Training camp for kids

David Klein

David Klein of Menlo Park is serious about baseball and Israel, so he combined the two and applied for an internship from the New York–based Masa Israel Journey to teach the sport to Israeli middle-schoolers. As a result, he spent five months in Tel Aviv, starting last September, training the kids to catch, hit and otherwise play the game, which, he says, 99 percent knew nothing about.


Before going, Klein, who is the founder and manager of the community-based Menlo Park Legends Baseball, had to brush up on his Hebrew and learn some new, apt terms, such as “shtay yadayim,” or two hands. It’s the best way for a newbie to catch, he explains. And he found himself frequently saying “dye” or stop — to quell his sometimes overenthusiastic students. Klein says he is the first intern to teach baseball in Israel but hopefully not the last. He’s in charge of recruiting other young-adult baseball players-coaches to do a postsummer stint.


More Masa interns

Several other local young adults are learning leadership and job skills through the aforementioned Masa. Mira Beyeler of Oakland spent four months in Hyderabad, India, then returned to Tel Aviv where she is interning with Mifalot, a group that uses soccer as a peace and leadership tool with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian children. “In both countries, we are paired with an organization that matches our professional and personal goals and values,” she writes. Also participating in Masa programs are Sophia Wilkof of Oakland, and Asher Krohn, Nathan Dinitz and Noa Dagan of Palo Alto.


(Only) in Marin

Rabbi Chai Levy

Gan HaLev, the Jewish Congregation of the San Geronimo Valley, has hired Rabbi Elisheva Salamo as its first rabbi, marking “a new step in the congregation’s journey,” according to the congregation’s newsletter. It began 20 years ago as individuals coming together to celebrate Jewish life in West Marin … In southern Marin, Congregation Kol Shofar members spent the weekend, beginning May 18, honoring Rabbi Chai Levy on her 10th anniversary at the synagogue. During the festivities, congregant Bonnie Schiff presented Levy with a handmade work-of-art scrapbook filled with 10 years of stories, pictures and letters from congregants, friends and admirers, writes Karen Hirsch, president … And Cantor David Margules, whose 25 years at Congregation Rodef Sholom were celebrated last month, has been honored once again — this time with a doctor of music degree honoris causa from his alma mater, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.



Short shorts

Susan Koret will receive an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on June 10 in recognition of the lifelong commitment to philanthropy and global leadership by Susan and her late husband, Joseph KoretLisa Pritzker and David Crane co-chaired Jewish Vocational Service’s annual Strictly Business event on May 7. It drew 1,100 people and raised $67,000 for the agency … Mara Berns Langer of San Mateo was named the 19th Assembly District’s Woman of the Year earlier this year. Langer, a two-time breast cancer survivor, was recognized by state Assemblyman Jerry Hill for her tireless effort in helping those diagnosed with the disease … Also earlier this year, Oakland attorney Randy Sue Pollock was named one of the “best attorneys in the state” for 2011 by the Recorder, a Bay Area legal newspaper … Davo Knepler of Woodacre quipped that folks could watch him make “a fool” (schlemiel) of himself while hosting a live travel and wine auction and fundraiser on local PBS Channel 22 last month. He also nudged people to “bid early and often.”


This columnist can be reached at [email protected].