Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco Announces New Events for 2016–2017 Arts & Ideas Series

Today, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF) announced new events for their 2016-2017 Arts & Ideas series, featuring dynamic conversations with thought-provoking leaders, acclaimed authors and entertainers, as well as performances from locally and internationally recognized artists. The lineup will continue to expand as new events are announced throughout the series.

Tickets for the JCCSF's Patron's Circle and "Subscribe and Save" are on sale now and are open to the general public starting on Monday, August 15, 2016. Tickets, subscriptions and memberships may be purchased online at, by phone at 415.292.1233 or in person at 3200 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94118.

September 2016

Daveed Diggs with Chinaka Hodge
Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $50

The JCCSF's Arts & Ideas 2016-2017 lineup kicks-off with Tony Award-winning actor, singer and rapper Daveed Diggs of the revolutionary, hit Broadway musical, Hamilton. Diggs will be appearing in conversation with poet, educator, playwright and screenwriter Chinaka Hodge. The conversation will follow a freeHamiltunes SF Sing-Along during the day. It will be preceded by a three-part teen poetry slam workshop and performance in partnership with Youth Speaks, with the winners of the slam opening the evening with Diggs and Hodge. The JCCSF will provide transportation for teens from many Bay Area schools including Oakland School for the Arts, Berkeley High School and more. The atrium ambience will include a live DJ, food, and a bar.

Carl Hiaasen | "Razor Girl"
Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 4 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Carl Hiaasen has built a career writing rollicking misadventures inspired by the colorful annals of greed and corruption in South Florida. The author of thirteen novels ("Bad Monkey," "Skinny Dip," "Sick Puppy") and four children's books ("Chomp," "Hoot"), he has been called America's finest satirical novelist. His latest novel, "Razor Girl," is vintage Hiaasen: quick-witted, packed with colorful characters, and highly entertaining.

Elizabeth Rynecki | Chasing Portraits
Monday, September 12, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Free to the public

Elizabeth Rynecki grew up in San Francisco in the 1970s, surrounded by her great-grandfather Moshe Rynecki's paintings of pre-WWII Jewish life in Poland - depicting woodworkers, women sewing and street performers. Moshe created over eight-hundred paintings and sculptures before he was moved into the Warsaw Ghetto, deported and murdered in the Majdanek concentration camp. Hundreds of his paintings disappeared, and, for most of her life, Elizabeth assumed she had seen all of the paintings that had survived the war. But she ultimately uncovered clues that some of his work had been squirreled away from the Nazis during the war - tucked in basements, bought and sold - and might still be out there. She has spent thirty years hunting for lost pieces of her great-grandfather's legacy, along the way collecting the stories and heartache of Holocaust survivors and families just like hers.

An Evening of Music and Conversation with Jeff Bridges
Saturday, September 17 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $50

He's an actor, a musician and, to legions of Big Lebowski cultists, The Dude. One of Hollywood's most successful and beloved actors, Jeff Bridges won an Oscar for portraying a fading music legend in 2009's Crazy Heart, and has earned five Academy Award nominations for his roles in The Last Picture Show, The Contender, True Grit and others. He released his debut album, Be Here Soon, in 2000, and has been performing widely with his band The Abiders since the 2011 release of his self-titled album produced by T Bone Burnett. Join us for an unforgettable evening of music and conversation.

Mara Liasson | A Citizen's Guide to the 2016 Election
Sunday, September 18 at 4 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $38

Join National Public Radio chief political correspondent Mara Liasson for an in-depth look at the 2016 election. Liasson's reports are heard regularly on All Things Considered and Morning Edition, and she has covered every election since 1992, providing key coverage of the candidates and issues in both presidential and congressional races.

Mary Ellen Hannibal | Citizen Scientist
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $17

An award-winning writer and environmental thought leader, Mary Ellen Hannibalwades into tide pools, follows hawks and scours mountains to collect data on threatened species as part of her wide-ranging exploration of today's tech-enabled citizen science. Audiences of all ages are invited to find out how smartphones can make you a citizen scientist.

Child Psychologist Alison Gopnik
With Dacher Keltner
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Alison Gopnik is one of the world's leading child psychologists. In her latest book, "The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development tells Us About the Relationship between Parents and Children," she shatters the myth of "good parenting." She appears in conversation with social psychologist Dacher Keltner.

KALW 91.7 Presents Kamau Right Now!
Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $25

Fresh from his new CNN series United Shades of America and his Showtime stand-up comedy special Semi-Prominent Negro, W. Kamau Bell presents the next episode of his radical live public radio show Kamau Right Now! Kamau and his guests create a "three-ring circus of relevance" with provocative conversation, laughter and maybe even a few hugs. Be part of the audience for the show as it's broadcast live on 91.7 KALW.

Jonathan Safran Foer | Here I Am
With Molly Antopol
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at noon
Tickets: Starting at $28

Jonathan Safran Foer, the award-winning author of "Everything Is Illuminated"and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," discusses his much-anticipated new novel, "Here I Am," his first in eleven years. The story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis, it explores the very meaning of home - and the fundamental question of how much life one can bear. He will be in conversation with Molly Antopol, author of "The UnAmericans".

October 2016

Emma Cline | The Girls
Monday, October 10, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $48

Emma Cline's debut novel "The Girls" is easily becoming the most talked-about book of the year. With startling psychological insight, the novel - which is set in on Cline's home turf in Sonoma County- tells a seductive coming-of-age story inspired by the slavish young women caught up in Charles Manson's bloody cult.

Mark Bittman | How To Bake Everything
Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Mark Bittman, longtime New York Times columnist and author of more than a dozen cookbooks, demystifies baking, making it simpler than ever before. From American favorites like Crunchy Toffee Cookies to global baked treats like Nordicruis, these recipes satisfy every sweet tooth.

Bryan Cranston | A Life in Parts
Friday, October 14, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $50

Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston has played President Lyndon B. Johnson, a sitcom dad on "Malcolm in the Middle," blacklisted Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo - and, most famously, chemistry teacher-turned-cancer patient-turned-meth overlord Walter White in "Breaking Bad." In his riveting new memoir, "A Life in Parts," Cranston opens up about the many parts he's played on camera and off, and traces his zigzag journey from chaotic childhood to mega-stardom and cult-like following.

Veruca Salt's Louise Post and Nina Gordon
With Hazel English
Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

After a decade-long break-up, Indie rock legends and original Veruca Saltmembers Nina Gordon and Louise Post reunited last year with the album "Ghost Notes." The band - known for their beloved brand of grungy pop tinged with teenage aggression - hits the JCCSF stage with a selection of old and new favorites.

Mike Massimino & Adam Savage | Spaceman
Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 3 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $20

The JCCSF welcomes NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino and "MythBuster's"Adam Savage. Audiences are invited to "nerd out" about NASA as Massimino shares stories about the first time he saw Earth from space, his first spacewalk, his deep love for the Hubble telescope, and what having "the right stuff" really means. Family Space Day at the JCCSF precedes the conversation featuring free family-friendly activities, food, and demos starting at noon.

Alan Schwarz | ADHD Nation
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Alan Schwarz, an award-winning New York Times national correspondent, discusses his latest book, "ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic." He exposes the roots and rise of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, now the second most common long-term diagnosis in children, and reveals the powerful cultural and economic forces fueling its widespread diagnosis and drug treatment.

Venture Capital 101 with David Hornik, Amy Errett and Hunter Walk
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Three of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists reveal how their world works, what makes a successful pitch, and the latest hot trends. David Hornik, general partner at August Capital, invests broadly in information technology companies.Amy Errett, founder and CEO of Madison Reed and former venture capitalist at Maveron Ventures, transforms industries that are ripe for disruption. And former Googler Hunter Walk created Homebrew, a $35-million seed-stage fund.

Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia presents "Goodnight Moon" & "The Runaway Bunny"
Sunday, October 23, 2016 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $18

Margaret Wise Brown's classic, "Goodnight Moon" is a celebration of familiar nighttime rituals. "The Runaway Bunny" tells a poignant tale of a mother's love for her son. These stage adaptations, from the internationally-acclaimed Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, feature endearing animal puppets and stunning scenic effects based on Clement Hurd's illustrations, set to evocative musical accompaniment. The program is perfect for children age's two to six.

Jessi Klein
With Chris Colin
Wednesday, October 26 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Inside Amy Schumer head writer and executive producer Jessi Klein offers a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on the rites of modern femininity, hilariously and candidly exploring the journey of the twenty-first century woman. The author of the essay collection You'll Grow Out of It and the writer behind many of the most popular Inside Amy Schumer skits, including the "Last F***able Day" sketch, Klein strives beyond mere chuckles, also offering a more thorough accounting of what it means to be a woman in the world today. She is in conversation with the author of "What to Talk About", Chris Colin.

The Salon Presents T.C. Boyle | The Terranauts
Monday, October 31, 2016 at 3 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

The Salon, dedicated to presenting the best of today's literary writers in an intimate setting, welcomes master storyteller T.C. Boyle for a reading and conversation about his latest book, "The Terranauts," a hilarious, incisive deep-dive into human behavior through the eyes of a small group of people voluntarily sealed inside a glass enclosure. Tickets are very limited for this event, which includes culinary delights from local purveyors.

November 2016

The Germanacos Lecture | The LARB Radio Hour
Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

The LARB Radio Hour is part variety show, part talk show, part literary digest. The hosts - novelist and screenwriter Seth Greenland, journalist and theatre criticLaurie Winner, and writer Tom Lutz - have interviewed literary luminaries and first-time authors alike, in a style that mixes Comedy Central and NPR. This special live taping features novelists Ha Jin ("The Boat Rocker"), Rabih Alameddine ("The Angel of History"), and Jade Chang ("The Wangs vs. the World"); plus a performance by Dr. Loco's Rockin' Jalapeño Band.

Masha Gessen | Jews in the 20th Century Russia
Monday, November 14, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Acclaimed Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen reveals the complex, strange and heart-wrenching truth of Jews in twentieth-century Russia that begins with pogroms and ends with emigration. Gessen's latest book, "Where the Jews Aren't: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region," tells the true story of the region the Soviet Union declared a homeland for Jews in 1929, only to traumatize them and render them invisible in the late 1940s.

Stephanie Danler | Sweetbitter with Nancy Silverton
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $45

Stephanie Danler's "Sweetbitter," a coming-of-age story set in the wild and alluring world of a famous New York restaurant, has made a quite a buzz in the food world. It deftly conjures the adrenalized world of a thinly-disguised top restaurant and the fragility and brutality of being young in New York. James Beard winner Nancy Silverton is a restaurant owner and author of many celebrated cookbooks.

An Evening with Amos Oz
Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

A best-selling novelist, essayist and journalist, Amos Oz is a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has been recognized with international awards including the Israel Prize, the Goethe Prize and the Frankfurt Peace Prize. Oz returns to the JCCSF to discuss "Judas," an exquisite love story, and an allegory for the state of Israel and for the biblical tale from which it draws its title.

Friends for Benefits Presents Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Nickelodeon's "Avatar: The Last Airbender" took the world by storm, inspiring a film, a comic book series, and ultimately a sequel television show, "The Legend of Korra." Andrew Farago, curator of the Cartoon Art Museum, moderates a panel discussion with the talents who brought the show to life.

The Smiths' Johnny Marr
Friday, November 18, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Legendary guitarist and cofounder of the seminal British band The Smiths,Johnny Marr, takes us back to the summer of 1982 when, at eighteen, he sought out one Stephen Morrissey to form a new band they called The Smiths. That fateful moment created one of the most beloved bands ever, defining a period in popular culture, and profoundly influencing so many acts that followed, from Radiohead to Oasis and beyond. Join us for a conversation about the rapid ascent, strained relationships, and end of one of the most influential groups of a generation, and the story of this bona-fide guitar hero.

Morgan's Journey
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $15

Canada's longest-running touring play, Morgan's Journey, has been delighting children and their families around the world for nearly three decades. Audiences follow Morgan the Clown on his journey of discovery, delighting in the presents he receives, including a wise sock puppet who becomes his companion. The program is suggested for children ages 3 through 8.

Michael Chabon | Moonglow
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Free to the public

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon's novels include "Wonder Boys," "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," "The Yiddish Policemen's Union," and "Telegraph Avenue." "Moonglow," his latest is an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir that unfolds as the deathbed confession of a grandfather to his grandson.

December 2016

Dr. Craig Packer | Lions in the Balance
Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Dr. Craig Packer, the world's leading expert on lion conservation, has sparred with angry trophy hunters, fended off death threats and been barred from Tanzania for his outspoken statements about trophy hunters. His new book, Lions in the Balance offers a timely, humorous and brutally-honest account of lion behavior, ecology and conservation to date.

The Salon presents Yaa Gyasi
Monday, December 5, 2016 at 4 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

The Salon, dedicated to presenting the best of today's literary writers in an intimate setting, welcomes Yaa Gyasi for a reading and conversation about her stunning debut novel, "Homegoing." The novel charts the course of two sisters from 18th century Africa up through the present day. Tickets are very limited for this event, which includes culinary delights from local purveyors.

PBO SESSIONS: Handel's Joshua
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $25

PBO Sessions in collaboration with the JCCSF present Handel's Joshua, a new kind of classical concert experience with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale. Hear the Conqu'ring Hero Comes as Philharmonia Chorale Director Bruce Lamott, in conversation with KDFC's Hoyt Smith, leads us on a journey through excerpts from Handel's Joshua, part of PBO's multi-year exploration of biblical heroes. Philharmonia Chorale is joined by international stars Yulia Van Doren, Daniel Taylor and William Berger. Stick around afterwards to meet Bruce, the soloists and musicians, and join us for complimentary wine in the Atrium!

January 2017

The Yellow Ticket (Der Gelbe Schein)
Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Screening of "The Yellow Ticket (Der Gelbe Schein)" features a live performance of the score by Grammy-winning klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals, pianist Marilyn Lerner and clarinetist Laura DeLuca. The film's subject is a young Jewish woman (silent film superstar Pola Negri) living in a Polish shtetl, who tries to fulfill her ambition to study medicine but is coerced into prostitution to pay the rent. Shot in the former Jewish quarter of Warsaw, this silent film rarity addresses discrimination, human trafficking and poverty. The film will be followed by a talkback with Svigals and others.

Bill T. Jones
Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $38

Bill T. Jones has inspired a generation of dancers, choreographers and audiences. In 1982, he co-founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with his partner Arnie Zane. As the company's artistic director and choreographer, Jones has created more than 140 works, and in 2011, merged his company with New York's historical Dance Theater Workshop to create New York Live Arts.

The Jenerosity Foundation Lecture | Nina Totenberg
Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $40

National Public Radio's award-winning legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg shares her astute and seasoned perspective on the Supreme Court, legal issues affecting the lives of every American, and important cases being considered by the court today.

Giants of Jazz on Film | Jazz Centennial
Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

The longest-running jazz-on-film series in the country returns to celebrate the 100thanniversary of recorded jazz. World-renowned jazz film archivist Mark Cantor provides lively commentary for a uniquely curated show featuring a broad sampling of jazz classics - from early New Orleans jazz, swing, bebop and cool jazz to modal jazz, hard bop, West Coast and more. Jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington as well as Charlie Parker and John Coltrane grace the screen as we wish jazz the happiest of birthdays.

February 2017

George Saunders
With Dana Spiotta
Monday, February 13, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $48

George Saunders' first novel "Lincoln in the Bardo," is an unforgettable story of familial love and loss. Following the release of George Saunders' last short story collection, "Tenth of December," the New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story raved, "George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You'll Read This Year." Dana Spiotta is the author of the novels "Innocents and Others" and "Stone Arabia".

Cabinet of Wonders
Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

JCCSF audiences are invited to see what's inside the Cabinet of Wonders. Formerly known by his stage name John Wesley Harding, under which he has performed and recorded for the past 25 years, Wes Stace hosts a one-of-a-kind variety show with celebrated musicians, writers and comedians. You'll laugh, think and sing along - sometimes all at once! A little bit vaudeville, a little bit literary and a lot of rock 'n' roll.

Noise Pop and the JCCSF present Blonde Redhead
Friday, February 24, 2017 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 8 p.m.

Tickets: Starting at $28

Blonde Redhead featuring special guest, ACME, performs their seminal 2004 album Misery is a Butterfly in its entirety plus select songs from their extensive catalogue and debuts of new arrangements. The group performs for the first time in a large format with strings.

With Robert Pinsky and Laurence Hobgood
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Robert Pinsky, the only poet in history to serve three terms as U.S. Poet Laureate, brings his verse to life in PoemJazz, an innovative dialogue between poetry and music with Grammy-winning jazz pianist Laurence Hobgood. Elegant and tough, vividly imaginative, Pinsky's poems have earned praise for their wild musical energy and ambitious range.

March 2017

Giants of Jazz on Film |Jazz West Coast
Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Host Mark Cantor shares the West Coast's kaleidoscope of musical styles, from the heated sounds of Central Avenue to the Bay's lyrical style. See Stan Kenton, Dexter Gordon, Dave Brubeck, Jon Hendricks, Shelly Manne, Teddy Edwards, the Lighthouse All Stars and more. Come early for dancing with live music by the Klipptones quartet

Madeleine Peyroux and Rickie Lee Jones
Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $50

Eclectic roots songstresses Madeleine Peyroux and Rickie Lee Jones team up for a memorable musical evening at the JCCSF. Jazz-blues singer Madeleine Peyroux has been compared to Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, while Grammy winning singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones has been called "a cult heroine.".

The Pritzker Family Lecture| BRyan Stevenson
Sunday, March 27, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

BRyan Stevenson is one of the country's most visionary legal thinkers and social justice advocates. A MacArthur fellow and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a law practice dedicated to defending some of America's most rejected and marginalized people. A founding leader of the movement against mass incarceration in the U.S., he also recently served on President Obama's task force on 21st-century policing.

April 2017

Circus Bella
Sunday, April 4, 2017 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $20

San Francisco's favorite one-ring circus returns to the JCCSF for a show filled to the brim with fantastic delights, heroic feats, comical antics, as well as plenty more tricks and surprises! Suitable for children of all ages.

Giants of Jazz on Film | Great Vocalists of Note
Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $28

Host and film archivist Mark Cantor, culls priceless performances by some of our audience's favorite vocalists for this special evening of song including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, June Christy, Mel Tormé and many more. Come early for dancing with live music by the Klipptones quartet.

Single tickets are available online at, by calling 415.292.1233, and in person at 3200 California Street in San Francisco.

? Monday, July 11, 2016 Patron's Circle tickets available

? Monday, July 25, 2016 "Subscribe and Save" packages are available

? Monday, August 15, 2016 on sale to general public

Related Articles View More San Francisco Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You