Shalom and shalom

Hersh Ravkin

Hersh Ravkin of Palo Alto, who just graduated from Hebrew Academy in San Francisco, said he was inspired by the shlichim (Israeli emissaries) there to make aliyah and begin a three-year stint in the Israel Defense Forces. Ravkin, who says his parents are fully supportive, is part of Tzofim Garin Tzabar — a program for young Jews from abroad who wish to serve in the IDF. They live together in a kibbutz and the program provides a variety of support services. According to a spokesperson for Nefesh B’Nefesh, a nonprofit that helps facilitate aliyah from North America and the United Kingdom, Ravkin’s decision to move to Israel to serve in the army is part of a growing trend among young Jewish adults. Ravkin left for Israel on July 11 and plans to spend a month seeing friends before beginning his program.


If you know Susie

… or Sue or Suzanne or Shoshana — please spread the word that the “Susan Gathering” is back! Susan RoAne of Marin, Susan Libitzky of Piedmont (and others) are organizing the “Belated 10th Anniversary Susan Dinner.” It’s scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 22 at 1300 on Fillmore (that’s a restaurant in San Francisco). Susan events began last century(!) when Susan Mall, Susan Rothenberg and yours truly — who were connected through the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation — thought it would be fun to bring a bunch of “girls named Sue” together for a meal (of course), a shmooze about their names and a sing-along. Contact [email protected] for the details on the (very) belated 10th.



Daniela Barnea

Daniela Barnea of Palo Alto began competitive swimming as a teen in Israel, and last month, more than 50 years later, she ran into one of her early rivals among 10,000 seniors at a world competition in Italy. Barnea, who swims with the Stanford Masters, heard two women speaking Hebrew in the lobby of a hotel and approached them to ask if a friend was in town with the team. One of the women recognized her, even though they hadn’t seen each other in more than 30 years. By the way, Barnea won third place in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke and butterfly and the 200-meter

individual medley — her three areas of competition!


Short shorts

Mazel tov and a very happy birthday to Sylvia Sucher, who celebrated her milestone 100th year with a special luncheon in her honor at Congregation Beth Ami in Santa Rosa on July 14 … Howard Rachelson of San Rafael won “Best in Show” in the creative or alternative category in the fine-art show at the Marin County Fair. His winning piece — a shimmery gold picture of an art nouveau building in Riga, Latvia — began with a photo he took last summer. He “embellished the lighting, added more saturation and warmed it up a bit, and printed it on metallic paper,” he explained. Roey Berman, also of San Rafael, had several of her decorative beaded necklaces accepted and on display as well … Samuel Joseph Berston of San Francisco stars as Prince Arthur in the Marin Shakespeare Company production of “King John.” The play will run in repertoire throughout the summer … Proud grandma Barbara Rosenberg of San Francisco writes that her grandson Jacob Reuben Rosenberg has been nominated for the San Jose Stage Company’s 2012 Bay Area High School Musical Theatre Stage Awards for his role as Moonface Martin in the Jewish Community High School’s production of “Anything Goes.”

This columnist can be reached at [email protected].