Honoring Ann, Coincidentally (or not), Music to do good by, Short shorts…

Honoring Ann

It was “Ann Bear Day” in the city and county of San Francisco on May 21. Bear, of the Peninsula, was accorded the honor by a proclamation issued by Mayor Gavin Newsom in conjunction with another major honor: She was named winner of the 2009 Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award by the Women’s Philanthropy (formerly Women’s Alliance) of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation.

Bear, who is an activist in a number of Jewish community organizations, was called a role model and mentor who is “firm in her commitments, tenacious in her drive, and passionate about her causes.”


Coincidentally (or not)

Tiburon resident Regina Waldman, founder of JIMENA, an organization dedicated to education and advocacy on the plight of Jewish refugees from the Middle East, testified before the Italian Foreign Affairs Committee about her family’s displacement from Libya. She was among a delegation of 30 that addressed the subject of Jewish refugees from Arab countries in Rome — at the same time Libyan leader Moammar Gadaffi was in town.

Speaking of Jews being expelled … Traveling in Spain earlier this month, I visited the Jewish Museum in Girona, which is located in the “call” — the part of town where Jews were relegated until being expelled in 1492.

About all that remains is a mikvah, but the museum does an excellent job of describing the history of the Spanish Jews (in four languages). On display in the museum’s bookstore was Michael Chabon’s “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union” — in Spanish.


Music to do good by

There will be two opportunities to hear great music — and support great causes — in San Rafael next week. On July 30, Henry Shreibman will emcee and Linda Hirshhorn and Vocolot (the Berkeley-based women’s a cappella group) will be featured along with gospel singer Queen Michelle Jordan, native American flautist Albert Tenaya and others at the Sacred Music Concert at Marin Civic Center’s Showcase Theater.  It’s a fundraiser for Marin Interfaith Council. Call (415) 499-6800 for tickets.

On July 29, Fred Ross-Perry, Michael Gulezian, Michael Manring and Ian Dogole will perform 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Rodef Sholom, with proceeds benefiting the Guereda Clinic, which serves refugees from Darfur. American Jewish World Service heads the project. Admission is $25 and is available at the door.


Short shorts

Roselyn “Cissie” Swig brandished the baton at San Francisco Symphony’s free concert in Dolores Park on July 19. She bid, and won, the chance to conduct “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the opening piece … Dr. Martin Brotman, who just stepped down as president and CEO of California Pacific Medical Center, received an honorary Doctor of Science award from the Faculty of Medicine of his alma mater, the University of Manitoba … Aaron Dorfman, who led youth programs at Temple Isaiah for many years, has been named American Jewish World Service’s Vice President for Programs.

Quick quips: “We call him Tex-Wex,” writes Chuck Wexler of San Anselmo, about his cousin Matt Wexler who opened Wexler’s, a barbecue and Southern cuisine restaurant in San Francisco. Charlie Kleinman is the chef … And from Nancy Fishman, program director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival: “Gertrude Berg is the most famous Jewish woman you’ve never heard of.” (If you’re drawing a blank, read Dan Pine’s story about Berg — aka Molly Goldberg — in last week’s j., or see “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” in the SFJFF.)


This columnist can be reached at [email protected]