Federations’ Lions roar

Ann Bear and Betsy Pottruck, federation leaders extraordinaire, were honored with the Kipnis-Wilson Friedland Award at the annual International Lion of Judah Conference in Washington, D.C., last month. Ann, of the S.F.-based federation, and Betsy, of the East Bay federation, were among 91 women recognized by United Jewish Communities for their invaluable impact on their Jewish communities. Among the 30 Bay Area Lions who attended the conference and applauded their fellow volunteers were Liki Abrams, Betty Denenberg Adler, Annette Dobbs, Barbara Farber, Galina Leytes and Diane Zack (from the S.F.-based federation) and Eileen Ruby, Jill Smith, Peggy Shapiro, Terry Friedkin and Melissa Batavia (from the East Bay federation).

Presidential election redux?

So you thought the election was over. … According to Don Linker, not quite. He will travel to the state Capitol in Sacramento on Dec. 13 to cast a vote for Sen. John Kerry. Don is a member of the Electoral College, appointed by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Santa Rosa). He got to know the congresswoman 12 years ago when Dana Linker, his oldest daughter, had an internship with the California Democratic Party. Don, also an Electoral College member in 1992, said the event is “neat and ceremonial, and it’s a nice honor.” He will take along his daughter Jodi Linker to share the fun. According to Don, members of California’s Electoral College have an “unofficial obligation” to vote the way the majority of citizens voted.

Hausner students get 15 minutes

Who was it that said everyone gets 15 minutes of fame? Students at Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto got a new start on theirs Nov. 15 with an article in The New York Times (considering that j. ran the story long, long, long ago, when it was still the Jewish Bulletin). The Times story featured teacher Jason Epstein’s seventh-grade class and the Avodah La’Olam program, which teaches philanthropy. Students research a number of charitable organizations while they raise money through the school year. In the spring they will select one organization to receive all the funds. If they raise more than a designated amount, the extra money will be matched by grants from Laura Lauder and Kathy Levinson. The students in the Times spotlight were Michelle Bromberg, Avi Arfin, Jess Lehrman, Frank Schiff and Michal David.

Kudos and mazel tovs

Amy Friedkin, chair of the national board of AIPAC, was named one of 25 “exceptional contemporary women of achievement” by the Jewish Women’s Archives and the Lions of Judah last month. The award was part of a ceremony marking the 350th anniversary of Jewish life in America … Barbara Kaufman was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to head his San Francisco office. She was a San Francisco supervisor from 1992-2001 and board president in 1996…Andy Goldblatt is competing in PAX TV’s improvisational comedy show “World Cup Comedy.” The Los Altos resident is a member of Congregation Kol Emeth … Carolyn Power won the 2004 Storyteller of the Year contest, put on by the Creative Arts Institute, Storytellers Guild of Columbus, Ohio. You may have heard her stories at Congregation Sherith Israel’s tashlich ceremony or in Sunday school classes … The American Jewish Committee honored Norimichi Kanari, Union Bank of California CEO, with a 2004 National Human Relations Award on Nov. 18 in San Francisco. Richard Sideman, past chapter president and now national chair of AJCommittee’s board of governors, presented the award.

Columnist Suzan Berns can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].