Past Events

CLE: “President. Criminal. The story of how we sent the President of Israel to jail.”

  • January 14, 2020

Roy Peled, visiting professor at the Center for Jewish Law and Israel Studies at the UC Berkeley School of Law, discussed how in the summer 2006 President of Israel Moshe Katzav complained of blackmailing attempts by an anonymous “Woman O.” Thus began an amazing series of events that led to Katzav’s seven-year jail sentence for two accounts of rape. Peled worked closely with “Woman O” and her pro-bono media consultant for the course of the scandal, an experience that changed him as an adult male and his understanding of sex crimes.

Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco's 2019 Annual Gala

  • November 5, 2019

Once again, the Gala took at Sens Restaurant in Embarcadero 4. It featured food from Sens, live music, and an open bar. Thanks again to all of JBASF's wonderful sponsors!

This year, our Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award for Excellence recognizes the contributions of Michael Gilfix, a Jewish Bay Area lawyer who pioneered the field of Elder Law. Michael organized America's first free legal aid program for the elderly in Palo Alto in 1973, and cofounded NAELA, the National Academy for Elder Law Attorneys, among other accomplishments.

Jewish Movie Night at the Jewish Film Institute

  • September 25, 2019

Thank you for joining us at annual Jewish Movie Night at the Jewish Film Institute. This year we were delighted that Judge Michelle Friedland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit served as our judicial host for the event.

We watched City of Joel, “a documentary—with unprecedented access—to a 1.1 square mile shtetl in the suburbs that is home to 22,000 members of one of the most insular and orthodox Hasidic sects. We follow the battles they are waging to survive....”

You can watch a trailer and read a very recent NY Times article about the topic—though the article probably has spoilers!

And Then They Came for Us: The Perils of Silence

  • August 8, 2019

Current affairs remind us that the rule of law is fragile and that lawyers particularly have an obligation to stand up and speak out when governments enact laws that violate human & civil rights.

The program began with a screening of the ABA Silver Gavel award-winning 50-minute documentary, “And Then They Came for Us,” which tells the story of Japanese Americans interned during World War II through the lens of photographers Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams, whose photographs of the incarceration were banned until last year. The documentary also follows the case of Fred Korematsu, who was tried and convicted for refusing to be detained and whose conviction was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court years later.

The panel discussion that followed addressed the internment camps as well as the role of lawyers in undermining the rule of law in Germany, and how international lawyers worked to restore it through the Nuremberg trials. This story is told by the ABA Center for Human Rights book on the fate of Jewish lawyers in Berlin after 1933 and the traveling exhibit, “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany under the Third Reich,” produced in conjunction with the German Federal Bar.

Lecture by Cody Harris: Constitutional Law 101 at Manny's

  • May 23, 2019

Cody Harris, a partner at Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP and an instructor with Stanford Law School's Continuing Studies program, spoke on Constitutional Law and First Amendment rights such as free speech and freedom of religion.

Held at Manny's Restaurant, 3092 16th Street in the Mission District, which has been at the center of First Amendment controversy in recent months with angry protests by anti-Israel groups seeking a boycott of the restaurant due to their objections to Israeli politics and complaints about perceived "gentrification." Manny, the restaurant's namesake, is Jewish.

Here are some articles on the controversy:
How many hoops must Manny Yekutiel jump through before he’s deemed worthy to set foot in the Mission?
Mission District civic engagement space met with protests, calls for boycott
What boycott of Manny’s in the Mission is about

Thanks for your support of Manny's during this challenging period.

Private Tour of the Contemporary Jewish Museum

  • April 18, 2019

Thanks for joining us for this private, after-hours group tour of the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Crime and Consequence: Jewish and American Law at the Crossroads [CLE]

  • March 28, 2019

Rabbi Shlomo Zarchi lead an engaging hourlong discussion into how American criminal law and Jewish Talmudic law treat issues involving crime and punishment.

Topics included:
• What does the Talmud have to say about standards of evidence and proof for criminal convictions?
• What does the Talmud say about confessions?
• How do American law and the Talmud treat incarceration similarly and differently?.

Purim Happy Hour at The Naked Lunch

  • March 20, 2019

Thanks for joining us for the 2019 Purim Happy Hour at The Naked Lunch, in San Francisco.

2018 Annual Gala at Sens Restaurant

  • November 15, 2018

This year’s Annual Gala took place at Sens Restaurant in 4 Embarcadero Center. We awarded our annual Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award to Sara Eisenberg of the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. The award recognizes a Jewish individual in the legal field who exemplifies the values that Jews and attorneys both strive to embody: a commitment to justice, professional excellence, and creating positive change in the legal community and beyond.

Over the years, Sara has played key roles in many of the City Attorney’s Office’s most high profile matters, including defending San Francisco’s “Sanctuary City” ordinances from Trump Administration defunding threats, securing marriage rights for same-sex couples, ensuring restaurant workers benefit from “Healthy San Francisco” restaurant fees, and fighting to keep the City College of San Francisco’s doors open.

A discussion with University of Utah Law Professor Amos Guiora about his new book, “The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust.”

  • October 22, 2018

Thanks to the Anti-Defamation League and the Center for Justice & Accountability for this jointly supported discussion. Based on his book The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust, Professor Amos Guiora discussed the bystander-victim relationship from a deeply personal and legal perspective, focusing first on the Holocaust and then exploring cases in contemporary society. He shared the experiences of his parents and grandparents during the Holocaust and drawed on a wide range of historical material and interviews.

Questions of bystander complicity are, unfortunately, highly relevant today, from cases of sexual assault on college campuses to Harvey Weinstein to the former USA Gymnastics doctor and much more in the U.S. and around the world. Professor Guiora is a significant contributor of “Bystander—Duty to Act” legislation in Utah and is engaging with legislators and Attorneys General across the country on the topic.

Jewish Movie Night with Judge Berzon

  • October 4, 2018

Thanks for joining us and our judicial host, Judge Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, for the screening of RBGthe documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We were joined by a former clerk of Justice Ginsburg's, Anna-Rose Mathieson.

CLE: It's Not About the Ring: Recognition of Same-Sex Families in Israel

  • September 5, 2018

This talk by Frederick Hertz, summarized the historical background and the current law in Israel with regard to civil marriage recognition, reputed spouse benefits, and dissolution rights and obligations. It also described the laws regarding surrogacy and ART for lesbian and gay couples, and parentage recognition for non-bio parents in same-sex partnerships.

Jewish Heritage Night at the Giants

  • August 29, 2018

Thanks for watching the game with us on Jewish Heritage Night! We appreciate your joining us for our third year together at this event.

Joint Happy Hour with the South Asian Bar Association and the Iranian-American Bar Association

  • June 26, 2018

Thanks for joining us at the Joint Happy Hour with South Asian Bar Association and the Iranian-American Bar Association!

Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court: from Brandeis to Kagan

  • April 15, 2018

Thanks for joining us for this lecture hosted by the Jewish Community Library with author David Dalin about his newest book, Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court: from Brandeis to Kagan.

David Dalin's newest book is the first history of the eight Jewish men and women who have served or who currently serve as justices of the Supreme Court. In his presentation, Dalin discussed the Jewish background, identities, and legacies of the Jewish Justices and the changing role of Jews within the American legal profession. He also addressed the antisemitism some of the justices encountered in their ascent to America’s highest court. Alan Dershowitz called the book "A must read for anyone interested in Jewish, American, or legal history."

Dalin is an ordained rabbi and scholar of American Jewish history and Jewish-Christian relations. He is the author, co-author, or editor of twelve books, including Religion and State in the American Jewish Experience and The Presidents of the United States and the Jews. His book Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court: From Brandeis to Kagan, published by Brandeis University Press, was recently selected as a finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Award.

Spring Happy Hour at John Collins Bar

  • March 22, 2018

Thanks for joining us to celebrate the eternal renewal of Spring and connect with fellow Jewish Bar Association members.

CLE: From Maimonides to Microsoft: The Jewish Law of Copyright Since the Birth of Print with Neil Weinstock Netanel, UCLA Law

  • February 15, 2018

Thanks for joining us for this lecture co-sponsored by the Copyright Society of the United States of America. In his new book From Maimonides to Microsoft, Professor Netanel traces the historical development of Jewish copyright law by comparing rabbinic reprinting bans with secular and papal book privileges and by relaying the stories of dramatic disputes among publishers of books of Jewish learning and liturgy. He describes each dispute in its historical context and examines the rabbinic rulings that sought to resolve it. Remarkably, the rabbinic reprinting bans and copyright rulings address some of the same issues that animate copyright jurisprudence today: Is copyright a property right or just a right to receive fair compensation? How long should copyrights last? What purposes does copyright serve? While Jewish copyright law has borrowed from its secular law counterpart at key junctures, it fashions strikingly different answers to those key questions.

“An Act Of Defiance” Film Screening

  • February 11, 2018

Thanks for joining us at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission. Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco was a community partner for this film which was part of the Jewish Film Institute's WinterFest 2018. An Act of Defiance is a riveting historical drama focused on the life of the lawyer Bram Fischer, who risked his life defending Nelson Mandela and in his circle of Black and Jewish supporters during Apartheid. Watch the trailer.

CLE: "My Experience Working with the Israeli Supreme Court to Improve Israel’s Judiciary" with 9th Circuit Chief Judge Emeritus Clifford Wallace

  • January 10, 2018

Thanks for joining us for this informative lecture.

Jewish Graduate Student Initiative’s Networking Mixer

  • November 14, 2017

Jewish Executive Leadership Connect: the Jewish Graduate Student Initiative ( is the only national organization dedicated solely to Jewish grads. Their mission is to support Jewish life on graduate school campuses and to connect Jewish graduate students, alumni, and young professionals to their heritage and the greater Jewish community. Their dynamic, multidisciplinary programs are designed to instill the Jewish values of ethical leadership, lifelong learning, and communal responsibility in an atmosphere of open inquiry and mutual respect, in order to shape the next generation of Jewish and professional community leaders.

Annual Gala at Sens Restaurant

  • November 2, 2017

Thanks for celebrating with us at our Annual Gala! The Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco has had a very successful year, only our second in existence. This year we honored Jeffrey Bleich—Dentons partner, former ambassador to Australia, and current candidate for California lieutenant governor—with our "Ruth Bader Ginsburg" award for excellence by a Jewish member of the legal field.

"Adopt-a-Nazi (Not Really)" Fundraiser for the Southern Poverty Law Center

  • August 26, 2017

Thanks so much for all of the support! Our wildly successful campaign on Go Fund Me raised $157,891. We supported peaceful opposition to the "alt-right" rally planned for Crissy Field. All funds went to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that monitors and exposes hate groups of all kinds. See our press release.

We also received tremendous media attention, including the following news articles: ABC 7 News, JWeekly, SFist, Forward, San Francisco Magazine, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, The Times of Israel, Cleveland Jewish News, Think Progress, NBC Bay Area, Fox News U.S., Bustle, ABA Journal, New York Post, Al Jazeera, Sinovision (Chinese TV), and TheGrio. Thanks so much for your continued support of the Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco.

Kozinski’s Favorite Jewish Flicks - “Skokie”

  • August 23, 2017

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Emeritus Alex Kozinski, noted film buff, hosted the second of a series of Jewish themed movie showings. Skokie is about the legal and philosophical debates surrounding the ACLU's representation of a neo-Nazi group seeking to march in the predominantly Jewish town of Skokie, Illinois, in the late 1970s. This deeply moving film is still very relevant and timely due to current political events.

The showing took place at the Jewish Film Institute, 145 9th Street.

Jewish Heritage Night at the Giants

  • August 21, 2017

Thanks for sharing a great game with the San Francisco Giants on Jewish Heritage Night! We appreciate your joining us for our second year together at this event.

Alon Sachar, co-author of A Path to Peace, on: “Prospects for Arab-Israeli Peace In the Trump Era”

  • June 27, 2017

Thanks for joining us for a lecture by Alon Sachar who has worked to advance Middle East peace under two US administrations. He served as an adviser to the US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel B. Shapiro in Tel Aviv from 2011-2012, and to President Obama’s Special Envoys for Middle East Peace, George J. Mitchell and David Hale, from 2009 to 2011.

Ephraim Margolin on “54 Years of Lawyering and Thoughts on the New President”

  • May 18, 2017

Thanks for joining us for a lecture by local attorney, activist and scholar, Ephraim Margolin. Born in Poland; raised in Tel Aviv (where one of his house guests was a young Polish refugee named Menachem Begin); served in Israel’s War for Independence as the Irgun’s secret radio announcer; and has taught and practiced law in the Bay Area.

Volunteering at SF Marin Food Bank

  • March 25, 2017

What a mitzvah! Thanks for spending your Saturday morning at the SF Marin Food Bank. We sorted and packaged food for neighborhood pantries, soup kitchens, and children’s snack programs.

Purim Mixer at John Collins Bar

  • March 9, 2017

Thanks for joining us this year to celebrate Purim!

Annual Gala at Taverna Aventine

  • November 30, 2016

Thanks for celebrating with us at our Annual Gala! It was a great opportunity for Jewish and non-Jewish lawyers and judges to mix, mingle, and build the valuable friendships that form a vibrant legal community and make the practice of law so much more enjoyable.

Jewish Lawyers on Television

  • October 18, 2016

Thanks to all attendees of an informative elimination of bias CLE program presented by Professor Michael Asimow of Stanford Law School at Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Rooftop Mixer at the Jewish Community Federation

  • September 27, 2016

Thanks to all of you who attended the great mixer we held at the Jewish Federation. We had more than 60 guests, terrific weather, and an amazing view.

Jewish Heritage Night at the Giants

  • August 30, 2016

Thanks for sharing a great game with the San Francisco Giants on Jewish Heritage Night!

Kozinski’s Favorite Jewish Flicks - “The Band’s Visit”

  • August 23, 2016

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Emeritus Alex Kozinski, noted film buff, hosted the first of what we hope will be a series of Jewish themed movie showings. This film, one of his favorites, is "The Band's Visit." Here’s Roger Ebert's four-star review of the film.

The showing took place at the Jewish Film Institute, 145 9th Street.

Purim Happy Hour at Press Club

  • March 23, 2016

The Talmud commands that Jews drink on Purim, and who are we to argue with the Talmud? Thanks for joining us this year at the Press Club to celebrate Purim!

MCLE Breakfast on Establishment Clause — Religious Freedom in America: Sword or Shield?

  • March 10, 2016

The Anti-Defamation League’s Western States Counsel, Michelle Deutchman lead an interactive discussion about ADL’s Establishment Clause matters.

Joint Happy Hour with IABA NorCal

  • January 27, 2016

Thanks for joining us at the Joint Happy Hour with IABA NorCal at Barbarossa. What a great turnout!

Financial District Happy-Hour Gala

  • September 30, 2015

We had an outstanding turnout at Taverna Aventine for the JBA's Happy-Hour Gala -- more than 60 folks joined and mingled together.

Inaugural Happy Hour

  • June 25, 2015

We were delighted and humbled that so many folks came out for our happy hour inaugural event at the Royale.

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We'd love to have you at a future event. Join the Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco today!