Best accountant

There may be a small contingent of people that doesn’t audibly groan when tax time rolls around.

Odds are Lynn Kurn is the reason why. Many of our readers say, come April 15, make sure your tax return has passed through her able hands.

Kurn, an attorney, has been working for six years as a tax accountant at Johnson & Kurn LLP.

The other half of this two-person San Carlos firm is Tom Johnson, a certified public accountant.

Kurn, who specializes in individual taxes as well as partnerships, attributes their success to the fact that clients don’t have to traverse an administrative labyrinth to speak with one of them.


Lynn Kurn

Johnson & Kurn LLP

1232 Belmont Ave., San Carlos

(650) 592-2967


Leonard Williams

455 S. Mathilda Ave., Sunnyvale

(408) 736-1566

Best lawyer

Our readers say Novato-based lawyer Elliot Bien is the go-to-guy when it comes to Bay Area jurisprudence.

Bien, who has been practicing law for 30 years, is an active member in the Jewish community. He is the board president of the Northern California chapter of the Anti-Defamation League.

He also has written numerous articles on the decline of professionalism in the law. He handles civil cases in the federal and state courts as well as pro-bono cases — and was one of the lawyers representing the town of Skokie, Ill., which tried to fight neo-Nazis from marching through Jewish neighborhoods in the late 1970s.


Elliot Bien

Bien & Summers LLP

23 Palomino Road, Novato

(415) 898-2900


Wayne A. Lampert

555 12th St. Ste. 1440, Oakland

(510) 844-3420

Best money manager

Got your small fortune tucked under a mattress?

You might be better served letting David Gould invest it.

Gould, a senior vice-president at Colliers International, was voted best money manager by j. readers.

He has 15 years experience as a senior manager and real estate executive, and once owned a corporate real estate services firm, serving clients such as Sun Microsystems, Pixo and Alibris. He received his master’s degree in Business Administration at St. Mary’s College.


David Gould

Colliers International

1850 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Ste. 200, Walnut Creek

(925) 279-0120


Keith Goodman

Smith Barney

411 Borel Ave. Suite 220, San Mateo

(650) 358-1823

Best real estate agent

Debbie Herzfeld’s family has called San Francisco home since the 19th century. And she in turn, has made a career of helping people buy and sell their city homes.

Herzfeld, a veteran real estate agent with almost 25 years of experience, has not toiled unnoticed — j. readers say she’s the best.

"The thing that sets me apart is that I limit the amount of people I work with, and most of my business comes from word of mouth and referrals," said Herzfeld, who’s predominantly a listings agent."People trust me."

She has been working at the Barbagelata Company since 2001.

Placing second was Seth Skolnick, who earns special accolades for his advertising slogans:"Real estate the way it was mensch to be." Also,"Homephobia: Fear of home buying in San Francisco. It’s curable."


Debbie Herzfeld

314 West Portal Ave., San Francisco

(415) 338-0118


Seth Skolnick

Zephyr Real Estate

318 Brannan St., San Francisco

(415) 905-0250 ext. 124

The Best of the Jewish Bay Area 2005