Binah: Creative Voices from the JCCSF

This series, which is broadcast on KALW 91.7 FM on Thursday afternoons at noon, features many of the remarkable artists and thinkers who continue to speak at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.

We are always working to update this page so that it more accurately reflects the current broadcast season. We also invite you to visit our Podcast channel where new JCCSF lectures (Binah broadcasts included) are added regularly.

Mark Russ Federman
In conversation with Joyce Goldstein

Lovers of lox unite! Join Mark Russ Federman, the third-generation owner of Russ & Daughters, the beloved appetizing store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, for a celebration of its long history. In Russ & Daughters: The House That Herring Built, Federman shares his immigrant family’s rags-to-riches journey from a pushcart on Hester Street in 1907 to a landmark institution of Jewish cuisine.
Recording date: Sunday, March 10
Broadcast date: Thursday, June 20

Marc Maron
From standup to television to his outrageously popular podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, this brutally honest comedian finds wisdom in the strangest places. Maron’s new book, Attempting Normal, is a reflection on his journey back through the wilderness of his own mind, the journey of a sympathetic screw-up who’s trying really hard to do better without making a bigger mess.
Recording date: Friday, May 17
Broadcast date: Thursday, June 27

Dan Rather
Former CBS News anchor and 60 Minutes correspondent Dan Rather is the embodiment of the intrepid broadcast journalist. In his new memoir, Rather Outspoken, he comes out swinging at CBS for showing an “absence of executive backbone” during its investigation of Abu Ghraib and reveals how his determination to air a potentially damning story about then-President George W. Bush’s spotty military record led to his firing from CBS News.
Recording date: Thursday, March 14
Broadcast date: Thursday, July 4

Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie’s new memoir Joseph Anton recounts how he lived under a death threat for 10 years, moving stealthily from house to house under police protection. Learn details about his years spent in hiding after the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him, sentencing Rushdie to death because his novel The Satanic Verses was deemed “against Islam, the Prophet and the Qu’ran.”
Recording date: Monday, September 24, 2012
Broadcast date: Thursday, July 11, 2013

Naomi Wolf
Social critic Naomi Wolf returns to the subject matter—women’s bodies and women’s lives—that made her name. Vagina: A New Biography is a work of cutting-edge science and cultural history that radically reframes our understanding of the vagina, and consequently, our understanding of women.
Recording date: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Broadcast date: Thursday, July 18, 2013

Louise Erdrich
With Michelle Richmond

Louise Erdrich’s writing often draws on her own Chippewa heritage. Her latest book, The Round House, is an indelible portrait of family and memory, injustice and vengeance, friendship and growing up on the Ojibwe Reservation in North Dakota.
Recording date: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Broadcast date: Thursday, July 25, 2013

Randy Cohen
The New York Times Magazine’s original “Ethicist” Randy Cohen explores what guides our choices when we are faced with everyday moral decisions. In his new book, Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything, he challenges us to locate our own internal ethical compass as he delivers answers to life’s trickiest dilemmas.
Recording date: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Broadcast date: Thursday, August 1, 2013

Vince Gilligan
With Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter

Addicted to Breaking Bad? You can thank Vince Gilligan, series creator and executive producer of the Emmy award-winning television series about a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine. Get the behind-the-scenes scoop from Gilligan, who is also a former writer and executive producer of The X-Files.
Recording date: Friday, November 2, 2012
Broadcast date: Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bernie Krause
For decades outspoken musician and environmentalist Bernie Krause has been recording nature’s vibrant chorus—hippo grunts, birdsong and even a tree’s bursting cells. Author of The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places, he makes an impassioned case for conserving of one of our most overlooked natural resources, the music of the wild.
Recording date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Broadcast date: Thursday, August 15, 2013

Daniel Pink
Business analyst Daniel Pink’s newest book is To Sell is Human, a fresh exploration of the power of selling, which each of us does every day, consciously or not. Whether we’re entrepreneurs persuading funders, employees pitching colleagues, or parents and teachers cajoling kids, we spend our days trying to move others.
Recording date: Monday, January 14, 2013
Broadcast date: Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cheryl Strayed
In conversation with Barbara Lane

In the wake of her mother’s death, with her family scattered and her marriage in tatters, author Cheryl Strayed made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. The story of how that 1,100-mile hike broke her down and built her back up again, chronicled in her bestselling book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, has resonated with audiences around the world.
Recording date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Broadcast date: Thursday, August 29, 2013

Michael Feinstein: The Gershwins and Me
Michael Feinstein was just 20 years old when he got the chance of a lifetime: a job with his hero, Ira Gershwin. The two became close friends. Feinstein blossomed under Gershwin’s mentorship, and Gershwin was reinvigorated by the younger man’s zeal for the legacy he and his brother George had created. Feinstein shares unforgettable reminiscences from his book The Gershwins and Me.
Recording date: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Broadcast date: Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mary Roach
In conversation with Jack Boulware

Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns) has made a career out of writing about his native Afghanistan revealing the beauty and agony of this little-known part of the world to millions of readers. In 2006 he was named a goodwill envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency, and has been providing humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan through The Khaled Hosseini Foundation. His new novel, And the Mountains Echoed, crosses continents from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco, exploring how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.
Recording date: Tuesday, June 24, 2013
Broadcast date: Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hedrick Smith: Who Stole the American Dream?
As the middle-class continues to be undermined, attaining a steady job with decent pay and health benefits, home ownership and a secure retirement has become more fantasy than reality. In his new book, Who Stole the American Dream?, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times journalist and Emmy award-winning PBS producer Hedrick Smith reveals the trail of political and corporate decisions that got us to where we are, and what can be done to restore our hope for a better life for future generations.
Recording date: Monday, April 22, 2013
Broadcast date: Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jaron Lanier: Who Owns the Future?
Known as the father of virtual reality, Jaron Lanier draws on his expertise and experience as a computer scientist, musician and digital media pioneer to predict the revolutionary ways in which technology has transformed our culture. In his new book Who Owns the Future?, Lanier examines the effects that network technologies have had on our economy and charts the path toward a new information economy.
Recording date: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Broadcast date: Thursday, September 26, 2013