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!  

Fiddler at 50: Celebrating a Half-Century of Fiddler on the Roof

AlisaSolomonAlisa Solomon, Columbia University
Drama critic and Jewish historian Alisa Solomon explains why Sholem Aleichem’s story of Tevye the Dairyman was reborn as blockbuster entertainment and became a cultural touchstone for people all over the world. Solomon’s captivating new book, Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof, describes the enduring story of a Broadway musical that speaks to our deepest conflicts and desires – fraying traditions, generational tension, the loss of roots – resonating with people across borders and time.

Did Hollywood Collaborate with Hitler?

Urwand_author_photo_credit_Melissa_FallWith Ben Urwand and Greil Marcus
In his explosive new book, The Collaboration, Harvard Junior Fellow Ben Urwand argues that Hollywood studio moguls, many of whom were Jewish, actively collaborated with the Nazi regime, censoring and even quashing films that represented the Third Reich in a negative light in order to keep German theaters packed. Greil Marcus (Lipstick Traces, Mystery Train) joins Urwand for a conversation about the book, the intense debate it’s generated and the implication of moral culpability of Jews themselves.

Fresh and Freaky Fiction

George_Saunders_Karen_Russell-web_imageGeorge Saunders and Karen Russell
Tobias Wolff calls George Saunders “one of the most luminous spots of our literature for the past 20 years.” The publication of his fourth book of stories, Tenth of December, is cause for celebration. Saunders (CivilWarLand in Bad DeclinePastoralia) is bizarre, funny, compassionate and outrageous. He sits down with Karen Russell, bestselling author of the exquisitely peculiar Swamplandia! and the darkly imaginative Vampires in the Lemon Grove, to talk about literary influences, fantastical landscapes, genre-defying fiction and whether there’s ever an idea that’s too far-fetched.

Alice Waters

alice_watersWith Davia Nelson of NPR’s The Kitchen Sisters
Alice Waters, the legendary chef of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, is perhaps more responsible than anyone for revolutionizing the way we think about food. Her new cookbook, The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden, brings seasonal, vegetable-centric meals to the table. If you shop at a farmer’s market, grow your own food or are just thinking about making some changes, don’t miss this special event.

Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart-editedWith Daniel Handler
Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan The Russian Debutante’s Handbook) is best known for his tales of newly-landed immigrants, unrequited love and American and Soviet absurdities. In his new memoir, Little Failure, he turns his attention to his own story. With his trademark wit, wordplay and an audacious sense of fun, he shares what it means to be an immigrant, a grown-up, a son and an American.

Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture

Uncharted_Jean Baptiste Michel (c) Bret Hartman-webEvery day, 2.5 billion gigabytes of data are created. What can this “big data” tell us? Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel, two young Harvard scientists, teamed up with Google to mine the Google Books archive, a collection of 5 million books from across centuries. Their results can help us learn how human language evolves, how art has been censored, how fame grows and fades, and how nations trend toward war. Discover how big data is changing the game.

Max Tegmark

Max Tegmark author photo-editedOur Mathematical Universe
Like the protagonist in TheTruman Show or The Matrix, cosmologist Max Tegmark has discovered that the ultimate nature of reality is not at all what it seems. His new book, Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, leads us on an astonishing journey through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work to arrive at his mind-boggling theory of the “ultimate multiverse.”

Ari Shavit & David Remnick on the Israel Question

Remnick-ShavitHaaretz’s Ari Shavit, one of the most influential columnists writing about the Middle East, illuminates many of the pivotal moments that led Israel to where it is today in his new book My Promised Land. He joins the New Yorker’s David Remnick to discuss the complexities and contradictions inherent in Israel and the future of the country.


Homeland Executive Producer Alex Gansa

Showtime And Time Warner Cable Host A Premiere Screening & Reception To Launch The Second Season Of "Homeland"With Barbara Lane
Conspiracy plots. Clever detective work. Sex. Violence. Twisting story lines. Homeland, Showtime’s riveting psychological thriller about CIA agents tracking a former Marine sergeant who might be a terrorist agent, explores the complexities of fighting terrorism after September 11. This gripping show has earned a cult following, critical praise and a Grammy for Outstanding Drama Series. Join creator and executive director Alex Gansa for a behind-the-scenes look at what makes Homeland tick.

Dror Moreh on The Gatekeepers

Dror_Moreh_2_of_2-editedWith Peter Stein
Director Dror Moreh is best known for The Gatekeepers, his Oscar-nominated documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets. He’ll reveal what he learned while making the film, his thoughts on the viability of a two-state solution and how he thinks The Gatekeepers is moving the political conversation forward in Israel and abroad.