Happy retirement … again

Hannelore Ballin retired last week — for the second time. Her first retirement was from her paid job as a nurse. This time, the 87-year-old who lives at Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, retired from 20 years as a volunteer at the Contra Costa JCC’s Alzheimer’s relief program.

Ballin’s daughter, Ruth Robin of Benicia, says her mom’s nursing career was quite accidental: As a refugee from Germany living in England, she was given the option of choosing to work as a maid or a nurse. She opted for the second.

Her mom won’t have any problem keeping busy, Robin adds. In addition to participating in many activities at Rossmoor, Ballin is a self-taught harmonica player and her group plays “gigs” for seniors around the area.

Just a dream — or not?

Caryn Fried was so surprised to learn that she had won the grand prize — a Toyota Prius — from the Hebrew Free Loan raffle earlier this month that she called the HFLA office in San Francisco the next day to make sure it wasn’t a dream.

The Santa Rosa resident, who purchased raffle tickets to support the organization, had actually been considering buying a Prius because her 15-year old Lexus was not doing well. Over the summer, Fried and her husband even built a carport to shield their intended new car from the sun, but opted against buying the new auto when the economy dipped. Now, a new Prius sits in its new home.

Other big winners included Rudy Hurwich of Berkeley (a Toshiba laptop computer); Andy Elkind of San Francisco (a 42-inch plasma TV); Dan Kalb of Oakland (a “Night on the Town,” including limo service, ACT tickets and a night at the Fairmont Hotel); and Alfred Belotz of Daly City ($500 restaurant gift certificate to either Epic Roadhouse or Waterbar).

Celebrating Ernie

If you know Ernie Weiner, who recently retired from heading American Jewish Committee’s San Francisco office after 38 years, you probably know he used to be a boxer.

Thus it seems particularly fitting that the Distinguished Lifetime Service Award, which he received last week, was engraved on a boxing-style “championship” belt.

AJC’s national director David Harris presented it before 200 admirers at a gala celebration. Richard Goldman, Tad Taube, Ron Wornick and Ernie’s sons, Steve and Dan Weiner, were among those giving accolades. Mazel tov, Ernie!

Short shorts …

Lorri Kossowsky was named volunteer of the year by the Berkely-Albany YMCA for her work as a Jewish Coalition for Literacy tutor at the South Berkeley YMCA Learning Academy… Alan Scher of the JCC of San Francisco and Jason Goldstein of Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos are among 13 professionals who work with teens selected to participate in the national Merrin Professional Fellows Program … Ruth Perryman is the new controller at the Contra Costa JCC in Walnut Creek. Former affiliations include the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay and the Jewish Community Foundation … Ruby Cymrot-Wu joins Karen Erlichman on the staff at Jewish Mosaic’s San Francisco office … Howard Brown, one of the creators of PlanitJewish.com, writes from his home in Michigan that his new enterprise is a “robust private social networking, outreach and communications platform” called JewishBuilder.com … San Rafael resident Herbert Heller told his story of surviving Auschwitz to audiences of students and parents at Marin Catholic High School in conjunction with Kristallnacht … The Koret Foundation awarded a $1million grant to Friends of the San Francisco Public Library for the Neighborhood Library Campaign to renovate and build new libraries throughout San Francisco.

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