Shorts: Bay Area

Assembly unanimous on divestment bill

A bill that calls for divesting billions from companies doing business with Iran’s energy sector sailed through the State Assembly by a 68-0 tally Tuesday, June 5.

AB 221 was introduced in January by Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-La Mesa). It has been edited and amended by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, and heavily lobbied for by state Jewish Community Relations Councils and federations.

Yitzhak Santis, director of Middle Eastern affairs for the S.F.-based JCRC, said the bill is likely to pass the State Senate and be signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by the end of the month.

A similar bill passed earlier this year in Missouri, and both New York and Florida have bills in the works similar to California’s.

Kol Shofar, litigious neighbors to meet

Tiburon’s Congregation Kol Shofar and the Tiburon Neighborhood Coalition — which, citing noise and traffic concerns, sued the city in March after the Town Council’s approval of the Conservative synagogue’s expansion plans — will meet Wednesday, June 13.

But don’t call it a breakthrough. The meeting is mandated by law.

“I don’t believe much will happen but it’s required to be held. So we’re going,” said Gary Ragghianti, Kol Shofar’s attorney.

Ron Brown, a Kol Shofar spokesman and member of the congregation’s building committee, had a similarly austere view of the meeting.

“We’re going to go and listen. This is really the first step. This is going to grind on for a while.”

Rabbi-author swings into Bay Area

Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld, the Baltimore-based author of “The Art of Amazement,” will be in the Bay Area for a series of speeches next week.

At 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 12 he will speak at a private home in Mill Valley on “Why Do Bad Things Happen?” For more information about the free event, write to [email protected].

And at 8 p.m. the next day he will speak about connections between Judaism and Hinduism at San Francisco’s Orthodox Adath Israel, 1851 Noriega St. For more information about the free event, call (415) 564-5665.

He also will speak about “The Art of Amazement” at Adath Israel on both Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16. On Friday services start at 7 p.m.; on Saturday classes begin at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25.

Perfect score for math whiz

A fourth grader at Sacramento’s Shalom School got a perfect score on an international math test.

Jack Gurev of Carmichael was one of only 209 students in the world to score a perfect 25 points in the international Math Olympiad. About 102,000 students took the exam.

Gurev was awarded the George Lenchner Medallion, the top award, at his school Friday, June 1. Other students at Shalom School also placed high on the tests, including sixth-grader Sarah Poisner and fifth-grader Aaron Zorman, who each scored in the top 2 percent. They will be awarded gold pins.

The entire Shalom School Math Olympiad team scored in the top 10 percent of the world in the competition, placing them with only 67 other teams out of a total of over 4,500 teams.

Shalom School is the only Jewish community day school serving the Sacramento Valley.