Library Programs and Lectures

Learn about Astor Judaica Library programs!


In Conjunction with Write Out Loud!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Jewish stories come to life in this literary evening. Be transported to eras past and present as tales both familiar and not so common are read.

The following are the stories which will be read and the readers for the evening.

"Death of An Actor" by David Bernstein
Read by Eric George Tauber

"Kupperman Finds Ecstacy" by Joseph Epstein
Read by Walter Ritter

"Let God Worry a Little Bit" by Gertrude Berg
Read by Pat Launer

"Homage For Isaac Babel" by Doris Lessing
Read by Veronica Murphy

Price: $12, JCC Member Price: $10

For Tickets :JCC Box Office (858) 362-1348 or For Information: Susan Hagler (858) 362-1150 or

Purchase Tickets


Jewish Luck by Meryll Levine Page


7:00 P.M., Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jewish Luck recounts the intertwined stories of two women who—in their struggles against the anti-Semitism and patriarchy of the Soviet regime and the rebranded “New” Russia—succeed by creating their own luck. Jewish Luck invites readers to inhabit the lives of Vera and Alisa, two extraordinary and headstrong women, as they fight to establish themselves in a time and place where women, Jews, and capitalism were disparaged. 

Price: $10, JCC Member Price: $8

RSVP: Susan Hagler (858) 362-1150 or

City of the Sun by Juliana Maio


7:00 P.M., Thursday, February 19, 2015

Espionage, love, and power play upon the shifting sands of wartime Cairo, Egypt, 1941. As the Second World War rages, the city known as ''Paris on the Nile'' plays host to an international set who seem more interested in polo matches and swanky nightclubs than the Germans' unrelenting advance across North Africa. Meanwhile, as refugees, soldiers, and spies stream into the city, the Nazis conspire with the emerging Muslim Brotherhood to fuel the Egyptian people's seething resentment against their British overlords. Deftly blending the romantic noir of the classic film Casablanca with a riveting, suspenseful narrative and vivid historical detail, City of the Sun offers a stunning portrayal of a time and place that was not only pivotal for the war, but also sowed much of the turbulence in today's Middle East.;

Price: $10, JCC Member Price: $8

RSVP: Susan Hagler (858) 362-1150 or

Stop at the Red Apple: The Restaurant on Route 17 by Elaine Freed Lindenblatt


7:00 P.M., Monday, March 9, 2015

Did you ever stop at the Red Apple on your way to the Catskills? Whether you did- or did not- this book will give you a glimpse into those by-gone days. The Red Apple Rest was a legendary restaurant open from the 1930s through the 1980s on New York’s Route 17. The restaurant served as a who’s who of entertainment luminaries. For the author, the Red Apple was the “family room” across the road—one she shared with over a million customers every year. Stop at the Red Apple is at once an account of growing up in 1950s small-town America, a glimpse into the workings of a successful food operation, and a swan song to a glorious slice of bygone popular culture.

Price: $10, JCC Member Price: $8

RSVP: Susan Hagler (858) 362-1150 or

Even in Darkness: A Novel by Barbara Stark-Nemon


7:00 P.M., Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spanning a century and three continents, Even in Darkness tells the story of Kläre Kohler, whose early years as a dutiful daughter of a prosperous German-Jewish family hardly anticipate the often-harrowing life she faces as an adult—a saga of family, a lover, two world wars, a concentration camp and the unconventional life she builds in post-war Germany. As the world changes around her, Kläre makes boundary-crossing choices in order to protect the people she loves—and to save herself. Based on a true story.

Price: $10, JCC Member Price: $8
RSVP: Susan Hagler (858) 362-1150 or

Holocaust Education Programs Generously Supported by the Viterbi Family Foundation


Entering Its 7th Season!


Tuesday January 13
Local poets to be featured include: Michael Mark, Lauren Ponder and Elana Horvitz. Michael Mark, a NYC native who has just been nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize for his poetry. He has had his poetry published in many literary journals such as Diverse Voices Quarterly, San Diego Poetry Annual, and the New York Times.

Lauren Ponder, graduate of San Diego City College, now working for her BA in Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University, had her first poem published when she was 10 years old. She spent two years in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, working with the native people and learning their language. She volunteered on the San Diego City College Urban Farm and for "Feeding America."

Elana Horvitz is a recent graduate of SDSU.

The program will be followed by a open mic. Bring your poetry to read or sing, or just listen and enjoy!

Tuesday February 17
The Poetry of Saul Tchernikowsky and Rachel
Local community members and poetry lovers will read the poems of Saul Tchernikowsky and Rachel. The Havurat Zemer San Diego choir, under the direction of Rivi Raz, will sing the poems of Tchernikowsky and Rachel which have been put to music.

Tuesday March 31
Presenting educators from our local Jewish Day and Congregational School and Early Childhood Centers. The program will be followed by open mic. Bring your poetry to read or sing, or just listen and enjoy!

Tuesday May 12
From Generation to Generation- The poetry featured will be that of the children of community members, including Suzi Finklestein's daughter, Jamie Lynn Finkelstein, Eileen Wingard’s daughter Harriet Wingard, and the poetry of Monqiue Kunewalder’s late son, Anthony Paul Kunewalder. The program will be followed by followed by open mic. Bring your poetry to read or sing, or just listen and enjoy!

Programs will be held in the Samuel and Rebecca Astor Judaica Library of the Lawrence Family Jewish Communty Center JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS
All programs are FREE of charge
Please RSVP to Susan Hagler: 858-362-1150,