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

Oh Chanukah

Sam Borcover, who never misses a chance to promote Jewish life, convinced the folks at his barbershop, Michael’s Hair Works in Walnut Creek, to light Chanukah candles. As Sam tells it, when he saw them putting up Christmas decorations, he suggested that it would be a “nice ecumenical thing” to have a menorah in the shop as well. They agreed and brought one in. Borcover supplied the candles and helped kindle them too. Besides his freelance Jewish outreach, Borcover is the volunteer voice on the line at Jewish Community Information and Referral each Friday. He is also president of Volunteers for Israel.

Eighty members of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation’s Leadership Circle celebrated Chanukah in mid-December at Nancy and Stephen Grand’s new penthouse apartment. Among them: David and Susan Dossetter, Phil Schlein and T. Beller, Mike and Cathy Podell, Carol and Ruud van Wijnen, Lisa and John Pritzker, and Peter and Melanie Maier, who were also celebrating their 42nd anniversary. The feature of the evening was a private screening of documentarian Tiffany Shlain’s new, 17-minute movie “The Tribe,” presented by the filmmaker herself.

Gia Daniller reports that at the Raoul Wallenberg Jewish Democratic Club’s Political Comedy Chanukah Party, one of the comedians joked that S.F. supervisor Fiona Ma, who grew up in Long Island, N.Y., was more Jewish than most of the Jews in the room.

Architecture excellence

International architect and Half Moon Bay resident Stan Field has won two awards for his work from the San Mateo chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The first, in the New Single Residential category, was for the design of an affordable contemporary home in Los Altos. In the Unbuilt category, he was recognized for an ecologically based housing estate in South Africa. Field designed the memorial wall to those who died in the Holocaust at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos.

Jewish literacy

Two East Bay libraries have received grants from the American Library Association and Nextbook, a Jewish cultural organization, to offer monthly book discussion programs on Jewish subjects. Moraga Library’s series, which begins in January, is called “Demons, Golems and Dybbuks: Monsters of the Jewish Imagination” and will be led by Lehrhaus Judaica faculty member Daniel Y. Harris.

For information, call (925) 376-6852. Kensington Library’s series, called “Stories of Estrangement and Homecoming,” starts in February. Call (510) 524-1098 for information about that program.

Short shorts …

The Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay was one of 15 federations nationwide to receive the Sapir Award for campaign achievement at the 2005 federation national conference, the General Assembly. Eileen Ruby, immediate past president, accepted the honor … In the North Bay, Don Linker has been named Marin citizen representative to the Marin Independent Journal’s editorial board. It’s right up his alley, he says, because before turning to pre-med, he was a political science major … Noah’s Bagels’ founder Noah Alper has opened a business consulting practice in Berkeley. He can be found at www.noahalperconsulting.com.

In news from the Union of Reform Judaism’s 68th Biennial Convention, Diane Goldman of Burlingame’s Peninsula Temple Sholom was installed as a member of the URJ board of trustees, and Oakland’s Temple Sinai received an honorable mention for its adult education programming. Its programs have been included in URJ’s “Building Congregations of Learners: Best Practices in Adult Study 2005.” Also, Los Altos Hills’ Congregation Beth Am was recognized for its “50 Sukkot,” a community-building program created by Rabbi Susan Lippe.

Suzan Bernswelcomes your submissions about you and your organizations at [email protected].