Shorts: Bay Area

JNF dinner to mark Tu B’Shevat

Israel advocate Dr. Elliot Lavey will be honored next month at a Jewish National Fund dinner, “For the Love of Israel,” which will include music and speakers.

The fund-raiser in the East Bay will jointly celebrate Israel and Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees. Proceeds will go toward building a playground in Ofakim, Israel.

Lavey, a Danville plastic surgeon, founded Contra Costa Bridges to Israel and the Organization for Israel’s Terror Victims.

“For the Love of Israel” will take place 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. Tickets are $75. Information: (415) 677-9600.

An apology

Last week’s j. included a wrong photo with our story “Jewish groups join push for same-sex marriage.” The picture of Dr. Elliot Lavey (see JNF story above) was mistakenly identified as Judge Richard Kramer. We apologize to both men.

JCCs to host camp fair

A Jewish summer camp and Israel program fair will be hosted by JCCs in both Palo Alto and San Francisco later this month.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, the Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center at 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, will host the exhibition.

The next day, from 5 to 9 p.m., the exhibition will be at the JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St.

The fair will feature representatives from Jewish summer camps around the world, Israel programs for children and adults, and organizations offering summer jobs for teens.

For more information, visit

Temple Israel series marks Vatican II anniversary

Alameda’s Temple Israel is hosting a six-week program of joint study and dialogue with the four Catholic parishes of Alameda. It began Wednesday, Jan. 18.

As part of the observance of the 40th anniversary of the historic declaration of the Vatican II Council’s Nostra Aetate, the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College has produced the program on behalf of the National Council of Synagogues and the Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Nostra Aetate, which was proclaimed by Pope Paul VI in October 1965, stated in part that the Jewish people as a whole were not responsible for the death of Jesus, and decried anti-Semitism and persecution of Jews.

The program, called “Walking God’s Path,” explores the evolving history

and relationships of Judaism and Christianity. It is facilitated by Rabbi Allen Bennett of Temple Israel and four Catholic priests.

The program will conclude with a joint Catholic-Jewish liturgical music concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2 at St. Joseph’s Basilica, 1109 Chestnut St., Alameda.

The sessions go from 7 to 9 p.m. at Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda. For information, call Anne Marie Fourré at (510) 749-7158.

2 new restaurants open in JCCSF

Hungry visitors to the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco will soon have two new places to dine. The former on-site restaurant, Sydney’s Home, had been closed and remodeled as two separate eateries, California Street Delicatessen & Café and (415) Asian Restaurant and Lounge.

The deli, which serves a variety of New York-style Jewish “comfort food,” is now open. (415) restaurant, which offers pan-Asian fare from sushi to curry, will open in several weeks.

Both are located inside the JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F.

Theodore Bikel to perform at emigré banquet

Singer Theodore Bikel will headline the entertainment at the fifth annual emigré fund-raising banquet for Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, 335 Powell St., S.F.

This year’s chairs are Peter and Polina Kogan.

Proceeds from the event will help JFCS provide support for the Russian Jewish community, both in Israel and in the Bay Area.

The festivities will include a silent auction followed by a feast of Russian and European fare, entertainment and dancing.

In addition to Bikel, the lineup includes opera singer Olga Chernysheva and other international performers.

Tickets: $150-$250. For information, contact Gayle Zahler, director of emigré services, at (415) 449-1286 or [email protected].

Beth Emek serves up Fair Trade coffee

Attend an event at Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton, and chances are high that Fair Trade coffee will be served.

The Reform synagogue has not only been serving it in its kitchen, but selling Fair Trade coffee and chocolate as well, as a fund-raiser for the youth committee.

Michael Arndt, chair of the youth committee, first heard about the coffee issue at a national leadership training for Reform youth.

He learned that plummeting coffee prices worldwide have left many coffee farmers impoverished, and that groups are working to ensure that coffee farmers are fairly compensated.

Arndt brought the issue to Beth Emek’s board, and they voted to stock only Fair Trade coffee in its kitchen.

“It’s very satisfying to have the youth step forward to do something good for our world and have the board say ‘Amen’ and fully support it,” said Rabbi Richard Winer, spiritual leader of the congregation.