A modern happy ending

When j. copy editor Rachel Freedenberg received an email written in German, “I forwarded the message to [former j. copy editor and current columnist] Janet Ghent, who I was told speaks German, to translate,” Freedenberg told Faces. The writer, Dagmar Sevelda, was looking for a woman named Lori Shearn who had been a friend of her mother’s in pre-war Austria. An hour later Ghent had found and phoned Shearn at her Greenbrae home and emailed Sevelda back in German with all her information. Shearn was a hidden child in Vienna during the war and has spoken at the Holocaust Center of Northern California.

Reel people

Gayle Donsky of Mill Valley presented “Faces of Genocide,” a film she and Diane Sampson of San Francisco produced last fall, at the International Association of Genocide Scholars in Bosnia. The film shows survivors of each of the genocides of the last century plus Darfur … Debbie Heimowitz’s parents, Stan and Barbara Heimowitz, report that “Adina’s Deck,” their daughter’s 30-minute educational video on cyber-bullying, will be shown at Stanford University on Saturday, July 28. For info, visit www.adinasdeck.com. P.S. This isn’t her first production. When Debbie was 13, she wrote and directed the play “Peter Panstein.”

Some N.Y. minutes

While reading the New York Times in New York City on vacation there earlier this month, I came across an item about how the Bay Area’s Tad Taube has contributed to the revival of Jewish culture in Poland. I also ran into Marin’s Myra Levinson at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we were escaping the steamy New York streets and viewing impressionist paintings collected by sibling rivals and heirs to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, Robert and Stephen Clark. Also visited the 10-year-old Museum of Jewish Heritage at Battery Park, which has two excellent special exhibits: “From the Heart: The Photojournalism of Ruth Gruber,” through Oct. 8, and “Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust” through July 2008.

Short shorts

Wendy Rothenberg has moved on after 11 years in the campaign department at the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation to a new role in the Jewish community: director of development at Jewish Vocational Services … Kathy Reback writes that Scott Levin-Gesundheit is one of two Presidential Scholars selected from California. He just graduated from Los Altos High School and will go to Harvard in the fall … Bruce Feldstein, founder and director of the Jewish Chaplaincy at Stanford University Medical Center, was named the first recipient of the Isaac Stein Award for Compassionate Care by Stanford Hospital’s board of directors … Jewish Community High School of the Bay’s Rabbi Andrew Katz and Rachel Lewin of Ronald Wornick Jewish Day School have been selected to participate in the Day School Leadership Training Institute at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Publicist Lawrence Helman announces Jewish entertainer Bruce Vilanch will be among a bevy of performers at Help is on the Way XIII, an annual event to raise money for five Bay Area AIDS service agencies. It’s happening Aug. 5 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Visit www.reaf.org for info.

Congregation Emanu-El’s Lani Zinn is collecting photos of Cantor Roz Barak in her many roles in the congregation to include in a 20th-anniversary celebration. Contact Zinn at [email protected] or (415) 751-2541 ext. 122.

Finally, apologies for misspelling Nanette Freedland’s name in the last Faces.

This columnist can be reached at [email protected]