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The speaker series aims to provide the public with detailed information about some of the most interesting topics related to the Italian culture. This is your opportunity to see a live presentation, enjoy pictures and learn secrets known to a few !
* Seating is limited and available first come, first served.

Sunday - January 31, 2016 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

11:00 am
60 minutes

The Jewish Theory of Everything: An Introduction to Italian Jewish Culture
Francesco Spagnolo, Curator at Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkley
Francesco Spagnolo
It is an honor to have Francesco Spagnolo among our speakers. His knowledge and experience are an amazing contribution to our program. Francesco Spagnolo, a multidisciplinary scholar focusing on Jewish studies, music and digital media, is the Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and a Lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a host for the cultural programs of Italian National Radio (RAI) in Rome. At UC Berkeley, he is also an affiliated faculty with the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, and serves on the Digital Humanities Council.

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Intersecting textual, visual and musical cultures, Francesco actively contributes to academic, cultural heritage and archival institutions, as well as live and electronic media, in Europe, Israel and the United States. A former lecturer at the University of Milan and at the University of California at Santa Cruz, he is frequently invited to lecture at academic institutions worldwide, publishes on a variety of subjects, and curates exhibitions and digital programs.

12:00 pm
60 minutes

The secret of a good espresso
Carlo Di Ruocco, Founder and CEO of Mr Espresso
Mr Espresso
We are lucky Mr. Carlo Di Ruocco accepted our invitation to share his story and his passion of coffee with us.  From the strategic factors of green coffee purchases, to the roasting process and how to make the perfect espresso! This presentation is for coffee lovers who want to learn the distinctive features of the coffee beans, become aware about the characteristics of a good coffee and understand how to prepare a real Italian espresso.

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Mr Espresso 1
Mr Espresso 2
Mr. Espresso‘s founder Carlo Di Ruocco is well known for the quality of his coffee and the passion of his work.
Carlo’s love for espresso began in his hometown of Salerno, Italy.  When he was a young man he apprenticed there under a coffee roasting master, learning the art of bean selection, blending, and the craft of roasting by oak wood fire.
After immigrating to San Francisco from Salerno, Carlo discovered that there were not many places where he could find a true Italian espresso.  Inspired, he founded Mr. Espresso in 1978 with the goal of bringing an authentic  Italian espresso experience to the local dining culture.
For 37 years, he has differentiated himself within the specialty coffee industry by promoting true Italian espresso and continuing the craft of roasting coffee in a wood fire roaster. The result has far exceeded his goal and firmly established Carlo’s place in West Coast espresso history.
For Kids

1:00 pm
45 minutes


Story Telling
By Stefania Olivieri
“ Anthropologists tell us that storytelling is central to human existence. That it’s common to every known culture. That it involves a symbiotic exchange between teller and listener — an exchange we learn to negotiate in infancy ”
-Frank Rose, The art of immersion-
Stefania Olivieri
Stefania Olivieri is an Italian journalist and children's book writer living in Oakland, California.  Her work includes books and magazines in Italian such as SpongeBob Square Pants and Winx Club. Stefania very much believes in the power of stories. As she puts it, “A good story can change a child's life”.

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Soon after moving to Oakland, she founded Biblioteca Italiana dei Bambini, an Italian library for children. She also teaches Italian at Monclair Elementary School in Oakland and is very active in “Bambini Ciao”, an Italian children's playgroup that includes storytelling in Italian. Storytelling is one of Stefania's passions.  People learn better and connect with each other when they sit in a circle and share stories, just like in the past.
This is not a drop off activity, children must be supervised all the time. This presentation is recommended for children 4 year old and over.

2:15 pm
75 minutes

Journey in Sicily
Diana Marano, Italian instructor at Istituto Italiano Scuola of San Francisco
Sicily Columns
Take a journey in Sicily visiting some Sicilian archeological sites through the pictures and the dynamic presentation of Diana Marano. Diana has given many presentations addressing different Italian topics. Her presentations are made of beautiful pictures enriched by historical descriptions, old tales and details learnt during her studies and thanks to the love for her native land.

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Diana Marano was born and raised in Sicily where she earned a PhD in Engineering. She has many years of experience teaching Structural Engineering at the University of Palermo and she worked as an Architectural Engineer in Italy. In 2008 she moved to San Francisco, where she focused on her love for teaching, for languages and for cooking. Since 2008 Diana is an Italian instructor at the Istituto Italiano Scuola and a private chef instructor. Diana recently became a cooking instructor at Sur La Table. Diana enjoys studying and researching Architecture and ancient History, with particular interest in the rich and long Sicilian tradition.
This presentation is brought by

4:00 pm
60 minutes

Viva La Focaccia
Vittorio Viarengo
Vittorio Viarengo
Making bread at home- starting  from a passion all the way to amazing results. Thanks to Vittorio from the famous blog you will learn every trick you need to know in order to make the perfect bread, focaccia or homemade pizza like a professional chef with chef like results. Vittorio was born and raised in Genova, Liguria, he learned how to master baking in his family’s bakery located in the historic part of the city. As of today, he lives and works

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in Silicon Valley but he still wishes to pass on his parents passion for baking to everyone who wants to master the pizza & focaccia preparation at perfection or just simply learn how to make homemade bread.
This presentation is brought by

Proudly sponsored by

Partners Consul General of Italy in San Francisco Italian Cultural Institue SF Silicon Valley Italia Executive Council Business Association Italy America Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West Italian American Heritage Foundation TechPartners Cloud4Wi MediaPartners West 46 Mag Sponsors Cloud4Wi Tootsies Barn Italfood Asaro Farm Partanna Oil Fiasconaro Expert System Italfood Centro39 Passione Pizza Angie Galaltolo Italy Beyond the Obvious Gioia Company Brigantino Olive Oil Alessandro Desogos Federica Armstrong

Location and Dates

Oshman Family JCC
Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life
3921 Fabian Way,
Palo Alto, CA 94303

Thursday - January 21, 2016

Sunday - January 31, 2016


Directions to the OFJCC
View Map

Going either North or South on Highway 101:
Take the San Antonio Road South
exit toward Los Altos
Right on Charleston Road
Right on Fabian Way
Enter driveway & parking garage on the right
Going either North or South on Interstate 280: Take the El Monte Avenue East exit Left on Foothill Expressway Right on San Antonio Road Left on Charleston Road Right on Fabian Way Enter driveway & parking garage on the right
Parking info