Talented teen, Touch, Democracy live, Hearts of gold (and other substances), Short shorts

Talented teen

Joshua Rushakoff of San Francisco was a special guest at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8. The star-studded event was a bonus that came with his award of a $3,000 Key Change Grant, a program created by two nonprofits, the Grammy Foundation and Do Something, to encourage teens to create social change through music. Josh, 17, developed www.musicalmatch.com, a Web site that connects young musicians with senior centers looking for entertainers. He’s one of only five teens in the country to receive the award. He’ll be using his award money to upgrade and expand his Web site


Playwright David Mamet did a free Q&A at Congregation Rodef Sholom on a Tuesday afternoon when he was in town last month. Rabbi Noa Kushner, who knows him from the days when he “hung out at my father’s shul,” interviewed him. (Her dad is Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, now scholar at San Francisco’s Congregation Emanu-El.) When someone in the audience asked Mamet why he stopped talking to the press, he responded, “They make me feel stupid.” “That’s ridiculous,” said the questioner. “See?!?” countered Mamet

Democracy live

Eleven Sha’ar Zahav teens saw our new government in action just after the inaugural. Desmond Bernstein, Yonah Levy, Shayna Prochovnick, Elijah Jatovsky, Zach Ruylemeyer, Sophie Macks, Max Malakoff, Arno Rosenfeld, Reuben Raff, Sophie Navarro and Hannah Pines-Schwartz, accompanied by the congregation’s Rabbi Camille Shira Angel and Greg Lawrence, were part of an intensive four-day seminar sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Besides studying issues such as health care and poverty in the framework of Jewish texts, they visited Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee. 

Hearts of gold (and other substances)

Dr. Dolph Shapiro and Dr. Ilana Strubel will receive San Francisco General Hospital’s Heroes & Hearts Award on Feb. 12. Shapiro, a retired orthopedic surgeon, will receive the award for his years of volunteering in local schools and with the Delancey Foundation, where he teaches ethics to former substance abusers, ex-convicts and others who have hit bottom. Strubel will receive the award for founding VetSOS, a volunteer-based project that provides free veterinary care for the pets of homeless San Franciscans. The Heroes & Hearts Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional and inspirational behavior. At the event, several new heart artworks, designed for public display, will be shown and sold, including pieces from Jewish artists Michael Azgour and Rebecca Fox.

Short shorts …

Sam Singer writes that his public affairs and corporate communications agency was named “Best Agency of the Year” by New York–based PRWeek magazine … Marin native Michael Froman was named to the dual role of an economist on the National Economic Council and the National Security Council. Froman is a friend and former Harvard classmate of President Obama … At the San Rafael farmers market, Nancy Hair of Berkeley told a reporter from the Marin Independent Journal that she expected an early spring, and the next day she found her photo and forecast in the paper.

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