Batter up — in Israel

Ari Fendel

Ten-year-old Ari Fendel of Berkeley moved to Israel with his family last August and became a baseball star in the Jewish state. Ari plays third base on the national team, composed of 15 of the best 10- to 12-year-old baseball players in Israel, says mom Tamar Fendel. The team will go to Italy later this month to compete in two tournaments against teams from all over Europe. Though American baseball is not a big sport in Israel, all of Ari’s teammates are Israeli, Tamar says. Ari has been playing baseball since he was 5, including with the NOLL/SOLL (North Oakland/South Oakland) Little League. The Fendel family moved to Israel for a year and will come back to Berkeley when Ari returns from the tournaments.



The family business

At last month’s community celebration honoring Rabbi Doug Kahn as he retired after 34 years at the Jewish Community Relations Council, the fourth-generation San Franciscan told the audience of 500-plus that standing up for the Jewish community runs in the family. In the early 1900s, his great-grandfather took on author Mark Twain “for implying that Jews were not sufficiently loyal to the U.S. by claiming they didn’t serve in the armed forces in their proper proportion,” he said. Executive director of JCRC since 1989, Kahn noted that if one were to add the years that he, Abby Snay of Jewish Vocational Service and Anita Friedman of Jewish Family and Children’s Services have served — all three are longtime executive directors — it would total more than 100 years. “We should go out on tour as the three tenures,” he quipped.

In Kahn’s honor, JCRC established the Doug Kahn Israel Outreach Travel Fund to ensure the continuation of a program that takes Bay Area elected officials and opinion leaders to Israel for intensive 10-day study tours. For information about supporting the fund, contact Jon Feldman at [email protected] or (415) 977-7444.


Second career

Sam Doctors

Sam Doctors of Petaluma has published “Inside My Head and Out,” a collection of some 300 poems he has written on nature, science, spirituality and “this and that,” he says. “A poem is my way out,/ and my way in,/ my way to a sort of sanity,” he explains in his piece “A Way Out, A Way In,” about the hobby he took up after retiring as a university professor in 2005. Doctors, who is married to Rabbi Meredith Cahn, has taught at Harvard Business School and U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, among others. If you’re interested in his book, contact him at [email protected].





Short shorts

George Elbaum

George Elbaum of San Francisco was awarded an honorary fellowship from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology at the board of governors meeting last month in Haifa. Elbaum was recognized for “his devotion to the Technion and Israel … and for imparting the message of tolerance to present and future generations” through stories he’s shared about being a child survivor of the Holocaust … Jewish Vocational Service was named a Nonprofit of the Year at California Nonprofits Day at the Capitol in Sacramento on June 22. The agency was selected by state Sen. Mark Leno as an exceptional nonprofit in the 11th state Senate district. … San Rafael artist Cindy Ostroff is exhibiting her etchings, monoprints and woodcuts in a group show at the Mill Valley Community Center through Aug. 15.


This columnist can be reached at [email protected].