Shorts: Bay Area

Edward Said mural nixed at S.F. State

Elements in a mural celebrating pro-Palestinian scholar Edward Said were deemed offensive by San Francisco State University President Robert Corrigan this week, and the painting will not grace SFSU’s main quad.

The school’s General Union of Palestinian Students had hoped to unveil the mural Monday, Sept. 25, the third anniversary of Said’s death.

Various members of the Jewish community complained about aspects of the mural, including the presence of the cartoon character Handala, a symbol of violent resistance to Israel.

Corrigan claimed GUPS canceled two meetings he’d scheduled with the group. In addition to killing the Said mural, he declared a moratorium on future murals.

Interfaith weekend at Camp Tawonga

An inclusive interfaith family program will be held at Camp Tawonga the weekend of Oct. 6-8.

Rabbis Josh “Yoshi” Zweiback, Michael Lezach and Sydney Mintz will be on hand to answer questions, while song leaders and Tawonga staff will lead activities. Interfaith couples and families are welcome to the weekend program, which will also include a Sukkot celebration.

The event is sponsored by Congregations Beth Am, Rodef Sholom, Emanu-El and the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco’s Interfaith Connection. Call (415) 543-2267 for more information.

Musical fundraiser slated on Peninsula

Peninsula Temple Beth El and the Peninsula Jewish Community Center will co-host a musical fundraiser/silent auction for the Rivka Ziv Government Hospital in Israel.

The hospital serves a population of 120,000 Jews, Muslims, Christians and Bedouins as well as military personnel. It is Israel’s only hospital serving the upper Galilee and Golan regions.

The fundraiser will include performances by Hip Hop Shabbat, Joel Siegel and Rifka Amado, and Natan and Einat Gammer. There also will be a celebration of Sukkot, and comments by Beth El Rabbi Alan Berg and other local community leaders — including Rep. Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo).

The event takes place 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 at Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. Admission is free, though donations are appreciated. For further information: (650) 341-7701.

Yael Dayan to speak here

The deputy mayor of Tel Aviv, Yael Dayan, will be speaking about issues affecting Jewish minorities and the LGBT population, the Israel/Lebanon conflict and ideas for helping the people of the Middle East at San Francisco’s Congregation Sha’ar Zahav at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, the last of several local speeches.

She also will speak at Temple Sinai in Oakland, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3; at the JCC of San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4; at the Peninsula JCC at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5; and at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael at 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 6.

Jewish-American Hall of Fame cites catcher

The old joke about Jewish catcher Moe Berg is that he could speak eight languages but couldn’t hit in any of them.

Berg’s 16-year career as a Major League backstop was hardly anything to compare to, say, Johnny Bench’s, but then again, Bench never risked his life as a wartime spy.

The man Casey Stengel once described as “The strangest fellah who ever put on a uniform” has been inducted into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, which was founded at Berkeley’s Judah L. Magnes Museum and is located in Southern California.

While Berg’s teammates knew him as an affable, intelligent ballplayer who was also a member of the bar, they didn’t know about his life off the diamond. He took surveillance photos of Tokyo while on a barnstorming tour prior to World War II. He also entered German-occupied Norway as part of an Allied effort to find and destroy a heavy-water plant.

In Switzerland, Berg found out from a visiting German scientist not only how far along the Germans were in developing their weapons of mass destruction, but also the location of the German scientists (whom he was allegedly authorized to kill if they were close to creating a bomb — which they weren’t, to his lasting relief).

USF profs organize free lecture series

University of San Francisco visual arts professors Sharon Siskin and Paula Birnbaum have created a lecture series on Jewish women in the arts.

The Davies Forum features workshops and/or lectures. The classes, intended for USF students and the general public, are free. For more details and a schedule of lectures contact Erin Smith at (415) 422-4895 or [email protected].

$100,000 prize for young humanitarians

Nominations for the Charles Bronfman Prize are being accepted until Oct. 31.

The Charles Bronfman Prize celebrates the vision and talent of an individual or team under 50 years of age, whose humanitarian work has contributed significantly to the betterment of the world. Their achievements should exemplify the Jewish values and regard for humanity that provide inspiration to the next generations.

The prize awards the recipient $100,000; the next winner will be announced in the spring of 2007.

Alon Tal was the 2005 recipient. He founded the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in 1996, which recruits students from throughout the Middle East to pursue graduate degrees in environmental studies.

Nomination forms may be found at