JCCSF Podcasts -


A B Yehoshua

Israel’s master novelist Abraham B. Yehoshua astonishes readers with his masterful, unexpected turns in story lines and his ability to get under the skin and into the soul of Israel today.


A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran

Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, Josh FattalIn 2009, three University of California, Berkeley graduates were arrested on espionage charges in Iran when they were lured over the border from Iraqi Kurdistan, where they were hiking. Imprisoned for as long as 26 months, they became known as “the hikers,” and their story captivated the world. Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, and Sarah Shourd joined the JCCSF for a sold-out conversation on their experiences, as recounted in their beautifully-written memoir A Sliver of Light. There was so much to discuss—from the dramatic facts of their capture and imprisonment, to the psychological toll of solitary confinement, to their strong inner resolve and terrific recent work as advocates for prisoners worldwide. The conversation was expertly moderated by UCSF professor Chanan Tigay.  

A.S. Byatt

A.S. Byatt may be the patron saint of bookworms. In her novels, including the Booker Prize-winning Possession: A Romance, Still Life, A Whistling Woman and The Children’s Book, reading and writing often prove to be matters of life and death.br> 


Aaron David Miller and Linda Gradstein

Author and political analyst Aaron David Miller and NPR commentator Linda Gradstein offer insider views on Clinton, Bush and Obama in the Middle East and the elusive search for Arab-Israeli peace.



Adam Garfinkle and David Makovsky

Authors Adam Garfinkle and David Makovsky talk to Abby Porth about the world’s positive and negative impressions of Jews and counter false assumptions about Middle East politics.


Adam Gopnik

In conversation with Barbara Lane

New Yorker contributor Adam Gopnik traces the United States’ rapid evolution from commendable awareness of food to manic foodie compulsion and considers the simple pleasures that got lost along the way.



Adam Mansbach

The Bedtime Struggle
In conversation with Lyrics Born

Go the F**k to Sleep is a bedtime book by Adam Mansbach that perfectly captures the familiar—and unspoken—tribulations of putting the little angel down for the night. Join Mansbach in conversation with Bay Area rap artist Lyrics Born over how best to get a little provocateur tucked in without actually uttering the title of the book.

Aflie Kohn

AlfieKohn_1of2_WEB_kl_2Alfie Kohn made many parents feel less guilty about hovering over their children, saying there’s little proof that such parenting hurts kids and even some that say it’s beneficial.  Kohn also decried what he perceives as a “right wing conservative” bias against hyper-involved parenting and gave a strong endorsement for progressive education.


Agi Mishol

One of Israel’s most celebrated poets, Agi Mishol discusses her work and her growing up in Israel as the child of Holocaust survivors.


Alain de Botton

The popular philosopher and bestselling author Alain de Botton of The Consolations of Philosophy and How Proust Can Change Your Life presents a deeply provocative argument for benefiting from the wisdom and power of religion—without having to “believe” in any of it.


Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz_Edited-webMy Life in the Law

Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz (Chutzpah, The Case For Israel, Reversal of Fortune) has led or been part of the defense team for Bill Clinton, Julian Assange, O.J. Simpson, Claus von Bulow, Mike Tyson and the former presidents of Ukraine and Pakistan. His new memoir, Taking the Stand, reveals how his thinking has evolved on fundamental issues like the First Amendment, civil rights, abortion and homicide.  

Alex Ross

In his long-awaited first book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century, New Yorker music critic Alex Ross’ democratic, love of the artform grounds 20th-century classical music in a wide political and cultural context that highlights its intersections with the pop, rock, and hip-hop realms.

Alice Hoffman

The Dovekeepers

Author Alice Hoffman discusses how her passion for mythology, magic and archaeology led her to weave the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple, the siege of Masada and the loss of Zion together in this tale of women’s fierce and heroic complexity.


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.

Alicia Suskin Ostriker

Alicia_OstrikerAlicia Suskin Ostriker is one of the nation’s premier poets and critics. Writing as “as an American, a woman, a Jew, a mother, a wife, a lover of beauty and art, a teacher, an idealist, a skeptic,” Ostriker has cultivated a truly inimitable voice. At once unpretentious and provocative, she has been called “America’s most fiercely honest poet.” She is the author of several books on the Bible and 14 poetry collections, including The Book of Life, The Mother/Child Papers, No Heaven, and the volcano sequence.