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Almost Chanukah presented by netivot shalom and be'chol lashon, saturday, december 11, Berkley Ca,

About the Exhibit
Those who visit or live in the Bay Area often wonder at the spirit of innovation and adventure that moves the local Jewish community. From the creation of new kinds of synagogues and Jewish ritual; innovative social, cultural, and ecological institutions; and technological tools to improve both business and the health of communities, local Jewish life provides a new approach to an ancient people, and a model of collaboration with other ethnic and religious groups.


Despite the enormous technological and cultural changes between the Gold Rush and today, one can imagine that the founders of San Francisco would appreciate the spirit of contemporary Jewish culture. California Dreaming reveals how the quality of “pioneering” was and still is the driving force of Bay Area Jewish life. Through photographs, documents, newspapers, videos, and ephemera, the exhibition will show how the Bay Area Jewish community, despite its stunning diversity and significant historical changes, still operates according to its unwritten founding principles: a pioneering spirit that gave Jews the confidence to create their own destiny; a complex balance of invention/re-invention of institutions and rituals; a lack of physical, social, and economic ghettoization which led to a confident group of citizens; and inspired by their experience in the Bay Area, a yearning for greater justice for Jews and others, inspired by their California experience, and reflecting a sense of optimism that a newer and fairer society could be built.


Just as the founders of San Francisco Jewish life questioned the rules of community and tradition as they created their own robust community life, California Dreaming is structured around five questions that investigate key aspects of the community’s character, and that are designed to draw visitors into the discussion of what constitutes a Jewish community in the 21st century.