May 2014

JCCSF Matters - April 2014 Edition

An Array of Seders
An Array of Seders

“I was in the middle of peeling eggs for the HYC Seder,” said Rabbi Batshir Torchio, “when my 19-year-old daughter called. I told her what I was doing, and she laughed, saying, ‘I remember the HYC Seder!’ She spoke with such happiness and excitement, though it had been more than 11 years ago.”
HYC is the Havurah Youth Center, the JCCSF's afterschool program, and the seder is, of course, the ceremonial meal during Passover, which features symbolic foods and a participatory script that tells the story of the Jewish people's journey from slavery to freedom.
This year, Passover was celebrated from sunset to sundown, April 14 – 22, and the JCCSF offered the community at least nine different seders, each with its own spin on tradition. “I love the latitude the JCCSF has to interpret Passover in ways that speak to the entire community,” Batshir continued. She herself presided over the JCCSF’s sold-out 35th Annual First Night Community Seder. “Since we’re not a synagogue, we have a wider landscape within which to understand the holiday in the context of community. Our door is open to anyone who wants to join us.”
Hundreds of community members attended a wide variety of celebrations. At the San Francisco Multicultural Passover Freedom Seder, a capacity crowd broke matzah with their fellow San Franciscans. And for the first time this year, JCCSF and City Winery Napa came together for the Bay Area premiere of Downtown Seder, an innovative pre-holiday celebration featuring more than 20 artists, politicians, and comedians, including Israeli singer David Broza and comedian Lewis Black.
Even the customary kosher dinner menu at the First Night Community Seder included both gefilte fish and sautéed chanterelles, matzah ball soup and Moroccan vegetable tagine. All agreed that it was a most delicious intersection of tradition and innovation.

What's Your Talent?
JCCSF Second Annual Talent Show
A clogger, a comedian and a contortionist walk into Kanbar Hall. Sound like the set-up for a bad joke? In reality, it was just three of the many acts that made last year’s talent show such a resounding success. This year, the JCCSF’s second annual amateur talent show promises to be even more fun.
The brainchild of JCCSF Board member Laura Klapper, the event is a showcase for our amazingly clever and creative community. This year’s diverse talent includes everything from solo singing to rock bands to hip-hop dance to baton-twirling. Comedian Nato Green hosts the event. It’s free, but advance reservations are required.
What's Your Talent?  Saturday, May 10.
Beatlemania Hits Showcase
Do you know Ringo Starr’s real name or which Beatles album had 73 people on its cover? Even if you don’t, you’ll still want to be in on the party of the year.
Answer: Richard Starkey; Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Don’t forget to RSVP for this year’s Showcase, where The Fab Four will transport you back to the height of the rock ’n’ roll era. Twist and shout to the band’s uncanny live renditions of Beatles songs, and feel good about supporting JCCSF initiatives like youth scholarships, hot meals for low income seniors and Jewish holiday programming. Dress like you dig it and get ready for one outrageously groovy evening.
Showcase 2014  Thursday, May 15.
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