Shorts: bay area

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Lantos is the victor in Democratic primary

Despite facing what was billed as a difficult re-election bid from two lawyers on Tuesday, March 2, Rep. Tom Lantos handily won the 12th District Democratic primary.

Lantos (D-San Mateo) won 74 percent of the vote while Ro Khanna, an Indian American, won 20 percent and Maad Abu-Ghazalah, a Palestinian American, mustered 7 percent of the vote.

The Jewish 12-term incumbent goes on to the November election where he will face three challengers: Republican Mike Garza, Green Party candidate Pat Gray and Libertarian challenger Harland Harrison.

Since the 12th District, which covers part of San Francisco and Peninsula cities including Daly City, San Mateo and South San Francisco, and is heavily Democratic, Lantos is not expected to have any trouble winning re-election.

In the only other local federal election involving a Jewish candidate, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who faced no Democratic challengers, goes on to face Republican Bill Jones, a two-time secretary of state who was unable to overcome Arnold Schwarzenegger in the recent recall election.

In state races, Democrats Carole Migden and Mark Leno won state senate primaries while running unopposed, while former Assemblyman Ted Lempert lost his State Senate bid against Joe Simitian.

For information on the presidential primaries, see Page 20.

Holocaust task force meets in Bay Area

The state’s task force on the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations created last year met for the first time on Thursday, Feb. 26, in Sacramento.

Professor Sam Edelman, director of the Center for Excellence on the Study of Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights and Tolerance at Cal State Chico — also created last year by Assembly Bill 2003 — brought the 10-member panel up to date on the center’s progress.

The center has launched a series of workshops to train teachers on how to address the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, completing a course in Elk Grove.

This year, Edelman will direct workshops in San Francisco, Long Beach, Paradise, Redding and, possibly, Lodi and Susanville.

The center also is in the process of creating a master’s degree program in education with an emphasis in Holocaust and genocide studies, in addition to a less comprehensive certification program for educators in those subjects.

Edelman also told the panel members, including San Francisco’s William J. Lowenberg, that the center has managed to raise nearly $200,000 over the past two years, and has established its own Web site,

Celebrate Purim Chinese-style

Capitalizing on the “natural connection” between Purim and all things Chinese, Chabad of Piedmont will host the Sunday, March 7, “Purim in Peking” celebration. The event will feature Asian acrobats, a Purim-style Chinese auction and a kosher Chinese buffet dinner.

The party starts at 4:45 p.m. at the Piedmont Veteran’s Memorial Building, 401 Highland Ave. Tickets cost $17 for adults, $10 for children, $45 a family or $180 for a sponsor.

Information: (510) 923-9391.

Weekend of music — and mysticism

“Music and Mysticism: Uniting All Worlds,” is the theme of an upcoming weekend, March 19 to 21, led by Rabbi Miles Krassen and Cantor Richard Kaplan.

Krassen is a professor at Temple University in Philadelphia and the Academy of Jewish Religion in New York, and Kaplan is of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland.

The weekend will include a Shabbat service featuring mystical teachings, Mizrachi, Sephardi and Chassidic music, and a participatory Torah service at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 19, at the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road, Kensington.

Other activities include a Chassidic-style third meal on Saturday afternoon, and a Sunday workshop based on Rabbi Nachman of Breslov’s “Seven Beggars” tale from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, at the Lucie Stern Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Information: (510) 525-1549 or

Yavneh Day School adding another grade

In the fall, Yavneh Day School will offer sixth grade, with plans to offer grades seven and eight in subsequent years. The goal, school officials say, is to offer a full kindergarten through eighth-grade program by fall 2006.

The new middle school will utilize state-of-the-art Integrated Thematic Instruction, specially adapted to be consistent with California academic standards as well as Solomon Schechter standards for Judaic studies and Hebrew.

School officials expect about 15 students to be enrolled in next year’s sixth grade, and hope to add as many as two sixth-grade classes of 20 students each when the full middle school is established.

The program is being designed to meet the needs of day school students as well as those who have not had a Jewish education.

Information: (408) 984-6700.