Repair The World volunteers from Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco sort donations at Jewish Family and Children's Services food pantry.
Repair The World volunteers from Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco sort donations at Jewish Family and Children's Services food pantry.

Happenings, philanthropy, opportunities, comings & goings — Nov. 2022


Comings & Goings

Rabbi Jaymee Alpert
Rabbi Jaymee Alpert

Rabbi Jaymee Alpert has announced she will be leaving Congregation Beth David in Saratoga next summer to “take a break from pulpit life.” She joined Congregation Beth David in 2018 after previously serving as rabbi at Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel in  Port Chester, New York.

Susan Frazer
Susan Frazer

Susan Frazer is now CEO of Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, succeeding Mindy Berkowitz, who served the organization for almost 20 years. Berkowitz will officially retire at the end of the year and Frazer will assume the role Jan. 1. Frazer previously was the chief operating officer for JFS of Silicon Valley after beginning her career at S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

Rabbi Liora Alban and Rabbi Daniel Freedman
Rabbi Liora Alban and Rabbi Daniel Freedman

Rabbi Liora Alban is the director of education at Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame. She earned her bachelor’s degree in religious studies from UC Berkeley and is married to Rabbi Daniel Freedman, who now serves as assistant rabbi and educator at Temple Sinai in Oakland. He previously served as senior Jewish educator at Santa Barbara Hillel.

Rabbi Julie Bressler
Rabbi Julie Bressler

Rabbi Julie Bressler is the new associate rabbi and educator at Temple Sinai in Oakland. A 2019 graduate of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, she grew up as an active member of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette and was a camper at URJ Camp Newman and an NFTY teen program participant.

Rabbi Noach Lawrence
Rabbi Noach Lawrence

Rabbi Noach Lawrence, a recent graduate of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, has joined the Temple Isaiah clergy team as the new assistant rabbi. His website, noachlawrencerabbi.com, reads that he “came to the rabbinate after a first career in law and politics, most recently at the Israeli Supreme Court and the U.S. Senate.”

Rabbi Zari Weiss
Rabbi Zari Weiss

Rabbi Zari Weiss has joined the Reutlinger Community, the senior residence in Danville. She has been a rabbi and participant in several Jewish communities, including the East Bay, and is working on a book about prayer.

Rabbi Serena Eisenberg
Rabbi Serena Eisenberg

The American Jewish Committee has made several staffing changes. After five years as Northern California director, Rabbi Serena Eisenberg will be leaving her position to move back to Philadelphia to be closer to family. Eisenberg described her time with AJC as the highlight of her career, citing in an email how rewarding she has found working with the Jewish community, interfaith lay leaders, Bay Area diplomats and elected officials. Eisenberg will continue to manage the Northern California region until a successor is hired. Oleg Ivanov is the new assistant director of AJC San Francisco. He will be taking over for Eran Hazary, who was promoted to AJC associate director of political outreach in the Mountain region and is now based in Denver.

Marina Tikhman and Marc Abramowitz have been elected to the American Friends of Tel Aviv University board of directors. For the past 16 years, Tikhman has served on a variety of Jewish Family and Children’s Services committees and is currently the vice president of the board of directors. Abramowitz previously served on the board of directors of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, the Jewish Home in San Francisco (now S.F. Campus for Jewish Living), AIPAC and the American Friends of the Koret Israel Economic Development Funds.


Happenings

Repair the World has announced its fall 2022 service corps partnerships. More than 100 service corps members are volunteering in communities across the country through organizations such as Berkeley Jewish Mutual Aid, S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Urban Adamah in Berkeley, S.F. Jewish Mutual Aid Project and East Bay–based Jewish Youth for Community Action. Repair the World mobilizes young Jewish adults to take action to pursue a just world through a 12-week Jewish service-learning experience alongside a local nonprofit partner.

Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Branch of the San Francisco Public Library
Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Branch of the San Francisco Public Library

The Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial branch of the San Francisco Public Library is among the 29 public libraries across the country that have been selected for the Yiddish Book Center’s Reading Program. The initiative uses translated Yiddish works to engage local communities in discussions on social issues such as immigration, displacement, and economic and political upheaval. This year’s theme is “Stories of Exile,” and participating libraries will organize reading groups for adults and/or teens to discuss three Yiddish works.


Philanthropy

Omri Dahan
Omri Dahan

Bay Area–based Harvard Business School alum Omri Dahan and his wife, Jackie, have donated $5 million to Chabad at Harvard. It represents the largest one-time gift to Chabad at Harvard, which serves the community through four Chabad centers for students, four preschools and a new Jewish day school. The donation will establish the Dahan Fellowship for Leadership, a yearlong leadership and educational program for Jewish students, and endow founder Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi’s position as president. Dahan grew up in Marin and currently lives in Oakland, where he serves as chief revenue officer at Marqeta.

Graduate Theological Union
Graduate Theological Union (Photo/file)

The Belmont-based Taube Family Foundation has pledged $300,000 to the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in a three-year grant that will fund the further growth and development of GTU’s Interreligious Chaplaincy Program. The Taube Family Foundation previously supported the Interreligious Chaplaincy Program through the establishment of the Taube Family Fellows Program in 2019. In addition, it will establish a dedicated content series focused on Jewish life and culture through GTUx, the GTU’s platform for online learning.


Opportunities

Nominations for the 2023 Ruby Award are open. The Ruby Award is an annual award presented by S.F.-based Jewish LearningWorks for excellence in Jewish youth education and engagement, established in 2020 in collaboration with the San Francisco Teen Initiative. Nominations are open until Dec. 16.

Lea Loeb
Lea Loeb

Lea Loeb is J.'s editorial assistant.