Formerly of the Bay, Comma-free, Celebrations on Lag BOmer

Formerly of the Bay

On hearing the news that Larry Moses, the president of the Columbus, Ohio-based Wexner Foundation, is resigning and will be replaced by Rabbi Elka Abramson, j. editor and publisher Marc Klein points out that both had gigs in the Bay Area first. Moses, who will now serve as philanthropic adviser to the Wexner family, was head of the Bureau of Jewish Education about 25 years ago. And before joining Wexner in 2006, where she recently served as vice president, Abramson was assistant rabbi at Peninsula Temple Beth El.

Former Berkeley rabbi, Arik Ascherman, now of Rabbis for Human Rights, and his colleague Rabbi Ehud Bandel received the Ghandi Peace Award from United Nations NGO Promoting Enduring Peace for RHR’s “nonviolent methods of resolving human rights abuses in Israel and the Occupied Territories.” Past recipients include Eleanor Roosevelt, Cesar Chavez and U Thant.


The curators of the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s new exhibit “Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories,” were looking for a clever lead-up to the exhibit when they came across a 1935 San Francisco Examiner story with the headline, “Gertrude Stein Arrives Without a Single Comma.” Thus, as they enter the hallway to the show, visitors will see the headline and hear audio of Stein reading her poem about Picasso, written without a single comma. Stein had strong viewpoints on all punctuation and regarding the comma, she once wrote, “…commas are servile and they have no life of their own,… A comma by helping you along holding your coat for you and putting on your shoes keeps you from living your life as actively as you should lead it.” The CJM show runs through Sept. 6. P.S. The comma ending the first part of the quote was hers, not mine. (As you can tell, I don’t share her comma-phobia.)

Celebrations on Lag B’Omer

On the invitation to Hebrew Free Loan Association’s “Community Masterpieces” benefit event, happening this Sunday, May 22, at the San Francisco JCC, there is a note that the date is shared with two holidays — Lag B’Omer and the Second Annual Harvey Milk Day. About the Jewish holiday, we are reminded that it’s one of a few times between Passover and Shavuot that celebrations are allowed. Franny Green, former HFLA president, and George Krevsky, a long-time volunteer, both of San Francisco, will be honored at the event. Sharon Silverman of San Bruno is chair.

Short shorts

On the rabbinic front at Congregation Beth Am, Assistant Rabbi Sarah Wolf has been named associate rabbi, effective July 1. Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit will join the congregation’s clergy team as assistant rabbi. He had prior stints in Australia, Washington D.C., and New York City … Olivia Harris Bloom of Santa Rosa is the winner of the annual Susy Raful Essay Contest for high school students about the Holocaust. A $500 check was presented to her by Susy and Bob Raful’s son Bruce Raful of San Rafael at the Sonoma County Yom HaShoah observance … Liz Greenberg of Novato was honored by Image for Success for 10 years of volunteering for the group. Larry Miller of Tiburon is treasurer and Ken Gosliner of San Rafael, vice president … Julie Bannerman and Barbara Wilson, co- chairs, and Jeremy Benjamin and Marlene Maier comprised the event committee for the Bureau of Jewish Education’s Annual Celebration on May 19.

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