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Rabbis in the news

Mazel tov to clergy from several local congregations who are a part of prestigious national and international rabbinic programs.

Serena Eisenberg

Named senior rabbinic fellows of the Jerusalem-based Shalom Hartman Institute are Rabbis Yonatan Cohen of Berkeley Congregation Beth Israel, Jonathan Jaffe of San Francisco Congregation Emanu-El and Micah Hyman of San Francisco Congregation Beth Sholom. They each completed a three-year program of study, reflection and professional development as part of the Rabbinic Leadership Initiative.

In addition, Rabbi Serena Eisenberg of Hillel at Stanford is the only California rabbi selected for Rabbis Without Borders, an initiative of CLAL (the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership) that helps rabbis learn how to use Jewish wisdom to speak to contemporary American issues.

In other news, Rabbi Dev Noily is the new associate rabbi at Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont. She formerly served as the director of Kehilla’s religious school.


Siblings’ learning journey


Eliana Rosenthal of Oakland, along with Houston friends Claire Nuchtern and Renee Frederick, are traveling around the country this summer interviewing individuals who have a brother or sister with a range of special needs. For the project, which is funded by a grant from Princeton University (which Nuchtern attends), the three are looking particularly at the emotional effects on siblings of people with special needs, their future plans and family dynamics during

Eliana Rosenthal

childhood. The young women found their interview subjects by posting on Facebook and reaching out through organizations that serve the special-needs community. They met at a Jewish community service project at Brandeis University (where Rosenthal is now a student) two years ago and remained close friends. Rosenthal has an older sister with pervasive developmental disorder (on the autism spectrum) and Nuchtern’s brother has Asperger’s syndrome. To read about the project, check out their blog at www.sibsjourney.wordpress.com.


Behind the scenes


Israeli novelist David Grossman has two cameo appearances in “The Zigzag Kid,” the delightful opening night film of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Director Vincent Bal, in a Q&A after the July 25 screening at the Castro Theatre, noted that 12,000 liters of chocolate pudding were used during one comic scene; and a bleating car horn covered up Isabella Rossellini’s Hebrew pronunciation gaffe. The film is based on Grossman’s novel of the same name.  You can still catch it in Palo Alto (Aug. 4), Berkeley (Aug. 6), and San Rafael (Aug.10).

Short shorts

Kudos to several members of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills who have received special recognition. Jeff Ware was named chair of the Campus Judicial Board at U.C. Davis; Ellen Ratner is the 2013 Teacher of the Year in the Mountain View Whisman School District; and Allison Windham will be teaching in Turkey as a Fulbright fellow … Andrew M. Kluger of San Rafael was elected co-chair of the board of Washington, D.C.–based David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies … Brett Goldstein has succeeded Jordan Sills as the president of the board of San Francisco Hillel … Marilyn Wacks is the new project manager for InterfaithFamily.com/Bay Area … Ava Kahn and Bill Chayes are beginning production on their film about the life and work of Seymour Fromer. They invite anyone who was influenced by him to submit memories (and dollars, if you’re so inclined) to the film’s website, www.seymourfilm.com.

This columnist can be reached at [email protected].