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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Binah: Walter Isaacson

Nov 16, 2017

Author, journalist and biographer Walter Isaacson discusses how Leonardo da Vinci's wide-ranging passions, combined with his ability to stand at the crossroads of art and science, made him history's most creative genius.

Binah: Armistead Maupin with Peter Stein

Nov 9, 2017

Writer Armistead Maupin chronicles his odyssey from the Old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to groundbreaking writer and gay rights pioneer, in his new memoir Logical Family.

Binah: Ed Asner with Ed Weinberger

Nov 2, 2017

Television actor and activist Ed Asner explains how liberals can reclaim the Constitution from the right-wingers who think that they—and only they—know how to interpret it. His new book is The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs.

Chef, writer and restauranteur Yotam Ottolenghi and his long-time collaborator Helen Goh share their new cookbook Sweet: Desserts From London’s Ottolenghi.

Binah: Nicole Krauss with Judson True

Oct 19, 2017

Writer Nicole Krauss interweaves the stories of two disparate people whose transcendental search leads them to the same Israeli desert.

Binah: Judy Chicago with Sarah Thornton

Oct 12, 2017

Artist Judy Chicago talks about changing the way we look at women’s history, feminist arts and crafts, and the political impact of culture.

Binah: Reshma Saujani with Bozoma Saint John

Oct 5, 2017

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, talks about closing the gender gap in technology.

Binah: Cleve Jones with Peter Stein

Sep 28, 2017

AIDS and LGBT activist Cleve Jones talks about his nearly four decades at the center of a movement to give voice to people who have been made invisible. His memoir is When We Rise: My Life in the Movement.

We feature representatives from various environmental organizations to discuss the challenges they face during the new administration, including Samantha Couch from NextGen Climate, Lisa Hoyos from Climate Parents, Sheridan Enomoto from Greenaction, and Amy Aguilera from PODER. The moderator is Kanishka Karunaratne.

Binah: Al Franken with Matt Martin

Sep 14, 2017

On today’s encore edition of Binah, comedian, writer and politician Al Franken recounts his career journey from Saturday Night Live to the United States Senate. His new memoir is Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.

Snap Judgment’s Glynn Washington, 99% Invisible’s Roman Mars and cartoonist Jessica Abel examine how radio producers construct some of today’s most exciting and innovative storytelling. Jessica’s graphic narrative about radio storytelling is Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio.

Binah: Mark Bittman with Margo True

Aug 31, 2017

Food journalist, author, and former columnist for The New York Times Mark Bittman deconstructs and debunks myths about food production practices and trends.

Binah: Colm Tóibín

Aug 24, 2017

Writer Colm Tóibín brings his modern sensibility to rewrite a Greek tragedy. His new novel is House of Names.

Zen Hospice Project’s BJ Miller talks about embracing death not as a medical event but rather as a universally shared life experience.

Binah: Maria Popova with Alexis Madrigal

Aug 10, 2017

Maria Popova talks about her wildly popular blog BrainPickings, once described as “walking into the Museum of Modern Art and having somebody give you a customized, guided tour.”

Binah: Al Franken with Matt Martin

Aug 3, 2017

Comedian, writer and politician Al Franken recounts his career journey from Saturday Night Live to the United States Senate. His new memoir is Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.

Binah: Krista Tippett with Tiffany Schlain

Jul 27, 2017

Krista Tippett, producer of the popular podcast On Being, profiles people whose insights inspire a sense of wonder and courage.

Binah: Terry Tempest Williams

Jul 20, 2017

Author, conservationist and activist Terry Tempest Williams celebrates the centennial of the National Park Service with lyrical portraits of America’s grandest parks.

We feature representatives from various women’s organizations to discuss the challenges they face during the new administration, including Clare Winterton, Global Fund for Women; Rebecca Griffin, NARAL Pro-Choice California; Amy Whelan, National Center for Lesbian Rights; Lourdes Martinez, Mujeres Unidas y Activas. The moderator is Kanishka Karunaratne.

Binah: Kingdom of Olives and Ash

Jul 6, 2017

On the July 6th edition of Binah, we feature writers Ayelet Waldman, Michael Chabon and Fida Jiryis, contributors to Kingdom of Olives and Ash, a new collection of essays on the human cost of fifty years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and Yehuda Shaul of the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence. They’re joined in conversation by Daniel Sokatch of the New Israel Fund.

Binah: Masha Gessen with Sue Fishkoff

Jun 29, 2017

Journalist Masha Gessen reveals the complex, strange and heart-wrenching truth of Jews in twentieth-century Russia that begins with pogroms and ends with emigration. She also shares advice for surviving under autocratic rule, drawing from historical sources and personal experience.

Binah: Esther Perel

Jun 22, 2017

Psychotherapist Esther Perel offers personal and professional insights and the complex science behind human interaction in modern relationships.

Binah: Peter Hook with Aidin Vaziri

Jun 15, 2017

On the June 15th edition of Binah, Peter Hook, musician and co-founder of the seminal bands Joy Division and New Order, discusses his latest memoir Substance: Inside New Order, a no-holds-barred account of his 27-year history in the band.

Binah: Mayim Bialik with Jourdan Abel

Jun 8, 2017

Actress, writer, neuroscientist and founder of, Mayim Bialik shares what it means to grow from a girl to a woman biologically, psychologically and sociologically, from her new book Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular.

Binah: Mary Gaitskill with Michael Ray

Jun 1, 2017

Novelist, essayist and short story writer Mary Gaitskill shares insights on a variety of topics ranging from pop culture and politics to dating and rape debates.

Binah: Ronald Leopold

May 25, 2017

Executive Director of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Ronald Leopold discusses moral dilemmas in the appropriation of Anne Frank in representing a wide range of social and political causes.

Binah: Stephen Tobolowsky

May 18, 2017

Character actor, author and podcaster Stephen Tobolowsky shares stories about love, catastrophe and triumph from his new book My Adventures With God.

Binah: Hida Viloria with Sam McConnell

May 11, 2017

Writer and intersex activist Hida Viloria, whose memoir is Born Both: An Intersex Life, discusses fighting for human rights and equality for intersex people everywhere, and embracing identity that doesn’t fit standard definitions of male or female.

Binah: David Mandel with Tim Goodman

May 4, 2017

David Mandel takes us inside Veep, the hottest comedy on television, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for which he is showrunner and executive producer. He also shares stories about writing for Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Binah: Ariel Levy with Kerry Corrigan

Apr 27, 2017

Journalist and staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, Ariel Levy discusses her new memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply, which tells the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed.