Shorts: Bay Area

Board of Rabbis elects new president

Rabbi Harry Manhoff of San Leandro’s Temple Beth Sholom was elected earlier this month to the top post at the Board of Rabbis of Northern California.

He replaced outgoing president Rabbi Sheldon Lewis of Palo Alto’s Congregation Kol Emeth.

Manhoff is the first East Bay rabbi to hold the post since Rabbi William Stern of Oakland’s Temple Sinai nearly four decades ago.

Elected to the board of directors were Rabbi Allen Bennett of Alameda’s Temple Israel, Rabbi Helen Cohn of San Francisco’s Congregation Emanu-El, Rabbi Sheldon Marder of the Jewish Home in San Francisco, Rabbi Eric Weiss of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, Rabbi Evan Goodman of San Francisco’s Congregation Beth Israel-Judea, Rabbi Raphael Asher of Walnut Creek’s Congregation B’nai Tikvah, Rabbi Marvin Goodman of Foster City’s Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Rabbi Larry Raphael of San Francisco’s Congregation Sherith Israel, Rabbi Jay Miller of the Peninsula Clergy Network and Rabbi Chai Levy of Tiburon’s Congregation Kol Shofar.

S.F. couple picks up menorah repair tab

The chances of Rabbi Yosef Langer having a major menorah malfunction have just dropped precipitously.

A San Francisco couple has stepped forward and agreed to pay $5,000 for repairs to the 22-foot-high menorah Chabad of S.F. lights every year in Union Square.

Manny and Elfa Kagen surprised Langer with the call earlier this month. The pair emigrated from the former Soviet Union decades ago and have since become successful mortgage brokers.

“They said if no one else was stepping up to the plate, they’d have to step up,” the rabbi said.

“For so many Russian émigrés, their first Jewish connection to the city was the menorah. It was their first connection to Judaism in a public way. We’re dedicating the lighting on the first day of Chanukah to the Russian Jewish community,” he said.