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!  

Michael Oren

Michael Oren

Former Ambassador of Israel to the United States Michael Oren and journalist Janine Zacharia discussed Israel, the Iran deal, Obama, and American Jews.  Oren also spoke about ways to reinforce a two state “situation”, setting up interim goals such as joint programs in water purification that make the most of what each side can do.

Avishai Margalit


Israel’s foremost philosopher offered a fresh perspective on the upheavals in the Middle East in a wide-ranging conversation with Eran Kaplan, Rhoda and Richard Goldman Chair in Israel Studies at SFSU.

Michael Gazzaniga


Father of modern neuroscience Michael Gazzaniga shared stories from his life and career in a remarkable on-stage conversation. He tells the story of how science works interwoven within the story of his life.

Kim Gordon with Carrie Brownstein

gordonSonic Youth cofounder Kim Gordon and Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein sat down for a sprawling and hilarious conversation to promote Kim’s new memoir Girl In A Band. Watch the two alt-rock veterans battle awkward silences and giggles to discuss Gordon’s time in Sonic Youth, bass guitar inspiration and the weird idea of being labeled a “girl in a band.”

WWI and the Jews with Derek Penslar



A conversation with Professors Derek Penslar and Steven J. Zipperstein about the variety of Jewish experiences during WWI.

Talking Cheese with the Artisan Cheese Guild

CheeseGuild_1of1_WEB_klVivien Straus of Straus Family Creamery and local cheesemakers discuss their craft, the animals they raise and the land on which they depend. Learn how Point Reyes Original Blue and Pugs Leap got their start, and how the artisanal cheeses we love so much wouldn’t have been possible without the Straus Family Legacy.

Matthieu Ricard

MatthieuRicard_1of1_WEB_klBuddhist monk and scientist Matthieu Ricard inspired the audience with true life stories about how loving kindness meditation and altruism can effect real change in the world.

Scott Simon

ScottSimon_1of1_WEB_klA charming, witty and touching recount of Scott Simon’s final days reminiscing with his mother about days gone by. The audience was moved by his stories.

The Future of the Republican Party

Gerson_Michael_HiRes-webBack by popular demand! Reposted from his appearance on February 6, 2014

Michael Gerson, Op-Ed Columnist, Washington Post
The Republican Party has seen its share of fractures, factions and disruptions of late. Some in the party openly suggest that rift s within are caused by anti-government extremists; others, especially younger members, complain that the GOP has become closed-minded, inflexible and old-fashioned. Michael Gerson weighs in on how the Republican Party can build internal consensus on what it stands for and who is best poised to lead the charge.

Isabel Allende

Isabel_Allende_2013_photo_credit_Lori_Barr-webBack by popular demand! Reposted from her appearance on February 5, 2014

With Barbara Lane
Chilean-American author and activist Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits, City of the Beasts) is among the best-known Latin American novelists. Building upon the magic realist tradition, she spins stories of family, politics and human rights. Her new novel, Ripper, demonstrates her remarkable literary versatility with an atmospheric, fast-paced mystery involving a brilliant teenage sleuth who must unmask a serial killer in San Francisco.