A banner celebration, Showering tzedakah, For the common good, Short shorts

A banner celebration

Thirteen years ago Sasha Honigman of Sonoma was the first baby girl to be named at Sonoma’s then–newly established Congregation Shir Shalom. The congregation shares space with a church, so for Jewish services, the cross on the “bimah” is covered with a blue banner. Sasha’s mom, Julie Diamond, made a pledge that when Sasha became a bat mitzvah in 13 years, she would present the congregation with an art hanging to replace it.

When Sasha’s bat mitzvah day was nearing, Julie commissioned local artist Nina Bonos, who she says “created an incredible piece of art.” The new banner “has changed the feeling of the space and inspired our congregation,” Julie adds.

When the costs ran higher than expected, two other b’nai mitzvah families (plus the congregation) joined in. They are Carol Marcus and Bill Willers and sons Benjamin and Aaron Marcus-Willers, and Lori Bremner and sons Joel, Aaron and Nick Bremner.


Showering tzedakah

Last June, writes Allyce Kimmerling, her long-time partner, Frances Rotolo, “formally proposed to me” at Shabbat services at Oakland’s Temple Sinai. Even though the two have been a couple for 16 years, it seemed to their friend Barbara Morrison that a shower was in order. The couple didn’t need typical shower gifts, so they decided instead to have a tzedakah shower to raise money for Temple Sinai’s Anti-Poverty Fund. The money would benefit First Place for Youth, Beyond Emancipation and other groups that work with former foster youth who are establishing their own homes as adults.

On Oct. 11, friends and family gathered to celebrate and donated more than $3,000. If you’d like to increase the tzedakah, contact the temple at (510) 451-3263. By the way, the couple will be getting married June 6, 2010 at Temple Sinai, “despite Prop. 8,” notes Allyce. 


For the common good

Meredith Parnell of Congregation Rodef Sholom reports that Rabbi Michael Lezak of Rodef Sholom in San Rafael and Rabbi Lavey Derby of Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon, were among the leaders addressing a packed house of 1,100 at the Marin Organizing Committee’s Founding Convention last month. The two congregations, plus Gan HaLev in San Geronimo, have joined with Marin’s religious and nonprofit organizations to organize citizens to work for the common good. One of the group’s first projects is to lobby the county to provide a winter shelter for Marin’s homeless.


Short shorts

Susan Schwartz, who works for Marin’s Zero Breast Cancer, reports that a video of the group’s forum to educate young women about cancer prevention will be aired on the University of California television network beginning Monday, Nov. 16. Information is available at www.zerobreastcancer.org … Gerald Butrimovitz’s San Francisco firm has been named a Leading Wealth Manager of Northern California for the second year by Goldline Research… Norman Harris of the Peninsula is kvelling that his son Joel Harris of Concord has published a book on his town’s history. Noted Joel, the book is 128 pages composed of a lot of pictures of Concord pre-1900. You can find it at Joel’s bookstore, Clayton Books, in Clayton, just west of Concord. Joel will be on Mosaic at 5 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 15 on CBS–Channel 5, with the BJE Jewish Community Library’s Howard Freedman and author Frances Dinkelspiel to chat about books with host Rabbi Eric Weiss.