Art Our Community Loves

By on May 8, 2024

As we’ve interviewed folks in our community, we’ve loved hearing their stories, as well as learning about the art or media they love. When we need a new perspective, some extra care, art can often provide comfort and inspiration.

Whether you’re facing a challenging time, wanting to make some art of your own, or looking for some brightness to add to your day, there’s a beautiful variety of pieces here. Scroll through to discover the films, novels, music, and plays that our community members  hold close to their heart. 


Photo of books in a pile with reading glasses

Pereira Declares by Antonio Tabucchi

It’s the story of this editor-journalist who becomes radicalized during Salazar’s dictatorship in Portugal. For such a dark time in the country’s history, it’s an incredibly comedic novel; very light and buoyant. I think that’s such an important muscle and so aspirational right now to be able to make comedy in dark days.

Maura Pellettieri

Beau Is Afraid by Ari Aster

I’m a huge horror fan and my most recent obsession is Beau Is Afraid by Ari Aster. The movie deals with a lot of themes about Jewish men’s relationships with their mothers and taking that relationship to the extreme of the most scary, horrible, traumatizing thing you can imagine, but making it very dark comedy.

Grayson Parks

Apeirogon by Colum McCann

Apeirogon by Colum McCann is one of many books about the Israel-Palestine conflict but I thought it took a really interesting perspective and focused on the humanity of it. The novel chronicles the stories of two real-life men, one of whom is Palestinian whose daughter was killed in an IDF raid with a stray bullet, and an Israeli man whose daughter was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber. I found the book to be very moving.

Jeremy Goldwasser 

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

A novel called The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk, who is a local Jewish activist. That book is full of imagination for what’s possible in community.

Brittany Berman

Tog un Nakht by S. Ansky

Ansky’s Tog un Nakht, which is a great unfinished Yiddish play way ahead of its time about evil and taboo. That play was in my head when I was working on my slot machine project—so fascinating and disturbing with a lot of multi-world Kabbalistic stuff.

Forest Reid 

Photo of red theater chairs looking at a stage with a red curtain

Golden Thread Theatre Company in San Francisco 

A friend of mine was in a beautiful play through Golden Thread, which is a Middle Eastern and Arab theater company in San Francisco. I really loved seeing them uplifted as an Arab Jew as part of the Reorient Festival.

Faryn Borella

The Grief We Gave Our Mother by Matthew Fowler

“The Grief We Gave Our Mother,” an acoustic album by Matthew Fowler, feels like it’s been a warm hug in the last year, and his voice is so great. 

Blair Lineham

RayBearer by Jordan Ifueko

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko might be my new favorite book. It’s young adult and kind of Afro-futurism / magical realism. The protagonist lives this extremely isolated and lonely childhood and then discovers how to navigate her power, community, and people.

Marisa Turesky

Paradigm Shift by Reb Zalman

That book is basically a collection of essays he wrote from the ’60s to the ’80s which lay out his vision for a vibrant, rooted Judaism in more technical detail. It’s the kind of book that makes my heart beat faster.

Noah Phillips

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

One of my favorite books is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who’s an amazing writer. The book takes a step back from the racialized experience of America and gives a very international perspective.

Maya Katz-Ali

Away from the Mire by Billy Strings

The song “Away from the Mire” by Billy Strings, a contemporary folk artist, has helped me in many dark moments of my life; it’s an anthem for finding empowerment in the repetitive quality that life can sometimes have.

Ben Poretsky

Raviaka by Renee Gladman

I love Renee Gladman’s Ravicka series. Those books are so strange! The language is musical and defamiliarizes the world in this way that creates a sense of incredible aliveness.

Penina Eilberg-Schwartz



Curious to explore our Profiles? Head to our blog to learn more about our community members.