Shorts: bay area

Deadline extended for Shoah claims

For those who requested Holocaust claim forms before Dec. 31, the deadline to file them with the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims has been extended to March 31.

The original filing deadline was Dec. 31, but such a crush of applications came at the last minute that ICHEIC opted to extend the deadline.

For questions about the ICHEIC process, or help in completing your claim, please call the California Department of Insurance at (800) 927-HELP, (800) 927-4357.

Tikkun plans two discussions of ‘Passion’

Tired of TV pundits screaming their opinions about Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”? More sober panel discussions of the film will take place in San Francisco and Oakland.

The Tikkun Community will sponsor the events, with panelists including the Rev. Matthew Fox, Tikkun Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Yair Silverman of Berkeley’s Congregation Beth Israel and others.

The forums take place 3 p.m. Sunday, March 14, at McClaren Hall, University of San Francisco, between Fulton and Golden Gate near Parker; and 7 p.m. Thursday, March 18, at the University of Creative Spirituality, 2141 Broadway, Oakland. Cost is $10. Information: (510) 644-1200.

S.F. merchants brighten Purim in Israel

Purim in Israel was just a tad more colorful, thanks to a wardrobe-full of costumes donated by a San Francisco store and flown to Jerusalem by AMIT (Americans for Israel and Torah).

The 70-plus unused Halloween costumes were given by Guenther and Jeff Leopold of Standard 5 & 10 Ace on California Street, and will be worn by children at AMIT’s Bet Hayeled (Child Haven) in Gilo.

AMIT, an organization two decades older than the state of Israel, maintains several facilities to house Israeli children removed from abusive, neglectful or extremely poor families.

For more information, contact AMIT’s regional executive director, Ava Brand at (415) 664-6309.

Magnes Museum names new curator

It’s the art world’s equivalent of “the new sheriff in town.”

The Judah L. Magnes Museum has appointed Alla Efimova as curator. In her new post, the Russian-born Efimova will oversee curatorial efforts at the Berkeley museum, supervise museum staff and coordinate special exhibitions.

She joins the Magnes Museum after three years at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive. Last year she served as curatorial consultant to the Magnes Museum, helping to mount such exhibits as “Brought to Light: the Storied Collections of the Judah L. Magnes Museum.”

Efimova has been a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Santa Cruz. Author of several books on art, she holds a Ph.D. in art history and visual and cultural studies from the University of Rochester.

Atherton philanthropist wins education award

Laura Lauder of Atherton was one of 12 philanthropists honored recently with a JESNA Vision Award.

JESNA — Jewish Education Service of North America — helps to recruit and prepare new generations of Jewish educators.

As one of the Vision Award recipients, Lauder was recognized for creating and supporting innovative programs that recruit, develop and provide recognition to Jewish educators. Lauder is the founder of the New Teacher’s Initiative and has long been involved in Jewish education.

Woman of the Year title goes to Piedmont writer

Ronnie Caplane has been named Woman of the Year in honor of Women’s History Month by Assemblywoman Wilma Chan.

Caplane of Piedmont is a regular freelancer to j. as well as president of the Piedmont School Board.

First elected to the Piedmont School Board in 1998, Caplane is currently serving on the board’s Noda Grants selection committee, president’s support committee, educational foundation board and budget advisory committee, and serves as the liaison to the Piedmont City Council.

Caplane also writes a regular first-person column for the Montclarion and Piedmonter newspapers. Most of her recent columns have dealt openly, honestly and at times humorously with her grief and healing following husband Joe Remcho’s accidental death in 2003 after 24 years of marriage.

Caplane, an attorney, is a former vice president and member of the board of Oakland’s Temple Sinai and has been a longtime volunteer at the synagogue.