Nine Bay Area community leaders awarded trips to Israel

In addition to Drexler, the fellows are San Francisco Chief Assistant City Attorney Dennis Aftergut, San Francisco Giants executive Larry Baer, E*Trade officer Amy Errett, filmmaker Deborah Hoffmann, author and professor Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, advertising entrepreneur Rich Silverstein, conservationist Adam Werbach and Banana Republic co-founder Melvin Ziegler.

Formerly known as the Koret Israel Fellows program and the Koret Israel Prize, the fellowships were awarded annually from 1988 to 1996 and funded by the Koret Foundation. That prize was discontinued. However, from 1997 to 2000, the Koret Foundation continued to honor business, academic and community leaders with the Koret Prize, which did not include a trip to Israel but included grants to nonprofits. That prize will continue, with awards given in alternating years, according to Koret.

This year, the Israel Fellows prize was re-established and is now funded by Koret, the Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies Foundation and the Francis S. Goldsmith Fund of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund.

Aftergut was named one of the top 20 lawyers in the state by California Lawyer in 1998, and was praised for his defense of San Francisco's Equal Benefits Ordinance. He lives in San Francisco.

Baer, who is the Giants' executive vice president and chief operating officer, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the baseball team. For the past six years, he has also served as the chairperson of Pacific Bell Park. He lives in San Francisco.

The Gap's Drexler has spent most of his professional life in the apparel business, working for, at different times, Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Abraham & Straus. He lives in San Francisco.

Errett, chief asset gathering officer for E*Trade, identifies key strategic business alliances and develops new E*Trade asset-based products and services, as well as expanding E*Trade's advice capabilities for its customers in the electronic arena. She lives in Menlo Park.

An independent filmmaker, Hoffmann directed the Academy Award-winning "Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter," and "Long Night's Journey into Day," about South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Committee. She also won an Emmy for editing "The Times of Harvey Milk," a film that received an Academy Award. She lives in Oakland.

The author of "Kitchen Table Wisdom" and "My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging," Remen is a clinical professor of family and community medicine at UCSF School of Medicine. She is also co-founder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program in Bolinas. She lives in Mill Valley.

Co-founder and co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners advertising agency, Silverstein has helped it become one of the most widely honored advertising agencies in the country. With the "Got Milk" campaign as one of its many successes, it was chosen as Agency of the Year by Ad Age this year, for the second time, and has won over 150 Clio Awards. He lives in Mill Valley.

Werbach was elected president of the Sierra Club when he was 23. Now a co-founder of Act Now Productions, he develops digital TV as well as streaming and downloadable media for the Internet. He also hosts an environmental newsmagazine, "The Thin Green Line," for the Outdoor Life network. He lives in San Francisco.

Ziegler founded Banana Republic Travel and Safari Clothing Company in 1978 with his wife, Patricia, which they sold to the Gap in 1983. In 1993, they co-founded The Republic of Tea with partner Bill Rosenzweig. Later, they sold their interest to Rosenzweig and founded Zoza. Ziegler is the author of several books and he lives in Mill Valley.