Carrying the torch

Judy Miller, a San Francisco native now living in the California Gold Rush town of Jamestown, writes that her sister Jenny Bowen (nee Spinner) was the only American citizen to carry the Olympic torch in China. Bowen, who was chosen by a Chinese-English newspaper, represented the organization she started called Half The Sky, which supports Chinese orphans, mostly girls, who are homeless because of China’s one-child laws. Due to the recent earthquake, the organization is overwhelmed with homeless children, notes Miller.

Bowen went to Sunday school at the old Congregation Beth Israel, when it was on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco. She and her husband have adopted two Chinese girls. You can learn about her organization and see a photo of her with the torch at www.halfthesky.org.

Kudos to SJSU students

San Jose State University’s Jewish Student Union’s exhibit of “Inside Global Terrorism: From Personal Impacts to World Responses” was named Most Outstanding Educational Program by the university. SJSU students Yael Kafri, Rachel Meis, Michelle Salinksy and Kobi Laredo, plus volunteer Barbara Schapira. of Sunnyvale, Hillel of Silicon Valley’s Vanina Sandel and the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Julie Bernstein did the legwork to make it possible. The two-week program in 2007 included a photography exhibit using actual X-rays and CT scans from Jerusalem hospitals to explore the effects of terrorism on a civilian population.

Around the world…

Dan Wolf, manager of “The Hub” at the JCC of San Francisco, recently returned from Hamburg, Germany, where he attended the opening of Gebrueder Wolf Platz (Brothers Wolf Plaza). It was named for his family members who were deported during the Holocaust … Peninsula educator Elena Zusmanovich was among 350 Jewish educators and community leaders who attended an international symposium on Jewish education for Russian speakers, held two months ago in Jerusalem. Elina Kaplan, director of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation Institute, who sent this item, notes that there are 50,000 Russian Jews now living in the Bay Area … Gina Waldman and Elliot Levy of JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa), participated in an international conference in London on the subject, attended by delegates from all over the world … Peninsula educational consultants Nechama Tamler and Eileen Soffer and the Bureau of Jewish Education’s Renee Ghert-Zand are traveling to Berlin with Centropa, Vienna-based Ed Serotta‘s company that archives digitalized interviews with Jews who lived in Central Europe before and following the Shoah.

Short shorts …

Nomi Deutch of San Francisco writes that her sister Kira Deutch, who was a member of the first graduating class of San Francisco’s Jewish Community High School of the Bay, has graduated summa cum laude from UCLA — in three years, which could make her the very first JCHS college grad. (If someone beat her, let me know.) … East Bay resident Amnon Rodan was installed as AIPAC national board member at the group’s Annual Policy Conference in June; outgoing Northern California chair Jeff Farber of Tiburon was among those honored. Of 350 attendees at the conference, 50 were from the Bay Area, writes Sheri Eisenberg of AIPAC … Peninsula residents Molly Delheim and her mother Nan Delheim are co-authors of the “How I Look Journal” for middle-school girls to “help them discover their beauty, power and potential through age-appropriate information and journaling.” It’s available online at www.HowILookJournal.com … Tom Ralston, son of Mike and Alyssa Ralston of San Rafael was named “Citizen of the Month” for May in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where he lives and teaches elementary school.