Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley has been recognized as a Certified Green Business by the California Green Business Network. To get certified, businesses must meet standards above and beyond basic environmental regulations to conserve water and energy and reduce waste. The certification makes Netivot Shalom eligible for a $500 rebate toward purchasing green products. According to a press release from the synagogue, more than 700 businesses and organizations in the East Bay have been certified, as well as other Bay Area synagogues, including Temple Sinai in Oakland, Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City and Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco.
Daniella Farah, a graduate student in Jewish studies at Stanford University, has been awarded a 2021-22 Association for Jewish Studies Dissertation Completion Fellowship. The program “encourages the timely completion of doctorates by the most promising graduate students in the field of Jewish Studies,” according to associationforjewishstudies.org. Fellows in the program may receive up to $25,000 in funding. Farah’s research specializes in the social history of Jews in the 20th-century Middle East, with a focus on Iran and Turkey.
Comings & Goings
HaMaqom | The Place, the Bay Area Jewish learning organization, has announced Rabbi Ruth Adar as its new executive director, effective March 17. Adar began her association with HaMaqom, then called Lehrhaus Judaica, as a student in 1995. In 2008, she was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. She has taught at HaMaqom since 2009 and joined the board of the organization in 2012. She succeeds Rabbi Darren Kleinberg, who was named CEO last summer. Adar will also continue in her separate role as spiritual leader of Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf in Tarzana (SoCal). “We are thrilled to have Rabbi Adar take on this critical role to advance HaMaqom’s mission,” said board president Lisa Douglass Pearlmutter in a press release. “Not only does Rabbi Ruth bring a wealth of experience, she’s also a passionate, renowned Jewish educator who will work collaboratively with our board, staff and students to advance the organization’s ambitious agenda of providing Jewish teachings and learnings to all who endeavor to seek it.”
JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, which is based in Palo Alto at the Oshman Family JCC, has announced a new assistant director, Joel Swedlove. He has been involved with the camp since its first summer in 2014 when he served as basketball coach. “We are obviously very excited to welcome someone so experienced and talented to our camp community, made only that much more special by the existing love, care and connection Joel already shares for our camp,” senior director Josh Steinharter said in an email to the community. Swedlove also has talents in song leading and creating great T-shirts, both important summer camp skills. Most recently, he was director of youth programs and informal education at Temple Beth El in San Antonio, Texas. Swedlove also has a master’s degree in Jewish nonprofit management from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.
San Francisco PR legend Charles Zukow, whom this publication has worked with many times, announced his retirement on March 2. His career spanned 35 years “representing arts and lifestyle clients” around the Bay Area, according to a press release. Over the years, Zukow represented everything from Cirque du Soleil to Beach Blanket Babylon to the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. He also represented a number of local Jewish organizations over the years, such as the JCCSF.
As Limmud Bay Area “emerges from a Pandemic hiatus,” as an email to the community put it, the organization has announced new board co-presidents, important roles in the volunteer-driven organization known primarily for its annual learning festival. One is Dr. Rochelle Zak, who has been a member of the Limmud Bay Area board, a delegate to the Limmud International Leadership Forum and a board member for several East Bay Jewish organizations. She researches sleep medicine at UCSF. The other is Vera Hartford, who has been a member of the Limmud Bay Area board but is also known for her work on behalf of the American Bar Association when former Communist countries in Europe liberalized following the Cold War.
Congregation Sherith Israel said goodbye to membership and development manager Nia Taylor during a special Shabbat service on March 5. Taylor has been on staff at the San Francisco synagogue for five years, beginning as a part-time helper in the library. “Nia became an essential point of contact with our community, interacting with you, welcoming new members and providing critical support to our capital campaign and annual fund teams,” Gordon Gladstone, executive director, said in an email to the community.
UpStart, the Bay Area–based organization that encourages entrepreneurial thinking and strategic investments in the Jewish community, has hired Rebecca Kaduru as chief strategy and impact officer. Kaduru co-founded KadAfrica, which helps communities build local fruit-processing businesses in Uganda, and has received athe Gene Roddenberry Prize for innovative solutions to girls’ education, among a number of other awards and fellowships. She is a native of Los Gatos and currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee. “I am very excited to join the UpStart team and to support our network of bold leaders,” Kaduru said in a press release. “I look forward to building upon the organization’s track record of far-reaching impact, and to accelerating UpStart’s strategic direction as we build more vibrant, just, and inclusive Jewish communities.”