Shorts: Bay Area

Reform leader supports Prop. 72 on health care

Religious leaders — including Rabbi Michael Berk, regional director for the Union for Reform Judaism — rallied last week in support of California’s health care proposition.

If passed, Proposition 72 would require companies employing more than 50 workers to cover 80 percent of their employees’ health care costs. The legislation would be phased-in completely by January 2007.

A group of religious leaders, including Archbishop William Levada of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, believes capping health care costs will ease economic pressures on the workforce. The group rallied Tuesday, Oct. 19 on the steps of St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco.

Businesses opposed to the Nov. 2 proposition, however, say the legislation will be a financial burden to employers and employees.

Reform women to meet in Oakland for biennial

Some 200 Reform women will gather at the Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel from Thursday, Nov. 4, to Sunday, Nov. 7, for the Western Federation of Temple Sisterhoods’ biennial convention.

The women represent Reform synagogues from the Western states as well as Hawaii and Western Canada.

In addition to a number of workshops, program highlights will include an address by Rabbi Janet Marder, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and senior spiritual leader of Los Altos Hills’ Congregation Beth Am, and a performance by Bay Area ensemble Vocolot.

The Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel is at 1001 Broadway. General information: Sherri Richards at (510) 547-4771. Registration: Linda Henderson at (916) 638-8316.

Rabbi laces up for ordination, leukemia

Rabbi Lisa Gelber, associate dean of the rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, was prepared to go great distances for the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women in the Conservative movement.

Exactly 26.2 miles.

Gelber ran the Nike marathon on Sunday, Oct. 24, in San Francisco. The all-women’s race is a benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The marathon happened 20 years to the day after the Rabbinical Assembly’s committee on Jewish law and standards voted to ordain women as rabbis within the Conservative movement. The Jewish Theological Seminary has ordained 151 women in the past 20 years.

The event marked Gelber’s third marathon through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. Since 2000, she has raised more than $30,000 for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma research and patient services.