Binah | KALW


Thursdays at noon

Binah features creative voices from the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. In this series, we bring you remarkable artists and thinkers who’ve come to speak at the JCCSF as part of their Arts & Ideas program.

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Upcoming episodes: Binah

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. 

Historian Marcia Chatelain shares the untold story of how fast food became one of the greatest generators of black wealth in America. Her new book is Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America.

Historian Sarah Abrevaya Stein follows the true story of one family to trace the history of Sephardic Jews through the twentieth century. Her new book is Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century.

Poets Danez Smith, Safia Elhillo and Sam Sax share work about the saving grace of friendship and the search for joy and intimacy in a world where both can seem scarce.

Writer and memoirist Dani Shapiro and author and professor of medicine Dr. Abraham Verghese explore genealogy, identity and family secrets in the present day of science and technology.

Writer Peggy Orenstein dives into the lives of young men to reveal how they understand and negotiate the new rules of physical and emotional intimacy. Her new book is Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity.

Karen Kuehn / Blue Flower Arts

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo reads and performs her poetry, which she describes as “carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,” telling an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making.

Abby Stein talks about leaving behind the Hasidic world and a rabbinical degree when she came out as a woman and activist of trans experience.

Binah: Lindy West

Feb 6, 2020
Jenny Jimenez

New York Times columnist and author of the acclaimed memoir and Hulu television series Shrill, Lindy West gives us all the kindling we need to burn our restrictive and outdated social norms to the ground. Her new book is The Witches Are Coming.

Dr. Shelly Garone talks about what happens to the human body nearing death and whether there are things we can know in terms of meeting our loved ones’ needs and preventing their suffering.

Oncologist Azra Raza ruminates on the lost war on cancer, and why has so little progress been made in diagnosing and treating cancer over the past few decades.

Los Angeles street rat turned world-famous rock star Flea, the bassist and co-founder of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, tells his origin story. His new memoir is Acid for the Children.

Poet Saeed Jones tells his coming-of-age story as a larger examination of race and queerness, and power and vulnerability. His new memoir is How We Fight for Our Lives.

Jake Chessum / New York Times

On today’s edition of Binah, Michael Barbaro of the New York Times’ podcast The Daily delves into the creation of the show that listeners can’t get enough of. He’s joined in conversation by Crosscurrents’ Hana Baba.

Hear Michael Barbaro on Binah, today at noon.

Poets Adrienne Rich and Alicia Ostriker reflect on themes of Jewish identity, social justice, and radical feminism.

BJ Miller, Shoshana Berger and Lucy Kalanithi provide step-by- step instructions on managing the end of life, and answer questions about death that we’re all afraid to ask.

Journalist Anand Giridharadas argues that many elite philanthropic initiatives serve only to maintain the very power structures they claim they want to fix. His book is Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.

Tarina Westlund

The Pacific Northwest’s premier alt-classical ensemble Portland Cello Project returns to the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco to celebrate the musical genius and artistry of Prince.

Tune in to Portland Cello Project on Binah, today at noon.

Nina Subin

New York Times Op-Ed columnist Gail Collins explores how attitudes toward older women have shifted in America over the centuries. Hear why women can, and should, expect the best of their golden years.

Mistina Hanscom

Science journalist Carl Zimmer argues that heredity isn’t just about genes that pass from parent to child, but also about other things that matter as much—or more—to our lives.

Novelist Richard Powers and author and environmentalist Bill McKibben examine the essential conflict taking place on our planet between humans and nonhumans.