Reaching a milestone

Gloria Hollander Lyon was in seven different camps during the Holocaust and has told her story to audiences around the world. She will hit a milestone in April when she tells it for the 800th time! The place will be Lake Oswego High School (in a Portland, Ore., suburb) in April, the season of remembrance.

According to her husband, Karl D. Lyon, Gloria “has made it her mission to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust and to teach its lessons.” In 1977 she first spoke about the atrocities at S.F.’s Congregation Ner Tamid, and her next engagement was for 2,000 students at Berkeley High School. Since then she has addressed thousands of audiences at hundreds of schools, organization meetings and public events around the Bay Area, the country and even in Germany.

There is a documentary film about her life called “When I Was 14: A Survivor Remembers” and Gloria is putting the final touches on her autobiography, tentatively titled “Mommy, What’s That Number on Your Arm?”

Jewish humor

Hollywood happened in the East Bay recently when Moses and Susan Libitzky hosted two famous Jerry and Annes — comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara and Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and his wife Anne Gust Brown. The couples were guests at a fund-raiser for a new documentary film on Jews and humor, which looks at the contributions Jews have made to comedy in America.

“A Gift for Laughter: Comedy and the Jews,” is “compelling and entertaining, and it also reflects the resilience of Jewish life and culture” in the last 100 years, says Susan Libitzky. Local producer Ben Thum and Academy Award-winner Mark Jonathan Harris are making the film. Stiller is co-executive producer.

P.S. The invite included this interesting quote from Time magazine: “Jewish make up 2 percent of the population and 80 percent of the comedy industry.” Why?

Art for health’s sake

The Jewish Home’s Creative Arts department is always buzzing with activity and until April 10, results are on display at Flax (an art supply store) at Market and Valencia, S.F. The work of residents Mariya Babicheva, Francine Hament, Edie Sadewitz, Rudi Hooremans, Thelma Groeschel, Elsie Singer, Sonia Shpindel, Renee Leavy, Elinore Dusedau, Deborah Friend, Pat Levinson, Anna Kovalsky, Eleanor Toker, Sarra Kaplun, Rasya Lesova and Dina Loeva are on display there.

Ilana Glaun, of the Home’s PR department, provided this interesting personal tidbit about Kiev-born artist Dina Loeva, who has been a resident since November and was a retoucher in Kiev, specializing in the restoration of historical photographs. “Very talented and motivated, Dina was in the art room the first day she moved into the Home, and is now there every day, first thing in the morning. One of her paintings, depicting a couple kissing, has been chosen as the poster art advertising the 2006 Summer Arts Festival — the Home’s three-month-long festival filled with multi-cultural events, lectures, films, concerts, and special outings.”

Short shorts…

The Peninsula’s Nate Saal is leading a community seder on April 13 at Spago in Palo Alto, sponsored by the Albert L. Schultz JCC and the restaurant. Among the dishes — Spago’s famous shallot-and- thyme matzah and roasted wild white salmon with ginger-almond crust. Nate’s mom, Carol Saal, was one of the creators of the always sold-out event. For info, call (650) 833-1000.

The columnist can be reached at [email protected]