• The OFJCC will be closed on Sept. 28 in observance of Yom Kippur.
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    Virtual OFJCC: Talks & Adult Programs

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





    NEW!  Just Added:
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    • Tuesday, September 29, 1:00–2:00 PM | Community Conversations Presents The Music Passion of the 3Bs
    • Wednesday, September 30, 11:00 AM | Lessons Learned from Football Players and Epilepsy to Understanding Brain Aging with Prof. Daniela Kaufer
    • Wednesday, September 30, 5:00–6:00 PM | Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Deepak Chopra, Total Meditation: Practices In Living the Awakened Life
    • Thursday, October 1 | Porcelain Fates (For Russian Speakers)
    • Sunday, October 4, 4:00–5:00 PM | David Biespiel, A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas
    • Tuesday, October 6, 1:00 –2:00 PM | Community Conversations Presents Archaeology and The Bible with Dr. Patrick Hunt
    • Thursday, October 8, 5:00–6:00 PM | Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Colin Quinn, Overstated
    • Thursday, October 15, 5:00–6:00 PM | Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Steve Madden, The Cobbler
    • Thursday, October 15, 7:00–8:30 PM | Russian Porcelain (For Russian Speakers)
    • Sunday, October 18, 4:00–5:30 PM | Community Conversations Presents: Terrific Tastings—Nicasio Valley Cheeses
    • Sunday, October 25, 5:00–6:00 PM | Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Harlan Coben, The Boy From the Woods
    • Tuesday, October 27, 1:00–2:00 PM | Community Conversations Presents The Wonderful World of Rodgers and Hammerstein 
    • Sunday, November 8, 10:00–11:00 AM | Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy, Never Alone
    • Monday, November 9, 4:45–6:00 PM | Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Esther Safron Foer, I Want You To Know We're Still Here
    • Monday, November 16, 5:00–6:00 PM | Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Ariel Sabar, Veritas: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife
    • Wednesday, November 18, 11:00 AM–12:00 PM | Jews of Color and Jewish Community Diversity
    • Saturday, November 21, 5:00–6:00 PM | Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Rachel Bloom, I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are
    • Sunday, December 6, 9:30–10:30 AM | Combating Racism + Anti-Semitism


    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 The Music Passion of the 3Bs
    Tuesday, September 29, 1:00–2:00 PM

    Enjoy a live lecture recital about the music passion of the 3 Bs: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Hear the tale of these three Germanic composers and the driving forces in their lives that inspired them to create the incredible works we know and love today. From religion to turbulent love affairs, we'll discuss their passions. You will hear their piano works and vocals played live.

    Louise Costigan-Kerns has performed internationally as a concert pianist, collaborative pianist and conductor. Her concerts have been reviewed as "inspiring and technically amazing performances." She can be seen performing Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and Harrison on YouTube and you can follow her on Spotify and purchase her CDs on iTunes and cdbaby.com.

    Vocalist Deborah Martinez Rosengaus has sung around the world including the Center for Performing Arts in Beijing, Santori Hall in Tokyo, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, with recitals across the US and Mexico. Locally she has performed with numerous opera and musical theater companies. For more information click here to visit her website.

    The concert is free but requires pre-registration. Click here to register.

    Sponsored by Phyllis and Josef Bismanovsky


    NEW!  Lessons Learned from Football Players and Epilepsy to Understanding Brain Aging with Prof. Daniela Kaufer
    Wednesday, September 30, 11:00 AM

    As our brains age, we become more forgetful, more tired and less able to do the cognitive gymnastics of our youth. But what if we could stop the brain from aging? Daniela Kaufer, a professor at UC Berkeley and a fellow in the CIFAR Child and Brain Development program, has discovered one of the biological pathways that lead to age-related cognitive decline and has found clues on how to reverse the aging process in the brain. Free on Zoom. Click here to register.


    NEW!  Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Deepak Chopra, Total Meditation: Practices In Living the Awakened Life
    Wednesday, September 30, 5:00–6:00 PM

    For the last thirty years, Deepak Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution in the west. His new book Total Meditation offers a complete exploration and reinterpretation of the physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual benefits that this practice can bring. For more information and to register, click here.


    Community Conversations Presents Still Traveling: Venerable Venice
    Wednesdays, September 2, 9, 16, 30, 11:00 AM–12:00 PM (PDT)

    Would you like to still travel? Now you can without leaving your home. Let us whisk you away for an "armchair adventure" on an interesting educational and fun guided group tour to Venice.

    Millions have visited the grand, gorgeous, tourist-laden St. Mark's Square in Venice. We will join Laura—a licensed guide since 2000—on a virtual "stroll" around this historic, romantic, fascinating city. As a native Venetian she will take us beyond the Square, sharing interesting facts about her city—the "Queen of the Adriatic!"

    • September 2 | Venetian Homes
    • September 9 | Foreign Communities
    • September 16 | The Jewish Ghetto
    • September 30 | Lido and the Belle Epoque: In addition to being the location of Laura's home, Lido is one of the three barrier islands that protect and separate Venice and her lagoon from the open sea. Lido remained rather deserted for centuries, home only to monks and a few fishermen. In the late 19th-century when science and medicine understood the benefits of sun and sea therapy everything changed. An interesting and architecturally graceful urban development attracted elite travelers who spent the whole summer there. Don't miss this personal peek into Laura's home island—a rarely-visited gem of Venice! To register for this single visit, click here

    FEE: $50/series of four visits; $15/single visit

    You can register for all four visits or one visit at a time. Your ticket purchase helps support our special guests–professional guides–who are mostly or completely out of work.

    *To register for the four-part series, click here. Registrations are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Unfortunately single classes cannot be credited to series purchase. If you have questions, email James at [email protected].

    Made possible in part by a generous grant from the Senior Excursion fund of the Jewish Federation of San Francisco The Peninsula, Marin & Sonoma Counties


    NEW!  Porcelain Fates
    Thursday, October 1, 7:00–8:30 PM | For Russian Speakers
    Hear Anna Kogan discussing "Porcelain Fates: Who Paid for the White Gold of Kings", dedicated to the 310th anniversary of the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. Anna will discuss the history of creation, secrets, discoveries, artifacts, legends and most importantly the fate of the creators of this amazing material. For more information and to register, click here.


    NEW!  David Biespiel, A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas
    In Conversation with Tova Birnbaum and Luba Palant
    Sunday, October, 4 4:00–5:00 PM
    OFJCC's own Tova Birnbaum and Luba Palant will discuss with David Biespiel his freshly published new book, A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas, in which the author tells the story of the rise and fall of his Jewish boyhood in Texas, and his search for the answer to his life's central riddle: Are we ever done leaving home? For more information and to join the event, click here.


    NEW!
      Community Conversations Presents Archaeology and The Bible with Dr. Patrick Hunt
    Tuesday, October 6, 1:00–2:00 PM
    Join us for an extraordinary lecture by Dr. Patrick Hunt (Ph.D. Institute of Archaeology University College London, University of London 1991). Dr. Hunt has been an award-winning archaeologist and author teaching at Stanford since 1993 and is a National Geographic Expeditions Expert and Grantee. He has published 23 books, several on biblical topics, and over 100 articles. He was named to Who's Who in Biblical Studies and Archaeology (1993, Biblical Archaeology Society, Washington, DC). His most recent book is Archaeology and The Bible: Ten Illuminations of Selected Biblical Texts (Stone Tower Books, 2019).

    Bible myth or history? Are biblical texts merely imaginary regarding history? This new book showcases a few selected plausible examples instead of biblical texts with ample historicity. Some of the newly argued topics of this lecture include the connections between Egypt and the Book of Genesis, fascinating and extensive as Genesis 41 and the story of Joseph and Pharaoh reveal. Also the text of the "Flint Knives in Joshua 5" is no anachronism or hyperbole, to be shown along with what most likely happened to "King Solomon's Gold (I Kings 4 & 10)". Paleopathology shows a similar dilemma to our present pandemic: the ancient plague that struck the army of the Assyrian King Sennacherib can be likely traced to a quick killer like cholera as depicted in biblical texts and elsewhere (II Chronicles 32 and II Kings 19).

    This program is sponsored by Phyllis and Josef Bismanovsky. Daytime Adult Learning and Culture Programs are made possible in part by the John R. Schwabacher Family as well as the Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund. We are grateful for their generous support.

    Attendance is free but requires pre-registration. To register, click here.


    NEW!  Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Colin Quinn, Overstated
    In Conversation with Holly Firfer, TV Journalist ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A
    Thursday, October 8, 5:00–6:00 PM
    In Colin Quinn's new book, the popular comedian, SNL alum, social commentator and star of the shows Red State Blue State and Unconstitutional tackles the condition of our union today.  For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.


    NEW!  Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Steve Madden, The Cobbler
    In conversation with Holly Firfer, CNN Journalist
    Thursday, October 15, 5:00–6:00 PM

    In this raw, intimate and ultimately inspiring book, Madden holds nothing back as he shares what it took to get here and the lessons he's learned along the way. From his unconventional hiring strategies to his slavish devotion to product, Madden offers a business perspective that is as unique as his styles. In The Cobbler, readers are treated to the wild ride though his rise, fall and comeback. But they will also walk away uplifted by a man who has owned up to his mistakes and come back determined to give back and use his hard-won platform to create positive change. For more details and to purchase tickets, click here.

    NEW!  Russian Porcelain
    Thursday, October 15, 7:00–8:30 PM | For Russian Speakers
    Hear about the history of Russian porcelain and how it is in no way inferior to European porcelain in beauty, quality or price (including measured in human lives). And, of course, about avant-garde porcelain. For more information and to register, click here.

    NEW! 
    Community Conversations Presents: Terrific Tastings—Nicasio Valley Cheeses
    Sunday, October 18, 4:00–5:30 PM

    Bring your bottle of wine and a few crackers, and hop in our virtual coach and let us take you to experience a fun, interesting, delicious and cheesy "happy hour" from the comfort of your living room. Enjoy a guided cheese tasting of three award-winning cheeses! Get recommendations for pairing these cheeses with wines and more, plus recipes using these cheeses from our special guest, cheesemaker Rick Lafranchi. We are delighted to join the Osher Marin JCC of San Rafael and other partners for this event. Click here to register.

    Note: Quantities are limited so please order at your earliest convenience. Cheeses are based on availability. The collection is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Cheese/tickets sales end on Wednesday, October 7 or when the collection is sold out ...whichever comes first. Shipping only to California addresses.


    NEW!  Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Harlan Coben, The Boy From the Woods
    In Conversation with Emily Giffin, New York Times Bestselling Author
    Sunday, October 25, 5:00–6:00 PM

    A man with a mysterious past is asked to find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here


    NEW!  Community Conversations Presents The Wonderful World of Rodgers and Hammerstein
    Tuesday, October 27, 1:00–2:00 PM

    Oh, what beautiful musicals! More than sixty years after they were written, the musicals of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein continue to delight audiences and be cited as seminal influences on modern musical theater. Join Max Gutmann to find out what makes their work so lasting and important. With clips from stage productions of their shows—Oklahoma!, South Pacific and others—we'll examine the wonderful world of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

    Max Gutmann's plays have been performed throughout the US, garnering positive reviews in the Mercury News, the Orlando Sentinel and elsewhere. He's taught theater courses at a number of institutions. His book, There Was a Young Girl from Verona, sold several copies. For more information, visit www.maxgutmann.com.

    The program is free but requires pre-registration. To register and get the zoom link click here.


    NEW!  Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy, Never Alone
    Sunday, November 8, 10:00–11:00 AM

    Never Alone is a classic account of courage, integrity and belonging. In 1977, Natan Sharansky, a leading activist for the democratic dissident movement in the Soviet Union and the movement for free Jewish emigration, was arrested. He spent nine years as a political prisoner, convicted of treason against the state. In "Never Alone", Natan Sharansky and historian Gil Troy show how Sharansky's years in prison, many spent in harsh solitary confinement, prepared him for his public life, bringing extraordinary moral clarity and uncompromising honesty to his work as an Israeli politician and the head of the Jewish Agency. For more information and to register, click here.


    NEW!  Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Esther Safron Foer, I Want You To Know We're Still Here
    Monday, November 9, 4:45–6:00 PM
    Esther Safran Foer grew up in a home where the past was too terrible to speak of. The child of parents who were each the sole survivors of their respective families, for Esther the Holocaust loomed in the backdrop of daily life, felt but never discussed. The result was a childhood marked by painful silences and continued tragedy.

    Even as she built a successful career, married and raised three children, Esther felt herself searching. When her mother casually mentions an astonishing revelation—that her father had a previous wife and daughter, both killed in the Holocaust—Esther resolves to find out who they were and how her father survived.

    Armed with only a black-and-white photo and a hand-drawn map, Esther travels to Ukraine to find the shtetl where her father hid during the war. What she finds reshapes her identity and finally gives her the opportunity to mourn. For more information and to register, click here.


    NEW!  Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Ariel Sabar, Veritas: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife
    Monday, November 16, 5:00–6:00 PM

    From National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Ariel Sabar, the gripping true story of a sensational religious forgery and the scandal that shook Harvard. For more information and to register, click here.


    NEW!  Jews of Color and Jewish Community Diversity
    Part of Amplifying Voices Series
    Wednesday, November 18, 11:00 AM–12:00 PM
    Join Ilana Kaufman, the Executive Director of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative. There are an estimated 7.2 million Jews in the United States, and around one million identify as non-white People of Color. However, when we look at almost every Jewish organization and our communal imagery we see few, if any, Jews of Color. Framed by the notion that US Jews are part of a multiracial Jewish community, together we will explore the intersection of Jewish community/identity/racial justice and equity. For more information and to register, click here.


    NEW!  Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents Rachel Bloom, I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are
    Music and Multi-Media Presentation
    Saturday, November 21, 5:00–6:00 PM
    From the charming and wickedly funny co-creator and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a collection of hilarious personal essays, poems and even amusement park maps on the subjects of insecurity, fame, anxiety and much more. For more information and to register, click here.


    NEW!  Combating Racism + Anti-Semitism
    Part of Amplifying Voices Series
    Sunday, December 6, 9:30–10:30 AM

    Stories of Exclusion, Stories of Change: Jews of Color Speak about Moving from Welcoming to Belonging.
    Panelists April Baskin, Gamal Palmer and Evan Traylor will be in discussion moderated by Candace Manriquez Wrenn about their experiences as Jews of Color and sharing strategies to combat racism and anti-Semitism. For more information and to register, click here.



    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:

     

    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.



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