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Arts & Culture

The JCA is proud to present our annual Arts & Culture Series, featuring scholars, authors, films, photography and musical performances.

The 2019-2020 Arts & Culture Series is presented with generous funding from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, our donors, and community members, whose support makes these special programs possible.


Advanced registration strongly recommended to ensure sufficient seating. Register online at the links below or by calling (207) 772-1959.

Events are subject to change or weather cancellation – please see our e-newsletter and Facebook page for the latest information.

Finances should not be a barrier to participation. Please contact Deena at or (207) 772-1959 for discounted or free event admission.

JCA’s Arts & Culture events are free for students with a valid high school, college or university ID, unless otherwise noted.

Blum-Jenna Headshot 2019

The Lost Family Book Talk with novelist Jenna Blum

Thursday, January 9th, 6:30 PM

JCA - 1342 Congress Street, Portland

Suggested admission: $10 - JCA members, $12 - general public

The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us created a vivid portrait of marriage, family and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation from the 1960s to the 1980s.


Behind the Scenes with MJFF

Sunday, January 26th, 3:00 PM

JCA - 1342 Congress Street, Portland

Free. All are welcome.

Join us for a preview of 2020 Maine Jewish Film Festival selections, and peek behind the curtain at what goes into planning the festival!


Portland Ovations presents Mandolinist Avi Avital & Harpist Bridget Kibbey

Tuesday, February 18th, 7:30 PM

Hannaford Hall, USM Portland Campus

We are pleased to offer a special 10% discount for JCA members for this classical music performance.

Tickets and more info:

Called “explosively charismatic” by The New York Times, Avi Avital is considered the driving force behind the reinvigoration of the mandolin repertory. More than 90 contemporary compositions, 15 of them concertos, have been written for this champion of the mandolin, all enhanced by Avi’s infectious spirit of adventure and the warm rapport he fosters with his audience. Avi was born and raised in Israel, and graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua, Italy. He is joined by in-demand harpist Bridget Kibbey in a stunning classical program injected with traditional folk tunes.


• Use Promo Code “JCA” when ordering in person at the PortTIX box office (20 Myrtle Street, Portland ME 04101), by the phone at 207-842-0800 or online and receive 10% off your ticket.

• For online orders: enter the Promo Code “JCA” and click "Submit" before selecting your seats.   In your Shopping Cart you will see your new total that includes your savings.

Fine print

• Discounts cannot be applied to orders retroactively.

• Cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions.

Burger-Ariel headshot 2019 web

Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom - Book Talk with Ariel Burger

Thursday, March 5th, 6:30 PM

JCA - 1342 Congress Street, Portland

Suggested admission: $10 - JCA members, $12 - general public

Witness opens an intimate window into Elie Wiesel’s classroom, in which conversations about ethics, activism, spirituality, and literature transformed the lives of students from around the world. Burger, one of Wiesel’s closest students, recounts his story of meeting the Nobel laureate at age 15, becoming his student, and then teaching assistant, and eventually a teacher in his own right. Weaving together memoir and stories from the classroom, Burger reflects on how Wiesel’s message might be applied today.

Code of Conduct

The JCA is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all community members, guests, visitors, and staff, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, ability or financial status. Failure to abide by the Code of Conduct may result in the suspension or revocation of participation in JCA programming.

  • Program participants are committed to maintaining a respectful and pluralistic environment.
  • Harassing, bullying, threatening or proselytizing behavior will not be tolerated, and we reserve the right to remove from the premises any individual acting in an inappropriate manner.
  • Distributing flyers, booklets or other literature is prohibited without prior approval.
  • No one may enter the JCA facility while carrying or concealing weapons.