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by Suzan Berns


Roast beef and butter?

Alexander Fromm Lurie

At the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Behind the Scenes event recognizing “community champions” on Feb. 24, awardee Michael G. Pappas told 400-plus supporters that after college he was recruited by the oldest Jewish bond fund in New Jersey. “We all went to lunch one day and I ordered a roast beef sandwich with butter and a big glass of milk. You should have seen the looks that I got,” he recalled. Later, “after a crisis of conscience,” he decided to pursue a career in the ministry, and the firm paid for his first two years in seminary. Pappas, who has been executive director of the San Francisco Interfaith Council since 2007, received the JCRC Civic Leadership Award, subtitled “Inspired by Rita Semel.” He thanked Semel, an Interfaith Council founder who led the organization for many years and was his mentor there. “This award means so much,” Pappas said. “Thank you to Rita for entrusting me with her ‘child.’” Also honored were brothers Bob and Donny Friend, who received the JCRC Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Informed Grads, a group of graduate students who work to defeat the BDS movement on University of California campuses, received the JCRC Courageous Leadership Award. JCRC president Hadera Stanton welcomed guests and event co-chairs Alexander Fromm Lurie and Susie Sorkin, who introduced the speakers. Abby Porth, JCRC associate executive director, announced the establishment of the Doug Kahn Israel Outreach Travel Endowment Fund, which will support the group’s political study tours of Israel, in honor of the longtime executive director who is stepping down this summer.


Kudos to Touro doctor, JCC leaders

Michael Clearfield

Michael Clearfield, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University California, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California for his diligent efforts in the medical community. Clearfield joined the Vallejo-based university in 2006. Under his leadership, the university has received national recognition for producing one of the highest percentages of primary-care physicians in the country. Touro University California, founded in 1997, is a Jewish nonprofit, independent graduate institution currently serving 1,400 students in a variety of medical fields.

The Jewish Community Center of the East Bay inaugurated its JCC Community Leadership Awards on March 6 at “The Mensch Party,” a donor appreciation event. First awardees are Oakland residents Arthur Goldman, longtime board member and past president; Josh Langenthal, immediate past president; and Sam Mesnick of Berkeley, founding board member of the Berkeley Richmond JCC, now the JCC of the East Bay.


Short shorts

Ariana Garfinkel

Independent film producer Ariana Garfinkel of Berkeley has a feature-length documentary premiering at Austin’s South by Southwest film festival this month. “Best and Most Beautiful Things” is a coming-of-age story of several young adults with disabilities … Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s new large theater has been named in honor of Barbro Osher in recognition of a generous gift to the BAMPFA capital campaign by Bernard Osher … Two former Bay Area women, now living in the Washington, D.C., area, won prestigious national awards. Laurie Moskowitz, a San Rafael native, was named a 2015 Woman to Watch by Jewish Women International. She is the senior director of U.S. campaigns for ONE, an anti-poverty advocacy organization co-founded by Bono of U2 … Susie Gelman of Chevy Chase, Maryland, will receive the National Council of Jewish Women’s Women Who Dared Award March 14 at the group’s Washington Institute 2016. Gelman, whose parents were Richard and Rhoda Goldman, is being recognized for her groundbreaking advocacy to raise awareness about civil society issues in Israel.