Arts and Culture

Arts & Culture 

The Gathering

Thursday, April 12, 7 PM
JCC East Bay Berkeley Branch

Fee: $10 presale/member/senior/student; $15 at the door
Get tickets here.

The Gathering, written by Arje Shaw and directed by Joy Carlin, is set against President Reagan’s controversial visit to a German military cemetery in 1985. It explores the conflict between three generations of men as a family struggles to express their individuality.

The Gathering opened on Broadway at The Cort Theater in 2001, starring Hal Linden. It was first produced Off Broadway in 1999 starring Theodore Bikel and Jesse Eisenberg, directed by Rebecca Taylor.

Arje Shaw is a playwright, author, and actor. He wrote his first play, A Catered Affair, in 1994 after a career in social work. His 2004 off-Broadway hit, Magic Hands Freddy, was voted the number one play in the Journal. His novel, The Fix, based on his life, was published in 2011. Shaw was born in Russia, emigrated to New York from a German displacement camp, and dedicates his work to his family and the memory of martyrs.

Reaching Across Traditions: Spirituality and Medicine at End of Life
with Pastor Corey Kennard and Dr. Jessica Zitter

Presented by ReImagine the End of Life Series

Tuesday, April 17, 7 PM
Oakland Museum

Is spiritual support important for hospitalized dying patients? Should doctors pray with their patients? What if the doctor is a different religion, or not religious at all?

In part one of this series, we will take a look at the intersection of faith and medicine at the end of life and how to bridge traditions and cultures between medical professionals and their patients. Pastor Corey Kennard, head of the congregation at Amplify Christian Church in Detroit, has spoken widely about the spiritual needs of African Americans at the end of life. Dr. Jessica Zitter, a Jewish Critical Care and Palliative Care physician at Oakland’s Highland Hospital, has spent her career caring for seriously ill patients in the inner city. Facilitated by Amy Tobin, CEO of the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay, this conversation will explore the role of faith and prayer for patients with serious illness in the medical setting and will look at ways physicians can best serve the needs of their patients from different traditions.


Corey Kennard, Pastor, Amplify Christian Church, Detroit
Jessica Nutik Zitter, Physician, Highland Hospital, Oakland
Amy Tobin (facilitator), CEO, Jewish Community Center of the East Bay


Jewish Community Center of the East Bay
Northern California Grant Makers


Legendary A Cappella Ensemble Reunites

Saturday, April 28, 7:30 PM
JCC East Bay Berkeley Branch
Fee: Concert & Dessert, $25
Tickets available here.

​After a hiatus of five years, the a cappella group Vocolot is gathering together for a rare concert appearance featuring both original songs and songs of Jewish heritage from around the world in Hebrew, Yiddish, English, and Arabic. Their music, rooted in universal heart, social conscience and Jewish soul, communicates a powerful vision of world peace and reconciliation. This performance features Cantor Linda Hirschhorn, singer/percussionst Liz Stuart, and singers Talia Cooper and Jennifer Karno. There will also be guest appearances by former Vocolot members.

Produced by Dan Siegel, who has produced over forty Jewish music concerts for his Cozy Concerts series, the Jewish Music Festival, and Congregation Netivot Shalom. Dan also plays trombone in the Netivot Shalom Jazzkleztet and Albany Jazz Band.


Best of the Fest: A Four-Part Series

Missed the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival last summer? The JCC East Bay is thrilled to partner with the Jewish Film Institute to bring four of their best films to venues across the East Bay. This series highlights fan-favorite films centered around social justice, identity, stardom, and love.

House of Z
Wednesday, February 7, 7 PM
The New Parkway, Oakland

This chronicle of the fascinating career of fashion designer Zac Posen, known to many as a celebrity judge on Project Runway, shows how Posen began designing as a teen. With his family's support, he enjoyed a meteoric rise. Friendships with famous women (Claire Danes and Natalie Portman) helped catapult him to fame. But when his career stalls, Posen struggles with depression. His plans for a comeback with have audiences cheering for the likeable and talented artist.

Get your tickets here.

Heather Booth: Changing the World
Wednesday, May 2, 7 PM
Temple Israel, Alameda

"The most influential person you never heard of," Heather Booth is an organizer who has been at the center of almost every social movement of the past 50 years. From registering Mississippi voters during the 1964 Freedom Summer to joining Elizabeth Warren in the fight against Wall Street Banks, Booth has been a formidable force for change. Filmmaker Lilli Rivlin (Grace Paley: Collected Shorts, SFJFF 2010) creates a compelling portrait of an inspiring activist.

Join us here.

This program made possible in part by a grant from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund. 

Bending the Arc
Wednesday, May 9, 7 PM
The New Parkway, Oakland

Thirty years ago, a group of young, enthusiastic, and caring friends came together with a goal that was both simple and complex: to provide health care for all, particularly the poor in the developing world. This inspiring documentary charts the success of Partners in Health, an NGO which builds hospitals and delivers health care throughout the world as they work to bend the arc toward justice.

Buy tickets in advance.

This program made possible in part by a grant from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund. 

Bobbi Jene
Thursday, June 7, 7 PM
California Theatre, Downtown Berkeley

"I want to get to that place where I have no strength to hide anything." After a decade of stardom in Israel as a part of the illustrious Batsheva Dance Company, dancer / choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith at age 30 pursues a solo career in the U.S. Winner of the Best Documentary prize at the Tribeca Film Festival, Bobbi Jene is a portrait of a dancer which is an unflinching, wondrous and embarrassing as life itself. Note: contains nudity.

Don't miss out.

This program made possible in part by a grant from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund. 



Past Programs:

Hot Mess Kitchen: A Book Party
with Gabi Moskowitz and Miranda Berman

Little Stones
A Jewish Film Fest Event
Sponsored by the JCC East Bay

Bending the Arc
A Jewish Film Fest Event
Sponsored by the JCC East Bay

Body and Soul: An American Bridge
A Jewish Film Fest Event
Sponsored by the JCC East Bay

Stay Amazed
with Berkeley Arts Ambassador Susan Duhan Felix

What We Carry With Us: A Refugee Storytelling Lab
with Guest Curator Citizen Film

Celebrating Brit Shalom 
with Lisa Braver Moss

Jewish and Indigenous Communities: Lessons from Standing Rock
With Lehrhaus Judaica

Masha Gessen on Truth, Lies, and Totalitarianism in Russia and the U.S.
A Bay Area Book Festival Event
Sponsored by the JCC East Bay

Absurd and Hilarious: Stories About Money
A Bay Area Book Festival Event
Sponsored by the JCC East Bay

More Courage
with Jewish Women's Theatre

The Kvetchy Cowboys Ride Again! 
with Gerry Tenney and Arje Shaw

No Way Out: a Play by Susan Printz Shear

Sanctuary for All: Refugee Crisis Community Update
with Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay

Beyond Bubbe: A Taste of the Old East
with Reboot and JIMENA7

Roomies: Living Together
with Israel Story and Jewish National Fund

The Amy X-Perience
with Guest Curator Amy X Neuburg 

In the Belly of the Beast
with Jay Michaelson

Jewish Winemakers
with Guest Curator Alix Wall

Barry in Context: Film Screening and Discussion
with Adam Mansbach and W. Kamau Bell