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Topping off

When the Contemporary Jewish Museum celebrated “topping off” its new Mission Street building in January, Israel Matos, a land surveyor, approached museum director Connie Wolf to tell her how much it meant to him to work on the project. He’s a Jewish Puerto Rican whose mother lost most of her family in the Holocaust, he told her. Working on the project was a way to honor his Jewish heritage and the memories of his lost family members. Joining Wolf and Matos at the event were CJM trustees, including Joyce Linker, Joseph Seiger and Alison Geballe. P.S. “Topping off” is when the last piece of steel is hoisted into place on a building project.

Making a difference

Execs from five local JCCs helped gut a YWCA shelter for battered women in New Orleans when they were in the city for their annual conference, reports Jamie Hyams of the Contra Costa JCC. Also ripping out rotted drywall and carting away moldy debris were Hal Bordy, Addison-Penzak JCC; Sandee Bleckman, JCC of San Francisco; Alan Sataloff, Albert L. Schultz JCC; and Daniel Harris, JCC of Sonoma County.

Former Jewish Bulletin (now j.) reporter Peggy Gluck writes that she received the Silver Beaver Award for outstanding service to youth. She is the only woman among seven recipients from the Pacific Skyline Council Boy Scouts of America. Gluck has been involved with the Boy Scouts since her son, Elliot Gluck (now 20), was a Tiger Scout. Among other activities, Gluck is Cubmaster of Pack 613, the only Jewish Cub Scout troop in the area, which is chartered to the Wornick Jewish Day School.

15 minutes of fame

Judy Musante’s niece made it to Hollywood on “American Idol.” Musante, of Berkeley, says that Rachel Godinger, who studies opera at Queens College in New York, “held up exceptionally well against Simon.” Alas, she was eliminated … Daniel Lurie, son of Rabbi Brian Lurie and Mimi Haas, was among the “new breed of young Bay Area philanthropists” featured in the San Francisco Chronicle last month. Daniel described his Tipping Point Community, which gives young donors opportunities to fight poverty … Bobbie and Dan Baumgarten of Marin are featured in a TV commercial for Coit rug cleaners.

Short shorts

Jewish Family & Children’s Services East Bay volunteer Eva Bluestein was named one of 30 exceptional senior volunteer leaders by U.C. Berkeley’s School of Public Health. The program honors older adults making major contributions to community building and healthy aging … The Addison-Penzak JCC nominated board members Doris and Rick Davis for an ABBY, an award for contributions to the arts in Silicon Valley, in the Individual Civic/Community Leadership category. The couple has been “a cornerstone of support to the development of arts programming at the JCC,” said Josh Russell of the Arts Council …

Speaking of art, j. cartoonist Steve Greenberg is having his first solo exhibit in Los Angeles from Feb. 25 through March. It’s called “Burning Bushes,” and is a collection of his work on topics including President Bush, Iraq, the environment and Israel … Speaking of politics, Marc Yelnick of Burlingame had an environmental-themed 60th birthday party and received a congratulations note from Al and Tipper Gore, writes his wife Linda Yelnick. She emailed Mr. Gore with her husband’s birthday request: “Do something that potentially benefits the global warming situation by Jan. 27.”

This columnist can be reached at [email protected].