Shorts: Bay Area

SFSU GOP claims attack by angry mob

A quartet of Middle Eastern women shouted anti-Semitic epithets at a group of S.F. State University Republicans, sparking an angry, physical mob according to the president of SFSU College Republicans.

Derek Wray, 27-year-old senior, said four women approached his table on SFSU’s Malcolm X Plaza on Monday, Nov. 1, shrieking, “You and the Jews just want to kill Palestinian babies,” later adding, “All the American soldiers are a bunch of faggots who only enlisted in the military to rape Arab men.”

According to Wray, the confrontation drew a crowd of 50 to 60 people. He claimed several of the women physically attacked one of the five campus Republicans staffing the table, and members of the crowd poured sodas on the table and threw objects.

After the physical confrontation, Wray said SFSU security guards told him they couldn’t ensure his safety and escorted SFSU College Republicans off the campus. Calls to SFSU were not returned as of press time.

Anti-Semitic graffiti in Menlo Park

An unknown vandal or vandals scrawled “Jew” across the gate of a residence in Menlo Park over the weekend with a substance that may have been shaving cream.

Sgt. Mike Amaral, the Menlo Park Police Department’s public information officer, can’t recall the last instance of anti-Semitic vandalism in his city.

The owner of the house, whose name was not released, is not Jewish. She speculated the graffiti may have been inspired by her Ira Ruskin for Assembly sign.

JCCSF hosts daylong book celebration

The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco is hosting a daylong celebration of Jewish literature, featuring more than 20 authors, many of them local.

The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, at 3200 California St.

Among the writers are Jennifer Traig, author of “Devil in the Details”; Julie Orringer, author of “How to Breathe Underwater”; Joshua Braff, author of “The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green”; and Zac Unger, author of “Working Fire.” All are young Bay Area authors reading from their first books.

A panel will feature local poets: Dan Bellm, Ilya Kaminsky and Margaret Kaufman. And Walter the Giant will entertain the children with storytelling.

The event is co-sponsored by Congregation Sherith Israel and A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books. A complete schedule is at Information: (415) 292-1219.

JCF ranked as ninth top Jewish fund-raiser in nation

The S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation cracked the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual “Philanthropy 400” this year.

With more than $56.7 million in private support, the JCF ranked as the nation’s ninth-most successful Jewish philanthropic organization in 2003. Among federations, it trailed only New York ($167.8 million) and Chicago ($165 million).

Overall, the JCF ranked 228th on the list of 400.

Entrants in local essay contest vie for $5,000 prize

Jewish young adults in the Bay Area are invited to enter an essay contest about what it means to be both Jewish and American.

Applicants must be between the ages of 18 to 30. Essays should be no longer than 1,000 words. The deadline is Nov. 30, and the first-prize winner receives $5,000.

The contest is sponsored by the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture and the Koret Foundation.

More information about the contest can be found at Contestants also may e-mail Judy Bloom at [email protected] or call her at (415) 512-6263.

E. Bay Holy Days drive nets 27,000 pounds of food

East Bay Jews were in a giving mood over the holidays. In Alameda County, 11 synagogues, seven Noah’s Bagels stores and four community organizations united to collect over 27,000 pounds of food in the 14th annual High Holy Days Food Drive, it was announced last week.

This represents a 34 percent increase from the previous year. Much of the donated food went to the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Chinese food and comedy for Christmas

Jews have traditionally come to rely on Chinese food to help get them through the Christmas season. This year is no exception with the Chopshticks Chinese dinner and comedy evening offered at Ming’s in Palo Alto Dec. 24 through 26.

Performers this year include San Franciscan Brian Malow and New Yorker Eddie Brill.

Tickets are $60, and open seating and singles tables are available. Reservations are required.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Jewish Coalition for Literacy. Information and reservations:

B’nai Emunah teaches Hebrew crash course

Congregation B’nai Emunah in San Francisco is one of 600 locations around the United States and Canada that will participate in the “Read Hebrew” campaign of the National Jewish Outreach Program.

As one of the participating synagogues, B’nai Emunah will offer a crash course in reading Hebrew to parents, while their kids are at Hebrew school themselves.

San Mateo group publishes cookbook

To mark the celebration of its 12th year, the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group of San Mateo County has authored a cookbook.

Called “Palestinian and Jewish Recipes for Peace,” the cookbook features the personal stories and photographs of dialogue group members along with recipes that have been passed down in their families for generations. There are also features in the book about the dialogue process of the group.

Cookbooks cost $15 plus $3 shipping and can be ordered from