It’s never too late

Helen Diller

The late philanthropist Helen Diller would have kvelled if she’d overheard what Adam Weisberg overheard at the 2015 National Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards event on Aug. 24: “As much as I appreciate the $36,000 prize, the community we’ve created feels even more meaningful and important to me,” one past awardee said to another, reported Weisberg, director of the Diller Teen Initiative.

The annual event was dedicated to its founder and benefactor, who died last January. In a touching tribute video, 240 guests heard Diller’s frequent assertion: “It’s never too late, too early or too often to give back and make the world a better place.” Adele Corvin and Susan Epstein presented the $36,000 awards to 15 winners, including Hart Fogel of Mill Valley. Among the attendees were Liki Abrams, Barbara and Richard Rosenberg, Al and Roseanne Levitt, Karen Perlman and Alan Rothenberg, Mike Jacobs and S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment CEO Danny Grossman, who also spoke.

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards recognize outstanding teens who demonstrate creative and meaningful ways to repair the world. Since the award’s inception nine years ago, $2.5 million has been awarded to 70 teens.


Running with the boss

Lori Starr

The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s executive director Lori Starr revealed a surprising fact about her past at a Litquake event at the museum marking the 40th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s album “Born to Run” and called, quite appropriately, “Born to Read: Celebrating the Lyrics of Springsteen.” As reported by Leah Garchik in the San Francisco Chronicle, Starr was a Rutgers University radio DJ and knew “the boss” through friends before he was “the boss.” Sitting alone at the end of a Springsteen concert on New Year’s Eve 1974, she was quite surprised to see the rock star running toward her. He “jumped over rows of seats, approached and kissed her,” Garchik reported. Starr told her story to a Litquake audience of 250.




Short shorts

Emma Frankin

Proud mom (and former J. publisher) Nora Contini has kept Facebook friends abreast of her daughter Emma Franklin’s hike (with fiance George Stubbs) on the Pacific Crest Trail. On Aug. 21 Contini posted that she and her husband, John Franklin, met Emma and George in Manning, Canada, after the younger couple walked an amazing 2,650 miles, from the Mexican border to Canada … Judy Bloomfield is the new president of Jewish Family & Children’s Services of the East Bay. New members on the board of directors are Joel ben Izzy, Rachel Biale and Karen Galatz … The Oakland Raiders had a Jewish player on the squad, but not for long. After signing one-time San Francisco 49ers safety Taylor Mays on Aug. 26, the Raiders released the 27-year-old eight days later … Advance notice: If you’re a fan of “Jerusalem,” the cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, you’ll have a chance to sample the Israeli chef’s cooking at Insalata’s in San Anselmo at noon on Oct. 28. He’ll be cooking there with Ramael Scully, head chef at Ottolenghi’s Nopi in London. The event is sponsored by Book Passage (contact the store for reservations), and besides food and wine, tickets include a copy of “NOPI: The Cookbook,” written by the two. On a personal note, we ate at Nopi in May and it was outstanding. The chicken (one of several small plates) was absolutely the best I’ve ever had … And finally, shanah tovah! Wishing you health, happiness, peace and just enough rain in the new year.

This columnist can be reached at [email protected].