DAWN 2010 Evening Schedule

Click here to see the night’s lineup


Sandra Bernhard in conversation with Amichai Lau-Lavie.  A rare chance to hear Ms. Bernhard in conversation about her spirituality, her journeys through the spiritual realm, and the ways in which her search informs her life and art.   Mr. Lau-Lavie is Executive and Artistic Director of Storahtelling and a performance artist.  Since Shavuot is the night of the mystic union with the divine and it is often portrayed as a wedding between body and soul, together they’ll explore this intersection in a sexy and lively conversation.
www.sandrabernhard.com                                                                                                            http://www.storahtelling.org/who.jsp?link=who 


Gary Shteyngart, author of the internationally acclaimed novels The Russian Debutante’s Handbook,  Absurdistan, and will release Super Sad True Love Story in August. He will join us in conversation with Alana Newhouse editor-in-chief of Tablet Magazine. Alana has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston  Globe, and Slate.



Fool’s Gold rock the house and close the evening with a live set of African and world dance music laced with inspiring lyrics in Hebrew and English.                                                                    


Jeremiah Lockwood, front man of The Sway Machinery and guitarist for Balkan Beat Box, hits the stage solo.  Expect an iconoclastic take on country-blues non-standards, Jewish spiritual music and virtuoso finger-picking guitar flights of fancy. 


Spike Jonze’s Maurice at the World’s Fair.  A short-but-very-sweet video produced with love by Spike Jonze, Catherine Keener, Lance Bangs, Vincent Landay and friends for Maurice Sendak on his 80th birthday.

Tiffany Shlain will talk about the Art of Unplugging based on “Yelp: With Apologies to Allen Ginsberg’s Howl“, the film Tiffany created with Ken Goldberg for the Sabbath Manifesto National Day of Unplugging. This short 3 minute film retools parts of Ginsberg’s “Howl” in thinking about how plugged in we are as a species and underscores the importance of unplugging. The filmmakers were inspired to make this piece after hearing Reboot was organizing a “National Day of Unplugging.” The original animations and images are pulled from the feature documentary they are making, “Connected: A Declaration of Interdependence,” which will be completed at the end of 2010.  After an amazing response to “Yelp, the filmmakers decided bring on Peter Coyote to narrate the previously silent short. At DAWN 2010 they will premiere the new iteration of the film.  Director and co-writer Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker and founder of The Webby Awards. Her films have played at over 100 film festivals including Sundance, won over 24 awards, have been translated into 8 languages and her last film “The Tribe,” was #1 on itunes. Co-writer Ken Goldberg an artist,  a professor of robotics at UCBerkeley and is the director for the Berkeley Center for New Media. Co-editor Dalan McNabola is filmmaker and co-editing the feature “Connected.” Animation Director Stefan Nadelman won grand jury prize for his film “Terminal Bar.” For more information on “Yelp” or “Connected,” please go to www.connectedthefilm.com 

Ms. Shlain will follow up with a conversation with Lou Cove, Executive Director of Reboot and Dan Rollman.  

http://rebooters.net/                                                                                                                                          http://sabbathmainfesto.org     http://urdb.org/about   

Amichai Lau-Lavie will be doing a teaching workshop on Seeding and Breeding, The New Family. An interactive study and discussion about subversive and normative forms of fertility – based on a close and radical reading of the biblical book of Ruth.    http://www.storahtelling.org/who.jsp?link=who 

A special sneak-preview of the 1922 film Hungry Hearts, a film based on the short stories of Anzia Yezierska, the first writer to bring stories of American Jewish Women to a mainstream audience.  With an original live score composed by Ethan Miller of Sony’s Howlin’ Rain, and with a local all-star band including members of Comets on Fire and Colossal Yes, this film is being presented in partnership with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

A Conversation About the 10 Commandments of the Future.  This conversation features Adam Werbach, a founder of Strategy for Sustainability, the Saatchi and Saatchi consulting firm; Ken Goldberg, Professor of Robotics at University of California, Berkeley, and Steven Raspa, an artist and arts advocate, pacifist and prankster, a recognized community leader, and long-time special events producer for Burning Man and numerous other Bay Area arts organizations.   David Pescovitz of Boing Boing and the Institute for the Future will host, leading the collective rumination on what the code of personal ethics to live by should be for the new millenium.
http://pesco.net/bio.html      http://boingboing.net/           

Daniel Handler, author and alter-ego of Lemony Snicket, messes with local mixologist Bryan Ranere of the beloved Mission wateringhole Lazslo, and together they concoct different occasionals for different occasions both Jewish and not.  They’ll share their secrets in making them and invite members of the audience to test their creations, one of which, the Harvest cocktail will be featured at all the bars at the event throughout the evening.

Rodger Kamenetz is the author The Jew in the Lotus, The History of Last Night’s Dream, and Burnt Books, which will be published this fall by Nextbook Press/Shocken.  He lives in New Orleans where he works as a dream therapist. For DAWN 2010 Rodger will guide you on the “Magical Mystery Tour of the Cosmos” in the planetarium.

His website is http://kamenetz.com and you can find him on Facebook
and on Twitter at @Jewinthelotus

Food, Faith, Fetish:  Chris Ying of Mission Street food leads a panel discussion on the modern temptations and taboos surrounding pork. Leading chefs and food writers will explore how the current fetishization of pork-eating is, in many ways, parallel to the prohibition of pork consumption. Why does this animal inspire such passion? Come find out!

Moderator: Chris Ying                                                                                                                                                                                         Panelists are: Sasha Wizansky, Nigel Savage, Chris Cosentino

Davy Rothbart, creator and editor of Found Magazine and contributor to This American Life, has created a special reading for Dawn revolving around the 10 Commandments focusing on Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery and Thou Shall Not Steal.   http://www.foundmagazine.com/             

Dan Rollman, founder of URDB will be wrangling audience members to create brand-new, unique world records revolving around the Shavout and other theme.   http://urdb.org/about                 

 Legendary San Francisco comedy troupe Kasper Hauser will perform a 45-minute set of their unique brand of sketch comedy with the 10 Commandments theme twisted in.    http://www.kasperhauser.com/   

Eddy Portnoy, a contributing editor at Tablet Magazine, will present a slideshow describing the history of Nasology, a 19th century pseudo- science whose adherents could determine a subject’s personality traits based solely on the shape of his or her nose. To be followed by personal nose readings by Dr. Portnoy. http://www.tabletmag.com/author/eportnoy/    

Everything’s Coming Up Moses: A Gypsy’s Exodus is a musical retelling of the Exodus as seen through the larger-than-life journey of Moses, the original pushy stage mother. Through an irresistible blend of Broadway razzledazzle, old-fashioned showbiz moxie, and soon-to-be musical classics like Some Hebrews, Moses’ Turn, and of course, the title show-stopping tune, Moses tirelessly shepherds the Children of Israel to Sinai and beyond! With apologies to Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim.

Written by Rachel Shukert (with a little assistance from Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim). Starring Brian Rosen as Moses; Benjamin Pither as God; Mark Farrell as Pharaoh and others; Brandon Finch as Aaron and others; and Rachel Shukert as Yocheved and others. Music direction by Peter Maleitzke. Produced by Jesse Oxfeld for Tablet Magazine. Original direction by Michael Schiralli and original music direction by Rich Silverstein.

John Schott, composer and guitarist, will play an original piece composed for the holiday of Shavout in a delectable combination of jazz and ambient music.   http://www.johnschott.com/   

Josh Kun, Director of The Popular Music Project (www.usc.edu/pmp) at University of Southern California is also a writer, record collector and co-founder of the Idelsohn Society (http://www.idelsohnsociety.com/).  For DAWN 2010 he’s creating an exclusive ‘Til The Dawn Idelsohn mix.  His mix of tasty tracks will be featured exclusively on tabletmag.com.

Contemporary Israeli Video Art: Separation Anxiety, curated by Maya Benton of the International Center of Photography. The videos included in Contemporary Israeli Video Art: Separation Anxiety represent work by several of Israel’s most distinguished artists, as well as original work by a rising generation of young artists – Yael Bartana, Tamar Ettun, Ori Gersht, Hadassa Goldvicht, Oded Hirsh, Nira Pereg.   The series reflects the quest for physical, spiritual and emotional transformation through an exploration of the nature of ritual and notions of separation and sacred space.   By focusing on image oriented work that examines universal themes of mourning, prayer and ritual, these artists enact poetic reflections on time’s passing, the role of the collective and the individual, fantasies of dream fulfillment and the search for the sacred in the modern world.

This program is sponsored by:  Israel Center of the Jewish Community Federation, Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, and ArtIS.


Jessica Tully, Performance Ritual,  “Submersion: The Spiritual Language of Water” is a site-specific performance ritual and video installation that reconnects Jewish women’s four thousand year old purity rites with the contemporary water practices of the artist and her secular grandmother during the late 1970’s.  This newly commissioned three-channel video work and accompanying performance ritual invokes the power of water for personal well-being, spiritual embodiment and environmental balance. 

Commissioned by Reboot for DAWN 2010.

The annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, the largest festival of its kind in the world, is a panoply of Jewish arts, music, education, workshops, film, exhibitions, theater, lectures, book presentations, storytelling and heritage tours, celebrating Jewish life and commemorating the thousand-year history of Jews in Poland. Over the course of nine days, from morning to night, more than 180 events take place in the historic Jewish quarter of Krakow, culminating in the final outdoor concert on Szeroka Street, attended by an enthusiastic crowd of over 15,000.  The video is being introduced at DAWN 2010 by Shana Penn, creator of the Jewish Heritage Initiative in Poland, Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.

Ask The Rabbi is an all-night-long installation where people can drop in and ask the Rabbi in attendance anything he or she wants for 5 minutes.  There’s a revolving cast of Rabbis with varying beliefs throughout the evening.

Do you have a burning question about religion or spirituality? Visit our “Ask the Rabbi Booth” for answers and discussion. Throughout the night, Rabbis from around the Bay Area will be available at DAWN 2010.

Meet the Rabbis:  

Jonathan (Yoni) Jaffe – The Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco

Jonathan (Yoni) Jaffe is an assistant rabbi at Congregation Emanu-El. He currently serves on the boards of the Jewish Community Federation’s Peoplehood Commission, the San Francisco Interfaith Coalition and the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis. Jonathan was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. His rabbinic thesis was on Jewish liturgy and ritual as mythological narrative. www.emanuelsf.org/

Rabbi Noa Kushner — Nita, Rodef Sholom, San Rafael   

Noa Kushner is the rabbi for Nita, an innovative project of Rodef Sholom. Her job is getting people to do Jewish stuff.   She was the rabbi for Hillels at Sarah Lawrence College and Stanford University. Her essays have been published in several books including, The Torah: A Womens Commentary. www.nitamarin.org / www.rodefsholom.org/

Sydney Mintz – The Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco

 Sydney Mintz is acting Senior Rabbi at Congregation Emanu- El. She has lectured widely in the areas of Midrash, Jewish humor and women in Judaism.  At Congregation Emanu-El Rabbi Mintz helped develop the award-winning Late Shabbat, which serves the Young Adult Community of the Greater Bay Area. Rabbi Mintz directs the social justice programs of the Congregation and leads the family worship services, among her other pulpit responsibilities. www.emanuelsf.org/

Rabbi Gedalia Potash – Chabad of Noe Valley 

Gedalia Potash hails from London, England. He came to San Francisco in 2000, via New York, Australia, Russia, and Israel, to establish Chabad of Noe Valley.  Rabbi G. as he is often called has been very successful in connecting with the natives and local communities with his upbeat and welcoming personality as well as his insightful and inspiring sermons and classes. He continues to attract a broad spectrum of Jews looking for a richer and deeper Jewish experience. Whether it’s a personal matter or religious matter, adult or child, Rabbi Potash makes himself available and will always make time to help in whatever way he can. www.chabadnoevalley.org/

Rabbi Lawrence W.  Raphael, Ph.D., — Congregation Sherith Israel, San Francisco

Rabbi Lawrence W.  Raphael, Ph.D., became the Senior Rabbi at Congregation Sherith Israel in July 2003.  He believes that learning, prayer, and celebration as a community are paths to wholeness and tikkun olam (repairing the world).  From 1973 to 2003, Rabbi Raphael was a member of the faculty of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He has written articles on Jewish life and culture and is the editor of Mystery Midrash and Criminal Kabbalah, (published by Jewish Lights) collections of Jewish mystery fiction. www.sherithisrael.org

Rabbi Dorothy A. Richman

Rabbi Dorothy A. Richman is the Rabbi Martin Ballanoff Memorial Rabbi-in-Residence at Berkeley Hillel. She serves on the regional council and state board of the Progressive Jewish Alliance and sings a mean Janis Joplin. www.berkeleyhillel.org 

Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller

Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller is the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Sherith Israel in SF. She serves on the Bay Area Council of Progressive Jewish Alliance, and is Co-Chair of the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet, through which she expresses her passion for Israel and for a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians.  She likes to share her bent for Jewish tradition on the same page as her commitment to fresh thinking. www.sherithisrael.org