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Says the prez

President Barack Obama cited Rabbi Emeritus H. David Teitelbaum of Redwood City’s Congregation Beth Jacob in the speech he made in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month on May 22. Referencing the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, the president told congregants at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., “A few days after David Teitelbaum arrived to join the protests, he and a colleague were thrown in jail. And they spent a Friday night in custody, singing ‘Adon Olam’ to the tune of ‘We Shall Overcome.’ … And the day after they were released from prison, Rabbi Teitelbaum watched Dr. King lead a prayer meeting before crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. And Dr. King said, ‘We are like the children of Israel, marching from slavery to freedom.’ ”

“I was astounded — it was a complete surprise,” said Teitelbaum, who was not present for the comments. He has no idea how the president knew about his experience, but imagined that POTUS’ researchers may have read about it in his memoir, “As a Mighty Stream” (available on the Beth Jacob website at www.tinyurl.com/bethjacobrwc-teitelbaum), in which Teitelbaum wrote about King’s words: “This reference of the exodus from Egypt of the ancient Israelites has been the inspiration for so many struggles for freedom … I was profoundly moved.” (Read more on page 29.)


From here to Akron

Harvey Freedman

There were so many Bay Area folks at the April 26 dedication of the Albert L. and Janet A. Schultz Campus for Jewish Life in Akron, Ohio, that David Koch, CEO of the Jewish Community Board of Akron, jokingly compared weather reports for the two areas in his opening remarks. The dedication was the result of a $10 million gift to JCBA in the city where the Schultzes “met, courted and married, and where their philanthropic nature was honed,” said Harvey Freedman of Orinda, president of the Albert and Janet Schultz Supporting Foundation of the San Francisco–based Jewish Community Federation. “This campus brings their mission full circle — back to their roots,” he told the 100-plus crowd. The campus includes a JCC, a school and a social-service agency. Noting that the JCC had been a gathering place for her generation when she was growing up in Akron, the Schultzs’ niece, Deana Freedman of Orinda, called the gift “transformational.” Other attendees from the Greater Bay Area included Carl and Gay Grunfeld of San Francisco, Jim and Kelly Blum of Santa Cruz, Philip Kalman of Modesto, Norman Olson (a former longtime Bay Area resident) and me.


A winning number

Alison Ruebusch

Kehillah Jewish High School celebrated its bar mitzvah year on May 3 and honored its leadership and its principal, Alison Ruebusch, who is retiring after 11 years at the helm of the Palo Alto school. Proceeds from the event will support a scholarship fund named in Ruebusch’s honor. In other Kehillah news, the Latin Team I and Advanced Team won state championships in the California Junior Classical League against 28 California high schools competing in academic tests, games and a quiz bowl. It’s the third year in a row the Advanced Team has won. Team members included Jacob Fernandez, Avi Kaplan-Lipkin, Ben Darnell, Jonathan Nozik, Jacob Kaplan-Lipkin, Noah Weiss and Mark Treitel. Next up: July finals in San Antonio, Texas.




Short shorts

Rose Barlow

San Francisco Congregation Emanu-El Judaic arts coordinator Sandy Cohen-Wynn was honored last month upon her retirement after decades of service … Rabbi Joshua Fenton has left his position as associate director of Jewish LearningWorks to become executive director of the Berkeley learning program Edah … Rose Barlow of San Rafael is the new executive director of Zero Breast Cancer. Barlow and Woody Weingarten, author of “Rollercoaster,” a book about dealing with his wife’s breast cancer, will be guests on Mosaic on KPIX-Channel 5 on June 21.


This columnist can be reached at [email protected].