Refugees in Crisis


The audience heard from experts on the global refugee crisis
At Congregation Beth Shalom
April 23, 2019

Tama Adelman, RN, Volunteer

The plight of refugees is a major global crisis. One person was displaced every two seconds in the past year. The vast majority of the countries hosting refugees are among the world’s least developed. Refugee status is rarely temporary. More than half the refugees around the globe are under the age of 18, even though children make up 31 percent of the world’s population.This evening brought together a refugee and resettlement expert, medical workers who work in refugee camps, and an engaged audience. Presentations covered the refugee crises and recent accounts of the refugee camps in Lesbos, Greece and the Mexican Border. Audience members engaged in round-table discussions of the refugee crises and potential actions.

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NOTE: This compelling program and thoughtful format has been adopted within Australia as the model to address the Australian refugee crisis.

Audience members and presenters discussed crisis over a shared meal

Beregovski Suite


Monday, February 18, 2019


Violinist ALICIA SVIGALS is the world’s foremost klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics. She has collaborated with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman to Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. ULI GEISSENDOERFER is a Grammy–nominated jazz and world music pianist and composer.


In the 1930s, a Jewish scholar from the Ukraine named Moshe Beregovski set out, with eerie prescience, to collect and preserve the deep and rich Jewish musical tradition around him. On what turned out to be the eve of the destruction of European Jewry, Beregovski organized expeditions to Ukrainian “shtetlekh” (small Jewish towns) and sought out the eldest singers and instrumentalists he could find, asking them to pour their collective folk knowledge into his recording horn. In this way, he managed to make thousands of recordings of beautiful Jewish folk songs, klezmer dance tunes and religious melodies on hundreds of wax cylinders, the medium of the day.

The culture Beregovski documented was destroyed in the Holocaust, and Beregovski himself was arrested and sent to the Gulag. He never saw his work published in his lifetime, and though his transcriptions were published in the 1980s by ethnomusicologist Mark Slobin, for decades it was thought that those precious and important recordings were gone forever. Then in the 1990s, with the opening of the Soviet Union, the cylinders were unearthed in a dusty archive in Kiev, and now those long-forgotten melodies and voices are beginning to speak to us again.

The Beregovski Suite is the fruit of a longstanding project that Svigals and Geissendoerfer have been developing, to weave the melodies from the Beregovski collection into something new and alive, and to pass them along in this form to future generations of listeners and players.

Beregovski Suite with Alicia Svigals and Uli Geissendoerfer Beregovski Suite with Alicia Svigals and Uli Geissendoerfer



Photos by Janna Waldinger, Art & Clarity Photography

Dr. Dana Levin

DR. DANA LEVIN – EXTREME MEDICINE: Providing Care in the World’s Most Dangerous Environments. The second in a series – “The Road Less Traveled” – moderated by Rabbi Niles Goldstein

Dr. Dana Levin and Rabbi GoldsteinThe Himalayas, Antarctica, outer space–how do doctors keep people healthy and safe in such inhospitable places? As part of NCTC’s “The Road Less Traveled” series, millennial and adventurer Dana Levin, an emergency and aerospace medicine physician at New York’s Columbia University, will speak about the challenges of this field of work, but also about how imagination, creativity, interdisciplinary thinking and international cooperation can help to lead the way toward progress. Dr. Levin’s presentation will be followed by a conversation with Rabbi Goldstein and an opportunity for the audience members to ask questions.

Dr. Dana Levin and audience
Dr. Dana Levin and Rabbi Goldstein

Photos by Janna Waldinger, Art & Clarity Photography

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra


Sunday, April 14, 2019 

In a rare Napa appearance, the nationally-acclaimed, San Francisco-based orchestra brings to life the Salamone Rossi Project.  The program includes sacred Hebrew psalms, secular madrigals and instrumental trio sonatas and dances, plus interaction between Italian Jewish Scholar Francesco Spagnolo and Music Director Nicholas McGegan, who take the audience through the life of Salamone Rossi and how he shaped the culture in Mantua and Venice for Jews and non-Jews alike.

Michael Scott Moore

MICHAEL SCOTT MOORE, 977 Days in Captivity by Somali Pirates – First in a ‘Road Less Traveled’ series with Rabbi Goldstein

A presentation, Moderated by Rabbi Niles Goldstein
At Congregation Beth Shalom
October 16, 2018

Rabbi Goldstein and Michael Scott Moore

Moore talked about his experiences and his just-published memoir, “The Desert and the Sea, 977 Days Captive on The Somali Pirate Coast,” which recounts his harrowing ordeal amid topics such as foreign policy, religious extremism and the costs of survival.

The talk was moderated by Rabbi Niles Goldstein. This was the first in a series of three personal and professional conversations — under the theme,”The Road Less Traveled” — with men and women from around the country who have pursued careers and lived lives that are noteworthy and unconventional in ways not typical of the mainstream.

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Michael Scott Moore Michael Scott Moore Book SIgning



Photos by Janna Waldinger, Art & Clarity Photography

Notorious RBG


A documentary by Julie Cohen and Betsy West
Screened at CIA at Copia
August 26, 2018

Fans at screening of RBG!

The sold-out screening was followed by a panel of distinguished judges and lawyers, including: Moderator Mary Luros, partner at Hudson & Luros, and panel members: the Hon. Judge Cynthia Smith, Napa Superior Court; the Hon. Judge Beverly Greenberg, California Superior Court and Alameda County bench (now retired); the Hon. Commissioner Monique Langhorne, Napa Superior Court; Allison Haley, Napa District Attorney; and Valerie Clemen, Court Counsel, Napa Superior Court.

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Panel discussion at screening of RBG Question for panel at screening of RBG



Photos by Janna Waldinger, Art & Clarity Photography

Itzhak Perlman


A documentary by Alison Chernick
Screened at Congregation Beth Shalom
June 17, 2018

Conductor Tom Collins and Rabbi Niles Goldstein at IZTHAK screening

The sold-out screening at Congregation Beth Shalom was followed by insights from Napa-based, noted conductor Thomas Conlin, who shared personal stories, observations and his collegial collaborations gleaned while working with Itzhak Perlman.

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IZTHAK screening

Photos by Janna Waldinger, Art & Clarity Photography