Hello, Chai babies…

Putting a positive spin on the words “self-serving,” five Jewish Community Information & Referral Chai Baby committee members are welcoming their own new bundles-of-joy to their families and the Jewish community. Committee member moms, dads and new babies are Juliette Katz Goldman and Jeff Goldman and Emma, born April 14; Mara and David Langer and Ari Jonathan, born March 22; Paige and David Winikoff and Chase, born June 26; and Melissa and Craig Slayen and Hannah Rose, born Jan. 8. Plus, Tracy and Aaron Stettner and longtime JCI&R leader and bubbe-to-be Kathy Williams are eagerly awaiting their new arrival as Faces goes to press.

In case you haven’t heard, Chai Baby is a project of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation’s JCI&R, which delivers a toolbox of Jewish resources, plus some very cute gifts to parents of new babies, according to JCI&R director Gail Green. Visit www.chaibaby.org to sign up your chai baby.

Big time kvelling

Double kvelling for Joanne and Steve Saxe of Greenbrae when their daughter, Rabbi Julie Saxe performed the wedding for their son Rabbi Jeff Saxe and Jaimee Kuperman of New York last month. Among the other kvellers at the New Jersey wedding were Aunt Susan and Uncle Gene Kaufman of San Rafael; Richard and Dorothy Dorsay and Len and Jan Jacobson, all of Saratoga; Gerri and Larry Miller of Tiburon, with their daughter and granddaughter Lisa and Arianna Miller-Hellman (now of Atlanta); Richard Schneider of San Rafael, and his children Jason and Melissa Schneider (now of New York City); Beth and Shel Schwebel of Corte Madera; and Don and Elise Stone of San Mateo.

Synagogue nachas

Two local rabbis have been selected to participate in the STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal) leadership programs. Rabbi Dan Goldbatt of Danville’s Beth Chaim Congregation is one of 16 rabbis in the country to “embark on a journey toward greatness” in STAR’s “From Good to Great” program for rabbis with at least 10 years of experience. The STAR initiative promotes renewal of the American Jewish community through congregational innovation and leadership development. It sponsors Synaplex, which provides funding for original programming for congregations.

Bonnie Lasky writes that Sy Lenz, president of Sonoma’s Congregation Shir Sholom, received the Jewish Community Center of Sonoma County’s Community Service award.

Short shorts …

Gleaned from the Marin Independent Journal: Gary Cohen of San Rafael opened Sweet Detours, a candy and ice cream store, next to the Rafael theater — just in time for Jewish Film Festival attendees to grab a snack before the movie … Tzeira Sofer of San Anselmo uses pomegranate-seed oil in her line of skin care products. She learned about the benefits of pomegranates the old-fashioned way — hanging out with her grandma as a child in Israel.

Two people have been named to new leadership roles at the JCC of San Francisco. Sue Diamond is president of the board of directors and Carole Zawatsky is the associate director for Arts, Ideas and Jewish Life … Shelly Hebert, who helped raise $265 million as executive director of the new Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life, is now executive director for Public Affairs at Stanford Hospital and Clinics … Bruce Magid, formerly dean of San Jose State University business school, is now dean at Brandeis International Business School in Waltham, Mass.