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!  

The Future of the Republican Party

Gerson_Michael_HiRes-webMichael 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-webWith 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.

Jane Pauley

JanePauley__c_KellyCampbell-webYour Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life
With Barbara Lane
Beloved broadcast journalist Jane Pauley has been a familiar face on TV for more than 30 years, having served as cohost of Today and Dateline NBC anchor. She hosts the award-winning “Life Reimagined” segment on Today, profiling remarkable yet relatable people whose personal reinventions inform and inspire. Pauley builds on her own story in her new book, Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life, which helps people in midlife successfully navigate their “reinvention” to build a positive, powerful future.

Angélique Kidjo

AngeliqueKidjo_courtesy_of_Columbia_Records-webConversation & Songs
Grammy-winning Beninoise singer–songwriter Angélique Kidjo is considered Africa’s greatest living diva. She is acclaimed for her uplifting and dynamic music, a blend of tribal and pop rhythms of her West African heritage with zouk, rumba, jazz and Latin, sung in English, French, Fon and Yorùbá. Her new book, Spirit Rising, tells the story of her harrowing escape from Communist Benin in to France, her rise from poverty to become an international sensation and her tireless advocacy work for the education of African girls and women’s rights.

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.