David Kwan | KALW

David Kwan

Editor and Producer, Binah

David Kwan is the editor and producer of Binah, featuring remarkable artists and thinkers who’ve come to speak at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco as part of their Arts & Ideas program. He is also a visual artist and composer who creates interdisciplinary works for a variety of settings including installation, screenings and performance. He has taught electronic arts and music at Bay Area colleges and abroad.

Actor, comedian and writer Michael Ian Black and journalist Cleo Stiller talk about rethinking masculinity and teaching young men to give and receive love.

Pastry chef and food writer Claire Saffitz talks about being a baking hero for a new generation and how everyone can be a “dessert person.”

Actor and advocate for Parkinson’s disease research, Michael J. Fox shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality.

Rachel Bloom, the writer and star of the television show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, explores what she thinks makes her “different” is a “normal” feeling shared by many.

Diane Bladecki / Centurion Ministries

Jim McCloskey, founder of Centurion Ministries, and veteran broadcast news and television producer Philip Lerman examine criminal prosecutions and the persistent problems with wrongful convictions. They’re co-authors of the book, When Truth Is All You Have: A Memoir of Faith, Justice and Freedom for the Wrongly Convicted.

Kenny Braun

Novelist Lawrence Wright shares his new thriller, The End of October, about a viral pandemic that upends the world—written uncannily before COVID-19. His research for the novel led him to work with virologists and infectious disease experts who are currently developing vaccines for COVID-19.

Actors, directors and activists Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria talk about retelling classic children’s fables, to imbue them with empathy, inclusivity and humor.

Evan Bloom and Rachel Levin share their new cookbook, Eat Something: A Wise Sons Cookbook for Jews Who Like Food and Food Lovers Who Like Jews.

Author Jodi Picoult examines the choices that alter the course of our lives and ponders the first known map of the afterlife. She’s joined in conversation by author Judy Blume.

Binah: Hood Feminism

Nov 12, 2020
Patrick Thicklin / Penguin Random House

Author and cultural critic Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the basic needs of all but a few women.

99% Invisible’s Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt talk about their radio show that explores the process and power of design and architecture.

Binah: Colin Quinn

Oct 29, 2020
Mike Lavoie

Comedian, actor and writer Colin Quinn takes us on coast-to-coast roast of the 50 States, tackling the condition of our union today.

On today’s Binah, we feature a special program on the 2020 Elections and the Jewish Vote, featuring political scientist and author Dr. Steven Windmueller, who shares a nonpartisan election analysis designed to educate about the diverse and significant roles Jews have played and continue to play in American politics. 

Tim Chapman

On today’s encore edition of Binah, satirical novelist and journalist Carl Hiaasen shares rollicking misadventures inspired by the colorful annals of greed and corruption in South Florida.


Claire Kendrick (cropped)

Curators Heidi Rabben and Qianjin Montoya from the Contemporary Jewish Museum talk about how art and artists can inspire us in times of crisis, in terms of helping us process, criticize and reflect on world events.

W Challenge

Assessor for the City and County of San Francisco Carmen Chu and San Francisco Mayor London Breed discuss how their personal experiences as women of color influence their leadership styles, as well as their commitments to promoting voting rights, racial equity and civic engagement.

Steve Petteway / Supreme Court of the United States

Ruth Bader Ginsburg biographer and historian Jane Sherron de Hart discusses how the Supreme Court Justice became a trailblazer for gender equality and what shaped her passion for justice and jurisprudence. De Hart is joined in conversation by Your Call's Rose Aguilar.

Gabriela Herman / Michael Singer

Cookbook author Joan Nathan and food writer Ruth Reichl talk about the foundation of Jewish cooking in America—and how much the Jewish kitchen has changed.

Jessica Chou (cropped from original)

Rabbi Zac Kamenetz discusses the mystical insights afforded by psychedelics, such as LSD and magic mushrooms, and how it will fundamentally change the way we think about Jewish religion and spirituality.

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

During this pandemic, many parents are overwhelmed: raising their kids while simultaneously holding down the role of a worker, teacher, cook, housecleaner and much more. Clinician Madeline Levine and Anita Friedman of Jewish Family and Children’s Services discuss navigating this incredibly demanding and stressful time.

On today’s encore edition of Binah, legendary investigative journalist Bob Woodward discusses his reporting from Nixon to Trump, and the challenges faced today by the press, the presidency and American democracy.

Jason Madera

Dr. Larry Brilliant describes his life trajectory when love, compassion, and determination met the right circumstances to effect the eradication of one of the worst pandemics in human history. He is an epidemiologist, technologist and philanthropist, notable for his 1973–76 work with the World Health Organization, helping to successfully stamp out smallpox.

René Redzepi, world-renowned chef and co-owner of the restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, and David Zilber, director of the Noma fermentation lab, talk about fermentation as a foundation behind extraordinary flavors and traditions.

John Henry Mentz / SFMTA

San Francisco writer Rebecca Solnit explores people’s capacity to rise to major disasters with creativity and courage. She looks at moments of altruism, resourcefulness, and generosity that arise amid grief and disruption and considers their implications for everyday life.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, who writes the “Ethicist” column for The New York Times Magazine, discusses how identities are created by conflict and challenges our assumptions about how identities work.

Member of the Virginia House of Delegates—and the first openly transgender woman to serve in a state legislature—Danica Roem shares insights on what it means to be a political leader in our country today.

Since 2002, Mortified has been a cultural phenomenon where adults relive their awkward adolescence by reading their teen diaries, poems, letters and more in front of total strangers.

Former editors and reporters for The Tenderloin Times discuss the collective power of the publication and its lasting impact on our city.

Social psychologist Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt, a leading expert on unconscious racial bias, and SFPD Chief Bill Scott discuss Dr. Eberhardt’s groundbreaking research on implicit bias and the consequences of the psychological association between race and crime.

Beloved chefs and cookbook authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Samin Nosrat discuss the unified theory of Ottolenghi’s cooking.

Meredith Nierman

Former US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy warns of the dangers of loneliness and the lasting impact it can have on our health. 

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