Leadership and continuity

Steven Kornetsky, president of the American Jewish Committee’s S.F. chapter, had the honor of accepting a coveted national award for creative programming amid a gathering of 2,900 people at AJC’s centennial celebration in early May in Washington, D.C., reports Ernie Weiner, S.F. director of the AJC. The chapter was selected from 33 contenders. The award-winning program was a yearlong series designed to provide individuals with comprehensive training for leadership roles in the AJC and other Jewish community groups. Thirty-six people completed the program, with a number of them joining the festivities at the national conference. By the way, the S.F. chapter was established 61 years ago and Weiner has been the director for 35! Now that’s Jewish continuity.

‘Bob’ mitzvah

In his “Bob mitzvah” speech, Bob Sherman noted that his bar mitzvah took place in 1962, the year the Rolling Stones made their debut in London and also the year “Latin American Gnostic master Samael Aun Weor declared the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” Former hippie/poet Sherman was honored on his 13th anniversary as executive director of the Bureau of Jewish Education at the group’s annual meeting last month.

Other highlights of the evening included Janet Sherman Popp’s Bob mitzvah video, Eric Starr’s Bob mitzvah roast and board President Nanette Freedland’s “State of the BJE” address. Demonstrating the good work of the BJE were Ayelet Cohen, who is training to be an opera singer thanks to financial aid from the BJE, singing an Aaron Copland piece, and Nicole Sasson-Miller, now national director of the Diller Teen Initiatives program, describing her training as a BJE fellow.

Short shorts

S.F. Hadassah President Deborah Lopez, along with Martina Knee, Sandy Lipkowitz, Ravit Lichtenberg and Jane Jacobson will be on hand when the national organization receives the 2006 annual National Advocacy Award from the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) at Stanford this month. Bernard Siegel, executive director of the GPI, said that the “award goes to the organization that has made the greatest impact in promoting awareness of the lifesaving cause of stem-cell research. Hadassah has earned the gratitude of patients around the world.”

S.F. businessman/philanthropist Monte Toole will receive an honorary fellowship for his longtime dedication to Hebrew University and the state of Israel at the university’s 69th Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday, June 13. His support of HU’s Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering has provided scholarships for many in financial need.

S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation officials expressed regret that there wasn’t time to select a new East Bay recipient for the Israel in our Hearts community award. Joe Zakin decided to opt out of the award, according to Loren Basch, CEO of the East Bay Jewish Community Federation, because “he felt he was only one of many East Bay leaders deserving of this award.”

Rabbi Eric Weiss is the new host of the Jewish portion of CBS-5’s “Mosaic.” Weiss replaces Francesco Spagnolo, who with his wife, Chazzan Sharon Bernstein, has moved to New York City where he will be executive director of the American Sephardi Federation at the Center for Jewish History.

Susan Kaufman and Sue Levinson, two of the five original teachers at Brandeis Hillel’s Marin Campus, just retired after 28 years! Yasher koach! Hamutal Gavish has been named new head of campus at Brandeis Hillel Marin.

Nate Levine was finishing his tenure Friday, June 9 as executive director of the Jewish Community Center. Sandee Blechman, formerly the JCC’s chief operating officer, replaces him.

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