Jewish Standard Time did not apply to the Jews of the Fillmore opening celebration. Guests excitedly entered the Jazz Heritage Center before its officially posted time, perusing through the exhibition while greeting friends. After settling in, some guests opted to take the Guide by Cell tour, walking around the neighborhood on the particularly balmy afternoon, and using cell phones to listen to a guided tour of what once was a surprisingly traditional Jewish neighborhood. A handful of the attendees were Jews of the Fillmore themselves, both born and raised or recently settled, while others, from better-known Jewish neighborhoods such as Brooklyn, were pleasantly surprised to learn about this paralleling community.
Some guests shared with one another their own stories about growing up Jewish in the Fillmore, which served to compliment the image and text compilations on display. The exhibition pays tribute to the Fillmore as a neighborhood with a strong Jewish history but also as one with a continuing Jewish vibrancy, with example of the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, my alma-mater, which came to fruition in its official location in the Fillmore in 2002. Those that stayed in the exhibition lobby enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, red-velvet cupcakes and a live performance by the Dewayne Oakley and Wayne Anderson Duet.
Around four o’clock, attendees started moving into Yoshi’s Jazz Club, where they heard remarks by community dignitaries and a wonderfully eccentric performance by John Schott’s Typical Orchestra. The room was packed nearly to its maximum capacity.
After the performance, many guests remained for the wine reception and mingling which took place in the Lush Life Gallery, which houses several fascinating paintings and photographs compiled for the exhibition, Reflections of Jazz, History and Heritage.