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RICKY JAY Performs at San Francisco JCC on 11/1


The Friend Center for the Arts presents An Evening with Ricky Jay on Saturday, November 1 at 8pm at Kanbar Hall, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF). This performance, part of the ACRACADABRA series, kicks of the JCCSF's 2008-2009 season. Tickets are $70-$76 and recommended for mature audiences.

Ricky Jay is a world-renowned sleight-of-hand master and magician, and source on the subject for the Encyclopedia Britannica, He is also known for his stage and screen work with David Mamet and his acting roles in hits like HBO's Deadwood. His appearance in Kanbar Hall is a Bay Area exclusive.


For the 2008-09 Season, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF) has conjured up an enchanting new fall series exposing the origins of magic, mysticism and the paranormal, headlined by the one and only Ricky Jay. 'Abracadabra' will feature  , artists, writers, and performers, and focus on serious superstitions, friendly monsters, enduring spirituality, tradition and more.

The series runs from October through December, when the Katz Snyder Gallery on the second floor on the JCCSF will host an exhibit curated by Marcia Reines Josephy. "Magic and Superstition in the Jewish tradition," features some 50 items both old and new from all over the world, including amulets, rites of transition, new rituals, Hamsa, the Evil Eye, and zodiac/kabbalah. Objects range in age from the 1800s to today, and reflect the continuity and diversity of the Jewish experience.

Events and Performances:

Jewish Adventures with the Paranormal with Eddy Portnoy Thursday, 10/16, 8 pm Scholar Eddy Portnoy of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America takes a romp through the little known history of Jewish psychics, pseudo scientists and seers of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Tickets are $10 and $12.

Magician Jay Alexander Sunday, 10/19 at 2 pm: This family event with astounding magician and comedian Jay Alexander will be an afternoon of high-energy, intelligent entertainment. His fans include Robin Williams and the Rolling Stones, among many others! Suitable for ages 8 and up. Tkts: $15 - $20

The Besht: Teacher Shaman, Magician: A Brunch Seminar Sunday, 10/26 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Moshe Idel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem talks about the origins of the Hasidic movement and its mystical founder, the Ba'al Shem Tov, who lived much of his life as a miracle worker. Tickets $20 & $25 includes brunch.

Moshe Idel on Jewish Magical and Mystical Traditions Monday, 10/27 at 8 p.m. Also a prominent kabbalah scholar, Moshe Idel discusses the role of magic in Jewish mysticism, the use of amulets and incantations, and the persistence of the Jewish magical tradition in contemporary Israeli society. He will appear in conversation with Nathaniel Deutsch of UC Santa Cruz. Tkts: $10 & $12

An Evening with Isabel Allende Wednesday, 10/29 at 8 p.m. Magical realist writer Isabel Allende appears in conversation with JCCSF Director of Lectures and Literature Barbara Lane. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Allende has become a best-selling author across four continents, with works translated into more than twenty-seven languages. Tkts: $15 - $25

An Evening with Ricky Jay Saturday, 11/1 at 8 p.m. Ricky Jay, the world renowned sleight-of-hand master/magician, and source on the subject for the Encyclopedia Britannica, is also known for his stage and screen work with David Mamet and his acting roles in hits like HBO's Deadwood. His appearance in Kanbar Hall is a Bay Area exclusive! Recommended for mature audiences only. Tkts: $70 - $76

Abracadinner Friday, 12/5 at 6:30 p.m. A special evening of magic complete with dining and laughter, as magician Manny Sperling delights and entertains with his unique brand of family-oriented fun. $35 & $40 (Children under 12: $15)

Jews and Magic Sunday, 12/7 at 2 p.m. Magician and historian Manny Sperling hosts a multi-media homage to legendary Jewish magicians ranging from Houdini and Ballantine to Copperfield and Blaine, offering both background and performance. Not recommended for small children. Tkts: $20 - $25


Jews, Art & Magic
Three Monday classes 10/27 - 11/10 from 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Elayne Grossbard, Francesco Spagnolo and Deena Aranoff explore the relationship between Rabbinic Judaism, magic and superstition in art, music and text. $30 & $40

Monsters in the Jewish Imagination
Three Wednesday classes 10/29 - 11/12 from 6:30 -8 p.m.
Nathaniel Deutsch of UC Santa Cruz explores a Judaism made up of shadowy realms of spirits, demons and man-made monsters, and reveals why the dead like to gather in synagogues at night, how to avoid the evil eye, and how to make a golem. $30 & $40

The JCCSF is the longest-serving Jewish Community Center on the West Coast, providing educational, social, cultural and recreational programs to the entire Bay Area since 1877. Open to people of all ages, all faiths and all backgrounds, the JCCSF provides quality experiences through a mix of formal and informal activities. The JCCSF is located at 3200 California Street (at Presidio), and since its grand opening in January 2004, it has welcomed over 5,000 individuals on a daily basis.

For tickets to all events, please phone the JCCSF Box Office at 415/292-1233 or visit the website at

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