JCCSF Podcasts -

Welcome to Arts & Ideas Podcasts! Every year, we bring dozens of the country's most innovative and inspiring artists, thinkers and writers to the JCCSF  stage and to our program on KALW, Binah. Now we're bringing them to your computer, MP3 player or mobile device, too!

Whether you missed an event or simply want to experience it again, you can now listen to some of the outstanding speakers presented by the JCCSF through our podcasts. Want to see the entire list of authors from the last four Arts & Ideas seasons? Just select "List by Author". Check the "Recent Recordings" tab for podcasts as they become available, and/or subscribe to get the newest lectures as soon as they're posted. And, of course, you can always join us and enjoy the excitement of being part of the live audience at an upcoming  lecture!  

Stephin Merritt



Magnetic Fields troubadour Stephin Merritt charmed his fans with the stories behind (and a dramatic reading of) his new book, 101 Two-Letter Words, a collection of poems using all the two-letter words allowed in Scrabble. He made everyone’s night when he pulled out his ukulele and sang a few songs, including a special audience request.

Peter Thiel

PeterThiel_1of1_WEB_klZero to One

Peter Thiel, the entrepreneur and investor behind many of Silicon Valley’s biggest success stories, sat down with Pandodaily’s editor-in-chief Sarah Lacy to discuss some of the ideas in his #1 NYT Bestselling book Zero to One, his PayPal days with Elon Musk and Max Levchin, and why monopolies, not competition, breed innovation and ultimately, human progress.


Wonder’s RJ Palacio




R.J. Raquel Palacio told the story behind her mega-hit novel Wonder and answered questions from an audience composed largely of kids who were mega-fans of the book.  Her main message:  when in doubt, choose kindness.

OkCupid’s Christian Rudder

ChristianRuder_Dataclysm_1of2_VictorGJeffreysII_WEB_1of2_klOkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder is a Harvard-trained mathematician, rock musician, and matchmaker to millions—cofounder and president of OkCupid, author of the recent book Dataclysm and Bishop Allen guitarist. He sat down with The Bold Italic editor-in-chief Jennifer Maerz to discuss everything from starting and running one of the world’s most successful dating websites to mining the data that has come up as we live more and more of our lives online— including analyzing massive amounts of behavioral data to prove that Belle & Sebastien is the whitest band ever.

Jennifer Weiner



During her visit to the JCCSF on June 22, the very funny and frank Jennifer Weiner spoke about her latest novel All Fall Down, the story about a woman struggling with prescription drug abuse, writing what she knows, publishing industry sexism, and raising resilient daughters.

Giants Night at the JCCSF

giants_logoAll the stars aligned when Giants honchos Larry Baer, Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy played Kanbar Hall, in conversation with KNBR’s Brian Murphy. That very afternoon Timmy Lincecum delivered his second no-hitter, which got things off on a high note.  Beach Blanket Babylon’s Tammy Nelson, wearing the Giants ballpark hat, belted out a rousing “San Francisco” with an introduction tailor-made for the guys on-stage.  And the smell of hotdogs, beer and garlic fries dominated the atrium.  It was an unforgettable and fitting Giants love-fest.

Richard Ravitch

Ravitch_-Richard_SoMuchToDo_coverWith David Crane

Richard Ravitch, former New York Lieutenant Governor, played a central role in rescuing New York City from bankruptcy in the 1970′s. Appearing in conversation with David Crane, former special advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ravitch turned his attention to how other cities and states can dig themselves out of financial crisis.

Bob Saget

Bob-Saget_Credit-Natalie-BrasingtonDirty Daddy

Bob Saget charmed a multi-generational audience with tales of his life and career, ranging from his time on Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos to his cameo appearances in Entourage and his stand-up specials. While the crowd braced itself for his well-known profanity, he mostly kept it in check, explaining that, “it wouldn’t be appropriate in this context.” This kind of restraint, from the man who titled his memoir Dirty Daddy, gave insight into the man behind the potty mouth– a kind, thoughtful, smart– yes– family man.

Timothy F. Geithner

TimGeithnerStress Test

Timothy F. Geithner was the seventy-fifth secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (2009-2013) and is the author of Stress Test. Appearing in conversation with Dr. Laura Tyson, Haas Professor and former Chair of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration, Geithner candidly explained the “very bad choices” required to save the U.S. economy from the financial crisis. Recorded live at Congregation Emanu-El on May 29.

Reporting Israel: the Personal, the Political and the Press

Manovill_UriBlau-BartonGellmanThe Manovill Conversations
Uri Blau and Barton Gellman: Whistleblowers and Freedom of the Press

We welcomed Uri Blau and Barton Gellman to the JCCSF on April 7, 2014 for the third and final program of the Manovill Conversations.  The discussion brought out distinctions between how the Israeli and U.S. governments treat whisteblowers, as well as illustrated how differently Blau and Gellman have been treated by the public and their peers for bringing classified documents to light.  Just a few days after the program, it was announced that Gellman had been awarded a Pulitzer Prize (his third) for his work on the NSA story for the Washington Post.