Museum outings

If you don’t recognize the Jewish letter “yud” in the fabulous new Contemporary Jewish Museum, don’t worry. Architect Daniel Libeskind confessed at the press preview that it’s more conceptual than literal. (You’ve probably read in j. and elsewhere that yud and chet — the letters of chai, the Hebrew word for life — inspired the design of the CJM’s new building.) What you are sure to recognize are some of folks whose photos are part of “Being Jewish: A Bay Area Portrait,” an exhibit curated by Lisa Chanoff. Among the people I knew are Lisa Tabak and Jeffrey Lipsett, Roselyn “Cissie” Swig, Edie Sadewitz, Arnie Eisen, Rabbi Lavey Darby presiding at the wedding of Amber Weiss and Sharon Papo, and Rabbis Stacy Friedman and Michael Lezak decked out in Purim costumes.

At a bag lunch for the press — the CJM café’s first — board member Joe Seiger of Los Altos Hills noted that he had agreed to use his experiences as a developer to take on the gargantuan task of bringing the project in on time and on budget. And he did it! P.S. Do make the CJM a destination — and make time to take in all the parts, including the long-ish videos with the exhibits!

In mid-May, across the bay at the Magnes Museum, Frances Dinkelspiel, VP of the Magnes board, shared highlights of her book “Towers of Gold: Isaias Hellman and the Creation of California,” about her great-great-grandfather, who was the first Jewish regent of the University of California and a banking entrepreneur, among other things. Warren Hellman, great-grandson of Isaias, also spoke. Suzy Locke Cohen and Jackie Horwitz co-chaired the event and among the guests were Pamela and Steven Dinkelspiel, Sue and Felix Warburg, Lynn Bunim, Delia F. Erlich and Richard Thalheimer.

A wedding first

Kira Sugarman and Ben Shemano made a little history June 1 when they were the first couple to be married in the new Congregation Beth Sholom chapel. Auntie Gayle Donsky reported that the sun shining through the skylights enhanced the natural glow of the joyful newlyweds. Chuppah holders included Melissa Slayen, Craig Slayen, Mark Sugarman and Jake Shemano.

The way home

At the annual meeting of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, new president Jim Koshland told outgoing prez John Pritzker that he was counting on his advice and guidance. And to ensure it, Koshland presented him with a GPS, coded with the federation’s address as “home.” Joining the federation’s board are new members Richard Fiedotin, Scott Hartley, Bethany Hornthal, Anat Pilovsky and Jan Reicher.

Kudos and mazel tovs

Ellen Kahn of Greenbrae has been named the first woman managing partner of Sideman & Bancroft LLP. She’s been with the firm for 25 years and will focus on the firm’s strategic plan while continuing her practice in its tax and estate planning group.

We have liftoff

Lisa Kushnir-Ansonoff and her daughter Zoe Eden Ansonoff of San Carlos went to Cape Canaveral, Fla., this month to watch their cousin, astronaut Greg Chamitoff, launch into space. He will spend the next six months on the space station. The adventure continued for Zoe when her Peninsula JCC preschool classmates welcomed her back with a cardboard space shuttle, reports her teacher Brigitte Hayat. A photo of the class (sent by Lisa) is now aboard the space station.

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