RSVP at 415-346-1720 x27, www.sherithisrael.org.) Or perhaps I’ll attend an event like Holiday Fun Day (2:00 p.m.-5 p.m., free) or Hanukkah in Argentina (Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m., $40-$45) at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (3200 California, SF. 415-292-1200, ).
For a San Francisco twist on the Festival of Lights, you might consider the Festival of Rights, a Super 8 festival featuring eight short films curated by the Jewish Film Festival and featuring beer tasting with Shmaltz Brewing Company (the bi-coastal brewery that makes He’Brew, the Chosen Beer, right here in Cole Valley), live bands, and DJs. (Dec. 12, 7 p.m. $10-$15. Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission, SF. 415-655-7800, www.thecjm.org).
And if I had kids, there’s no question I’d take them to Kids’ Bagels n’ Blocks at Beth Israel Judea, a congregation known for its progressive, egalitarian Judaism and its member representation in the Pride Parade. For older kids, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco also hosts a variety of winter camps between Dec. 11 and 18, with focus on swimming, dance and gymnastics, basketball, cooking, or trips to amusement parks.
wonderful boring day of the year
What do you do on Christmas Day (a Friday this year) when the stores are all closed, the TV’s only showing Miracle on 34th Street or the Macy’s parade, and all your friends are with their families pretending to like their gifts? Look to Jewish organizations, of course.
The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco will be open (Dec. 25, 1-4 p.m., free.) for swimming, movies, arts and crafts, or even a service project for individuals and families who want something to do other than sit in a dark movie theater. For those who want buddies while they celebrate the traditional Jewish Christmas, join JCCSF’s club for individuals and couples in their 40s, 50s, and 60s also will host Movie and a Meal (RSVP to Shiva Schulz at email@example.com late in the week of Dec. 21 for details), a no-host film followed by dinner at a nearby restaurant. Also open on Christmas Day is the Contemporary Jewish Museum (Dec. 25, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free), featuring free admission to see exhibitions like There’s a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak (the exhibit about the creator of Where the Wild Things Are).
It’s too bad Heeb Magazine’s Heebonism event isn’t being held in San Francisco this year, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options for Christmas evening. Of course, there’s always the beloved Kung Pao Kosher Comedy show (Dec. 24-27, 6 and 9:30 p.m. $42-$62. New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific, SF. 925-275-9005, www.koshercomedy.com), now in its 17th year and featuring Jonathan Katz (yes, that one), Brian Mallow, and Lisa Geduldig.
But don’t forget that most bars stay open during Christmas, and more and more non-Asian eateries are following suit (check www.opentable.com for a list of restaurants with reservations available). My personal favorite? Jack in the Box (it’s rumored that Jack is Jewish). It might not be high-brow, but there’s a certain entertainment value in pretending your curly fries are payots.