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Kol Hadash, Northern California Community for Humanistic Judaism

PAST ALL-COMMUNITY PROGRAMS


March 2017 — All Governments Lie at Winterfest
Photo of the White HouseWe were proud to sponsor the film All Governments Lie at WinterFest, presented by the Jewish Film Institute. Independent journalists like Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Matt Taibbi are changing the face of journalism, providing investigative, adversarial alternatives to mainstream, corporate news outlets. The cameras follow them as they expose government and corporate deception – just as the ground-breaking independent journalist I.F. Stone did decades ago. Featuring new interviews with Carl Bernstein, Noam Chomsky, Ana Kasparian, and Michael Moore. Premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2016. It was followed by panel moderated by Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Rick Goldsmith | Location: The Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco.

March 2017 — Bagel Brunch: Women in the Age of Trump
women's movement photoIn honor of International Women's Day, our speaker today was Ruth Rosen, Professor Emerita of History from UC Davis, former columnist for the SF Chronicle, and author of The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America, and other works. She talked about Jewish leaders in the modern women's movement and antifeminism, as well as what to anticipate in a Trump administration. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

 

* 24 (Friday): 7:30 PM — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur member-led humanistic Shabbat was well attended, and we will celebrated the March and April birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

February 2017 — MORNING Tu B'Shvat Seder/Shabbat
Tree of life drawing Our member-led humanistic Tu B'shvat Seder was lovely. We shared a variety of food, including dried and fresh tree fruits and nuts. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. We also celebrated the February birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Rooms I & II.

 

February 2017 — Bagel Brunch: Rosalind Franklin, pioneering scientist
RosalindFranklinPhotoIn honor of our annual Darwin Day celebration, we screened a film about the controversial chemist and pioneer molecular biologist Rosalind Franklin, whose research many consider to have been fundamental to the undertanding of DNA and deserving of the Nobel Prize awarded to others. Commentary and responses to our questions was provided by Emeritus Professor of Biology Lynne Elkins. And all of this combined with a delicious lox and bagel brunch. Public: $10/ea. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

January 2017 — Bagel Brunch: Arc of Justice film and Meet the Filmmakers
Arc of Justice In honor of Martin Luther King Day, we screened the documentary short Arc of Justice, accompanied by its two Bay Area filmmakers, Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman. The film recounts the struggle by African Americans in Georgia to form a community land trust in the 1960's after being evicted from their homes because they registered to vote. More information on the film and its historical context can be found here. Albany Community Center, Community Hall.

January 2017 — Shabbat and Potluck LUNCH
Shabbat ItemsOur lunch-time Saturday humanistic Shabbat was led by members. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. A potluck lunch followed the service and discussion. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

December 2016 — Chanukah Meal at a Chinese Restaurant
Chinese MealA hamish small group of 16 enjoyed a communal afternoon meal at a local Chinese Restaurant.

 

 

December 2016 — Bagel Brunch —Humanistic Judaism & its Enlightenment Roots: Pt3
Baruch SpinozaIn this last session on the Enlightenment and the Haskalah, a video excerpt will be shown of an IISHJ presentation on critiques of the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) followed by summary and commentary by Alana Shindler. Please bring your appetite for a delicious lox and bagel brunch. Public: $10/ea. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

 

 

 

December 2016 — Humanistic Judaism & its Enlightenment Roots: Pt 2
Baruch SpinozaThe European Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries signaled a devotion to reason over religious revelation and authority. For many Jews this meant the shedding of traditional rabbinic Judaism and a search for new ways to be Jewish. Kol Hadash will explore both the general European Enlightenment and the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) in a two-part series led by three of our members: philosopher Bernie Rosen, historian Marilyn Boxer, and Michael Prival, International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. Free of charge. Albany Community Center, Rm II.

 

November 2016 — Bagel Brunch — Humanistic Judaism & its Enlightenment Roots: Pt 1
Baruch SpinozaThe European Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries signaled a devotion to reason over religious revelation and authority. For many Jews this meant the shedding of traditional rabbinic Judaism and a search for new ways to be Jewish. Kol Hadash will explore both the general European Enlightenment and the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) in a three-part series led by three of our members: philosopher Bernie Rosen, historian Marilyn Boxer, and Michael Prival, International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism.Pubic: $10/ea. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

 

November 2016 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur member-led humanistic Shabbat included a brief commentary by Jane Eisenstark on a different look at the election, followed by discussion. Music and songs were led by Ben Brussell. We celebrated the November birthdays of our members and shared food and beverage at the oneg. Albany Community Center, Room II.

October 2016 — Erev Rosh Hashanah
Apples and HoneyWe heldt our member-led humanistic celebration of Rosh Hashanah at the Albany Community Center, Community Room. Our meaningful service included joyful songs, candlelighting, and reflections for the new year supportive of a more humane world. We offered apples and honey, and lots of finger food our guests brought to share for after the service at our oneg.

October 2016 — Erev Yom Kippur
Man with shofarWe heldt our member-led humanistic celebraton of Yom Kippur at the Albany Community Center, Community Room. Our meaningful service included beautiful Jewish music played by the Amaranth trio, candlelighting, and reflections for the new year supportive of a more humane world.

 

October 2016 — Bagel Brunch — Civic Engagement: What are the ballot issues?
voteIn light of the number of State and local propositions on our ballots in November, we were please to have KH member Jean Safir, also of the League of Women Voters, and KH member Deb Malbec, president of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville, review the issues for us in a non-partisan manner. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

 

September 2016 — Bagel Brunch — Introduction to Humanistic Judaism
questions about humanistic JudaismThe talk today was about Humanistic Judaism, its origins, differences with other branches of Judaism, and about our thirty-year old community. Wealso enjoyed a delicious lox and bagel brunch. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

 

 

August 2016 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur member-led humanistic Shabbat was held, with music and song-leading provided by Ben Brussell. We celebrated the August birthdays of our members and shared food at the oneg. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

August 2016 —San Francisco Film Festival screening of Arc of Justice
Arc of JusticeThis year we were proud to sponsor the film short "Arc of Justice" at the SF Film Festival. Directed by Bay Area residents Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman, the film is about the struggle by African Americans in Georgia to form a community land trust in the 1960's Jim Crow era where they could live and farm. The film was shown with A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone. Location: Roda Theater, Berkeley (on Addison Street downtown).

July 2016 — Oakland/Piedmont/Hayward Chavurah
The group attended the film Baba Joon (Best picture, Israeli Academy Awards), Israel, 2015, 91 minutes, in Hebrew and Farsi with English subtitles, at the Jewish Film Festival. Location: Roda Theater in Berkeley .

July 2016 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur member-led humanistic Shabbat was held; music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. We celebrated the July birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

June 2016 — Shabbat Celebrating Gay Pride Month
Shabbat ItemsOur humanistic Shabbat was led by member Alana Shindler. We celebrated Gay Pride month and reflected on the tragedy in Orlando. Music and songs were led by Ben Brussell. We also celebrated the June birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

May 2016 — Bagel Brunch —Radical Jewish Women
Prof Deborah HertzDeborah Hertz, holder of the Herman Wouk Chair in Modern Jewish Studies, a professor of history and the 2013--2015 director of the Judaic Studies Program at UC San Diego, was our guest speaker. The title of her talk was "Manya Shochat and her Travelling Guns: Jewish Radical Women from Pogrom Self-Defense to the First Kibbutzim." Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

 

April 2016 — Jewish Intellectual History Video: SOCIALISM
socialist fists in the airOur lecture topic was "Jewish Adventure with Socialism." Dr. David B. Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, explained the attraction of Jews to Marxian socialism as a result of the movement's "moral sense of justice" as well as their hope for a "radical means of alleviating their wretched status in European society." Ironically, Jews found themselves hated for their roles in both capitalism and socialism. Albany Community Center, Rm I

 

April 2016 — Bagel Brunch:
Stan Goldberg If You Knew Your Death was Imminent, How Would It Change Your Behaviors? If you knew tomorrow would be the last day of your life, what would you choose to do today? Instead of waiting for the inevitable, lead your life today as if it will end tomorrow. Stan Goldberg, Ph.D., author of Leaning into Sharp Points: practical guidance and nurturing support for caregivers, is a private therapist, clinical researcher and former SFSU professor. The material he presented is based on his service as a hospice volunteer, caregiving counseling and experience living with cancer for 13 years. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II

April 2016 — Passover Seder
Passover graphicOur member-led humanistic Passover Seder was well attended by members, family, friends and guests of Kol Hadash. Our unique and moving Seder, "Modern Exodus" was a combination catered and potluck event. As part of our haggadah, two members shared their family exodus stories, and we also relayed the story of our founder, Holocaust survivor Roy Calder. Each story is a unique part of Jewish history. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Community HalI.

March 2016 — Jewish Intellectual History Video: ZIONISM
Israeli flagLecture topic was "Zionism's Answer to the Jewish Problem." Dr. David B. Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, represents Zionism as a response to multiple causes: the failure of emancipation to bring the integration of Jews into European society, the growth of nationalism in the wake of the Napoleonic wars and new ideas about race, and, paradoxically, both the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) and the traditional messianic yearning for a return of Jews to the Holy Land. Location: Albany Community Center, Rms I & II

March 2016 —Bagel Brunch: Yiddish Song
Ben BrussellOur speaker today was renowned vocalist and instrumentalist, and leader of the famous band, KLEZMANIA!, Ben Brussell, our cantor and song inspirationalist for the last 7 years at Kol Hadash. Yiddish song has been around for many years in the Eastern European Jewish experience. Folk songs about drinking, love, community, longing, spirituality, and life experiences in the Jewish shetyls in the Pale of Settlement and throughout Europe. Yiddish opera songs thrived in places like Warsaw and then subsequently in New York, growing there from the new life blood of the two major waves of Jewish immigrants to the US. Some of those songs were performed. We also had a delicious lox and bagel brunch. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

March 2016 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur member-led humanistic Shabbat enjoyed a commentary by Bill Nemoyten who shared surprising stories about a group of Jews who escaped the Nazis by seeking refuge in Japan during WWII. The stories are from the book "The Fugu Plan," by Rabbi Marvin Tokayer. Music and song-leadingwas provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Room II.

March 2016 — Purim Dance Party
Purim GraphicOur first Purim Dance Party was held with music provided by DJ Be. Prizes were awarded for the silliest, most elegant and ugliest costumes. We had an originaland funny megilla reading by Deb Malbec. Food and beverages were plentiful with Hamantashen for all!! . Albany Community Center.

 

February 2016 —Bagel Brunch: Darwin Day
Charles DarwinMinda BerbecoWhat's up with denial in the science classroom? Minda Berbeco, enthusiastic scientist and staff member of the National Center for Science Education, spoke about the challenges when evolution and climate change denials leak into the classroom, and what NCSE and we can do to help science educators nationally. Before coming to NCSE, Minda was a post-doctoral scholar at UC Davis conducting research studies on climate change and agriculture. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

February 2016 — Jewish Intellectual History Video: SPINOZA
Baruch SpinozaVideo lecture topic was "The Challenge of Baruch Spinoza." Dr. David B. Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, emphasizes the extent to which by subjecting both Jewish and Christian religion to rational critique, Baruch Spinoza shaped the evolution of modern Jewish thought. He was banished from the Jewish community of Amsterdam for holding views similar to those of humanistic Jews today. Location: Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

 

February 2016 — Shabbat Daytime Service and Potluck Luncheon
Shabbat ItemsOur member-led humanistic Shabbat included a commentary entitled "Humanistic Parshah: Trouble at Sinai" given by Michael Prival, Madrikh (teacher), and member of the Board of Governors of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. Music and songs were led by Ben Brussell. We celebrated the February birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Rm II.

January 2016 — Bagel Brunch: Martin Luther King Day
Bruce HartfordOur guest speaker today was Bruce Hartford, veteran of the Civil Rights movement of the 60's, who shared some of his life-changing experiences with us. Mr. Hartford was active with CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), NVAC (Non-violent Action Commitee) in Southern California, and with the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) in Alabama. Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

January 2016 — Tu B'Shvat Seder and Shabbat
treePeter EhrlichOur member-led humanistic Tu B'Shvat Seder and Shabbat celebrated the "birthday of the trees." We enjoyed a guest presentation by Peter Erhlich, Presidio Trust Forester who talked about the variety of birds who live and migrate to the Presidio. Music and song-leading was performed by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Room II.

January 2016 — Jewish Intellectual History Video: ITALIAN GHETTO
Jewish VeniceVideo lecture topic was "Cultural Transformation in the Italian Ghetto." Dr. David B. Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, begins his survey of Jewish life and thought in the modern period with the erection of the first urban ghetto, for the purpose of segregating Jews, in Venice in 1516. "Paradoxically," he says, "the ghetto experience intensified the interaction between Jews and Christians…serving as a catalyst of cultural efflorescence" in the Jewish community. Location: Albany Community Center, Rms I & II.

December 2015 — Christmas Lunch Group
Lunch at a Chinese Restaurant on Dec 25th isnow a Kol Hadash tradition. Quite a few of us met at Holly's Mandarin Restaurant on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland and a good and delicious time was had by all.

December 2015 — Chanukah Party
ChanukahOur potluck Chanuka Party at the Albany Community Center waseventful and yummy with lots of latkes, applesauce, main dishes, sides and desserts. We lit our newly donated chanukiah, sang along with the magnificent Ben Brussel, enjoyed a Jewish joke competition, and heard a light-hearted reader's theater account of Chanukah's history.

OUR TZEDAKA PROJECT: This year we collected over $1100 worth of holiday gift donations for our "adopted" family of five headed by a grandmother through a holiday giving program of Family Support Services of the Bay Area. The family's requested needs, wants and gift cards were brought to the agency a few days later after purchasing even more items thanks to donations given at the party. This project made our Chanukah celebration more meaningful than ever.

November 2015 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsWe celebrated our first daytime humanistic Shabbat led by member Judy Daar with a commentary by Bernie Rosen on "Why I am not an atheist". Music and songs were led by Ben Brussell. We celebrated the November birthdays of our members.Location: Albany Senior Center.

 

November 2015-- Bagel Brunch Wrap-Up of Between Cross and Crescent Series
Medieval Jews & ChristiansWe showed the final video today, "The Sephardim of Amsterdam," and discussed the entire series of Between Cross and Crescent: Jewish Civilization from Mohammed to Spinoza," taught by Dr. David B. Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, and what we have learned about Jewish history. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

 

October 2015 — Bagel Brunch: Stumbling Stones
Rudi Raab childhood pictureOur speakers were local authors Julie Freestone and Rudi Raab reading from and discussing their new novel Stumbling Stone, based on uncovering their own families' experiences--Jews and Nazis--in the Holocaust. How likely is it that the daughter of Jewish immigrants would cast her lot with the son of a high-ranking Nazi? Stumbling Stone chronicles their journey across two continents. We also enjoyed a delicious lox and bagel brunch. Albany Community Center.

 

October 2015 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur humanistic Shabbat was led by our President Jane Eisenstark. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Helene Lecar collected funds to donate to the homeless children in the Berkeley School District. We also celebrated the September and October birthdays of our members and shared cake and finger foods for the oneg. Albany Community Center.

October 2015 — Between Cross and Crescent Video Series
Medieval Jews & ChristiansLecture topic was "Rise of European Jewry." Beginning in the 14th and 15th centuries, Jews migrated eastward to Poland, where they found the opportunity for autonomous communities. Scholarship and society prospered, so that despite a pogrom and economic decline in the mid-1600's, by the end of the 17th century, Eastern Europe had become the center of Europe's largest Jewish population. Location: Albany Community Center.

September 2015 — Erev Rosh Hashanah
Apples and HoneyOur humanistic Rosh Hashanah service had a theme of "Forgiveness and Restorative Justice," which looked at supporting the Black Lives Matter movement by replacing the pattern of police involvement in school discipline with restorative justice practices. Service was led by teens and adults. Music and singing was led by Ben Brussell. After the service we enjoyed a large and delicious oneg. Albany Community Center, Community Room.

September 2015 — Erev Yom Kippur
Man with shofarThe theme of our humanistic Yom Kippur service was Music and Remembrance this year, reflecting on personal transformation and the music of Jewish composers. The beautiful poetry of Marcia Falk was woven with music by Bruch, BLoch, Schulhoff and Ullman, performed by the Amaranth Quartet. Albany Community Center, Community Room.

 

August 2015 — Contemporary Jewish Museum Tour
CJM San FranciscoThe Kol Hadash Third Annual Summer Museum Tour mett at the CJM, located at 736 Mission St. in San Francisco, a short walk from either the Montgomery or the Powell BART station. We toured several exhibitions, including a new exhibit, "Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait," which includes photographs from a family tree going back to 1854; and also a multi-media exhibit called "Night Begins the Day: REthinking Spce, Time and Beaty." We also ate lunch together at the Wise Sons Jewish Deli, located in the Museum.

August 2015 — Shabbat: Confronting Racism
Shabbat ItemsOur humanistic Shabbat on confronting racism was led by Jane Eisenstark, and music and song-leading provided by Ben Brussell. We celebrated the August birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

July 2015 — Between Cross and Crescent Video Series
Medieval Jews & ChristiansLecture topic was "Shabbetai Zevi—The Mystical Messiah." A century after Luria's death, the Jewish community experienced an outbreak of millenarianism based on the behavior of a self-designated messiah named Shabbetai Zevi (1626-1676). Here Ruderman discusses Zevi's so-called messiahship and its "bizarre aftermath" that persisted through the late 17th and the 18th centuries across Europe. He ends with a discussion of the Sabbetean influence on Baruch/Benedict Spinoza. Location: Albany Community Center, Room II.

July 2015— Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur humanistic Shabbat was led by member Anne Ireland; theme was "Identity." Music and song-leading by Ben Brussell. We celebrated the July birthdays of our members and shared food at the oneg. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

June 2015 — Shabbat in Oakland
Shabbat ItemsOur member-led humanistic Shabba took place in Oakland this month. Music and songs were led by Ben Brussell. Our commentary panel was on Senior Strategies for Aging Well, with representatives from senior residences and the Ashy and North Oakland Villages which support independent senior living.

 

May 2015 — Bagel Brunch
Dr Eran KaplanOur speaker was Dr. Eran Kaplan, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Israel Studies in the Jewish Studies Department at SFSU. His topic was "The Recent Israeli Elections and their Aftermath." Prof. Kaplan, who studied at Tel Aviv University before receiving his Ph.D. in Modern Jewish History at Brandeis University, ius author of The Jewish Radical Right: Revisionist Zionism and its Ideological Legacy, and has a forthcoming book on "post-Zionist" political thought in the twenty-first century. Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.

 

May 2015 — Between Cross and Crescent Video Series
Medieval Jews & ChristiansLecture topic was "Kabbalah and Society in 16th Century Safed." Following their expulsion from Spain in 1492, many Jews emigrated to Ottoman lands where they established new centers of rabbinic and kabbalistic learning, including Constantinople, Cairo, and Salonika. The town of Safed in northern Galilee also attracted leading scholars to its academies, including Isaac Luria (1534-1572). In this lecture Professor Ruderman traced the sources and influence of the Lurianic kabbalah of Gershom Scholem.Location: Albany Community Center, Room II.

May 2015 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur member-led humanistic Shabbat was led by Judy Daar who presented a commentary about Jews in early American History from New Amsterdam in 1654 through heroes in the revolution and support for George Washington's presidency. Music and song-leading by Ben Brussell. We celebrated the May birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Room II.

April 2015 — Passover Seder
Passover graphic Our unique and moving humanistic Passover Seder, "Modern Exodus" was held with over 90 guests. It was a combination catered and potluck event, featuring catered main courses, soups and sides, with potluck appetizers, deserts and beverages. As part of our haggadah, three members shared their family exodus stories, each a unique chapter of Jewish history. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Community HalI.

 

April 2015 — Bagel Brunch
Yom HashoahMember Herta Weinstein was our speaker today in observance of Yom Hashoah. She spoke about her parents' experience on the ship St. Louis and her letters to them from England where she was taken as part of the Kindertransport. Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.

 

 

April Shabbat on May 1!!
Shabbat ItemsOur April Shabbat occurred on the first day of May in San Francisco (Inner Richmond neighborhood) at the home of our member Gabie Berliner. The commentary was on Economic Justice. For location, please RSVP to info@kolhadash.org. Our member-led humanistic Shabbat included music and song-leading by Ben Brussell. We celebrated the April birthdays of our members.

March 2015 — Bagel Brunch- International Women's Day
Dr Marilyn BoxerWe dedicated our IWD observance today to the memory of our president, Gladys Perez-Mendez, who passed away February 28th. Our speaker today was our own Dr. Marilyn Boxer, historian and Professor Emerita, SFSU, who spoke on "International Women's Day: From Socialist Politics and the Vote to Chocolates and Greeting Cards." Dr. Boxer has written on this topic for the Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest, and is author, co-author or co-editor of five books, including When Women Ask the Questions: Creating Women's Studies in America; and Connecting Spheres: European Women in a Globalizing World: 1500 to the Present. Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.

March 2015 — Between Cross and Crescent Video Series
Medieval Jews & ChristiansLecture topic today was "Italian Jewry in the Early Modern Period" Following the migration of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula and from Western and Central Europe, new Jewish communities emerged in Italy as well as in the Ottoman Empire and Eastern Europe. This lecture focused on the Jewish encounter with Renaissance Humanism as well as mysticism and Kabbalah. It also covered the erection of the ghetto system in Venice and other Italian cities and changing relationships between Jewish and Christian communities. Location: Albany Community Center, Room II.

February 2015 — Bagel Brunch - DARWIN DAY
Udi IsacoffEvery year we feature a speaker in celebration of the February birthday of Charles Darwin on a topic that honors scientific research and education. This year, our wonderful guest speaker was Prof. Udi Isacoff, a scientist at Cal whose area is development and function of brain connections, speaking on "Lighting up the Brain." Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.



February 2015 — Between the Crescent and the Cross Video Series
Medieval Jews & ChristiansLecture topic today is "The Decline and Expulsion of Spanish Jewry." This lecture explains how after centuries of relatively secure and prosperous co-existence in Iberia, beginning in 1391 Spanish Jews experienced violent pogroms in Castille and Aragon, followed by decades of hostility, persecution by the Inquisition, and ultimately the edict of 1492 that required them to convert to Christianity, go into exile, or be killed. Location: Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

February 2015 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsSusan AverbachPlease join us at our humanistic Shabbat service led by member Jane Eisenstark. Delivering the commentary this month will be Rabbi Susan Averbach, a newly ordained humanistic rabbi who led our services for many years. The title of her talk is "Judaism and Mindfulness: Roots and Wings". Music and song-leading will be provided by Ben Brussell. We will also celebrate the January and February birthdays of our members. Please bring something to share for the oneg, and non-perishable item(s) for the food bank. Albany Community Center, Room II.

January 2015 — Bagel Brunch
Daniel C MattOur speaker today was Daniel C. Matt. Scholar and professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, he has taught at Stanford University and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and is well-known for his translation of the Book of Zohar into English and for his many other published works, including the best-selling The Essential Zohar. His many honors include the National Jewish Book Award and numerous prestigious fellowships and awards. He is currently working on an 11-volume, annotated English edition of the Zohar. Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.

January 2015 — Tu B'Shvat Seder and Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur unique and humanistic Tu B'Shvat seder and Shabbat was led by member Alana Shindler.Tu B'Shvat is considered the new year for the trees--and we celebrated both our culture and the state's precious resources. Music and songs were led by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

December 2014 — Bagel Brunch: Popping Myths & Addressing Meaning in Human Movement
Betsy Keller KaganBetsy Keller Kagan, MFA, CMA, RMT, a new member of Kol Hadash, drew on her career as a Certified Movement Analyst and movement therapist as well as dancer and choreographer to present her paper - a case study in which she describes how she treated a dancer's back injury through the application of a movement rather than a biomechanical model. In her presentation she created awareness of some of the common misconceptions about movement that actually serve to diminish rather than promote movement function and expression. Having designed and taught specialized classes for seniors for 28 years, shel included demonstrations and examples that engaged the group individually in experiential explorations. She also introduced ways in which we can overcome injuries and embrace new possibilities as "movers" at any age. Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.

December 2014 — Channukah Party and Silent Auction
ChanukahOur annual Chanukah party began with a short service, followed by a delicious potluck, a wonderful silent auction, and entertainment by the Jewish Folk Chorus. Song-leading provided by Ben Brussell.

Location: Albany Community Center, Community Room.

 

 

November 2014 — Between the Crescent and the Cross Video Series
Medieval Jews & Christians"Understanding Medieval Anti-Semitism." In this lecture Professor Ruderman described a great decline in the legal, economic, social and political status of Jews in western Europe during the late medieval period; that is, the 13th-15th centuries. It was in this period that the image of the Jew as usurer, desecrater of Christian icons, poisoner of wells, murderer of Christian children—indeed, as the Devil, emerged and became widespread. Location: Albany Community Center, Community Room.

November 2014 — Bagel Brunch: Humanistic Judaism
Rabbi Sherwin WineOur topic was on Humanistic Judaism with a video presentation from the IISHJ conference, with discussion and questions following. Please bring your appetite for a delicious lox and bagel brunch. Public: $10/ea. Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.

 

November 2014 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur humanistic Shabbat was led by member Jane Eisenstark. Her commentary was on gratitude in this Thanksgiving month. We also collected money for the homeless families in the Berkeley school system. We had a discussion about shabbats and how and if we would like to change them. Music and song-leading by Ben Brussell. We celebrated November birthdays of our members with cake. Albany Community Center, Room II.

October 2014 — Erev Yom Kippur
Our moving member-led humanist service was graced this year by poet and scholar Marcia Falk, as well as the San Francisco-Munich Trio performing the Kol Nidrei (Bruch) and other chamber music selections. Song-leading was led by musician Ben Brussell. Location: Albany Community Center, Community Room.

October 2014 — Sukkot
Sukkot

For members only. Location: at a member's home.

 

 

October 2014 — Bagel Brunch on November Ballot Issues
Your Vote CountsOur speakers were Helene Lecar and Jean Safir, members of both Kol Hadash and the League of Women Voters. They covered state propositions and local ballot initatives. Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.

 

October 2014 — Shabbat
Shabbat ItemsOur member-led humanistic Shabbat was led by Sarita Mathiasen. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. We also celebrated the September and October birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

September 2014 — Bagel Brunch on Yiddish Culture
Joel SchechterDianna ScottOur speakers were Dr. Joel Schechter, professor of theater arts at SFSU, and author of Radical Yiddish and of Messiahs of 1933: How American Yiddish Theatre Survived Adversity through Satire, and Diana Scott, chair of Workman's Circle, Northern California, and a freelance writer. We also enjoyed a delicious lox and bagel brunch. Location: Albany Community Center, Rm I & II

 

September 2014 — Erev Rosh Hashanah
Apples and HoneyWe started the new year with a hamish and family-friendly Erev Rosh Hashanah service, co-led this year by adults and children alike, followed by an Oneg with apples, honey and other goodies. Song-leading was led by musician Ben Brussell. Location: Albany Community Center, Community Room.

 

August 2014 — Oakland Museum of California Tour
We enjoyed our second annual museum tour and lunch, this year at the Oakland Museum of California. The tour of the History Gallery was led by long-time history docent and Kol Hadash member Sheila Lichtman. Following this hour-long tour, some chose to visit the Art Gallery or the wonderful new Natural Sciences gallery. As we did last year, we arranged for a post-tour lunch at the museum cafe.

July 2014— Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
Medieval Jews & ChristiansThis session's topic was "The Medieval Jewish-Christian Debate" concerning the Christian policy of replacing tolerance with vilification of Jews and missionizing among them. One tactic was public disputation set up to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity, in which Jews were forced to participate. Two famous such "debates" were staged in Paris in 1239 and Barcelona in 1263. Albany Community Center, Room II.

 

July 2014— Shabbat
Our member-led humanistic Shabbat was led by Alana Shindler. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. We also celebrated the July birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Room II.

June 2014 — Shabbat
Our member-led humanistic Shabbat was led by member Alana Shindler .Song-leading was provided by members Jane Eisenstark and Eloise Fox. We also celebrated the June birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Room II.

June 2014 — Bagel Brunch: Making Mass Incarceration a Jewish Issue
Lawrence BushOur speaker today was Lawrence Bush, editor of Jewish Currents, a 68-year old magazine of secular Jewish culture and politics. He spoke about the 50th anniversary of Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964 (presenting many photographs), in which Jews made up at least a third of the 1,000 white volunteers who braved harsh violence by going to Mississippi in the name of voter registration and desegregation. Bush's presentation linked the old Jim Crow system to today's "New Jim Crow" - the mass incarceration of African Americans--and argued for why the Jewish community should again participate in the civil rights struggle.

Bush has been a creative force as a writer, visual artist and magazine editor for nearly three decades. He conducts a daily blog about the date in Jewish history, JEWDAYO. His newest books are Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist and The Tree Jumped, The River Ran Backwards, a collection of Talmud-based stories for children. Albany Community Center, Room I & II.

May 2014 — Bagel Brunch: The Woman in the Photograph

Mani FenigerThis session's topic was a Holocaust survivor's former life, and our speaker was Mani Feniger, whose book "The Woman in the Photograph" recounts her twenty-year journey across continents to discover a side of the mother she never knew. "This is an eloquent account of a daughter's transformative journey into the heart of her mother's hidden life. It will resonate deeply with anyone who has ever wondered about a parent's untold stories." --Elizabeth Rosner. Albany Community Center.

May 2014 — Shabbat
Our member-led humanistic Shabbat was also a memorial for members Joseph Luft, Peter Holloway and Walter Roos. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. We also celebrated the May birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

April 2014— Bagel Brunch: Human Rights in the Developing World

American Jewish World Service LogoThis session's topic was human rights in the developing world, and our speakers werel Gavriel Elkind and Liore Abrahams-Brosbe from the American Jewish World Service (AJWS). AJWS is the leading Jewish human rights and development organization working to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world. The organization pursues lasting change by providing financial support to local grassroots and global human rights organizations working in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by mobilizing American Jews and others in the U.S. to advocate for policies that will benefit people in the developing world. We learned about AJWS’s international grant-making strategy, as well as AJWS’s new domestic policy campaign to empower women and girls; hasten the end of child marriage; and stop hate crimes against LGBT people worldwide. Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.

April 2014 — Passover Seder

Passover graphic Our unique member-led humanistic seder, "Modern Exodus" was a combination catered and potluck event, featuring catered main courses, soups and sides, with potluck appetizers, deserts and beverages. Three members shared their family exodus stories from Poland, Hungary and Germany, each a unique chapter of Jewish history. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Community HalI.

 

March 2014 — Bagel Brunch: Jewish Women Writers

Prof. Kitty MilletOur speaker was Prof. Kitty Millet, Jewish Studies Dept, San Francisco State University. She addressed works by 20th century Jewish women writers from a number of countries, including Canada, France, Spain, and the United States, and focused especially on Latin America, including Argentina and Brazil. Albany Community Center, Room I & II..

March 2014 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic was "Patterns of Jewish Learning: Kabbalah." Albany Community Center, Room II.

March 2014 — Shabbat
Our humanistic Shabbat was led by member Gabie Berliner. Music and song-leading was provided by Kimberlye Gold. We also celebrated the March birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

February 2014 — Bagel Brunch: Darwin Day Celebration

John Hafernik photo"Looking for Darwin's Footprints in the World of ZomBees" -- Our distinguished guest speaker today was Prof. John Hafernik, SFSU; Interim Director, Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies;, and Trustee and President, California Academy of Sciences. Prof. Hafernik, an entomologist shared some of his research on a tiny parasitic fly and its relationship to bees. He also discussed how Darwin's ideas were influenced by his knowledge of the insect world. Albany Community Center, Room I & II.

February 2014 — Shabbat: Love
Our humanistic Shabbat was led by member Rosalind Leighton on the topic of love. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. We also celebrated the February birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

February 2014 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic was "Patterns of Jewish Learning: Rabbinic Learning." Albany Community Center, Room II.

January 2014 — Bagel Brunch: Post 'Arab Spring' Natural Resource Security

The guest speaker today was Booker Holton, Ph.D., a retired environmental scientist, environmental planner and applied ecologist. Dr. Holton addressed how climate change and impacts on food, water and health security contribute to political and economic instability, thereby acting as a ‘threat multiplier” for regional conflict; and the roll of “threat multipliers” in the “Arab Spring,” and whether there could be parallels in the aftermath, often referred to as the “Arab Winter”. Dr. Booker has worked in Israel and Egypt, among other locations. Albany Community Center, Room I & II.

January 2014 — Tu B'Shvat Seder and Shabbat

redwoodsOur humanistic and environmental Tu B'Shevat Seder (the "birthday of the trees") and Shabbat was led by member Alana Shindler. Music and song-leading wasprovided by Ben Brussell. We also celebrated the January birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Rooms I& II.

 

December 2013 — Bagel Brunch Gift Exchange
Our Bagel Brunch topic was a discussion of acquisition and letting go of material items, led by member Alana Shindler. We also had a holiday gift exchange based on re-homing items in good condition no longer needed or wanted. Albany Community Center, Room I & II.

December 2013 — Shabbat
Our humanistic Shabbat was led tonight by Ben Brussell, our musician and song-leader. A special oneg this evening was provided by member Bert Steinberg in celebration of his marriage to LeAnne Crousens. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

November 2013 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic was "The Crusades and the Jews", the impact of the Crusades on European Jewish communities in 1096, after the Pope called for the Crusaders to "liberate" the Holy Land from the Muslims. Albany Community Center, Room II.

November 2013 — Bagel Brunch: Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century
This guest speaker today was Seth Brysk, Central Pacific Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League. Albany Community Center, Room I & II..

November 2013 — Shabbat : Transition
Our humanistic Shabbat was led by member Jane Eisenstark on the theme of transition. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. We will alsocelebrated member Walter Roos' 96th birthday as well as other November birthdays of our members. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

October 2013 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic was "The Church and the Jews before 1096", the beginnings of anti-Judaism in Catholic scripture and doctrine. Albany Community Center, Room II.

October 2013 — Bagel Brunch: The Hornman
Our bagel brunch featured our long-time member and speaker Bill Nemoyten, reading from his memoir "It all Started with a Trombone: The Hornman Memoirs". Albany Community Center, Rm I & II.

October 2013 — Shabbat: Children
Our humanistic Shabbat led by Helene Lecar focused on children and family homelessness. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

September 2013 — Erev Rosh Hashanah
Our member-led service was enhanced this year by a wonderful commentary provided by film director Steven Pressman, 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. & Mrs. Kraus. Song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Location: Albany Community Center, Community Room.

September 2013 — Erev Yom Kippur
Our member-led humanist Yom Kippur Service was enhanced by an inspiring commentary provided by Elaine Elinson, journalist and co-author: Wherever There's a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Strikers, Suffragists, Immigrants, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California. Kol Nidrei (Bruch) and more were provided by the San Francisco-Munich Trio (Friedrich Edelmann, Rebecca Rust and Vera Breheda). Songleading was provided by Ben Brussell. Location: Albany Community Center, Community Room.

September 2013 — Sukkot Potluck for members
The delicious potluck met at Ann and David's home in Berkeley in their lovely sukkah.

July 2013 —Tour of Badè Museum
We were led on a tour of the Badè Museum of BIblical Archaelogy at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, led by Museum Director Dr. Aaron Brody.

July 2013 — Shabbat
Our humanistic Shabbat was led by member Harold Lecar with a theme of Economic Injustice. Commentary was provided by Bert Steinberg on Humanistic Judaism: how he came to it, what it means to him, and what the movement is about. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

July 2013 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic, from our newest video series, was "Jewish Beginnings in Christian Europe." This lecture traced the early history of Ashkenazic Jews, focusing on the formation of the first merchant and scholarly Jewish communities in Christian Western Europe. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

June 2013 — Poetry Shabbat
At our member-led humanistic Shabbat on creativity led by Alana Shindler, we shared poetry. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

June 2013 — Annual Business Meeting
Members-only business meeting elected board members, voted on the annual budget, and heard an update on our community; lunch was provided. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

June 2013 — Bagel Brunch: Local Human Services
Our speaker today was Rob Tufel, MSW, MPH, of Jewish Family and Children's Services of the East Bay. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

May 2013 — Bagel Brunch: Emma Goldman
Our speaker today was Dr. Candace Falk, archivist and director, The Emma Goldman Papers Project at U.C. Berkeley. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

May 2013 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic, from our newest video series, was "Moses Maimonides' Philosophy of Judaism." Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

May 2013 — Shabbat: Inspiration and the Sabbath
After a brief humanistic Shabbat, member Alana Shindler made a presentation on inspiration and creativity as expressions of the Sabbath, and screened a TED video. Music and song-leading were provided by Ben Brussell. The May birthdays of our members were celebrated. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

April 2013 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic, from our newest video series, was "Judah ha-Levi's Cultural Critique." Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II

April 2013 — Bagel Brunch: Holocaust Remembrance
Wescreened the film Harbour of Hope directed and written by Magnus Gertten today, about the nearly 30,000 survivors sent to Malmo, Sweden. Joining us was a member of the Swedish American community, Joanna Bankier, a scholarin this area. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

April 2013 — Shabbat: Legacy of Rescue
After a brief member-led humanistic Shabbat service, Bay Area author Marta Fuchs spoke about her book Legacy of Rescue: A Daughter's Tribute, the story of her father, Morton (Miksa) Fuchs, in wartime Hungary and the man who saved him, Zoltán Kubinyi. Afterwards, we also celebrated our members' April birthdays with a cake. Music and song-leading provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

March 2013 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic, from our newest video series, was "The Rise of the Spanish Jewish Community." Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

March 2013 — Bagel Brunch: When Uppity Women Challenge the Rabbinical System
The featured speaker was author Rachel Biale. Rachel Biale was born and raised in Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in Israel. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Jewish History from UCLA and her M.S.W. from Yeshiva University. She is the author of Women and Jewish Law (Schocken, 1984) and other books. She was the Bay Area Regional Director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, and has been involved in social justice projects for many years.

March 2013 — Passover Seder
We held our member-led and unique humanistic Passover Seder where we featured not only the traditional exodus story but the real exodus stories of some of our members and their families. This seder was a partially catered, partially potluck event--and very delicious--for affordability. Albany Community Center, Community Hall.

February 2013 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic, from our newest video series, was "The Philosophy of Saadia Gaon." Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

February 2013 — Bagel Brunch: Darwin Day - Science Denial, From Climate Change to Evolution
The featured speaker was Minda Berbeco, an expert on climate change and terrestrial systems, with a Ph.D. in Biology from Tufts University. Dr. Berbeco has taught, written, and presented talks on how the biological world will change with global warming, and how science deniers are affecting the national conversation. "Academic Freedom" bills are being introduced at the state level across the country to undermine quality science education. Originally devised to weaken evolution education in public schools, these bills have been expanded in recent years to include climate change science as well. Under the guise of teaching students critical thinking skills and protecting educators, this legislation insidiously erodes science education by promoting misinformation as scientific controversy. Dr. Berbeco spoke about the history of these bills, status of current legislation, and the future of science education in America. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

February 2013 — Shabbat: the Science of Climate Change
After a brief service, our speaker, Dr. Linda Swift, a geologist, addressed the science of climate change. Following the talk and service, we also celebrated our January, February and March member birthdays with a cake at our oneg. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

January 2013 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
This session's topic from our newest video series was "Saadia Gaon and His World." Albany Community Center, Rooms I and II.

January 2013 — Bagel Brunch: DIgging the Bible: Archaeology and Biblical History
Our Bagel Brunch today featured Prof. Aaron Brody, Robert & Kathryn Riddell Associate Professor of Bible and Archaeology, Director of the Bade Museum, Pacific School of Religion. Prof Brody spoke about the intersections of archaeology and biblical history.. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

January 2013 — Tu B'Shvat Seder
We held our member-led and unique humanistic Tu B'Shvat seder. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

December 2012 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
The topic of our newest video series was "Bagdad and the Gaonic Age." Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

December 2012 — Bagel Brunch: Jews in the French Revolution
Our December Bagel Brunch speaker was Dr. Sheila Delany, on the topic "Jews in the French Revolution." Delany is professor emerita of English at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the author of many books, including Writing Woman: Sex, Class, and Literature, Medieval and Modern (1983, 2007), Chaucer and the Jews (2002), and Anti-Saints: The New Golden Legend of Sylvain Marechal (2011). Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

December 2012 — Potluck Chanukah Party and Silent Auction
Our member-led humanistic Chanukah party and silent auction was held with music and song-leading provided by Ben Brussell and Glen Deardorff. The SIlent Auctionwas terrific and included theater tickets; original art and ceramics; private party entertainment; yoga lessons, country retreat; handyman services, food, dinners, and other great items donated by Kol Hadash members. Albany Community Center, Community Room.

November 2012 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
The topic of our newest video series was "The Beginnings of Jewish Life Under Islam." Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

November 2012 — Bagel Brunch: The Sunni-Shia Schism
The featured speaker of our November Bagel Brunch was Prof. Maziar Behrooz, presenting "The Sunni-Shia Schism and its Effect on Middle East Politics." Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

November 2012 — Shabbat
Our member-led humanistic shabbat celebrated Walter Roos' 95th birthday, and we had a discussion of our shabbats--what should they look like in the future? Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

October 2012 — Sukkot Potluck (members only)
Our Sukkot potluck was held at a Ann and David's home in Berkeley..

October 2012 — Jewish Civilization Between Cross and Crescent
The first topic of our newest video series was "The Rabbinic Legacy prior to Islam." The series explores Jewish history from Babylon to early modern Europe in this engaging series of video lectures, "Between Cross and Crescent: Jewish History from Mohammed to Spinoza." Taught by David Ruderman, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania. Lecture was followed by discussion led by Kol Hadash members Dr. Marily J Boxer, emrita professor of history, SFSU and Dr Bernie Rosen, emeritus professor of philosophy, Ohio State University.Albany Community Center, Rms I & Il.

October 2012 — Bagel Brunch: Upcoming Election Issues
Our Bagel Brunch featured League of Women Voters speakers (and members) Jean Saffir and Helene Lecar. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

October 2012 — Shabbat: Children and a Better World
Our member-led humanistic shabbat was lead by Gabie Berliner and our commentary exercise was led by Jane Freeman. Music was provided by Ben Brussell. We also collected donations for the homeless families in the Berkeley school district. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

September 2012 — Erev Rosh Hashanah
Our member-led humanistic observance of Rosh Hashanah featured a commentary given by Dr. Marilyn Boxer, Professor of History Emerita, SFSU, entitled "Rosh Hashanah, September and a Secular Life." Music and song-leading was provided by Kimberlye Gold. Albany Community Center, Community Room.

September 2012 — Tashlikh Service and Potluck Picnic
Our member-led humanistic observance of Tashlikh was held at the Willows picnic site at Tilden Park in the hills of the East Bay. There was an optional one-hour hike before the service, and a potluck barbecue picnic afterwards.

September 2012 —Erev Yom Kippur
Our member-led humanistic observance of Yom Kippur featured a commentary delivered by Dr. Elaine Leeder, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Sonoma State University and author of My Life with Lifers. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell, Kol Nidre played by cellist Hannah Addario-Berry. Albany Community Center, Community Room.

August 2012 — Bagel Brunch: The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai
Our Bagel Brunch today featured guest speaker Dr. Chana Kronfeld, Professor, Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley, to present "The Full Severity of Compassion: The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai." Amichai was an Israeli poet and humanist. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

August 2012 — Shabbat: Economic Justice
Our humanistic shabbat was led by member Harold Lecar. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

July 2012 — Bagel Brunch: Holocaust and Armenian Genocide Films
Our Bagel Brunch today featured returning guest speaker Dr. Lawrence Baron who focused on The Jewish-Armenian Connection: Holocaust and Armenian Genocide Films.

July 2012 — Jewish Intellectual History Series
We showed a video followed by a half-hour discussion: "Sherwin Wine and Humanistic Judaism." Commentary and discussion was led by Dr. Marilyn Boxer, historian and Dr. Bernie Rosen, philosopher. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

July 2012 — Shabbat: Literature with lots of poetry, song and story
Our humanistic shabbat was led by member Rosalind Leighton. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

June 2012 — Jewish Intellectual History Series
We showed a video followed by a half-hour discussion: "Feminist Jewish Theology." Commentary and discussion led by Dr. Marilyn Boxer, historian and Dr. Bernie Rosen, philosopher.

June 2012 — Shabbat: In Memory's Kitchen
Our member-led humanistic shabbat was led by member Claudio Bluer. Commentary reading was about food and hope from In Memory's Kitchen--A Legacy from the Women of Terezin. Music and song-leading provided by Ben Brussell.

May 2012 — Bagel Brunch: JEWISH GENEALOGY
Our Bagel Brunch today featured speaker Jeremy Frankel, Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society.

May 2012 — Jewish Intellectual History Series
We showed a one half-hour video followed by a half-hour discussion: "Theological Responses to the Nazi Holocaust." Video featured Prof. David Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, part of the Teaching Company series on Jewish Intellectual History. Commentary and discussion led by Dr. Bernie Rosen, philosopher. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

May 2012 — Shabbat - Commentary: Molly Freeman, J Street
Our humanistic shabbat was led by member Eloise Fox. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Commentary provided by Molly Freeman from J Street on the Two State Solution. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

April 7 — PASSOVER SEDER: A Modern Exodus
Our unique and humanistic community seder was member-led with music provided by Ben Brussell.The meal was a partially-catered, partially-potluck event held at the Albany Community Center. The catered portion of the event was by Scott Cardel Catering of Oakland.

April 2012 — Jewish Intellectual History Series
We showed a one half-hour video followed by a half-hour discussion: "Abraham Heschel--Mystic and Social Activist." Video featured Prof. David Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, part of the Teaching Company series on Jewish Intellectual History. Commentary and discussion led by Dr. Marilyn Boxer, historian and Dr. Bernie Rosen, philosopher. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

April 2012 — YOM HASHOAH Commemoration: Original Play
We were pleased to present an original play by member Rabbi Milton Matz entitled "Mischlings: Hiding in the Open," about the remarkable early life of Jutta Organek, wife, holocaust survivor and member of Kol Hadash until her death two years ago. Albany Community Center, Community Hall.

April 2012 — Shabbat - Commentary theme: MUSIC
Our humanistic shabbat was led by member Roberta Maisel. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell, with new songs by both Ben and Roberta. Albany Community Center. Rms I and II.

March 2012 — Bagel Brunch: CHARLOTTE SALOMON
Our Bagel Brunch today featured speaker Dr. Mary Lowenthal Felstiner on her book, "To Paint Her Life: Charlotte Salomon in the Nazi Era," about a remarkable young painter who perished in the Holocaust. Albany Community Center.

March 2012 — Shabbat - Commentary Theme: AGING WITH INDEPENDENCE
Our humanistic shabbat was led by member Gabie Berliner with guest speaker Marjorie Wolf, member of Ashby Village and past president of the Jewish Federation of the East Bay, to deliver the commentary. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

February 2012— Jewish Intellectual History Series
We showed a one half-hour video followed by a half-hour discussion: "Mordecai Kaplan and American Judaism." Video featured Prof. David Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, part of the Teaching Company series on Jewish Intellectual History. Commentary and discussion led by Dr. Marilyn Boxer, historian and Dr. Bernie Rosen, philosopher. Albany Community Center.

February 2012 — Bagel Brunch: DARWIN DAY
Our annual Darwin Day Bagel Brunch this year featured Professor Jere Lipps, UC Berkeley Dept. of Integrative Biology and Curator of Paleontology, UC Museum of Paleontology. He is a "hands on" paleontologist, as was Darwin himself. Lipps is an academic who advises environmental groups on how better to direct conservation efforts. Albany Community Center, Rms I and II.

February 2012 — Shabbat
Our special member-led humanistic shabbat was led by member Jane Freeman. Commentary was provided by guest speakers Laurie Williams and Allen Zabel on Climate Change and the Cap and Trade debacle. Additionally, we held a special Oneg afterwards to celebrate founding members Ada and Lee Spanier, who are moving to Chicago. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell.

January 2012 — Bagel Brunch: JAPANESE-AMERICAN INTERNMENT DURING WWII
Bagel Brunch today featurde both a film and speaker: Forsaken Fields, about Japanese-American farmers in California; and a presentation by Dr. Joseph Yasutake who was interned with his family at several locations in the West.

January 2012 — Jewish Intellectual History Series
We showed a one half-hour video followed by a half-hour discussion: "Martin Buber's Jewish Existentialism." Video featured Prof. David Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, part of the Teaching Company series on Jewish Intellectual History. Commentary and discussion led by Dr. Marilyn Boxer, historian and Dr. Bernie Rosen, philosopher.

January 2012 — Tu B'Shevat Seder and Shabbat
We held our Tu B'Shevat seder (our environmental holiday celebrating the "birthday" of the trees) and humanistic shabbat, led by member Alana Shindler, and shared tree fruit, nuts and charoset. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center.

December 2011 — Bagel Brunch: THE STORY OF STUFF
Our topic was materialism/consumerism and the environment, featuring the Story of Stuff video. Member Alana Shindler added commentary on "Jews and Stuff" as well as local recycling efforts, and led the discussion.

December 2011 — Jewish Intellectual History Series
We showed a one half-hour video followed by a half-hour discussion: "The Jewish Adventure with Socialism." Video features Prof. David Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, part of the Teaching Company series on Jewish Intellectual History. Commentary and discussion led by Dr. Marilyn Boxer, historian and Dr. Bernie Rosen, philosopher..

December 2011 — Shabbat and Potluck Chanukah Celebration
Our humanistic Shabbat and Chanukah celebration was led by members Judith and MIchael McCullough, with a commentary by Michael McCullough. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell.

November 2011 — Jewish Intellectual History Series
We showed a one half-hour video followed by a half-hour discussion: "Three Zionist Visions." Video featured Prof. David Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania, part of the Teaching Company series on Jewish Intellectual History.

November 2011 — Bagel Brunch: ADULT CHILDREN
Our Bagel Brunch today was led by member Dr. Roberta Maisel on her book "All Grown Up: Living Happily Ever with Your Adult Children." Commentary featured Helene Lecar and Bill Nemoyten. Albany Community Center.

November 2011 — Shabbat
Our humanistic shabbat was led by member Bill Nemoyten, whose commentary was Jewish family history. Music and song-leading was provided by Ben Brussell. Albany Community Center.

October 2011 — Bagel Brunch
Our Bagel Brunchwas led by guest speaker Prof Mary Ann Irwin on "As SF votes, so votes California: Selina Solomons and the 1911 Woman Suffrage Campaign." Albany Community Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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