Veggies and justice

The Peninsula JCC raised $332,000 at April’s Cabaret Under the Stars to help fund its latest innovation, Gan Tzedek (Justice Garden). Educator Marybeth Lybrand has been hired to manage it. Besides overseeing the planning and designing of the garden, Lybrand will work with volunteers to grow and harvest organic and sustainable vegetables for InnVision Shelter Network, which benefits homeless families and individuals. “We may not be able to feed the nation, but we can feed our neighbors.” said Stephanie Levin, PJCC director of programs. One in four residents of San Mateo County is at risk for hunger.


New Wexner Fellow

Jeremy Ragent

Jeremy Ragent of Mountain View has been named to the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program. He is one of only 20 people nationwide chosen to join the program for students preparing for careers in the Jewish community. Ragent, who has been on the staff of Hillel at Stanford since 2010, said his application included six essays on a variety of topics including “What is one ideal that, if adopted universally, will improve the world?” His answer: Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you, which, he notes, is a nuanced version of Rabbi Hillel’s statement. Ragent is leaving for Los Angeles shortly to begin a double master’s program in Jewish nonprofit management at Hebrew Union College and University of Southern California.



Naama Josting

Some 500 young (late 20s and early 30s) American and Israeli “in the know” Jewish tech professionals rocked to DJ Yeti Beats, donned Israeli sunglasses and munched falafel sandwiches on June 1 at the Israel in the Gardens pre-party at 111 Minna. “The event was important because it allowed the great young Israeli community in S.F. and the Bay Area to meet and party with the amazing young Jewish community,” writes Naama Josting, who was there with her husband, Jonathan Ellman. “This should happen more often as these two communities have more in common than meets the eye … and I am planning to make it happen,” she adds. One highlight of the evening was the falafel from the La Falafel food truck. The Israelis in attendance agreed it was just like the falafel back home. Among the attendees were Michael Pearce, Eyal Guthmann, Michal Langer, Yossi Sadoun, Hilla Wahnishe, Allon Jacobs and Adam Swig, who helped organize the event.


Short shorts

David Spinrad, formerly of Novato, received his rabbinic ordination this month from Cincinnati’s Hebrew Union College. He’ll be working at Atlanta’s The Temple … Ben Youngerman, Felipe Baytelman, Johnathan Podemsky, Lana Volftsun, Stephanie Volftsun, Sarah Persitz and Jordan Fruchtman were among 150 young, innovative Jewish entrepreneurs from around the world who participated in this week’s five-day ROI Community Summit in Jerusalem. The group, with representatives from 37 countries, including first-timers Morocco and Korea, was chosen last month from more than 620 applicants. ROI Community empowers its members to shape the Jewish future through professional development, networking and financial support … Andrew Kluger of San Rafael is the new board chairman of the Mexican Museum … Ezzy Schusterman of the Bay Area Friendship Circle writes that more than 350 people participated in last month’s “Walk with FC,” raising $77,000 for the group’s programs for children with special needs and their families. Dina Jacobson and Nissa Johanix co-chaired. Donations are still being accepted at www.WalkWithFC.com … Missed Jewish Vocational Service’s annual Strictly Business awards luncheon last month? See videos about the award winners at www.jvs.org.

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