Shorts: Bay Area

Modern Orthodox scholar to speak

Rabbi Saul Berman, founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, will be a scholar-in-residence this weekend at the Berkeley synagogue.

Berman is the director of continuing rabbinic education at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a modern Orthodox yeshiva in New York. He also teaches at Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University and at Columbia University School of Law.

Berman will give a talk after the 5:30 p.m. Kabbalat Shabbat service and 6:30 p.m. dinner Friday, Oct. 31. He will discuss “virtues and values embedded in Shabbat ritual.” Dinner is $10 adults, $5 children, $30 for families. Childcare will be provided during the lecture.

On Saturday, Nov. 1, the rabbi will speak at 11:30 a.m., on “Shabbat and holiness in productivity,” and at 8 p.m. on “the extended Shabbat — consumption and power.”

Congregation Beth Israel is located at 1630 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. For more information, call (510) 843-5246.

Workshop focuses on cancer, healing

Individuals and families who have a relative with cancer are invited to attend a three-hour workshop starting 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

“Hope and Healing: Supporting Families Facing Cancer” is open to clergy, lay leaders, educators, cancer survivors, family members and others wanting to learn more about how to retain a positive outlook and about the Jewish community’s role in helping cancer patients and their loved ones cope with illness and find spiritual healing.

Presenters include Meryl Botkin, psychiatry professor at UCSF; Ali Meyers, mother, wife and cancer survivor; and Rabbi Natan Fenner of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center.

Beth Am Rabbi Janet Marder and Cantor Lauren Bandman will lead a healing service during the workshop, which was organized by leaders from the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and Union for Reform Judaism.

A $10 donation is requested.

For information and to RSVP, contact Rebecca Schwartz at [email protected] or call (415) 392-7080 ext 29.

JCCSF to host kickoff event for Maccabi Games

The JCC of San Francisco will host an informational meeting to discuss all things Maccabi on Thursday, Nov. 6.

Early next August in the Bay Area, the JCCSF for the first time will be hosting the Maccabi Games, the largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world. The JCC-sponsored event brings together athletes ages 13-16 from North America, South America and Israel.

The games next summer are expected to bring more than 300 teen athletes to the Bay Area. Anyone interested in being one of some 600 host families or nearly 1,000 volunteers is invited to the kickoff event, which will start at 6 p.m. at the JCCSF, 3200 California St.

Athletes who recently competed at Maccabi Games in San Diego and Detroit will be on hand to talk about their experiences and answer questions. Games next summer will also take place in San Antonio, Texas, and Westchester County, N.Y., in addition to the Bay Area.

An informational video will be screened, after which several group meetings will be held to discuss topics such as housing, volunteering, competing and coaching.

For more information, contact Jackie Lewis at (415) 292-1241 or [email protected]

Israeli journalist to speak at ADL fundraiser

The Anti-Defamation League will hold its annual Showcase Gala on Nov. 12 at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and a formal program at 7 p.m.

This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Yossi Klein Halevi, a noted Israeli author, journalist and fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. He is also the Israel correspondent and a contributing editor for the New Republic. Halevi will speak on the topic of “Demonizing Israel: The New Global Anti-Semitism.”

Seven members of the ADL regional board will be honored as “ADL Leaders of Distinction” during the event:

Riva Berelson, Ron Berman, Michael Franzblau, Marcia Glassel, Norman Harris, Milt Jacobs and Jack Tramiel.

The program will also include a musical performance by Israeli soprano Ayelet Cohen.

Guests will receive a copy of ADL National Director Abraham Foxman’s “The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control.”

Individual tickets cost $360 and can be purchased by going to

For more information or to purchase tickets by check, please contact Mike Bishop at (415) 981-3500 ext. 240.

Zionist leader Morton Klein to speak in S.F.

Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein will be in San Francisco to deliver the keynote address at his group’s Northern California chapter annual meeting. The title of his address is “Israel and the Palestinians: Is Peace Possible?”

In his work with the ZOA, Klein has spearheaded many efforts to bolster Israel’s image and combat anti-Israel sentiment in government and the media. The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States.

A child of Holocaust survivors, Klein has a background in economics, mathematics and statistics. He has taught at UCLA and Temple University.

The ZOA event takes place 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 9, at the Hilton Hotel, 333 O’Farrell Street, S.F. For more information or to RSVP, call (415) 479-1339 or visit

Clergy sign Brit Tzedek peace petition

A group of 35 rabbis and three cantors from the Bay Area has joined nearly 700 others from across the country in promising community support for U.S. leadership to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They are part of an effort sponsored by Chicago-based Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace.

In an open letter to Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain titled “Time to Choose Peace,” the signers pledged to mobilize support within the American Jewish community for “an American president who dedicates himself to the establishment of durable Israeli-Palestinian peace acts in the best interests of Israel and the United States.”

The San Francisco/Bay Area chapter of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom has more than 1,300 members and supporters, including clergy members from congregations in Berkeley, Palo Alto, Santa Rosa and San Francisco.

For a list of participating rabbis and cantors, visit and click on “Time to Choose Peace.” For more information, call Molly Freeman at (510) 524-1993.