‘Locks’ without bagels?

Brochie Ferris

Brochie Ferris of Berkeley always loved her long, flowing hair, and her mother always was urging her to get it cut. Those two opposing viewpoints were resolved earlier this year when the 12-year-old had a brainstorm: Knowing that Locks of Love accepts donations of human hair (to provide wigs for children who have lost their hair due to a medical condition), she decided to cut her hair for her Oct. 20 bat mitzvah and donate it for her mitzvah project.

Prior to the big day, Brochie cut more than a foot of her thick, light brown hair for Locks of Love. “I felt a lot lighter and really good that I was helping children,” she said.

Brochie is the daughter of Rabbi Yehuda and Miriam Ferris of Chabad of the East Bay.

Besides her hair donation, Brochie is knitting wool scarves for Israeli soldiers. As of last week, she had completed two toward her goal of 12, her happy mom reported.


Braving frigid waters

Rabbi Sydney Mintz

Rabbi Ryan Bauer

Rabbi Sydney Mintz and Rabbi Ryan Bauer of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco — along with some 90 others, including congregation president Donny Friend, his sons Benji and Jason and members Lorie and Ron Hirson — swam about two miles in the cold bay waters on Oct. 23 to raise funds to fight blindness.

The Alcatraz Swim for Sight, which Ron Hirson started in 2012 in honor of his wife’s 40th birthday, has grown into a large community event that has raised approximately $500,000 for That Man May See, the support foundation of the U.C. San Francisco Department of Ophthalmology. The swim goes from Alcatraz to Crissy Field.

Many of the swimmers, including Lorie Hirson, are losing their vision because of degenerative eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. Emanu-El has supported the swim for several years, Mintz pointed out. “It is really powerful to have the honor of swimming in this beautiful, epic bay and to know it’s a mitzvah,” she said.








Short shorts

Adam Mesnick

When Sen. Bernie Sanders came to town last month to stump for San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim in her bid for the state Senate and to push for passage of Proposition 61, Adam Mesnick, owner of the Deli Board sandwich shop in San Francisco, helped provide food for the volunteers. Not only that, but he also was introduced by Kim to the former presidential candidate. “It was awesome,” Mesnick said … Daniel Ruth, president and CEO of the Jewish Home of San Francisco, noted that the Oct. 19 groundbreaking for the facility’s $145 million modernization project was a “truly momentous occasion in the 145-year history of the Jewish Home.” It was “one that has been over a decade in the making … and at certain times felt longer than that for all of us,” he added, alluding to financial challenges when state funding was cut (then reinstated) … Jenni Olson of San Francisco reports that a video produced last year by her daughter Sylvie Olson-Dorf and Brandeis School of San Francisco classmate Claire Rafferty advocating gender equality has gone viral. The girls created the video, along with other materials, for their seventh-grade Tzedek Project in which students choose a philanthropy and develop materials to promote it. Sylvie and Claire chose the Global Fund for Women, which ended up receiving one of the school’s five $5,000 impact grants on top of $360 the girls raised. To see their video, visit www.tinyurl.com/sylvie-claire.


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