The San Francisco chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women held its 2021 awards ceremony and banquet on May 23 on Zoom. The Hannah G. Solomon Award was given to Gail Nebenzahl, who started an auxiliary for SFCASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and is a member of its board of directors. The Outstanding Advocate for Human Rights Award went to Mary Steiner, president of the S.F. chapter of the United Nations Association. The Outstanding Community Advocate Award went to Gia Daniller-Katz, founder and president of Daniller Consulting Public Affairs.
Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Awards went to Julia Shaw and Emma Shaw, co-chairs of the program Jewish Advocates in Action for Critical Covid-19 Response. The keynote address was given by Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on the topic “Reflections on Human Trafficking and Social Justice.”
Three Bay Area women have been selected for the third cohort of the Collective, a fellowship run by the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York: Sarah Levin (San Francisco), executive director of JIMENA, Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa; Analucía Lopezrevoredo (San Francisco), founder and executive director of Jewtina y Co.; and Lara Mendel (Oakland), co-founder and executive director of the Mosaic Project. The three-year program includes professional development for selectees and $50,000 for each of their organizations.
The winners of the 2021 Diller Education Awards have been announced, honoring individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to pre-college Jewish learning in the Bay Area. Meg Adler, assistant director of Jewish life and learning at Camp Tawonga, won in the “Jewish communal and experiential” category. Heather Howe, a teacher at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, took the award in the “congregational and supplementary” category. The early childhood award went to Lilach Mousseiri, a teacher at Chai Preschool in San Mateo. Jamie Zimmer won in the day school category for her work as a middle-school Jewish studies teacher at Yavneh Day School in Los Gatos. And the inaugural Prize for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement went to Irene Resnikoff, senior education at Studio 70 in Berkeley. The Diller Education Awards were established in 2001 by the Helen Diller Family Foundation and S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation.
The Jeff Astor Foundation is holding a 30th anniversary fundraising campaign to benefit the Israel Tennis and Education Centers, a social service agency that helps underprivileged children at 14 facilities across Israel. The foundation was founded in memory of Jeff Astor, who grew up in Los Altos and died in a plane crash in 1991 at the age of 24. He was involved in a number of Jewish organizations, completed a 10-week training program with the Israel Defense Forces and was an avid athlete. The campaign, which is spearheaded by Jeff’s parents, Merry and Steve Astor, has a goal of $100,000. For more information about the Jeff Astor Foundation or the Israel Tennis and Education Centers, go to jeffastorfoundation.org.
Comings & Goings
Stephany Ganeles is the new director of Camp Shalom, the summer day camp at the Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Stephany for more than a decade,” Alix Davidson, the outgoing director, wrote in an email to the community, noting that they met while completing degrees in recreation, parks and tourism administration at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “Camp Shalom could not be in better hands.” Ganeles has spent five years overseeing child care and summer day camp at a YMCA. She has also worked for Girl Scouts of Northern California and a number of municipal parks and recreation departments.
Rabbi Corey Helfand, who has led Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City since 2011, is moving on. This summer, he and his family will relocate to Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he will lead Ohr Kodesh Congregation. “It is a dream realized for [us] to be closer to our family in the D.C. area,” Helfand wrote in a Facebook post. “To the entire PSC community, it’s been a genuine blessing to be a part of your lives and to have you as a part of ours.” Helfand was a Torah columnist for J. for nearly seven years starting in 2013.
High school students Gabby Farber, Gil Rubenstein, Noa Ohana and Daniel Shapiro have been elected to the top leadership positions in the Central West Region of BBYO, which covers 19 chapters from Marin to San Jose to the East Bay. Farber and Rubenstein (both of Los Altos) will serve as girls’ and boys’ president, respectively, while Ohana (Palo Alto) and Shapiro (Foster City) will serve as girls’ and boys’ vice presidents.
Zehava Dahan, beloved education director at Or Shalom Jewish Community in San Francisco, has retired. She was honored with a special virtual Shabbat gathering on May 14. Or Shalom is establishing the Zehava Dahan Education Fund, which “will be dedicated to supporting learning for all ages.”
Cathy Taylor is retiring this month after 22 years as the director of the independent, nonprofit Palo Alto School for Jewish Education. “During her tenure, she has created a safe and welcoming environment for hundreds of non-affiliated children and their families to explore and celebrate Jewish history, culture and values,” the Sunday school said in an email to J. Taylor also was a longtime member of the educators council for the S.F.-based Bureau of Jewish Education (now Jewish LearningWorks).