S.F. to celebrate Jewish Heritage Month

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The city of San Francisco will stage its first-ever celebration of Jewish Heritage Month with a 90-minute program on May 20 at City Hall, the  S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council announced last week.

The Wednesday evening event will begin at 6 p.m. with a half-hour program, probably in the rotunda, featuring Mayor Ed Lee, local politicians and representatives of the JCRC and S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation. In addition, San Francisco State University professor Marc Dollinger will give a brief history of Jewish community engagement in San Francisco.

Supervisor Scott Wiener hailed the event, telling J. that “the Jewish community has long played and continues to play a significant role in San Francisco’s civic and cultural life. It’s time to officially recognize our city’s Jewish heritage in City Hall.”

The event will conclude with a reception in City Hall, a JCRC spokesman said. Admission is free, but people need to register in advance at www.tinyurl.com/sf-jewish-heritage. More information is available at www.jcrc.org, on JCRC’s Facebook page or by searching for #SFJewishHeritage on Twitter.

Scott Wiener

The event’s honorary committee is made up of Amy Bacharach, Al Baum, Bevan Dufty, Matthew Haney, Nick Josefowitz, Leslie Katz, Barbara Kaufman, Mark Leno, Rafael Mandelman, Roselyne “Cissie” Swig, Jill Wynns and Wiener.

“For so many Jews, San Francisco has been our promised land,” Josefowitz, an entrepreneur and a member of the BART board, told J. “It has been a city of safety and opportunity. Within its welcoming borders, we have built dynamic and diverse communities of faith, family and service. In return, the Jewish community has helped build San Francisco into a beautiful, vibrant and caring city. I am honored to participate in [this event].”

Rabbi Doug Kahn, JCRC’s executive director, said he was “extremely proud” that San Francisco has opted to host a commemoration of Jewish Heritage Month, calling it “a wonderful celebration in recognition of the extensive contribution that San Francisco’s Jewish community has made to the city’s development from its very beginnings. I expect a great turnout in support of this event.”  — j. staff