig

    Tuesday, September 1, 1:00–2:00 PM

    Most older people live with one or more long-term conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. We only see health professionals a few times a year. The rest of the time we must manage these conditions ourselves. We can be active managers or do-nothing managers, but either way we are managers. Although diseases differ, the symptoms are often the same, such as fatigue, pain, stress and negative emotions such as depression and anxiety. In this talk Dr. Lorig will discuss things you can do to manage these common symptoms. There will be time to help set the agenda and ask questions.

    Kate Lorig, DrPH, is an emerita professor of the Stanford School of Medicine. She has spent the past 40 years developing and evaluating self-management programs for people with chronic conditions. She is also the author of the book, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions. The program is free but requires pre-registration. To register, click here.

    NEW!  Jewish Identity in Art

    Lecture by Tal Gozani, former curator at the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum, Los Angeles

    Wednesday, September 2, 11:00 AM

    "Jewish Identity in Art" examines how European Jewish artists in the nineteenth century struggled to create a new, visual vocabulary to capture an evolving modern Jewish life. This talk will focus on such artists as Moritz Oppenheim, Isidor Kaufman, Alphonse Lévy and Maurycy Gottlieb, and how they visualized key features of modern Jewish life including assimilation, anti-Semitism and nationalism. By studying the broad range of visual images created by these artists, we learn about the formation of modern Jewish identity. Click here to register.


    Missed an event? Catch the recording:

    Judaism Unbound: Becoming Unorthodox with Tova and Michal Birnbaum
    Sisters Michal Birnbaum, a cast member from the hit Netflix series Unorthodox, and Tova Birnbaum, Director of Jewish Content at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, join Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation reflecting on what Unorthodox can teach us. Topics include what it was like for the Birnbaums to grow up in an Ultra-Orthodox community, their journeys to other forms of Jewish community, and their migrations to the United States. Listen here.


    Dodi Li Single from Deborah Sacks Mintz Streaming Now
    Renowned New York musician Deborah Sacks Mintz and the Hadar ensemble present their latest single from the album, The Narrow and The Expanse. The recording of this track is proudly sponsored by the OFJCC. Listen to it here.


    Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks on TED Connects

    How We Can Navigate the Coronavirus Pandemic with Courage and Hope
    Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks offers thoughts on how we can navigate the coronavirus pandemic with courage, hope and empathy. With wisdom and clarity, he speaks on leadership, fear, death, hope and how we could use this moment to build a more just world. Watch for a special, impromptu prayer about halfway through the conversation. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and head of curation Helen Walters. Recorded March 30, 2020.)  Watch here.


    Fun for All Ages:

    PJ Library Podcast—Have I Got a Story for You:  Every episode of Have I Got a Story for You takes a classic Jewish folk tale and gives it a modern twist. You can explore episodes here and if you find one you really like, be sure to click on the episode page to find activities and book lists, and keep the fun going. Produced by PJ Library, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.


    From the Live Fully Blog:


    Saturday Night Seder Favorite Moments: There was a lot to love in Saturday Night Seder's delightful Passover shtick on YouTube, but here are OFJCC staffer Andrea's favorite moments. Plus: learn the hidden OFJCC connection!

    Board Games in a Time of Social Distancing: Seth Leslie, OFJCC's Chief Development Officer, has a penchant for highly original strategy games. Find his recommendations for the best board games for enjoying sheltering in place with the family here.

    Mah Jongg with Your Mishpucha—Social Distancing Edition: Martha Kokes, Marketing Director at the OFJCC, is a self-described "cheerfully-mediocre" Mah Jongg player. Despite this, she and her husband could not pass up an opportunity to play with their like-minded friends while sheltering in place. Read about her Maj mishpucha's test-drive of an online Mah Jongg platform here.

    The Drink That's Taking the Internet by Storm: In these days of heat and necessary hydration, your beverage kingdom matters now more than ever. Why not take a bit of inspiration from J. The Jewish News of California and, you know, the internet? Fortunately, OFJCC Staffer Yana Z. is here to walk us step-by-step through the photogenic beverage recipe that's taking the internet by storm: whipped coffee. Check it out here. We'll drink to that. L'chaim!

    Contact Us