Lots of leading men


Noah Keith

San Francisco’s Noah Keith, 15, never met his great-grandma Rivka Fiener Bornstein, who lived through the 1903 pogroms in Kishinev in the old Russian Empire. But playing Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” brings home family stories of his great-great-grandfather, who fought back when the Cossacks killed a friend, and images of “blood running down the streets.” Keith, a member of Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco, takes the lead in the Young People’s Teen Music Theatre Company’s production, Jan. 30 to Feb. 8 at the city’s Randall Museum.


Mischa Stephens played “Les Mis’” hero Jean Valjean again — this time at the Bankhead Theatre in Livermore. The son of Congregation Beth Am (Los Altos Hills) members Diana Guthaner and John Stephens played Valjean last year in Saratoga … Aaron Davidman has taken “Wrestling Jerusalem,” his one-man show grappling with the Mideast conflict, on the road. He appeared earlier this month in North Carolina, and will play in Los Angeles, Boston and New York in February. There also are upcoming performances in San Francisco (Saturday, Jan. 24) and Oakland (March 28). For dates and details, visit www.aarondavidman.com. He’s also fundraising for a film version.


Keeping the lights on

Chatting with a friend at a party on the San Francisco waterfront, philanthropist Tad Taube said he found “Bay Lights,” the twinkling LED light sculpture on the Western span of the Bay Bridge “inspiring and dazzling.” When he learned a $4 million campaign to keep the lights on in perpetuity was in trouble, Taube donated $2 million. The lights will be down this year for maintenance on the bridge cables, but will be back in 2016, in time for the Bay Area Super Bowl.


For goodness sake

Pam Baer of San Francisco has launched a mobile and Internet enterprise that offers luxury items to buyers, donating at least 25 percent of net proceeds to nonprofits. For Goodness Sake, named for her grandmother’s favorite saying — “For goodness sake, do something” — is housed in a solar-paneled, eco-friendly traveling trailer. To track its location, follow @GoodSake on Twitter, or shop online at www.forgoodsake.org. 


Short shorts


Ethel Seiderman

Ethel Seiderman of Fairfax received Marin’s Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual Heart of Marin event on Jan. 8. Among her numerous achievements: In 1973, she founded the Fairfax–San Anselmo Children’s Center, which provides child care for income-challenged families, and served as its director until 1999 … Rabbi Elana Rosen-Brown will be installed at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael on Jan. 30 during a special musical Shabbat Shirah. The congregation said thank you and shalom this month to Sonja Gammon, who retired after 19 years as assistant to Rabbis Stacy Friedman and the late Michael BarenbaumMarc Dollinger, Roselyne “Cissie” Swig and the Rev. Paul Watermulder will be honored at the Jewish Community Relations Council’s “Behind the Scenes” gala Feb. 11 at the JCCSF. Drs. Garry Rayant and Kathy Fields Rayant are co-chairs. Visit www.jcrc.org for info … At the Marin Jewish Women’s Chai Tea on Jan. 11 at the Marin JCC, the guest speaker was actress, author and comedian Annabelle Gurwitch, who noted that her family belonged to a Reform congregation when she was growing up. “I thought the Bob Dylan songs they played at services were from the Bible,” she quipped. Gurwitch read excerpts from her third book, “I See You Made An Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50.” In Hollywood, she wisecracked, “53 is the new 73.”


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