Dinkelspiel Award a family affair for Steve Kaufman

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Like father, like son.

Sixteen years after his father won the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership, Steve Kaufman was bestowed with the same honor during the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation's 88th annual meeting on Thursday of last week.

"It's definitely a lot more special to me [to win the award]," Kaufman said. "I remember what an honor it was for my father."

Kaufman, 38, is known for his active participation and leadership in the Bay Area Jewish community, particularly on the Peninsula. For the last two years, he's chaired the JCF's North Peninsula regional campaign. He's been a federation board member for the last four years, and he is currently a board member of the Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Belmont.

During the meeting, which was held at San Francisco's Congregation Sherith Israel, Alan Rothenberg made his outgoing address as he completed his two-year term as JCF president. His successor, Harold Zlot, was elected during the meeting.

Zlot will assume office on Wednesday, July 8. Most recently, Zlot has chaired the JCF's Israel and overseas committee. He's also served as chairman of the annual campaign as well as the planning and allocations committee.

On winning the Dinkelspiel Award, Kaufman said, "I'm extremely flattered and honored. It's real important to give back to the community. We have a strong Jewish community in the Bay Area; however, it's always a challenge to reach the unaffiliated and to get them to give back and learn about the concept of tzedakah."

His father, Ron, who won the award in 1972, said: "We're very proud that Steve is receiving the Dinkelspiel Award and that he's working very hard for the Jewish community here in San Francisco and the Peninsula."

The criteria for a Dinkelspiel Award includes present and past service to the federation and its agencies, including involvement in fund-raising, potential for future leadership, knowledge of the Jewish community and an age of 40 or under.

The annual award was inaugurated in October 1959 to honor an outstanding young leader in the local Jewish community in the memory of Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel, who served as the first president of the Jewish Community Federation as it's known today.

Steve Kaufman's additional Jewish community service and activities include the building committee for the Mid Peninsula Jewish Community Day School in Palo Alto, as well as the PJCC's building committee.

He's also a member of the United Jewish Appeal Young Leadership Cabinet, and he chairs the Cabinet in the San Francisco area. Kaufman is also enrolled in the Wexner Heritage Foundation, a two-year educational program for young Jewish leaders.

The JCF's annual Distinguished Service Awards of Excellence were also presented during the annual meeting by Paul Cohen.

The Volunteer of the Year award went to Gale Mondry for her work at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, where she's been president for the last three years.

Judy Garb was named Agency Staff Member of the Year for her 13 years of work at the PJCC, where she is director of early childhood education and family services. Under her leadership, the preschool population has more than doubled.

The Agency Executive of the Year award honored Bob Sherman for his work as executive director at the Bureau of Jewish Education. Sherman has focused the BJE's efforts in Jewish family education and strengthening outreach to teenagers.

Cindy Rogoway, associate campaign director, received the JCF Staff Person of the Year award for her 10 years of work. She started out at the federation's North Peninsula office and eventually became its director. She also initiated JCF's human resource development department.

The award for Program of the Year went to the Sunday Coalition Lunch for the Homeless, a program that's held at Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon in conjunction with area churches. For more than two years, homeless individuals have been brought into the synagogue for a lunch hosted by synagogue members. The program is chaired by Rita Harowitz and Michael Kline.

In addition, during the meeting, Victor Marcus, Joseph Pell and Michael Podell received special recognition awards.

That meeting also included the election of 1998-99 board members including first term officeholders Stewart Foreman, Rabbi Marvin Goodman, Mark Myers, Toby Rubin, Lydia Shorenstein, Richard Sirinsky, Anne Steirman and Steven Swig.

Steve Kaufman was one of six outgoing JCF board members honored at the annual meeting. The other outgoing board members included William R. Atlas, Adele K. Corvin, Barbara Farber, Susan Folkman, George Frankenstein, and Henry J. Libicki.