Sensational Season Ahead for ACE

ACE is the place to learn, engage, discuss, celebrate, contemplate, absorb and to be enlightened, engaged and stimulated. Starting in January, ACE continues to meet the raised expectations for excellence that our new JCC elicit with a full roster of arts and culture programming.

We have scholars and movie mavens,

Peruse our spring schedule, and make your reservations at


LUNCH AND LEARN — The second Thursday of each month

$12 in advance and at the door

Reservations appreciated so we may plan lunch

The first group of 82 Japanese-Americans arrive at the Manzanar internment camp (or 'War Relocation Center') carrying their belongings in suitcases and bags, Owens Valley, California, March 21, 1942. Manzanar was one of the first ten internment camps opened in the United States, and it's peak population, before it was closed in Novemeber 1945, was over 10,000 people. (Photo by Eliot Elisofon/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

“The Japanese Internment”

With Bill Zessar

January 12 – noon

In this exploration of a morally and politically complex period of American history, Bill Zessar argues that there are significant similarities between the Holocaust and the internment. Both occurred during WW II and involved the imprisonment of entire families because of religion and race. Both took place after laws were enacted that discriminated against Jews in Europe and Japanese Americans (and other minorities). Join ACE as we revisit a shameful episode of intolerance that resonates today.

Bill Zessar spent 8 years as a California Deputy Attorney General, and is the son of immigrants from Poland and the Ukraine. In 1982 he helped create an annual Holocaust memorial program in the Quad Cities and produced a Holocaust play performed annually in high schools.


Viva Theater Presents Two Short Plays

February 9 – noon

“Steering Into the Skid”

A light hearted, insightful story of memory loss and the complexities of a care-giving relationship unfolds as a couple drives across the USA while the husband’s memory begins to “skid.”

“The Blooming of Ivy”

Heartwarming, with plenty of humor, this “Best American Short Plays” selection follows a pair of widowed friends and neighbors as they rethink their relationship.

For 15 years VIVA community theater has brought plays, play readings and workshops to Boulder County theaters, senior centers and retirement communities. While “by and for” seniors, VIVA is fully intergenerational. VIVA is a branch of the Society For Creative Agency, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit.


The Rocky Mountain Skeptics: A History

With Carla Selby and other former “Skeptics”

March 9 – noon

Join us for a panel discussion of a now-defunct, once-vibrant organization formed in Boulder in 1983 to promote critical thinking. It was one of more than 60 organizations established around the world to encourage critical, rational, and scientifically sound thinking on the part of the participants. RMS sponsored public addresses by well-known skeptics such as Stephen J. Gould, Philip J. Klass, Paul Kurtz, Carol Tavris, and Joe Nickell.


The Jews of Singapore: Past and Present

With Anne Lowe

April 20 – noon (please note this is the third Thursday)

Singapore’s remarkable Jewish community dates back more than 100 years, when the famous Sassoon family – fabulously wealthy merchants of Iraqi origin who had amassed their fortune in the Indian subcontinent of the British empire – opened trading offices in the new entrepot that was quickly becoming a strategic linchpin of the empire’s commercial network in Asia.

Anne Lowe, who spent five weeks in Singapore, hails from Tucson, Arizona, where she recently retired from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. Currently she is the co-president of Congregation Bet Shalom (Conservative), and the president of the Hadassah Southern Arizona chapter.



Poland Today

With Professor Bill Safran

May 11 – noon

Four years ago Polin, a Museum of the History of Jews in Poland, was opened in Warsaw to tell the story of a thousand years of Jewish life in that land. Before the advent of Hitler, Poland had more than three million Jews, or 10 percent of its population – the largest Jewish population in Europe. At the end of World War II, that number had been reduced to a few thousand survivors of the Shoah. Since then, in its quest for growth, stability, and renewal, the Jewish community in Poland has faced many challenges. Professor Safran traces these challenges through various regimes and episodes to the present.


Fourth Thursday of the month at 1:30 pm


January 26:  “In Search of General Tsao”

In honor of Chinese New Year, we present this fascinating look at the history of Chinese food in America, including the unique culinary relationship between Jews and Chinese food.


February 23: “The Dis-Honesty Project: The Truth About Lies”  

When do we lie? How often? Why? Are we as honest as we say we are? The answers may surprise you as Israeli behavorial economist Dan Ariely engages in experiments and studies, interviews experts – and expert liars – to reveal how and why people lie.


March 23:  “Koch”

The quintessential New Yorker, combative, funny and blunt, Ed Koch was mayor from 1978 to 1989, an era of graffiti, near-bankruptcy and crime. Before his death in 2013, the intensely private man recalled his life and legacy for this candid last testament to a thoroughly Jewish public servant.


April 27: “Diplomacy”

Volker Schlondorff’s latest feature film speculates on a fascinating moment in history, as Hitler plans to destroy Paris – its citizens to be swept away with its famous landmarks, monuments, museums, and art. One man stands between this cultural genocide, armed only with diplomacy.


May 25: “Little White Lie”

Born to a Jewish family, yet suspiciously dark skinned, a young woman learns the truth of her heritage as a teenager and makes a film recording her journey to an authentic identity.


This book-club style program features an hour of conversation, from 1:30-2:30, on the fourth Wednesday of the month (unless otherwise noted). Watch the films at home or come to the screening before the discussion.

Screenings at 11:30 am. (Except Exodus) Bring a brown bag lunch!


January 25: A Serious Man

The Coen Brothers’ most Jewish film to date, this 2009 black comedy-drama is a retelling of the Biblical story of Job, with Michael Stuhlbarg as a man beset by a series of misfortunes.


February 22: Enemies, A Love Story (Screening at 11:30 am. Bring a brown bag lunch!)

Based on the darkly absurd Issac Bashevis Singer novel about the walking ghosts in post-Holocaust New York, and brilliantly directed in 1989 by Paul Mazursky, this tortured tale unfolds in New York, where a hapless survivor (Ron Silver) finds himself bound to three women (Anjelica Huston, Lena Olin, Margaret Sophie Stein).


March 22: Crimes and Misdemeanors (Screening at 11:30 am. Bring a brown bag lunch!)

Woody Allen gets serious, and seriously Jewish, in this “dark night of the soul” film about two men who view their problems from quite different moral perspectives. Allen’s rumination on Jewish values may surprise you.


April 25: The Grey Zone

One of the few acts of revolt in the camps took place when a group of Sonderkommandos attempted to blow up a crematorium at Auschwitz. This rare feature film follows the grim exploits with the kind of integrity Son of Saul displayed – and features a similar story. Directed by Tim Blake Nelson, and starring David Arquette, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino


May 24: Exodus

Screening at 9:30 am, Lunch served at 1 pm, Conversation at 1:30

Arguably the greatest Jewish movie ever made, Exodus was hugely impactful, marking a shift in the culture toward Israel. This seminal drama, based on the book, redefined forever the image of the Jew on the screen.



“Jewish Geography: Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Geographic Imagination”

With CU Professor Adam Rovner

Wednesday, January 25, 7 pm

Many people are aware that right-wing Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky was a forceful speaker, statesman, and writer. Few know, however, that Jabotinsky was responsible for publishing the first modern atlas composed in Hebrew. This presentation focuses on Jabotinsky’s Atlas (1925) and his use of cartography in another little-known work, his screenplay A Galilean Romance (1926). Jabotinsky’s preoccupation with questions of geography not only help us grapple with his brand of Jewish nationalism, but also reveal his indebtedness to avant-garde cultural and philosophical currents present in his European era.

Version 3

The Primordial Torah

With Rabbi Zvi Ish-Shalom

Thursday, March 23, 7 pm

Naropa professor and rabbi Zvi Ish-Shalom’s new book, “The Kedumah Experience Book One: The Primordial Torah,” presents the ancient mystical teachings of Kabbalah as a secular and contemporary path of spiritual awakening and discovery. This new expression of the Kabbalah – called Kedumah – articulated and developed by Professor Ish-Shalom, draws on traditional Jewish teachings to describe a step-by-step path of authentic spiritual realization that can be practiced by people of any religion or spiritual tradition, or by those without any religion or path whatsoever. This book, and Rabbi Ish-Shalom’s talk, will be of interest to scholars, mystics, poets, and anyone interested in meditation, self-discovery, or spiritual teachings.

Zvi Ish-Shalom is a descendant of a long line of hasidic rabbis and scholars. He was raised in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York


The Puritans: Heirs to the Hebrew Bible

With Professor Nan Goodman

Thursday, February 23, 7 pm

Many people know that the Puritans – the Protestant Reformers who came to New England in the seventeenth century –  saw themselves as heirs to the ancient Jews, referring to themselves the “surrogate Israel.”  Less well known, however, is the deep intellectual and religious investment of the Puritan elite in the Hebrew Bible and Jewish history, ancient and contemporaneous. This talk will examine some of these strange and often mysterious connections.  

Nan Goodman is the Director of the Program in Jewish Studies and Professor of English at CU.  



What’s in the Books?  Jewish Literacy 101

Sunday, January 22, 2-5 pm

$18 in advance/$20 at the door

With Rabbi Marc Soloway, Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, Morah Yehudis Fishman

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a Chumash and a Tanach? Mishnah and Midrash? Talmud and Torah?  We are the People of the Book and yet we don’t always know what our books are. This 3-hour introductory class will open up the central books of our tradition including the siddur, the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud and the Zohar and the rabbis will share some of their wisdom.

The Rabbis’ Roundtable continues:

Wednesday, February 15, 2-3:30, with Rabbi Sarah Brachah Gershuny

No date in March during the Boulder Jewish Film Festival

Wednesday, April 19, 2-3:30, with Rabbi Tirzah Firestone  

Wednesday, May 17, 2-3:30, with Rabbi Hannah LaneR


Soul Food Salon and Café (New Monthly Program)

In Memory of Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 7 pm

$10 in advance/$12 at the door


Join us for a casual monthly evening of community entertainment, connection and celebration featuring music, poetry, comedy, storytelling and poignant topics for discussion.

We begin the series remembering Leonard Cohen, who left the world too soon in November.  Bring your stories, songs, teachings, musical compositions or other offerings. Enjoy hot beverages and cool acts, sweets and musical treats. Please contact Gary Kornfeld for further info or to lend your talent: or 303-946-7587.

Soul Food was the brainchild of R. Josh Rose, former rabbi of Har Hashem, and R. Gavriel Goldfeder, former rabbi of Aish Kodesh, to create Jewish dialogue on how/where the soul of Judaism meets present day culture.


F0430RABBI10.JPG F0430RABBI10 Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (cq), left, signs books for Linda Banashek (cq) after a speaking engagement and book signing at the Boulder Bookstore recently. photo by Marty Caivano/April 11, 2005


Explore the Reb Zalman Collection (New opportunity to explore the J’s library)

With Yehudis Fishman

By appointment. No charge.

Call 720-749-2530 or email

Morah Yehudis Fishman will be available by appointment to meet with anyone interested in exploring either the Reb Zalman collection or any other area of the BJCC’s library. Interested in subjects of particular focus in Jewish learning and practice? This is a great opportunity for a private consultation regarding any questions you may have or personal issues of inquiry in Judaism.

Yehudis has been teaching and counseling Torah based topics to people of all ages and backgrounds for more than fifty years.



Back by popular demand!

“Mad Magazine: The Popularization of Jewish Humor”

With Kathryn Bernheimer

Thursday, February 1, 7 pm

Is Alfred E Neuman Jewish? The fictitious mascot and cover boy of Mad for more than 60 years might be a member of the tribe, but there’s no debate about the Jewish identity of his creators. Publisher William Gaines (the son of famed comics publisher Max Gaines, born Maxwell Ginsberg), editor Harvey Kurtzman, and cartoonists Willie Elder and Al Jaffe, all contributed to the magazine’s distinctly Jewish take on modern life. Learn why generations of teens have grown older if not wiser reading Mad Magazine, a triumph of American chutzpah.

Version 4

Writing Your Life Story

With Pattie Logan

Sunday, January 29, 2-4 pm

$25 in advance only

This class is for people who want to share their stories with their families and future generations and/or who want to reflect on their own lives. The process of reflecting and writing is very therapeutic and helps build self-esteem. The workshop includes exercises to stimulate memory and creativity as participants polish their writing. Based on interest, an ongoing writing group may be formed.

Holocaust Remembrance

At the Boulder JCC and on the CU Campus


Sunday, April 2, 2-5 pm: This annual community-wide commemoration opens at the Boulder JCC with a performance of “White Mirror” by Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet. Last year international choreographer Robert Sher-Machherndl, who integrates ballet technique with contemporary movement to depict modern life, was commissioned by Denver Arts & Venues’ Public Art Program to create a piece set in Babi Yar Park. “White Mirror,” performed last fall in Denver’s 27-acre park, was created to serve as an educational and living memorial in dance for the thousands of Jews, Gypsies, Ukrainians and others who were brutally murdered at the Babi Yar ravine near Kiev. Its goal is to radiate energy, make audiences think, and build bridges between past and present, artist and spectator.

“I believe we all should live peacefully together,” says Sher-Machherndl. “My art presents an opportunity to raise community awareness about human rights, freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

A Boulder-based company noted for an uncompromising artistic vision, signature choreographic style, highly-skilled performers and collaborators, Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet tours the United States and Europe receiving critical-acclaim nationally and internationally.


Monday, April 3, CU campus: Gerda Rovetch: Survivor, Artist and Boulder Pioneer



About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn has spent her professional life writing about, teaching, and presenting the arts. Founding Director of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, Kathryn was Director of Menorah and ACE at the Boulder JCC from 2003 through August, 2019. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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