Habla Ivrit, Postscripts, Author, author (again) …

Habla Ivrit?

In a presentation about Israel advocacy at Tiburon’s Congregation Kol Shofar last month, Alan Elsner of the Washington, D.C.–based The Israel Project said that in the group’s efforts to educate journalists and others on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, TIP is opening up a new front by producing Spanish-language media materials. They’ve found that Israelis who are fluent in Spanish are eagerly welcomed on the Spanish language networks. He encouraged attendees to become familiar with new media and respond online to posts and stories about Israel.

Formerly a journalist for Reuters, Elsner noted that he gained a bit of notoriety when, at a press conference on Rwanda, he asked then-President Bill Clinton to explain the difference between “acts of genocide” and genocide.



At the Hebrew Free Loan gala on May 22, attendees left with very cool favors: packages of animal cracker–like cookies formed to look like the honorees, Franny Green and George Krevsky. They were made by David Parker of Parker’s Crazy Cookies, who got his new business loan from — you guessed it — Hebrew Free Loan … At her chai anniversary Havdallah/wine reception at the Ross home of Anna and Alexander Lushtak, Congregation Rodef Sholom’s Rabbi Stacy Friedman read some of the notes sent to her by children. Among them: “You are the best girl rabbi” and congratulations on “18 years of questioning God.”


Author, author (again)

Stephen Astor of Los Altos writes that his new book, “The Second Coming of Moses,” is based on the story of Moses and his parents, Yocheved and Amran, updated to the 19th century. It takes place at the time Tsar Alexander II decreed that Jewish families must register every newborn baby boy with the local constable. It will be out in a few weeks … Soon to be published is Lillian Judd’s memoir about her life during the Holocaust. Judd, 87, of Santa Rosa has been telling audiences about her experiences for two decades. Her book, “From Nightmare to Freedom,” will go to press shortly, says her son, Dennis Judd. He’s encouraging folks to reserve a copy in advance by emailing him at [email protected].


Short shorts …

Ernie Weiner of Oakland sends this “hot flash” about his friend Milton Jacobs of Millbrae: Jacobs has been appointed to the California Film Commission by the California Senate Rules Committee. His focus will be to get more companies to film in the state … Neil Soskin, president of the Jewish Federation of Sacramento, announces that Melissa Chapman is the group’s new executive director. Chapman has been associated with Chicago’s federation for the last 13 years … Jocelyn Berger, a program officer in San Francisco for Pursue (a social justice program of American Jewish World Service), is leaving this month to earn a master’s degree in International Affairs at Tufts University in Boston … Sam Salkin reports that he recently passed the California funeral director’s exam and is now a licensed funeral director in addition to being executive director of Sinai Memorial Chapel Chevra Kadisha … And finally, Lawrence Helman writes that he was caught by surprise at the JCC of San Francisco on June 7 by an announcement that the building was closing early that day for a Jewish holiday. “What Jewish holiday?” he asked. “Shavuot,” was the answer from a man nearby — who happened to be black. Noted Helman, “That’s what I call ecumenical!”

This columnist can be reached at [email protected].