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The PjCC is proud to be a part of the Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood presenting educational and cultural programs that explore Jewish heritage, identity, and community. This initiative is co-funded by the Koret Foundation, Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture and other Bay Area funders.


Koret Foundation


Siona Benjamin will come to the PJCC September 6–11 as our artist-in-residence.  Review our list of Artist-in-Residence events to learn how you can meet, discover and create with Siona.


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Do you have a question about events or exhibits? If so, please contact:

Cultural Arts Coordinator


PJCC Art Gallery Exhibits

The Art Gallery at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center is committed to showcasing the works of talented Jewish artists as well as presenting exhibits that explore Jewish values, themes and ideas. It is our hope that along with adorning our walls, the exhibits will serve to stimulate personal thought and lively conversations among our members and guests.

During your next visit to the PJCC stop by our gallery located in our lobby and in the Koret Learning Center hall. Exhibits are free and open to the public!

The PJCC Art Gallery Presents

Blue Like Me: Art by Siona Benjamin

Blue Like Me: Art by Siona Benjamin
July 11- September 18, 2017


Artist Statement

I am a Bene Israel Jew from India. My family gradually dispersed, mostly to Israel and America, but my parents remained in India.  I am now also an American, living and working in New Jersey, but still recall the ornate synagogues of my childhood, the oil lamps, the velvet- and silver-covered Torahs, a chair left vacant for the prophet Elijah in our Bombay synagogues.  Having grown up in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim society, having been educated in Catholic and Zoroastrian schools, being raised Jewish in India and now living in America I have always had to reflect upon the cultural boundary zones in which I have lived. In my paintings I combine the imagery of my past with the role I play in America today, making a mosaic inspired by both Indian/Persian miniature paintings and Sephardic icons.

I think it is important to view the world outside of the bubble of one’s own country, religion and race. I believe that art can be an important vehicle in this endeavor. This involves not just presenting to my audience the uniqueness of immigrant cultures, but going beyond this in exploring that what is being born out of the specifics of that immigrant culture.

Very often I look down at my skin and it has turned blue. It tends to do that when I face certain situations of people stereotyping and categorizing other people who are unlike themselves. I have therefore over the years developed many blue-skinned characters in my paintings. This blue self portrait of sorts takes on many roles and forms, through which I theatrically explore ancient and contemporary dilemmas.

In making my characters come alive and enacting their stories, (besides Jewish myth, I am also inspired by Indian goddesses like Kali and the famous blue god Krishna), I show how these characters use their blue skin to tell (or mostly retell) stories. In this process of recycling and rejuvenating, they remind me that myth making is cyclical and timeless. Thus the blue skin has become a symbol for me of being a Jewish woman of color.

Chalk the Block Party

Sunday, September 10 • 1:00–3:30 pm • Free for Center and Community Members and the Public

In the spirit of art and community and in the style of Rangoli (art form native to India), everyone is invited for an afternoon dedicated to creativity, beautification and fun. Draw (materials provided) alongside PJCC artist-in-residence Siona Benjamin and sip mango lychee at this one-of-a-kind block party. All ages welcome.



Indian Shabbat Dinner with Siona Benjamin

Siona was raised in the Bene Israel Jewish Community in Mumbai, India. Joined by PJCC member Natasha Kehimkar, the two discuss issues of identity related to their personal experiences growing up as an Indian Jew.

6:00 pm - Pre-event tour of the art gallery
6:30 pm - Screening of the documentary short Blue Like Me
7:00 pm - Shabbat blessings and Vegetarian Indian dinner with panel discussion

Find Times and Registration Information

Middot Art Reception

Meet the artists, tour the gallery and enjoy refreshments at the reception for Middot on display in the PJCC Art Gallery through December 4, 2017.

Find Times and Registration Information

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The PJCC is a non-profit organization that relies upon generous donations to continue serving our community and those in need. A beneficiary agency of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. The PJCC is a proud member of the North Peninsula Jewish Campus and of the JCC Association of North America.

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