Shorts: Bay Area

Los Gatos campus designated as shelter

The Levy Family Campus in Los Gatos is now equipped with hundreds of cots, blankets and care kits as a Red Cross Emergency Evacuation Center.

Staff members at the facility — which houses the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, the Addison-Penzack JCC, Yavneh Day School and Jewish Family Services — will be trained by the Red Cross.

Rabbi to teach Reconstructionism

Palo Alto community-led Keddem Congregation will welcome Rabbi Richard Hirsh for its first Beverly B. Fuchs Scholar-in-Residence weekend. The executive director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association in Philadelphia, Hirsh will be with Keddem congregants May 16 to 18.

Hirsh will lead Torah study and discussions about classical and contemporary Reconstructionist Judaism, the movement’s founder, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, and other topics. The rabbi is on the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and is a frequent contributor to Reconstructionism Today and other Jewish publications.

For more information about the events or Keddem Congregation, visit

BJE sending teens to Gulf Coast

Bay Area Jewish teens can pitch in to help families devastated by Hurricane Katrina through a program from San Francisco’s Bureau of Jewish Education.

Teens Take Action, sponsored by the BJE’s Jewish Service Learning Project, brings teens to affected Gulf Coast communities where they will help residents rebuild their homes. The program takes place June 15 to 19. The application deadline is May 9.

Teens Take Action is open to high-school age Jewish youth. The $800 cost includes airfare, accommodations, transportation and meals. Some scholarships are available. For more information, call (415) 751-6983 ext. 113

Golf and dine for S.F.’s Jewish Home

Hitting the greens to raise some green, the Jewish Home will present its 14th annual Golf Tournament, Dinner and Auction on May 12. The fundraiser includes a day on the links at the Peninsula Golf and Country Club in San Mateo, along with a banquet and silent auction.

Men’s, women’s and mixed foursomes are welcome to play, as are single players 35 or under. A ticket for the complete tournament package includes green fees, golf cart, a premium tee prize, cocktails and dinner. Tickets to the banquet alone are also available. Items up for auction include Cal basketball season tickets and a weekend getaway at S.F.’s Hotel Griffon.

The tournament package ticket price is $450 per player, with $250 packages available to those 35 and under. Tickets to the banquet alone are $125 per guest. RSVP required. For more information, call (415) 406-1107 or visit

Sacramento girl wins essay contest

Fifth-grader Tamara Elliott keeps kosher, and she’s not afraid to let everyone know it.

Tamara, a student at Shalom School in Sacramento, was one of the 10 winners — and the only winner on the West Coast — of the Orthodox Union’s Kosher Essay Contest, for students in grades four through 12.

“When you keep kosher, you feel closer to HaShem,” Tamara’s winning entry read. “If you stop keeping kosher, slowly but surely, you do not understand what your neshama [soul] wants.”

Tamara’s entry related a story of her mother accidentally buying non-kosher ice cream after Tamara’s tonsil surgery. She explained that the ice cream was not kosher because it contained carmine, a food-coloring additive made from dried insects.

This year’s winners receive $50 gift certificates to Judaica Web site, and the winning essays will be posted on

StandWithUs seeking applicants

StandWithUs, self-billed as “the next generation of Israel advocacy,” currently is accepting applications from college students in the United States and Canada for its Emerson Fellowships.

The deadline for the 2008-2009 academic year is June 1.

Emerson Fellows run educational programs about Israel on their college campuses. They attend the StandWithUs annual international conference, Israel in Focus, and a training seminar in which they learn how to help clarify Israel’s image on campus, combat anti-Israel propaganda and work with the media.

Fellows receive a stipend and are eligible to go on a special Birthright Israel trip, or be chosen to intern at the StandWithUs office in Israel in the summer of 2009.

StandWithUs, a six-year-old nonprofit, is funded by philanthropists Rita and Steve Emerson. For more information or to apply, check