Community icon Riva Gambert steps down

After 35 years of service to the Jewish community, Riva Gambert has stepped down from her post as senior director of community programs for the Jewish Federation of the East Bay.

Riva Gambert

Over the years, Gambert launched and oversaw several marquee projects for the federation, including the East Bay International Jewish Film Festival, which had its 25th anniversary this year.

She also oversaw many Israel and Holocaust education programs, as well as the federation’s ties to the Israeli community of Kiryat Malachi/Hof Ashkelon.

“She loved what she did,” James Brandt, CEO of the federation, told J. “She had a particular love for Israel and for film, and she found a job in which she could bring her talents and passions together. The work she did made such an impact on the community. She really does leave a legacy.”

Contacted by J. this week, Gambert asked to postpone an interview. Others, however, like Steve Goldman, vice president of the East Bay federation board, were quick to praise her. “Riva has been a very valuable and effective institution in the East Bay Jewish community for the past 35 years,” he said. “We owe her a huge debt of thanks for all she has done.” — dan pine