Shorts: Bay Area

Burning Man founder at JCCSF

While many have compared the Burning Man arts festival to a spiritual pilgrimage, it’s not every day that its founder, Larry Harvey, can be found at the JCC.

But Harvey will be at the JCC of San Francisco 8 p.m. Monday, May 8, for a panel discussion with Rebbetzin Hadassah Gross, a New York-based Torah-talking drag queen, and Jewish porn star/performance artist Annie Sprinkle, talking about spirituality and artistic pursuits.

The evening is sponsored by the Hub, the Taube Center for Jewish Life at the JCCSF and the Young Adult Community of Congregation Emanu-El.

Tickets: $10 members, $12 public, with a $2 discount for those dressed in their finest playa-wear. The JCCSF is at 3200 California St., S.F.

Bay Area teens learn the art of giving

Twenty-seven Bay Area Jewish teenagers affiliated with the Peninsula Community Teen Foundation/Jewish Community Endowment Fund recently took part in the National Jewish Youth Funders Conference in Denver, Colo.

The conference brought together more than 100 Jewish teens, professionals and funders from across North America to engage in training sessions and workshops, as well as to support a national Jewish youth philanthropy initiative.

The conference was sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation with additional support from Rose Community Foundation, UJC, Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation and others.

Bay Area teens in attendance included Evelyn Carmack, Jordan Zetterbau, Zohara Levine, Katie Loitz, Shelby Margolin, Sharon Jacobs, Daniela Rodan, Alyssa Breetwor, Sydney Calender, Allison Hoffman, Rachel Levenson, Daniel Rozenfeld, Scott Levin, Jonathan Pilovsky, Becky Bob-Waksberg and Lev Hirschhorn.

Free dental work for Ukrainian para-rabbi

Ukrainian para-rabbi Alla Mahas recently wrapped up her three-week visit to the Bay Area, which was sponsored by Congregation Beth Am of Los Altos Hills.

While here, Mahas received treatment for a severe dental condition caused by exposure to radiation from the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Dental surgeon Maurice Budak, a Beth Am congregant, performed the procedure free of charge.

Multiple rabbis lead prayer at Brandeis

Local rabbis from all Jewish movements co-led a prayer service at Brandeis Hillel Day School’s San Francisco campus last week.

Brandeis’ Head of Judaic Studies, Rabbi Pam Frydman Baugh, said it was significant for students to see their own rabbis leading prayers at their school.

While some rabbis participated directly, others sent in teachings or readings to be read by their congregants, so the total number of rabbis participating was 15. They included lay leaders and rabbis from the Renewal movement, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Chabad.

Swastika tags?

A spate of anti-Semitic graffiti in San Francisco’s Richmond District may be the work of one “tagger,” according to the ADL.

The Anti-Defamation League received a complaint late Monday night, May 1, of a number of businesses on Geary Boulevard between 14th and 15th Avenues defaced with similar spray-painted swastikas within Stars of David.

Tami Holzman, the ADL’s regional assistant director, said this tag has come up before in the area. District 1 Supervisorial candidate David Heller’s posters were defaced with nearly identical marks in August of 2004, she pointed out.

“It’s been happening in the same neighborhood and with some alleged regularity,” she said. “Obviously, this could be someone copycatting, but the odds are it’s the same guy tagging the same things.”

Chabad celebrating Jewish women

Chabad of Contra Costa’s Women’s Circle is sponsoring its second annual “Celebrate the Jewish Woman” event on Lag B’Omer. The dinner will begin 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 15 at the Walnut Creek Marriot.

Participants will not only get a kosher meal with wine, goody bags and a raffle, but also a keynote lecture given by Shimonah Tzukernik of Brooklyn, N.Y., who gave last year’s keynote address as well.

Tzukernik’s lecture will be “Soul Mates or Roomates? Kabbalah’s Secret on Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary.”

Raffle prizes include jewelry and gift certificates.

Tickets are $60. For information, visit, email [email protected] or call (925) 209-1373.