Olivia Hornstein

Olivia Hornstein of San Rafael was a part of the media contingent at the vice presidential debate last week in Farmville, Virginia. Hornstein, 21, a senior at U.C. Santa Barbara, is interning this semester for Congressman Jared Huffman (D-California) in his Washington office. She was among eight staff members (from 300) who bused from D.C. to the debate. Hornstein, a global studies major, was assigned to work with C-SPAN reporter Steve Scully for the event. (He was on call to fill in if moderator Elaine Quijano, of CBS, dropped out, Hornstein said.) She sat above the crowd with the C-SPAN crew and talking heads from all the media outlets, she reported excitedly. “It was truly different in person. You could get the full perspective of the audience and the candidates that you couldn’t see on TV.” After the debate, she got to hang out in the spin room and even took a selfie with Democratic V.P. candidate Tim Kaine. Olivia is the daughter of Val Hornstein and Cynthia Pepper.


Mazel tov and congratulations!

Yedida Kanfer

Yedida Kanfer, coordinator of educational services at the JFCS Holocaust Center in San Francisco, has been named winner of the 2016 Natalia Twersky Award for Educators. The honor, awarded by the Jewish Women’s Archive, is presented to an educator who exemplifies the creative use of primary sources to incorporate the voices and stories of Jewish women into their teaching. Kanfer teaches high school students and educators and manages the Tauber Holocaust Library. Her winning lesson plan teaches students to investigate the concept of home through the writing of Rywka Lipszyc, a Polish-Jewish teenager who wrote a diary while in the Lodz Ghetto.



Rabbi Barnett Brickner

Rabbi Barnett Brickner of Temple Israel of Alameda has received the 2016 Community Peace Award given by California Assemblyman Rob Bonta. He was recognized for his leadership at Temple Israel and his “inspiring commitment to the spiritual, emotional, physical and mental health of his congregation and the community.” Among many community involvements, Brickner has worked with the East Bay Jewish Community Relations Council to organize the annual Halaqa Seder for Jewish and Muslim communities.


Art and text

After studying text with Rabbi Shelly Dorph, a number of Congregation Kol Shofar members took brush to paper to create artwork inspired by the teachings. They are on display in the synagogue’s gallery until Oct. 27. The artists include Jeanette Carr, Miri Goldfien, Ellen Tobe, Jackie Swoiskin, Dvora Gorvin and Anna Goodman Herrick.


Short shorts

Barry Finestone of San Rafael will take over as president and CEO of the Jim Joseph Foundation on Nov. 1, two months earlier than a prior announcement. Dan Safier of San Francisco is the agency’s new board chair, succeeding Al Levitt of San Mateo, in December…. Steven Douglas is the new president of the East Bay JCC. A fifth-generation Oaklander, Douglas has served on the board since 2013. He succeeds John Ifcher…. Cindy Schlesinger has been named the dean of the middle school at Yavneh Day School in Los Gatos after a long career as a teacher and dean at Gideon Hausner Day School.… Rita Abrams of Mill Valley wrote the music and lyrics for a musical version of the Jane Austen novel “Pride and Prejudice,” which was produced at Fort Mason Center last month. The composer/lyricist first found fame with a song about Mill Valley that she wrote and sang with third graders from Marin’s Strawberry Point elementary school.

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