Kid kvelling

Srolie Levin

Rabbi Yosef Levin of Chabad of the Greater South Bay is kvelling over his son’s success in an international tournament pitting 139 young scholars on their knowledge of the 613 mitzvot (commandments). Yisroel (“Srolie”) Levin, 12, the only competitor from the Bay Area, won a silver medal in his seventh-grade category on June 7. “He was competing against kids from the big city yeshivot from all over the world,” said Srolie’s proud dad. The younger Levin was invited to compete by the director of an online study program for children of Chabad rabbis. Among the questions Srolie nailed were naming three positive and two negative mitzvot performed by speech. See “Short shorts” below for Srolie’s correct answers. P.S. You can see the competition video on www.chabadgsb.com. 


Kudos to Jewish agency leadership

Lisa Tabak

The Jewish Federation of the East Bay/Jewish Community Foundation honored three individuals at its annual meeting on June 17. Lisa Tabak was recognized for 10 years of community service, Barry Cohn was named Volunteer of the Year, and Fred Isaac received the Endowment Achievement Award … On the Peninsula, at the Oshman Family JCC annual meeting, Stuart Klein, who chaired the original site committee for the Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life, was honored for his contributions to the creation of both the campus and JCC. Sharon Leslie, outgoing OFJCC board president, was also recognized, and new president Susan Saal was welcomed … Kehillah Jewish High School instructor Jake Marmer has been named a regional winner of the 2015 Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s Excellence in Jewish Education Award. Marmer, who is a poet and performer as well as an educator, was recognized along with the other winners for “engaging 21 century learning skills in their classrooms and programs.” … American Jewish Committee San Francisco will present its 2015 Judge Learned Hand Award to Larry Sonsini at its annual award dinner on June 30 at Julia Morgan Ballroom. Lawrence J. Siskind is dinner chair. Visit www.ajcsanfrancisco.org/sonsini for info.


And more congratulations

Lorry Lokey

Lorry Lokey was honored yet again for his commitment to higher education. Tel Aviv University awarded him an honorary doctorate degree on May 4 for his “remarkable accomplishments, indomitable spirit, extraordinary and magnanimous approach to charitable giving.” Lokey is also the recipient of honorary degrees from Israel’s Technion, Weizmann Institute and Ben-Gurion University as well as several U.S. universities … The National Council of Jewish Women San Francisco recognized Dana Corvin with its 2015 Hannah G. Solomon Award at the group’s annual meeting on May 31. Also honored were Rabbi Doug Kahn, Outstanding Visionary; Candace Gold, Outstanding Volunteer Achievement; and Supervisor Katy Tang, Outstanding Advocate for Human Dignity and Freedom.



Short shorts

Rabbi Aaron Finkelstein, who grew up in Berkeley, and his wife, Julie Sugar, were featured in the Forward on April 19 in a new question-and-answer column called HomeLands. The two chat about their life in Nashville, where Finkelstein works at Congregation Sherith Israel and the Akiva School. Julie is a writer.

The answers to Srolie Levin’s quiz: Blessings for food,  the Shema and correcting a friend who transgresses — all positive mitzvot. Negative mitzvot: lashon hara (gossip) and embarrassing someone.


This columnist can be reached at [email protected].