Arts & Civics

Author Series    |    Music    |    Bay Area International Children's Film Festival

We the People: Restaurants and Living Wages in the #MeToo Era
with Saru Jayaraman

WED, MAY 1, 7 PM
Cost: Member: $15 / General: $20
JCC East Bay, Berkeley branch

With 13 million workers, the restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the US economy—and it is also the lowest paying. Join Saru Jayaraman, in a vibrant discussion about what these low wages mean for tipped workers, how this relates to #MeToo, and what can be done. Followed by a dessert reception.

Fierce advocate for restaurant workers wins 2019 Visionary of the Year Award

"Saru Jayaraman, an activist and organizer for restaurant workers, has said that as a plate of food moves from the kitchen to the dining room table, it passes from brown hands to white ones the closer it gets to a paying customer.

Research shows that white male restaurant workers in San Francisco get hired faster, promoted sooner and paid more than their Latino, black and Asian co-workers, while employees of color are often relegated to posts in the back of the house, as busers and dishwashers.

Jayaraman, 43, has devoted her career to fighting injustices large and small in the restaurant world: working to raise minimum wage, confront sexual harassment, promote employees of color and create safe workplaces for all.

For her efforts to improve working conditions for the restaurant industry, she has received the fifth annual Visionary of the Year Award, an honor that recognizes individuals who use their business savvy to change the world for the better. The Chronicle announced the honor at a Wednesday evening gala at the War Memorial Veterans Building. The award carries a $10,000 grant from The Chronicle that can be applied to advance Jayaraman’s work." - San Francisco Chronicle

Saru Jayaraman is the cofounder and president of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, and director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley.


American Creed: Screening and Discussion

TUE, MAY 7, 7 PM
Cost: Member: $10 / General: $15
JCC East Bay, Berkeley branch

In this film, directed by Sam Ball, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy come together from remarkably different backgrounds, life experiences, and points of view to explore the idea of a unifying "American creed." Following the viewing, Joan Blades (co-founder of and Living Room Conversations) and Elyse Eidman-Aadahl (Executive Director of the National Writing Project) will lead a discussion highlighting the film's citizen-activists who strive to reconnect our country's ideals across deep divides.

Presented by JCC East Bay in collaboration with Citizen Film.

Watch the trailer here.

Citizen Film is a not-for-profit production company dedicated to crafting documentaries with care and dignity that collaborates to create films and online media that foster active engagement in cultural and civic life.


Archimedes Lullaby

FRI, MAY 17, 7 PM
Cost: Member: $15 / General: $20
JCC East Bay, Berkeley Branch

Clarinetist Ben Goldberg presents Archimedes Lullaby, a new work scored for a quintet consisting of some of the most important improvising musicians in the Bay Area: Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone, Michael Coleman on keyboards, Hamir Atwal on drums, Jon Arkin on live electronics, and Goldberg on clarinet. The piece is inspired by Gjertrud Schnackenberg’s 2010 book-length poem, Heavenly Questions, a meticulous inquiry into love and connection at the end of life, which Goldberg encountered while in residence at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy in 2017.

Clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg grew up in Denver, Colorado. He was a pupil of the eminent clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo and studied with Steve Lacy and Joe Lovano. Since 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio "kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music" (San Francisco Chronicle), Goldberg has shaped a career through curiosity and experimentation across many genres and styles. The New York Times has noted that Ben’s music “conveys a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising, the constant usefulness of musicians intuitively coming together and pulling apart.” He has twice been named Rising Star Clarinetist by DownBeat magazine and has released over thirty records of his own compositions. His groups include: Invisible Guy; Orphic Machine; Unfold Ordinary Mind; The Cool Philosophy of Ben Goldberg; DIALOGUE, a duo with pianist/composer Myra Melford; the Ben Goldberg Trio with Greg Cohen and Kenny Wollesen; Ben Goldberg School; and Ben Goldberg’s Brainchild, an 11-piece ensemble performing his on-the-spot compositions. Goldberg plays in Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom and is on the Music faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. He also runs BAG Production Records.



We are grateful for the support of: Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Koret Foundation, Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay, Taube Philanthropies, Israel and Mollie Myers Foundation, and the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund

No one turned away for lack of funds.