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"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Archive for the ‘East Bay’ Category

Yom HaShoah at UC Berkeley Hillel, year 2000

Posted by Oyster on July 29, 2012

[This is a recollection of something that transpired over ten years ago. Why am I writing this now? Just seemed apropos for Tisha B’Av.]

I ate my last meal before the fast took hold. After sundown, I took off my shoes and socks, and slipped out of Bowles Hall to walk down Gayley Road to the Reutlinger Center. The Berkeley Hillel had organized a 25-hour schedule of activities commemorating the Holocaust, starting with a memorial service. Students gathered and began to kindle tealights near the auditorium.

Josh Miller, then the JCSC fellow, helped lead the service and introduced everyone to a niggun that he learned on a trip to Poland. I recall that he said that when his trip was taught that song, and they began to sing the niggun and dance in a former Jewish neighborhood, an old Polish woman came up to them and said that she had not heard that song since her early childhood. [Please listen to this niggun and propagate its memory:  M4A format]

I went back to my dorm for a short rest, then arose at 3 AM to head to the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft. The sky was red, reflecting the urban light pollution off of the underside of the fog bank hovering over the city. I could see snatches of the Campanile as it faded in and out of the fog. I found a group of four students standing in a tight huddle around a memorial candle, clutching reams of paper. A close inspection showed that the pages held, in dense, fixed-width font the names of thousands of victims of the Holocaust. The students took turns reciting the name of a victim, perhaps with their age and their country. Sadly, sometimes entire families were listed together, and one could envision the tragedy that the terse computer print-out did not explicitly recount. This solemn vigil was kept for 25 hours throughout Yom HaShoah, and I joined in for an hour in the dead of night, barefoot.

Posted in Antisemitism, Baruch Dayan Emet, East Bay, On-Campus | Leave a Comment »

Posted by kneidalach on April 12, 2011


Selections from the Kirshner Family of Artists

Artists’ Talk and Reception

Thursday, April 14

5:30-7:30 pm

Contra Costa JCC ● Free

Join us as we celebrate the artwork of the Kirshner family. Meet Alan and Ed Kirshner, stroll through our galleries, and enjoy a wine reception.

Alan, a political scientist and documentarian, will discuss his work as a photographer in the context of growing up in a culturally active family. Ed, an architect and glass and neon sculptor, will talk about his work and the influence of his parents on his choices as an artist.

Proceeds from works for sale will benefit the Contra Costa JCC.
For information, please email artgallery@ccjcc.org or call
(925) 938-7800, ext. 240.

These programs are funded by a generous grant from
the Koret Foundation.

Posted in Culture, East Bay, Events, Food, Judaism | Leave a Comment »

Pell Lecture: When Music Stopped…

Posted by kneidalach on April 12, 2011

When the Music Stopped:

The Spoliation of Europe’s Musical Property,

1933-1945, and 21st Century Concerns  

Carla Shapreau
Adjunct Faculty, U.C. Berkeley, School of Law

Thursday, April 28, 5 pm

Heyns Room, Faculty Club, University of California, Berkeley

Followed by a reception

Carla Shapreau will discuss her research in the Institute of European Studies at U.C. Berkeley regarding the looting and displacement of musical manuscripts, printed music, and musical instruments during the Nazi Era, as well as the challenges that remain for 21st century progress.  Carla Shapreau is a Research Associate in the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a member of the Adjunct Faculty in the School of Law, where she teaches a course on art and cultural property law.  Ms. Shapreau is co-author of Violin Fraud, Deception, Forgery, and Lawsuits in England and America (Oxford University Press 1997), and has lectured and written broadly regarding cultural property issues.  Ms. Shapreau is also a violin maker.

A short piece for piano, violin, and cello composed by Edwin Geist in 1942, “Kosmischer Frühling”  (Cosmic Spring), will be performed by U.C. Berkeley students at the close of the lecture.

Presented by the Jewish Studies Program. Sponsored by The Joseph and Eda Pell Endowed Fund for Holocaust Studies.
Co-presented by The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. Co-sponsored by the Alfred Manovill Holocaust Studies Program.

For More Information, please visit www.magnes.org, or contact magnes@library.berkeley.edu

Posted in Antisemitism, Culture, East Bay, Events, Food, Learning, Music, On-Campus, Oy Bay! | Leave a Comment »

Seymour Fromer, founder of the Judah L. Magnes Jewish Museum in Berkeley, dies at 87

Posted by Oyster on November 8, 2009

LA Times for the obit.

Posted in Baruch Dayan Emet, Culture, East Bay | Leave a Comment »

Oy Bay Purim Round-Up

Posted by Oyster on March 9, 2009


The above graphic of Rabbi Langer of SF flying with blue wings is the winner of the first-annual Oy Bay Purim party poster award. Congrats, Grateful Yid!

Khag Purim Same’akh!

Posted in Communities, East Bay, Events, Judaism, On-Campus, San Francisco, South Bay, Young Adults | Leave a Comment »

BART Murder Victim Oscar Grant Exploited by Bay Area Pro-Palestinian Groups

Posted by Oyster on January 28, 2009

It's the jooooooooooooooooooooos, stupid!

It's the jooooooooooooooooooooos, stupid!

Read this here on Blue Truth. Interestingly enough, I came across this article on, of all places, Arkansas IndyMedia. I wasn’t aware that they had any media in Arkansas, let alone financially-independent-yet-ideologically-dependent media. 😉 j/k!

Oh, and btw, that poster isn’t Antisemitic, ‘cuz it shows an Uzi shooting the child in the head, which EVERYBODY knows is an Israeli automatic weapon. Pay no attention to the Jewish Star of David in the upper left corner! How dare you accuse them of Antisemitism! You must have faked the Holocaust just so that you could accuse them of Antisemitism! Stop trying to silence/suppress/oppress them!

For those of you who either A) don’t live in the Bay Area, or B) live in a hole in the Bay Area, Oscar Grant was the man who was shot in the back while bound early on New Year’s Day in a BART station. It gained national attention by the fact that there were so many witnesses to the shooting, and the fact that many of them were able to snap pictures & video of the event as it unfolded.

Posted in Antisemitism, Bay-Gulls, East Bay, Israel | 6 Comments »

Hannukah Balls Battle for the Heart of San Francisco

Posted by Oyster on December 24, 2008

I wonder what the rest of the Matzo tastes like...

I wonder what the rest of the Matzo tastes like...

It turns out that no less than four separate Jewish mega-parties have been planned for Christmas Eve here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The private Jew-party factory known as LetMyPeopleGo has partnered with JDate and has imploded apparently, Heeb Magazine is launching the SF version of its contrarian NY anti-Matzo Ball party known as Heebonism, their for-profit arch-villain has headed over the Bay Bridge to seek refuge in Berkeley (their ultra-slick website seems to scream “we’re corporate and afraid to say that we’re Jewish!”), and of course there’s the local favorite, the SF Jewish Federation Young Adult Division’s Latke Ball. Where-ever you end up tomorrow, please drink responsibly. You wouldn’t want to wake up realizing that you shtupped a goy by mistake. j/k!

Happy Hannukah!

Posted in East Bay, Events, San Francisco, Young Adults | Leave a Comment »

Happy Hanukkah Happening’s Around the Bay

Posted by challahbackgirl on December 18, 2008

While many groups have done pre-Hanukkah festivities this year. There’s still plenty going on for Hanukkah 5769. Check out a day by list on Jews’ Next Dor’s Blog: Oh Hanukkah is Happening in a Big Way Around the Bay in 5769.

There’s events for singles, for Young Adults, familes, lots of mitzvah opportunities, Ice skating, bowling, latke making, and a giant Chocolate Menorah too. Some of the events require registering or have discounts for paying in advance so check them out now, before the holiday starts.

Posted in Communities, Culture, East Bay, Events, Film, Food, Peninsula, San Francisco, South Bay, Young Adults | 1 Comment »

The Unfolding Story of the Death of Dan Kliman, z”l

Posted by Oyster on December 5, 2008

dan_klimanThe news keeps trickling in about Dan Kliman’s mysterious death. On one one hand, nothing about the circumstances of his death are beyond the plausible. The elevator was broken. He was taking classes in the building. But the mundane generalities of this tragic event end there. He was arguably the Bay Area’s preeminent pro-Israel activist, often going toe-to-toe on the streets of San Francisco with rabid Anti-Israel protesters who had no compunctions with slipping into unabashed Antisemitism. The classes that he was taking at the building where he died was Arabic language. He dated one of the instructors. He was a gay, vegetarian, Orthodox Jew who was a bicycling activist. No one seemed to notice him missing, even though it was Thanksgiving weekend and he was supposed to be on an ORGANIZED trip to Israel. [UPDATE 12/09/2008] A friend of Dan’s wrote to inform me that indeed people noticed him being incommunicado even a few days before his death.

I can only give you my gut feeling on this one, my kind readers, since I have no special insider knowledge. All that I can do is tell you my personal feeling on this one, and that something stinks here. There’s just way too many unknowns and unusual circumstances here. This is no Israel-loving haven, and he had no short list of people who wouldn’t mind him dropping dead. I’m really glad that the SFPD decided that this warrants them opening up a multi-group Task Force to conduct a thorough investigation (see link below). Dan’s senseless death cries out for the truth, and sunlight is the best remedy.

Aside from my meaningless drivel, I can aggregate what is known.

Here are some blog-posts:

  • Zombie, the Bay Area’s ardent Zionist shutter-bug, gives a personal testament to his friend Dan.
  • AtTheBackOfTheHill remembers his friend Dan, and takes their anti-Israel antagonists to task for fostering an environment of hate.
  • SF Voice for Israel has suffered the loss of Dan and another key activist in the recent past. Both are commemorated on their website. Also, they have released a statement regarding Dan’s death, that was posted courtesy of AtTheBackOfTheHill.
  • CFSWarrior recalls a very disturbing event that happened to Dan outside of the Israeli Consulate in SF shortly before his death.
  • heeb’n’vegan recalls this quote from Dan: “People do indeed define down Judaism and often use the ‘buffet method’ for their mitzvot. … On Yom Kippur, my Rabbi talked of how it is nearly impossibly for anyone, even a great tzadik (righteous person), to fulfill all the commandments; therefore, we should think in terms of bettering ourselves rather than achieving perfection.”
  • The Bicycle Blog commemorates Dan’s passing, and has a photo of Dan’s bike still outside the building where he died on the day that his body was discovered.
  • Critical Mass St. Louis mourns the death of their founder.
  • One of Dan’s many e-friends leaves him an e-testament over at Zionism-Israel.com .

Here are some articles:

  • Hands down, the best coverage has been from the SF Weekly, that gives it the local attention that this story deserves, and Joe Eshkenazi, formerly a reporter for the J Weekly, is intimately aware of Kliman’s background in the Jewish community. Here, Joe gets the police on the record saying that they “have evidence” that Kliman walked into the elevator shaft.
  • Then, Inspector Krimsky claims that his “words have been twisted around“, and that they have hard physical evidence putting Kliman inside the elevator car shortly before his death. They say that they will be able to release more information regarding the physical evidence after December 15th. That date seems to coincide with the most likely end-date of his family ending the Shiva.
  • Latest from SFW is that in order to make sure there’s no mistake, a Task Force is being formed to check all possible hate crime and homicide leads surrounding the case.
  • KCBS buys the police’s story
  • KPIX story gives more of an emphasis to Dan’s “pro-Israeli” activism.
  • The J’s late-breaking (with an emphasis on late) article. Also syndicated to the JTA, that was one of the first outlets to break the news. [UPDATE 12/09/2008] Also syndicated at The Cutting Edge.
  • Debbie Schlussel claims that his death was at the hands of Muslim extremists. Then, she gets the smack down from the East Bay Express, that calls her an Ann Coulter wannabe.

I’ll try to post more information as it becomes available.

Posted in Antisemitism, Baruch Dayan Emet, Communities, East Bay, Israel, San Francisco | 4 Comments »

Yakkety-Yak: The Young Adult Knesset Convenes

Posted by Oyster on December 2, 2008


… don’t talk back!

Imagine my surprise, when I found a paucity of kosher yak meat at the “dinner provided”. NOT AMUSED.

With Josh Miller of the Jim Jospeh Foundation as the Sanhedrin Nasi, running the show, and Dan Wolf, quietly wielding his influence as the Kohen Gadol, the Young Adult Knesset (YAK) convened for only the second time in its history, on Tuesday from 5:30 – 7:30 PM at the Jewish Gymnasium JCCSF. What is the YAK, you ask? Well, last year Dan Wolf wanted to convene a council of representatives from all of the major young adult Jewish groups in the Bay Area. And this is the second convening of said body. There was a loud & excited exchange of ideas as we counted off & broke out into groups (in true Jewish org style) to discuss our common tzuris. A short list:

  • outreach to unaffiliated Jews
  • funding
  • effective marketing to members
  • communal event listing calendar
  • roster of Jewish orgs, clustered by theme
  • welcome package for Jews new to the area
  • co-sponsoring events
  • & more

Unfortunately, the concerns that I raised before the first meeting around about a lack of representation from the South Bay were not evidently ameliorated. To be fair, I don’t know if they were contacted or not. There was this dude Adam from the East Bay Fed, which is better than being 100% pure unbridled SF Jew (not that there’s anything wrong with that…).

Josh is right now wrapping things up, so I should probably stop dividing my attention. Plus, I need to get to the Mumbai Massacre tribute downstairs pretty soon. But there’s some great discussion going on right now about how we can continue our collaboration together.

Posted in Bay-Gulls, Communities, East Bay, Oy Bay!, San Francisco, Young Adults | Leave a Comment »