It’s ’da mayor

Libby Schaaf

The Oakland A’s asked Mayor Libby Schaaf to throw out the first pitch at Jewish Heritage Night on Tuesday, Aug. 4, but she had to respectfully decline because it will be National Night Out, when neighbors gather to establish camaraderie and band against crime. “There are about 600 gatherings in Oakland, and I’m going to try to get to as many as possible,” she said. Then again, she probably wouldn’t be able to make the pitch, anyway: While jogging recently, Schaaf tripped on a defect in an Oakland sidewalk, and the fall broke a bone in her right (throwing) hand. As of last week, she was still in a cast — albeit one that was wrapped in green and gold and had the A’s logo on it.

   Schaaf did make it to Oakland’s Sinai Temple on June 28. According to Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin, “Mayor Schaaf has made it a priority to connect with the religious communities and attend a service when possible. The community was very honored to have her in the congregation that morning. She is very warm and accessible, and a number of congregants had good conversations with her.”


Mazel tov

Rabbi Tsipi Gabai

Rabbi Tsipi Gabai of Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito will receive the 2015 Landres Courage for Dignity Award from Keshet, a national organization that works for full equality for LGBT Jews in Jewish life. Gabai was honored as an ally for “not simply accepting, but embracing a transgender teen.” She was cited particularly for creating a special naming ceremony for Tom Sosnik, a 13-year-old Tehiyah student who came out as a boy to his school community. (See J.’s March story at www.tinyurl.com/tehiyah-ceremony.) She will receive her award Dec. 3 at Keshet’s annual gala in San Francisco, as will Al Baum, founder of the LGBT Alliance at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, who is being honored with the Rosh Pina Award for his lifetime of work on behalf of the Bay Area’s LGBT Jewish community.




New leadership at J.

Marc Berger

Marc Berger is the new president of J.’s board of directors, installed at a gala luncheon June 19 at One Market in San Francisco. A CPA and shareholder in Burr Pilger Mayer, one of the largest California-based accounting firms, he is past president of Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Walnut Creek and is active in the Legacy Campaign at the Jewish Federation of the East Bay. J.’s three new board members are Debra Kleinberg, a nonprofit development and event management consultant who moved to the Peninsula from Phoenix in 2013 with her husband, Rabbi Darren Kleinberg, head of school at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto; Quentin L. Kopp of San Francisco, a former San Mateo Superior Court judge who served four terms as a San Francisco supervisor and three terms in the state Senate, is chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, and was a talk-show host on KGO Radio; and Joelle Steefel of San Francisco, who serves on the board of governors of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, where she is past president of Women’s Philanthropy and National Cabinet. She has served on the boards of the JCC of San Francisco and Jewish Vocational Service and is active at Congregation Emanu-El.


Short shorts

Julie Fingersh of San Rafael and Sharon Goldstone of San Francisco are winners of the Or Hadash Award, given annually by the Parents’ Association at Brandeis Hillel Day School to a parent from each campus who has served as a model of volunteerism.

This columnist can be reached at [email protected].