Music & Performances

Stay Amazed: A Celebration of Poetry and Music 

Date: Saturday, July 23

Time:  7:30 pm

Location:  Berkeley Branch: 1414 Walnut Street

Phone: 510-848-0237

Tickets: $10

Join us for the third annual gathering hosted by Berkeley Arts Ambassador Susan Duhan Felix. Nearly 20 artists from Berkeley to New York will come together for this special evening of readings, songs, and dancing. Mike Perlmutter will lead Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band in a dance party to celebrate the night! Light refreshments will be served.

Performers Include:

Barry Barkan · Lester Chambers · Sharon Coleman · David Cooper · Linda Hirschhorn · Laura Inserra of Samavesha · Eliana Kissner · Nadine Lockheart · Zigi Lowenberg · Kirk Lumpkin · Sharon Skolnick-Bagnoli · Lisa Smartt · Laynie Tzena and more surprises! 

Copies of "Stay Amazed" will be on sale, benefiting Poetry Flash: Literary Review & Calendar for the West.


Past Programs 

The Jewish Cover Concert Series

Guest Curator: Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell

Russell is a transformative vocalist who explores Jewish and African-American diaspora culture, specializing in the music of Sidor Belarsky (1898-1975), one of the 20th century’s most prolific performers of chazzanut, Chassidic nigunim and Yiddish song.

Schlomo Carlebach
Schlomo Carlebach

Lord, Get Me High: Shlomo Carlebach Reinterpreted

Date: Saturday, May 21, 2016 | Time: 7:30 pm | Tickets: $10

The enormously influential work of Shlomo Carlebach (1925-1994) meets the wildly diverse talents of the Bay Area Jewish music scene in a concert of creative interpretations of the beloved melodies of "The Singing Rabbi." 



In Residence: Book of J: Jewlia Eisenberg and Jeremiah Lockwood

Rosh Khodesh: New Moon Gather 

Dates: May 9  | Time: 7:30 pm | Tickets: $10

Did you know that each Jewish month – marked by the new moon – has its own mythology, including Zodiac sign, special color and sensory input? New Moon Gather is a chance to celebrate the new month in a welcoming context, rich with learning and music. 

Together we will read texts, and then Book of J will teach and perform songs based on the themes of the month. We will close with a group ritual outside under the dark sky. A great way to bring in the new month with joy and intention!

Jewlia Eisenberg is a vocalist, recording artist, ethnomusicologist, and founder of the Balkan-funk-punk band Charming Hostess. Jeremiah Lockwood’s band Sway Machinery mixes 200-year old cantorial melodies with Afro-pop horn parts and subway blues.


The Jewish Studio Project’s The Sinai Sessions: Miriam Raziel

Date: Thursday, April 7 | Time: 7:30 pm | Tickets: $10

Location: Berkeley Branch

Part concert, part multi-sensory experience, The Sinai Sessions blend musical performance with hands-on creative exploration. Singer songwriter Miriam Raziel makes rootsy music fusing reggae, jazz, and Middle Eastern compositions. Her spiritually-inspired songs are often based on mystical Jewish themes and texts, and she has performed with the band Kirtan Rabbi.

The Jewish Studio Project uses creative exploration to strengthen connections to tradition, self, and community.



Citizen Film - Potsdam Revisited: Overture to the Cold War

Date: Thursday,February 18 | Time: 7:30 pm | Tickets: $14

Location: Berkeley Branch

Artists-in-Residence Citizen Film are multimedia documentarians guided by the belief that well-crafted stories can provide audiences with a powerful means for engaging with culture and community. Citizen Film’s work has been featured at the Sundance Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art – New York, LA County Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn, the Whitney, and more.

Potsdam Revisited: Overture to the Cold War

This film screening and live performance will transport you to an extraordinary moment of intersection between history and music. There’s also a sneak preview of “The Rifleman’s Violin,” a documentary directed by Citizen Film’s Sam Ball and produced by Abraham D. Sofaer.

Potsdam Revisited tells the story of Stuart Canin, a young Jewish GI from the Bronx, who in 1945 played a private concert for the Big Three – Truman, Stalin and Churchill as they prepared to negotiate the post-WWII fate of the world. Mr. Canin eventually became a renowned violinist and concertmaster of orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Opera, and his music is featured in films such as Schindler’s ListTitanic and Forrest Gump.

The screening will be followed by a performance by Mr. Canin recreating his concert for the Big Three, as well as a discussion with Canin and the filmmakers about their collaboration with the Hoover Institution on the Stuart Canin living history archive.

Details at

Photo Credit: "The Rifleman's Violin" directed by Sam Ball, Copyright Citizen Film 2015.

Post-Program Highlights 


Jewish Studio Project Presents Sinai Sessions featuring Darshan & Bambi

Date: Thursday, January 28 | Time: 7:30 pm | Tickets: $10-15

Location: Berkeley Branch

Part concert, part multi-sensory experience, Jewish Studio Project's Sinai Sessions blend music performance with hands-on creative exploration.  

Catch the poetic, psychedelic music of New-York based hip hop group Darshan, made by Shir Yaakov Feit’s mesmerizing melodies and the unforgettable rap/poetry of Eden Pearlstein (ePRHYME). Opening for Darshan is Bambi, an historian and Kabbalah teacher who will mix sacred, sensual music from around the globe during the opening creative session. 

Post-Program Highlights 

Mrs. Reiff & The Counterfeit Shop 

Date: Saturday, January 30 | Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Tickets: $8

Location: Berkeley Branch

Staged reading of a new play by Stephanie Anne Johnson. It is an autobiographical portrait of the enduring love and friendship between a middle-aged European Holocaust survivor and an African American teenager. The play depicts a particular time (1960s) and place (New York metropolitan area) when Black people and Jewish people found common cause working together for civil rights.

The JCC East Bay is proud to present the first reading of the entire play, which will be read by the playwright, Susan Duhan Felix and theater artist, choreographer, and educator Bruce Bierman.

Stephanie Anne Johnson

Stay after the reading for light refreshments and a community dance party!

Guest Curator, Susan Felix

Felix is the City of Berkeley's first Art Ambassador and an internationally exhibited ceramic artist. She was also the first Executive Director of the Jewish Arts Community of the Bay, led UA Housing, creating housing services for the homeless, and was president of the Berkeley Art Commission.

Playwright, Stephanie Anne Johnson

Dr. Johnson is a visual artist, solo performer, lighting designer and second-generation theater practitioner who has worked locally, nationally, and internationally for over 40 years. She is a professor in the Visual and Public Art Department at California State University, Monterey Bay.