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In 2022, the Contra Costa JCC continued to sponsor many book talks, discussions, and cooking demos and partnered with other organizations to bring various events to the community. If you missed the listed programs,

the recordings are available here. For the last two years' programs, please visit our Event Recordings from 2020 and 2021. We hope you enjoy them!

On Sunday, December 11, award-winning author and historian Fred Rosenbaum dug deep into the century-old tensions between Ukraine, Russia and the region’s Jewish population in preparation for the streaming of the powerful drama Anton.

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On Monday, December 12, 2022, New York Times Best Selling author and journalist Howard Blum introduced us to his latest book, The Spy Who Knew Too Much. He shared the process he had to get through to gather his information and the characters who helped him create his page-turning narrative.

On December 8, 2022, author, freelance writer and journalist Ben Mattlin joined the Under One Tent audience virtually from Los Angeles for a Q&A on his book Disability Pride - Dispatches from a Post ADA-World.

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On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, Dr. Jehon Grist took the Under One Tent audience on a virtual tour of the most informative Jerusalem area excavations confirming and illuminating ancient Israel’s presence in the city. The outline of the course and suggested reading materials are available here.

Though her name is synonymous with elegance and chic, the iconic Coco Chanel had a complicated, dark side. Author Gioia Diliberto's fascinating book talk on November 22 gave us the not-secret-anymore details on the life of this famous fashion designer.   

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On November 15, author Esther Erman joined us virtually to talk about her novel Rebecca of Salerno, and why Rebecca, this fascinating character in Walter Scott's Ivanhoe deserved her own story.

Former director of the JCRC of the East Bay, Robert Jacobvitz, and Sheila Abranches, a descendant of Portuguese Consul General Aristides de Sousa Mendes, explored the life of the late diplomat and his courageous efforts during WWII to save Jewish lives. Their presentation on November 6 also explained how the De Sousa Mendes story depicted in the movie, Disobedience became known. 

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On November 1, 2022, Congregation Beth Emek invited Seth Brysk of the ADL for a conversation on the current state of antisemitism, how technology is becoming a tool to spread it, and what we can do to fight it. In addition to this program, we invite you to watch the other programs that CCJCC has co-sponsored and use the important resources available here.

On Sunday, October 30, 2022, author and CEO of OFJCC Zack Bodner joined the Under One Tent audience virtually, discussing his new book, Why do Jewish?. His talk focused on 21st Century Jewish peoplehood and how to be and do Jewish.

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EBIJFF streamed the documentary Upheaval on the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin October 20-24. Begin’s career spanned several decades. Two speakers covered the central events of his life:

    •    The Early Days through the mid-1970s with historian Fred Rosenbaum

    •    His Life as Prime Minister with journalist Avi Shilon, author of a biography on Begin 

Author Dr. Saman­tha A. Vinokor-Mein­rath is a lifelong Jewish educator and learner. With the sharp rise in antisemitism, her valuable and informative talk on Monday, October 24, 2022, was a must-attend program for Generations X to Z.


On September 21, 2022, Israel & World Jewry Committee of Congregation Beth Emek hosted online Jerusalem Post diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon. Herb talked about how the Abraham Accords and challenges from Iran are currently driving the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East and impacting Israel’s relationships with the Arab world. The CCJCC was a co-sponsor of this event and is pleased to share this talk on Under One Tent for those who missed attending the live program.

Award-winning cookbook author, Cathy Barrow, joined us virtually on Monday, September 12, 2022, and demonstrated how to bake fresh bagels with just five base ingredients and simple techniques. With advice on mixing the dough, shaping the bagels, proofing, boiling, baking, slicing, and storing, you will be a master bagel-maker in no time. 

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On August 18, 2022, Under One Tent Director Riva Gambert shared the true story of "Ari" (not his real name), the ship Exodus, and its mixed crew of Palestinian Jews and American former soldiers who hoped to sail it from a French port to post-WWII Palestine despite Great Britain's decision to hunt it down. The bibliography for the lecture is now available here

On August 11, Rachel and David Biale joined CCJCC's Under One Tent audience online to talk about the memoir they wrote together, Aerograms across the Ocean: A Love Story in Letters, 1970-1972

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On Sunday, July 17, 2022, noted historian and author Fred Rosenbaum examined how the then international city of Shanghai opened its doors to thousands of European Jews seeking refuge from the winds of war and persecution. 

On July 14, in Part I of the lecture "Cinema at War," EBIJFF Director Riva Gambert revealed the different attitudes expressed in1930s Hollywood as Hitler's threat loomed over Europe and antisemitism rose in the U.S.

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On Tuesday, June 14, film "enthusiast" and historian Lynne Thorner shared with us her knowledge of Billy Wilder's 1950 classic film Sunset Boulevard.

On Sunday, June 12, as part of the series From Europe with Film, Erik Preminger, Otto Preminger's son, gave an insider's view of the famous director's life. He also touched on some of his movies, one of which was a Hitchcock-like thriller, Bunny Lake Is Missing.    

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Film "enthusiast" and historian Lynne Thorner joined us online for an in-depth "deconstruction" of Michael Curtiz's 1942 masterpiece Casablanca

On May 22, 2022, author and filmmaker Nick Davis, Herman Mankiewicz's grandson, gave us an insider's look at the brothers Herman and Joe Mankiewicz relationship, their success in Hollywood, and their family dynamics. Co-writer of Citizen Kane, Herman became one of the highest-paid writers in Hollywood. His brother Joe was famous for writing, directing The Philadelphia Story, All About Eve, Letter to Three Wives and the financial disaster of the time Cleopatra.

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On Wednesday, April 27, New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff joined us virtually for a brief but enlightening conversation on her most recent novel The Woman with the Blue Star.

Prof. Leah Garrett joined the CCJCC and Under One Tent audience virtually on Tuesday, April 26. Her book X Troop gives the first full account of the brave group of German Jewish refugees who fought against Hitler.

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On April 25, 2022, lawyer, investigative journalist, and author Roxane van Iperen

joined us virtually from the Netherlands for a Q&A on her bestselling book The Sisters of Auschwitz.

On Thursday, April 7, Prof. Laura Arnold Leibman joined the CCJCC audience virtually and told us the story of the main characters of her book Once We Were Slaves, the places they lived, their children, their extraordinary journeys.

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On Sunday, April 3, 2022, author Joshua M. Greene introduced us to Siggi B. Wilzig and his extraordinary life and triumphant spirit. Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig’s Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend is a must-read biography of a Holocaust survivor who lived life to the fullest and helped anyone he could along the way.

CEO of PEN America Suzanne Nossel joined the CCJCC audience virtually, on Monday, March 28, for a Q&A. Dare to Speak is a must-have playbook for navigating and defending free speech today. It provides a pathway for promoting free expression while cultivating a more inclusive public culture.

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On March 3, 2022, author and blogger Faith Kramer joined the Under One Tent audience to introduce her first cookbook, 52 Shabbats, and give a quick demo on making her phyllo dough spinach pie.

On Thursday, February 17, 2021, EBIJFF Director Riva Gambert explored how HUAC got started and the repercussions the film and TV industries experienced due to this earlier cancel culture onslaught.

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On Tuesday, February 15, 2022, author Deborah Copaken summed up in a special keynote address her experiences that inspired her to write her memoir Ladyparts

 which was published in August 2021.

On Sunday, February 13, 2022, author Robert Alter lectured on Nabokov who was passionately concerned with the real world and its complexities, from love and loss to exile, freedom, and the impact of contemporary politics on our lives.

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On Thursday, January 27, 2022, Executive Director of the Arava Institute, Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, and director of the documentary The Optimists, Eliezer Yaari joined the CCJCC and EBIJFF audience virtually from Israel. Dr. Abu Hamed talked about the environmental work of the Arava Institute in the region and the organization's plans for a better future. 

On Sunday, January 23, 2022, author Phyllis Chesler introduced her latest book, Requiem for A Female Serial Killer, a true account of a unique case that the author was intimately involved with. 

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On Thursday, January 13, 2022 noted author/historian Fred Rosenbaum placed the German docudrama The Invisibles into its historic and cultural context, as he explored the Jews of Berlin and their plight to survive during WWII.

On Sunday, January 9, 2022, theatre journalist Eddie Shapiro talked briefly about his book A Wonderful Guy: Conversations with the Great Men of Musical Theatre and answered audience questions in a fun and lively author event.

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