What if you could redo your Bar or Bat Mitzvah? At Reboot’s reBar, five storytellers try to answer that question as they reflect with pride, humor, and nostalgia on their thirteen-year-old selves and consider what commitments they would make today. Emceed by Rabbi David Kasher with performances by author and illustrator Lisa Brown, artist consultant Beth Pickens, Kinsey Sicks’ Reb Irwin Keller, comedian Nato Green, soprano Heather Klein, Steve Goldboom, and Aimee Suzara. Presented in partnership with YAD of the SFJCF. With special reBar beverages—you couldn’t drink at your Bar Mitzvah but you can drink at ours!
Lisa Brown is a New York Times bestselling illustrator, writer, and cartoonist. Her children’s books include: How to Be, Vampire Boy’s Good Night, Emily’s Blue Period (with author Cathleen Daly), 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy (with author Lemony Snicket), and Baby, Mix Me a Drink. She teaches writing and illustrating picture books at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Nato Green was summed up more or less accurately by The East Bay Express as, “erudite and acerbic, a San Francisco-raised father, union organizer, gastronome, bibliophile, and political sparkplug.” He performs on Fridays at the legendary alternative comedy show at Hemlock Tavern, The Business. His podcast The Nato Sessions is produced by 3200 Stories. His first comedy album, The Nato Green Party, was released by Rooftop Comedy. Nato has been named San Francisco's Best Comedian by the SF Weekly, Huffington Post, and CBS. Nato is the creator of Iron Comic, the Iron Chef-spoofing comedy game show he co-hosts with Moshe Kasher. Nato's humor commentaries have appeared in VICE, Truthdig, Huffington Post, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Rumpus, and The Bold Italic. Nato wrote for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX and toured nationally with W. Kamau Bell & Janine Brito as Laughter Against the Machine. “Righteous and hilarious, Nato is like finding a shot of bourbon at your co-worker's stupid vegan potluck.”—Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket.
Rabbi David Kasher is the Director of Education at Kevah, a local organization dedicated to bringing Torah to the people, one living room study group at a time. He also does some academic stuff, in order to seem smart. But the thing he loves doing most is writing his blog on the weekly Torah portion, ParshaNut.com, which both he and his mother think is the greatest contribution to Torah scholarship of the twenty-first century.
Reb Irwin Keller has served as Spiritual Leader of Congregation Ner Shalom in Cotati since 2008. His background includes linguistics, Near Eastern languages, and law. He is the author of Chicago's gay rights ordinance, and was Executive Director of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel of the Bay Area. Keller recently retired from the stage after twenty-one years touring with the Kinsey Sicks, America's Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet, a group he co-founded.
Heather Klein is a classically trained soprano and performs Opera, Yiddish classical song, theater and folk music, as well as other styles. For the past decade, she has performed across the US, Canada, and Europe as a soloist and as part of various musical groups and opera companies.
Beth Pickens is a consultant for artists and arts organizations. Before relocating to Los Angeles in 2014, she was based in San Francisco where she served as Senior Program Manager atYerba Buena Center for the Arts and Managing Director of both RADAR Productions and theQueer Cultural Center. She specializes in supporting queer artists, women, and artists of color. She was also the founder of the now-defunct San Francisco Food Adventure Club which gained notoriety for eating a human placenta two ways.
Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American poet, playwright, and performer whose mission is to create poetic and theatrical work about race, gender, and the body to provoke dialogue and social change. Based in Oakland, Suzara has graced stages nationally, from Florida to Washington. Her debut poetry book, SOUVENIR (WordTech Editions 2014) was lauded as “a powerful meditation on history and the legacies of race, family and identity,” (David Mura), and her poems appear in numerous collections, including Phat’itude and Kartika Review. Her performance work has been supported by YBCAway Award, National Endowment for the Arts, East Bay Community Foundation commission; selected for the One Minute Play Festival, Playground, APAture, and Utah Arts Festival; and staged at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, CounterPULSE, and others. Author Luis J Rodriguez has said, “Aimee Suzara is a deep chronicler of our hopes, dreams, pains, and future. We need these poems more than ever.”
Steve Goldbloom is an actor and writer, known for Everything But the News (2014),Symposium (2005) and Sticks and Stones (2008).