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Published by the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley Vol. #78 Issue #1, MAY 2011

Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley 14855 Oka Rd. Suite 200 Los Gatos, CA 95032 Change Service Requested


Hillel student donates

bone marrow to baby...............5

Local community raises funds

for Japan disaster......................9

Remembering Beverly Pressman....................13

Graduation special.................14

Outdoor Jewish Music Festival in Los Gatos on May 22 p.22

MAY 2011

jewish c mmunity news

for everything jewish in silicon print

2 • JCN • MAY 2011

This is a Great Time to Buy a Home! I Would Love to Help You With Your Real Estate Needs!

Gloria Melmon Ascher Office 408.741.1111 Direct 408.741.1174 Ext. 604 | SARATOGA 12988 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road 408.741.1111

Jerusalem Bar & Grill


The Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos Special Event Rentals Bar/Bat Mitzvahs • Receptions • Parties • Weddings • Seminars• Meetings

Voted “Best Place to Have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah” In the J Weekly’s 2010 Reader’s Choice Poll

14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032 408.357.7402


MAY 2011 • JCN •

from the federation ceo We can hope that with the demise of Osama Bin Laden, the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa bodes well for a potential peace in the Middle East. We can hope and pray and even lobby. But our job as your Federation is to care for people.

Cecily Ruttenberg

Executive Editor Pat Bergman and Kay Gatell Editorial Assistants Andrea Greyber Simchas Editor Pat Bergman Calendar Editor Published six times a year by the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley. Subscription Price: $36 per year*. All articles must be submitted typed, double-spaced, before the deadline shown on this page. We reserve the right to edit all copy. The JCN is not responsible for the content of paid advertising. Send copy to Jewish Community News, 14855 Oka Rd., Suite 200, Los Gatos, CA 95032. Telephone: (408) 431-0936. Fax: (408) 356-0733. e-mail: Billing questions call Michelle Ryder (408) 357-7505 Advertising call Elisa Gerston (408) 357-7512 Circulation call Danelle Rhiner (408) 358-3033

Assoc. Member: American Jewish Press Association


CANDLELIGHTING FOR SAN JOSE Friday, May 13...................7:50 pm Friday, May 20...................7:55 pm Friday, May 27...................8:01 pm Friday, June 3....................8:06 pm Erev Shavuot Tuesday, June 7................8:08 pm

Wednesday, June 8 not before.........................9:13 pm Friday, June 10................8:10 pm Friday, June 17................8:12 pm Friday, June 24................8:14 pm Friday, July 1....................8:14 pm

We are charged with the important communal responsibility of caring for our community's most vulnerable and educating our children to maintain a cultural and religious Jewish continuum. With your donations, we send children to Jewish day and overnight camps, and to Israel. We maintain programs in religious schools and provide scholarships for day schools. We help feed the elderly here in our community and those seniors in Israel and over 250,000 aged in the Former Soviet Union. Your donation helps in so many ways. We kept our promise and maintained funding through very difficult financial times. This year, Chai House seniors were able to continue their meal program. The APJCC was able to host their senior lunch program. Day schools were able to extend their scholarship programs, especially with more financial aid needs. New parents were welcomed with a Shalom baby gift basket and young children delighted in receiving free Jewish books monthly and participating in PJ Library programs to compliment those gifts. The Mikvah was used by scores of people looking for spiritual healing and cleansing. We have hosted and co-hosted educational and cultural programs like the upcoming APJCC Music Festival. Your Federation stretches every donation by working effectively and with purpose. With your help we can exceed our Annual Campaign goal − please join us in our humanitarian efforts. If you haven’t made your gift to the 2011 Annual Campaign, please consider making it before June 30 when our campaign year ends. Thank you.

jyl jurman, federation ceo

Join us at Temple Emanu‐El  Celebrating 150 Years of Tradition & Innovation on August 5, 2011!     

Diaspora Dinner XXI:   Jews of the American South  May 21 at 6:00 PM 

Ongoing Events  Summer Patio Shabbat Services  Start 6/10 at 6:30 PM ! 

Enjoy a gourmet 5‐course meal featuring  Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Magat   the history and cuisine of the Southern  Jewish American. Contact the office for  every 2nd and 4th Wednesday   pricing.  Your check reserves your spot.   

of the Month! 

Neighborhood Havdallah  June 11 at 6:00 PM  

Tot Shabbat & Potluck   every 3rd Friday of the Month 

Enjoy Havdallah and Dinner in your  neighborhood! 

Erev Shavuot and Confirmation Service   June 4, 2011 at 7:00 PM   

Congratulations to the Confirmation Class of 5771  Alicia Blumstein, Moriah Chermak, Allison Gabbert,   Adam Heerwagen, Ariana Henry, Cale Horeff,   Miranda Katz, Scott Lunell, Noah Rubin,   Alexandra Schmitt, and Adam Sciupac!    For more information call 408‐292‐0939   or visit!  1010 University Ave, San Jose, CA 95126 Temple Office Phone(408)292-0939 Religious School Phone (408)292-3223

4 • JCN • MAY 2011

Need some quiet time? Creating happy Jewish moments, one book at a time The PJ Library® program nurtures meaningful experiences for children by sending books to your home on a monthly basis - for free! Jewish children six months to seven years old who live in the South Bay can receive high-quality, age appropriate, colorful Jewish books to keep and enjoy. To enroll, visit signup.php or call (408) 357-7509 for more details.

• • • • • • • •

to reflect to celebrate to express gratitude to leave the past behind to hope to begin something new to center yourself to be nurtured May we invite you to try an ancient Jewish tradition - made new.

Come and immerse in the flowing, warm, fresh, soothing waters of the Mikvah and connect with the Source of your being. Focus on yourself for a while. The experience at the Mikvah is respectful and meaningful.

Call The Mikvah Line at (408) 357-7444 Jewish Community Mikvah at the Levy Family Campus Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley 14855 Oka Road Los Gatos 95032

Los Gatos Memorial Park Shalom Garden

Serving the Bay Area Jewish community since 1889 Peaceful, park-like setting overlooking Santa Cruz Mountains

*Pre Plan and receive a discount *Graveside Ceremonies in a serene setting *Upright monuments available *Trained funeral professionals *Traditional caskets and ritual services

Schedule a tour of Shalom Garden and receive a


Viva Restaurant Gift Card!

2255 Los Gatos-Almaden Rd., San Jose, CA 95124

(408) 356-4151 Darling-Fischer Mortuaries Chapel of the Hills 615 N. Santa Cruz Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030 (408) 354-7740 FD940

Garden Chapel 471 E. Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95112 (408) 998-2226 FD557

Campbell Memorial Chapel 231 E. Campbell Ave. Campbell, CA 95008 (408) 379-5010 FD898


MAY 2011 • JCN •

local news College student travels to NYC to donate her bone marrow to 1-month-old baby By Cecily Ruttenberg


uring her Birthright trip to Israel last summer, San Jose State University student Michelle Aver, 21, registered for the Gift of Life Jewish Bone Marrow Foundation during a day of group community service. “I never really thought twice about,” Michelle said. “I just thought, okay, cool. I’ll do this and nothing will ever come of it.”

In January, Michelle received a phone call from Gift of Life that she was a potential match for a 1-month-old little girl. “I decided when I first got the call that if I was a match, I was going to do it,” Michelle said. Exactly three weeks later Michele received a call saying she was an exact match and it was extremely urgent. The baby girl, now two-months old, was in critical condition. On March 13, the Gift of Life put Michelle on a red-eye flight to New York, and she spent March 14 in Cornell Hospital, undergoing chest x-rays, EKGs and more blood draws. After determining her healthy, the date of March 29 was set. Michelle flew back to New York and was readmitted to Cornell Hospital. “I was told that I wasn’t going to need general anesthesia, but my anesthesiologist decided I did,” she said. Michelle recounts that a large needle, the length of a ruler and size of a ball-point pen, was inserted through the muscle and tissue of her back in order to extract marrow from her bones. “It was a little painful,” Michele said stoically, “but in comparison to the outcome, I don’t feel that it was very painful.” According to what Gift of Life told Michelle, Michelle’s bone marrow was frozen to preserve it while the baby girl undergoes some special chemotherapy. Once she recovers from that treatment, she will receive the bone marrow. While bone marrow donors get limited information on the patient they are helping, Michelle was eager to share what she knew.

Michelle Aver

Gift of Life rules restrict contact between donors and patients for one year. Michelle is eagerly awaiting the time when she can meet the baby girl she helped. “Every year Gift of Life will have a gala, and it’s a fancy event where donors and recipients are introduced, and they’re announced. That’s where I’m hoping we will get to meet,” said Michelle. “She’s going to be awesome. I already know it.” The experience inspired Michele so much that she is in the process of organizing a large scale bone marrow drive in the Silicon Valley. Michelle could not say enough about how great the staff at Gift of Life was throughout the entire process. “At every point they made me feel so comfortable,” said Michelle. “I was so overwhelmed by how amazing they were.”

75-year-old local to compete in the Maccabi Games By Cecily Ruttenberg


n his younger years, 75-year-old Harvey Gotliffe never had Olympic aspirations, however never say never. This summer, the Santa Cruz resident and former SJSU professor, will take on ping pong's best at the Thirteenth European Maccabi Games.

More than 2,000 athletes from over 40 countries will participate in the European Maccabi Games. Gotliffe will compete in the Masters Table Tennis category, for people as young as 40 and up. To participate, Gotliffe had to fill out an application with his ranking information and an essay about why he wanted to go. “I wrote that I play in tournaments, I love it, I'm Jewish and I've never been in a Jewish tournament,” said Gotliffe. “And the last time I was in Vienna was 1974.” Gotliffe is not new to the competitive table tennis scene. He plays twice a week in Santa Cruz and trains once a week with the U.S. Men’ National Coach at the Top Spin Club in San Jose, where his wife Carmen also trains. Gotliffe began playing tournaments some 13 years ago. He plays every December in Las Vegas at the U.S. Nationals, and also in a host of competitions geared towards seniors, which he particularly enjoys for the socializing and the fun of watching retirees who are 'still in the game.' “I sit there sometimes and watch an 85- or 90-year-old person do the 100-yard dash. It's amazing,” said Gotliffe. Gotliffe says many seniors compete to stay in shape, and table tennis offers even more benefits. “It's supposed to be one of the best exercises to help avoid Alzheimer’s,” he said. “It's a thinking game, in addition to being a very active game, too, because you have to plan ahead.”

Harvey Gotliffe

Gotliffe and his wife plan to continue playing table tennis and competing as long as they are able. What better way to live out the senior years!

6 • JCN • MAY 2011


MAY 2011 • JCN •

local news

Temple Emanu-El member featured in national Jewish magazine

Israeli-trained K-9 unit visits Temple Emanu-El Preschool and Shabbat service

Sid Rosenberg, 97, the oldest member of Temple Emanu-El who has chanted Haftarah on Rosh Hashanah for the last 40 years, was featured in the March issue of Moment magazine. The article exposes the 1950s discrimination against Jews, especially with the name of Rosenberg, who worked in the U.S. Signal Corps, after Julius Rosenberg’s Sid Rosenberg arrest for giving secrets to the USSR.

By Lori Telson

At first, Sid was reluctant to talk to Moment Editor and Publisher Nadine Epstein about his security problems from nearly 60 years ago. Now, after reading Epstein’s article, Sid feels the piece has a useful, Jewish-oriented purpose in explaining what happened during that difficult time for him. The entire article can be read on Moment’s website at

Ginny Baird to be president of Hadassah’s Central Pacific Coast Region Ginny Baird, past president of the local Sharone Chapter of Hadassah and president of Women’s Philanthropy of The Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, will be named president of the Central Pacific Coast Region of Hadassah on Sunday, May 15, at 5 p.m. at Michael’s Restaurant, 2960 N. Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View. This event is open to the community. Ginny Baird

Zack Bodner, director of the Northwest Pacific Region of AIPAC will be the special guest speaker. A gala buffet supper ($50 couvert) will be served. Founded in 1912, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the largest women’s, largest Zionist, and largest Jewish membership organization in the United States. In Israel, it supports pacesetting medical care and research, education and youth programs, and reforestation and parks projects. In the U.S., Hadassah promotes health education, social action and advocacy, Jewish education, volunteerism and leadership skills, Young Judaea and connections with Israel.

Temple Emanu-El’s Cantor Meeka Simerly is from Israel and loves dogs. She found dogs trained in Israel in Sergeant Mike Saliba’s Santa Clara County’s K-9 unit. She first heard about Saliba and his dogs, “Smaya,” a Labrador, and “Jerry,” a German Shepherd, from an article a student gave her. Then, Sergeant Saliba’s K-9 unit was assigned to check out the security at the facilities for Temple Emanu-El’s High Holy Day services last year. Simerly made certain she attended, too. “Meeting Mike, Jerry and Smaya truly made by day and I shared my interest in having him and the Sergeant Mike Saliba and Cantor Meeka Simerly are having fun with Smaya, dogs present at our Temple Saliba's K-9 unit Labrador trained in Israel, in front of the teachers, staff and to make our congregants children of Temple Emanu-El's preschool. Chris Smead of aware of this special K-9 unit who were trained in Israel,” Simerly said. So, Sergeant Saliba and Smaya visited Temple Emanu-El’s preschool in March. (see pictures) The children encouraged Smaya to “chapes” or search for treats and when he did they all said “Kelev Tov” or good dog. Sergeant Saliba and his dogs were also present at Temple Emanu-El’s Shabbat service on April 29, the evening before Temple Emanu-El’s Paws Shabbat on April 30.

Jewish identity and connectedness priority for new Shir Hadash president On June 10, Bruce Hartman will assume the presidency of Congregation Shir Hadash. Current president Rich Pickard will step down. Hartman is focused on the issue of Jewish identity and how to propagate it and preserve it in this community. Hartman feels his Jewish identity was strengthened through his attendance at Jewish summer camps, as both a camper and a counselor. With his encouragement, his three children have attended the Jewish summer camp, Camp Newman, and they participate in local organizations such as NIFTY. As president, Hartman plans to work to further strengthen the ties between Shir Hadash and the broader, local Jewish Incoming Shir Hadash President Bruce community. He believes the wider Jewish community needs to Hartman with his family. find ways to enhance connectedness between all Jews whether they are affiliated or not. He looks forward to opportunities to collaborate and cooperate with all the organizations in our community toward that common goal.

Ellenberg named Litigator of the Year Steve Ellenberg, president of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, was voted “Best Litigator of the Year” in 2011 by the Silicon Valley Metro Reader Picks. According to the Metro, Ellenberg, a Columbia Law School graduate, "is widely considered to be one of the most ethical attorneys in the Bay Area." His practice focuses on business and commercial litigation.

8 • JCN • MAY 2011

Congregation Beth David


Family Friendly Services


There’s a Place for me at CBD

Community Synaplex Shabbat and BBQ, May 20, 2011:

From Darkness to Light

A Concert in Memory of Beverly Pressman Performance by Schola Cantorum Hosted by Beth David Hazak

No Shush Shabbat, 6:30 pm For families with young children

BBQ, Services and a unique Oneg 7:15 pm - 9:30 pm Shavuot Confirmation Service , Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 7 pm in the sanctuary

Shavuot Yizkor Service, Wednesday June 8, 6:30 pm

followed by the dedication of new names in the Memorial Garden.

Stimulating Topics, Fascinating - Speakers Shavuot Late Night Study June 7, 10 pm until Midnight.

Four special study sessions including discussions of the commandments - Honoring Your Father and Mother, and Thou Shalt Not Covet. Led by Rabbis Aron, Levenberg, Hugh Seid Valencia, and religious school teacher Jeff Levin. Concludes with traditional Shavuot cheesecake.

Sunday, May 22nd, 4:00 p.m.

19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga 408-257-3333 Daniel Pressman, Senior Rabbi Philip Ohriner, Assistant Rabbi

Service Schedule Daily Minyan

Mon-Thurs 7:00 p.m. Sunday 9:30 a.m.

Shabbat Services Friday 6:30 p.m. Saturday 9:30 a.m.

Shir Shabbat*

6:30 p.m. - 4th Friday - 6/24

Family & Youth

Friday Evenings PJ Shabbat & Dinner

6:00 p.m. – Friday – 5/13, 6/10

More classes can be found at

Looking for a great preschool?

Check out our fully licensed, safe and nurturing early childhood center. For more information on services and programs , please visit www. or call the temple at 358-1751 x5

Shabbat Morning Tot Shabbat (ages 0-5)

11:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Saturday 5/28, 6/11, 6/25

Haverim Services (ages 5-8) Will resume in September

Youth Congregation (ages 9-12) 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. 5/14 & 5/21

* A service of joyous songs

Reception following performance Tickets available at: or by phone 408-366-9108 Adults - $24.00; Seniors - $20.00; Students $12.00; Patrons - $108.00 includes 2 tickets and special seating; Sponsors - $250.00 includes 2 tickets, special seating and acknowledgement in the program.

Shifting Sands and Foundations for Peace: Navigating the Middle East Political Environment

Thursday, May 26th, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Akiv Tor, Consul General of Israel for the Pacific Northwest Region, will focus on Israel in a period of tectonic political shifts within Muslim countries across North Africa and the Middle East. A small donation is requested for this event.


Tuesday, June 7th - Tikkun Leil Shavuot Standing at Sinai: Torah in Our Lives 9:00 p.m. - Service 9:30 p.m. - Midnight - Study

Wednesday, June 8th - 1st Day Shavuot 9:30 a.m. - Service

Thursday, June 9th - 2nd Day Shavuot 9:30 a.m. - Service Megillat/Book of Ruth Yizkor


MAY 2011 • JCN •

local news

Local connections to Japan


hen news of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and compromised nuclear power plant spread around the globe last month, everyone felt the impact. But for some people, the impact was closer to home. In the local Silicon Valley Jewish community, Adam Dorsay, Psy.D., a postdoctoral fellow in psychology, felt the sting of loss for a country that had welcomed him for many years during and after college. “I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude to the Adam Dorsay during his time in Japan country of Japan for allowing me to live there and work there and make friends there,” said Dorsay. “I’m broken hearted for the loss of human life, for the terror that children and adults are experiencing,” he said. “I feel as if a dear friend had been badly injured.” Dorsay received a scholarship to go to Japan in 1988 while in college. After graduation, he moved to Japan for a job at Sumitomo Metal Industries and Panasonic as an in-house trainer for engineers needing to learn English and acculturation skills for living abroad. While in Japan, Dorsay lived about 400 miles away from where the biggest devastation occurred. He made many close friends and has stayed in contact with them through the years, and of course, in the aftermath of the earthquake. Yet even in the face of this fear and devastation, Dorsay says he is impressed and awed by the response of the Japanese people themselves. “I think that much of the Japanese character has revealed itself in that there has been no looting. There has been a tremendous amount of cooperation and I think they set a excellent example for the world to follow,” Dorsay said. For his part, Dorsay has joined others in the local Jewish community, and across the world to donate money towards the recovery efforts. “Japan’s not just a spot on the map for me. It’s a place that I know and love and think about and dream about,” said Dorsay.

Jewish Federation raises more than $18,000 for Japan By Arielle Hendel The Jewish Federation, in conjunction with our North American Federation affiliates, is committed to care for victims of global natural disasters, and have emergency relief plans into place to aid those in need. Locally, we raised over $18,000 for the 2011 Pacific Rim earthquake and tsunami. North American Jewish Federations have so far raised more than $1 million to help those affected by the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan, over $30 million to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, and $10 million for those affected by the southern Asia tsunami in 2006. We have also reached out to the victims of the 2011 tornadoes in our Southern states. Federations are able to direct 100% of donations given for emergency aid because of the Annual Campaign. Donations to the Annual Campaign lay the foundation of relationships between major Jewish organizations to allow for the disaster response. The Jewish Federations of North America distribute annual campaign donations to the Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and ORT. These agencies provide programs overseas. On March 11, a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami cut a swath across northeastern Japan that killed nearly 15,000 people and left over 10,000 missing. Our hearts went out to those just on the other side of the Pacific from us. This disaster hit particularly hard for those in our community with ties to Japan. Many felt compelled to make their donation specifically through a Jewish organization, so that the victims of this earthquake knew that the Jewish Community was helping. It turns out it makes a difference. The Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley also collected money in 2006 for the Myanmar tsunami. All of our emergency aid is directed 100% to the Joint Distribution Committee (Joint). Originally, the Indonesian government refused aid from Israeli or Jewish organizations. The Joint said they would still help and asked how this might still be possible. The governments asked that they list their organization simply as "The Joint" without any reference to having a Jewish affiliation. It turned out that the Joint was one of the most influential and helpful aid providers and was recognized for their efforts at the ceremony commemorating the first anniversary. The government officials thanked the Joint inclusive of its Jewish ties. Apparently, our humanitarian aid builds political bridges as well.

Rosa Bencuya

Visit the community blog @

408.499.2077 • 408.913.7784 Saratoga office 408.741.11111

At one time, you were proud of that old car. Now, you can be proud of it again. Donate your unwanted vehicle to Jewish Family Services and support vital programs for families, children, and older adults in need. Donate Today!


1-8 7 7- 5 3 7- 4 2 2 7

10 • JCN • MAY 2011

community photos

Some of the children of Summer Torah Club 2010 enjoying the excitement (fun) at Discovery Kingdom.

Beth David Jr. Kadimanics, led by Rachel Schultz, enjoyed dessert as appetizers at their Purim Chaotic Dinner in March and painting Seder Plates at Color Me Mine with Sinai Jr. Kadima on April 3.

Members and associates of the Sharone, Villages, and Sequoia chapters of Hadassah enjoyed a sunny weekend in Pacific Grove at the annual Central Pacific Coast Region (CPCR) of Hadassah Asilomar Education Kallah on February 25 – 27. The weekend was led by the Israel Director of Public Relations and Communications for Hadassah in Jerusalem Barbara Sofer. Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012.

Jerry Dubin and Jack Shorr enjoy catching up at Congregation Emeth’s Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser at Satori Cellars in Gilroy, CA.

South Peninsula Conservative Rabbis at their recent meeting at Beth David: Rabbi Sarah Graff of Kol Emeth, Rabbi Josh Berkenwald of Congregation Sinai, Rabbi David Booth of Kol Emeth, Rabbi Philip Ohriner of Congregation Beth David, Rabbi Laurie Matzin of Kol Emeth and Rabbi Daniel Pressman of Congregation Beth David.

APJCC preschoolers make Mishloach Manot (Purim gift baskets) with seniors from the community as part of the JCC's Grandpals program.


MAY 2011 • JCN •

community photos

Beth David’s Kita Vav participated in community service projects with Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley.

Beth David’s 5th-7th graders checked out some cool Jewish sites outside the South Bay. Their all day trip included Temple Emanuel, Temple Sherith Israel and the JCM in San Francisco; Hills of Eternity cemetery and finished off with a delicious Pizza dinner and tour at Kehilla Jewish High School in Palo Alto. During the bus ride they watched “Feivel Goes West”; they found the tombstone of the real Sheriff Wyatt Earp during the trip!

The Shalom and Rock and Roll Band performing during Purim at Congregation Sinai.

The Friendship Circle, a Jewish nonprofit in Palo Alto that pairs teenagers with special needs children, hosted its annual fundraising event.

During Beth David’s Hanukkah Mishpaha Program “Hanukkah REtold”, students collected 175 pairs of socks InnVision, an organization which helps REbuild communities.

Rabbi Josh Berkenwald performing during Congregation Sinai's Batttle of the Bands.

Julia Mandeberg and Adam Helfenbein (Teen Leadeship Award Recipients), Ezzy and Nechama Schusterman, directors of Friendship Circle, Cindy Rogoway, honoree, and Amir Rosenbaum, event emcee.

12 • JCN • MAY 2011

silicon valley jewish

music festival live music • food & arts vendors fa m i ly f u n a c t i v i t i e s • free community-wide event for all ages •

sunday, may 22 1:00-8:00pm 14855 oka road, free los gatos


Performances by

david Grisman & andy statman quartet craiG taubman papa huGs the macaroons elana jaGoda 408.357.7411


JewishLiFe JewishLi Jewish iFe e AndLeArning


MAY 2011 • JCN •

Remembering Rebbetzin Beverly Pressman By Eleanor Dickman


everly Auerbach Pressman, wife of Senior Rabbi Daniel Pressman, was one of Congregation Beth David’s most beloved members. During her two-year valiant fight for her life, the community helped her with mundane activities of daily living and gave her comfort with their love. After her death in July 2009, synagogue “regulars” established a nightly Minyan service to enable Rabbi Daniel Pressman and other congregants to observe Yahrtzeits for departed loved ones. These services continue today, thanks to dedicated organizers and attendees.

On May 22, another kind of memorial will take place at Beth David: a concert presented by the prestigious choral ensemble, Schola Cantorum. Beginning at 4 p.m., the program―“From Darkness to Light”―features choral compositions old and new that “explore galvanizing and emotional music that plumbs the transcendental power of music in survival, remembrance and transformation.” The program, according to Schola organizers, features “profound and beautiful music reminding generations that the bright light of hope sustains humanity even at its worst.” Included in the concert are choruses from the Verdi Requiem, as well as works on these themes by contemporary composers. This program, sponsored by Beth David’s Hazak group, includes a reception following the concert, which will be held in the synagogue sanctuary. It is a fitting memorial for Bev, an accomplished soprano, who loved singing and was a member of Schola Cantorum for many years. According to organizer Natalie Schriger, “Hazak wanted to do something very special for the congregation in memory of Bev. What could have been a better venue than her love of music where her beautiful voice was heard.” Hazak leaders contacted Schola Cantorum. Musical director Gregory Wait knew Bev and spoke about the importance of singing in giving her strength and joy. Wait spoke about the power of music to bring joy to one's life while dealing with sorrow and the trials of life. Appropriately, the theme of the concert will be comfort, reconciliation and the joy of singing.

Beverly Pressman

Says Howard Gannes, Hazak president, “We are proud to sponsor this meaningful event to honor and commemorate Beverly’s life.” Tickets, available through Beth David’s website,, are priced at $24 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $12 for students. Patrons who contribute $108 will receive two tickets to the performance. If you are unable to attend the concert, but would still like to make a donation in memory of Beverly Pressman, please send a check, made payable to “CBD―Hazak” to Congregation Beth David, 19700 Prospect Road, Saratoga, CA. and write “In Memory of Bev P.” in the “memo” section. For more information, please call (408) 366-9108.


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graduation special • JCN • MAY 2011

Kehillah Jewish High School to hold sixth commencement ceremony On Sunday June 12, 2011 at 2 p.m. at the Heritage Theater in Campbell, 25 seniors at Kehillah Jewish High School will receive their high school diplomas and share reflections on their four years together. Kehillah’s Class of 2011 is the school’s sixth graduating class. The students have been accepted to an impressive array of colleges, universities and gap year programs, including: Barnard College, Berklee College of Music, Boston University, Brandeis University, all the University of California schools, California Institute of Technology, NYU and about 50 others!

Kehillah Jewish High School Class of 2011

Kehillah’s Class of 2011: Lindsay Askenas, San Jose; Arielle Bendahan, San Jose; Sheeva Bhutani, San Mateo; Elizabeth Blumenthal, Saratoga; Erez Cramer, Sunnyvale; Eytan Davidovits, Los Altos ; Anna Freedland, Atherton; Michael Gortovnik, Campbell; Emma Goss, Los Altos; Adam Hadar, Los Gatos; Ashley Kaplan, Redwood City; Max Kaplan, Redwood City; Benjamin Lehmann, Portola Valley; Audrey Lehrer, Redwood City; Sam Lerner, San Jose; Laurie Resnick, Union City; Jacob Rhein, San Carlos; Deborah Rod, Cupertino; Kayla Sculnick, Sunnyvale; Raz Serero, Redwood City; Andrew Simmons, Los Altos; Riley Smith, Palo Alto; India Spears, Saratoga; Esty Starr-Glass, San Jose; Allison Stein, Cupertino

Kehillah Jewish High School serves boys and girls in grades 9-10 in Palo Alto, California, across the street from the Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life. The Commencement is open to all. For more information about the school, please visit

The following members of Temple Emanu-El were confirmed on June 4

Congregation Shir Hadash celebrated its confirmation class on June 4

Alicia Blumstein, daughter of Ron & Kristi Blumstein; Moriah Chermak, daughter of Jesse Chermak & Joy Morris; Allison Gabbert, daughter of Matthew & Lorraine Gabbert; Adam Heerwagen, son of Jim Heerwagen & Hilary Schneider; Ariana Henry, daughter of Karen and Penni Henry; Cale Horeff, son of Steve & Dena Horeff; Miranda Katz, daughter of Gary & Melissa Katz; Scott Lunell, son of Sean & Anita Lunell; Noah Rubin, son of Kurt Rubin & Lori Telson; Alexandra Schmitt, daughter of Ralph & Sara Schmitt; Adam Sciupac, son of Louis Sciupac

Andrew Kunnes Weston, son of Edward & Nancy Weston; Daniellle Platt, daughter of Eric & Genevieve Platt; Elyse Berlinberg, daughter of Craig & Jacki Berlinberg; Erica Snyder, daughter of Larry Snyder & Ellen HudsonSnyder; Jessica Jedel, daughter of Marc & Rebecca Jedel; Juliana UroMay, daughter of Howard May & Patricia Uro; Liana Riley, daughter of Glen & Paula Riley; Millie Medina, daughter of Debra Medina; Pierce Urban, son of Linda Franklin & ; Dave Urban (z.l.),Samuel Littman, son of Peter Littman & Barbara Bleadon; Satchel Belansky, son of Aaron & Marlene Belansky; Sharon Zohar, daughter of Eitan & Amit Zohar

Yavneh Day School celebrates 8th grade graduates Yavneh's Middle School is celebrating its graduating 8th graders. Congratulations to Micah Ammerman, Samuel Ammerman, Shani Eshel, Patrick Golombek, Gregory Lerner, Rayna Levinson, Aaaron Levy, Jordan Levy, Adee Peer, Leron Perez, Heather Schacher, Ariana Sedighpour and Jasmine Yaghutiel. Best of luck in high school next year!

Hebrew High School graduates this year include: Daniel Adelberg, son of Charles & Davida Adelberg; Arielle Bendahan, daughter of Joseph & Iris Bendahan; E l i z a b e t h Blumenthal, daughter of Howard & Jane Blumenthal; Joseph Beyda, son of Barbara Beyda; Hannah Gafter, daughter of Neal & Ricki Gafter; Jennifer Ganeles, Beth David Hebrew High Graduates daughter of Jerome Pictured (left to right): Rabbi Philip Ohriner, Meital & Hindi Ganeles; Factor, Molly Ball, Betty Cherkasskiy, Nathan Sam Goldstein, son Kline, Jake Seife (Teen Madrikh), Iris Bendahan of Lisa Goldstein; (Principal,) Monique Alexander (teacher), Rabbi Evan Hirsch, son Daniel Pressman; Lower Row: Harrison Toren, of Lee & Bonnie Morgan Dickins, Stephanie Cohen, Talia Clement, Hirsch Max Rossip (not pictured: Kevin Glajchen, Solomon Rivkin, Jake Silver & Ari Sweedler). A ceremony will be held at Congregation Beth David on June 4 to commemorate this milestone.

MAY 2011 • JCN •


graduation special

Yavneh Day School eighth graders take community service internships throughout the Levy Campus By Leron Perez Yavneh Day School’s new social justice curriculum, co-taught by Susan Ellenberg and Nick Walker, offers a three year program for middle school students that is designed to increase their consciousness about social injustices in the world in which they live and empower them to act to repair those injustices. The culmination of this three year program is an 8th grade internship program during which the students gain what is often their first direct experience with community service and their first opportunity to use their own skills and time to “give back” to our community. 8th grade student Leron Perez chose a journalism internship in order to document the 8th grade social justice experience. These are his words: We began our 8th grade year by learning about the biblical prophets as the original “social activists”; individuals who saw what was wrong in society and spoke up for change.

some got lost, and others were completely disoriented when they arrived. Most of the students were able to easily transition into the work of their internships. Patrick got immediately involved in his internship, where he was helping people to learn English. He was included in the program, and after meeting all the other participants, both the English-speaking volunteers, and those hoping to learn English, he started taking part. He was not only immediately involved but also immediately engaged, and he actively helped his partner understand and complete the exercises in the textbook they were given. Ariana and Samuel worked with JCC teen services director Jason Goldstein and BBYO Central Region West director Jill Pottel to plan a community service learning day for middle school students.

In time, everyone grew accustomed to the routine of the internships and began to appreciate the experience for more than an opportunity to get away from the enclosed classroom's regular We studied more recent examples Yavneh student intern, Micah, acted as an aide in the JCC preschool's Ma'avaar workspace! When asked if she was of social activists, from Nelson enjoying her internship and looking Mandela and Harvey Milk to Bella forward to teach the class on her own, Heather enthusiastically responded Abzug and Cesar Chavez. In addition, we learned about local community “Yes!” But there is also the other side of the story. Micah, who assisted in service programs including San Jose City Year, Habitat for Humanity and San a JCC preschool classroom, when asked a similar question Jose Rotary. From the nonchalantly responded that “It's not bad; it's fun,” but beginning of the year, also added that even though he did enjoy the experience, however, we all knew the transition was tough and he felt “unprepared and lost”. that soon it would be our turn to give back to our All too soon, the three month internship program came to campus community - to an end. When asked to look back, every single one of the use our skills and time students felt he or she could take something positive from to make some type of the experience. Gregory, who worked with Coach Garcia, improvement to life on Yavneh’s Athletic Coordinator, felt that he was able to be the Levy Campus. As we exposed to a realistic job situation in a positive and safe learned the classroom, learning environment. He even went further, and said he every week we were thought the program was carried out well, and that he felt inching towards the that he could really learn from this experience. The only day we would finally downside, in Greg’s opinion, was the lack of flexibility; start our internships. Greg’s internship was intended for Greg to help improve It was on everyone's Yavneh’s field and to help attain more balls to play with minds, whether we were at break, but due to time constraints, and conflicting thinking about it quietly schedules, he was unable to do this as fully as he would or talking about it in the have liked. Jordan Levy, who interned with Amanda Orrin halls. from the Jewish Federation, felt differently. When asked about time constraints, he said that there would always Each student had the be a problem with somebody’s schedule and that “it’s not opportunity to chose an always going to work out”. However, he felt that this little internship from a list of options that ranged from Eighth grade student, Heather, helps fourth graders with a math detail was insignificant in the bigger picture, and that it was more important that he was able to learn and gain social network support assignment as part of her Yavneh internship. the valuable experience. Zooming out and looking at the for the Jewish Federation big picture, everybody was quite happy and enjoyed the and Yavneh, to assisting internship program. in classrooms or the library, to painting a mural to beautify the playground, to teaching English to new immigrants Our options were varied and everyone Photos accompanying this article were taken by 8th grade student Adee found something that appealed to our particular interests. Peer, who chose a photography internship to document the Yavneh internship experience. Finally, the first internship day came. Everyone went in different directions:

16 • JCN • MAY 2011

community news

Hillel honors 'pillars of the community' at annual luncheon By Eleanor Dickman On April 3, more than 220 people gathered at the Levy Family Campus for Hillel’s annual “Pillars of the Community” event. They came to express their appreciation to the Hillel organization―to staff and students for creating a service organization of such quality, vigor, and value; to special honorees for their unique roles in strengthening Hillel; to the general community for their consistent support. This event was unique: focus on the almost-ready new Hillel House at 44 S. 11 Street gave extra energy and excitement to the proceedings, which began with a welcome from Barbara Illowsky, president of the Hillel Board. This year’s student honorees were Neta Hamou, Santa Clara University School of Law; Masha Lazer, West Valley College; Sabina Manasherob, Foothill College; Leah Press, San José State University; and Idan Raz, De Anza College. Each student expressed appreciation for Hillel’s services to five college campuses, and reflected upon the impact Hillel has made on their Jewish identity and personal growth.

Hillel's 'Pillars of the Community' House Benefactor Eli Reinhard

Following this presentation, Hillel’s Executive Director Sue Maltiel spoke about Hillel’s overarching goal: “The entire Hillel organization is here for one purpose―a Jewish future. And we build that one student at a time.” The luncheon and auction grossed about $140,000. She spoke of her pride in Hillel’s ability to “represent the face of Judaism and of Israel to the entire college campus, [working] hard to build bridges and coalitions,” and spoke of the new Hillel house opening later in the summer saying, “we will celebrate how an entire community came together to support the Jewish college students in Silicon Valley and the Jewish future.”

Highlighting the event were the awards presented to this year’s “Pillars of the Community”: House Benefactor Eli Reinhard; House Project Leader John Nadler; and House Architect David Fenster. Each made unique contributions to the successful purchase and renovation of Hillel’s exciting new and larger home. And each expressed his own pleasure in being part of the process. Reinhard, whose leadership gift was made in honor of his parents and his uncle, stated, “You do what you can do. It’s not just giving money that makes a difference, but being active and being a participant. My parents inspired me to do things in the Jewish community that I could do, and that I think is the important lesson for all people.” Fenster noted that, as the architect, he “wanted to design something that had to do with Judaism, which is part of something that I am. This was the closest you can get between your individual beliefs and what you do for a living. [The new house] will be a place where students will be able to create a little bit more of their own identity. It’s an honor to have been part of the process.”

COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE MEANS: Children at the center, NOT in the middle.

Nadler, the project director, acknowledged that “being involved with everyone has been a real blessing and a pleasure for me. The students will see a very warm, welcoming and comfortable environment.” Even after the event was officially concluded, there was an energy, excitement, satisfaction, and warmth in the room that lasted for a long time.

Hillel to host weekly BBQs this summer Once Hillel of Silicon Valley’s new home is completed and open this summer, Hillel will be hosting weekly Kosher BBQs - Hillel Sizzlers – for college students that attend local campuses or are living in Silicon Valley for the summer. Hillel of Silicon Valley is known for its warm and welcoming community. No matter how involved or uninvolved students during the school year at any Hillel, they are welcome and invited. Hillel promises an opportunity to connect with old friends and to make new friends. This is the first time that Hillel of Silicon Valley will be offering programming during the summer. The space provided by the new house makes all sorts of exciting new programs possible. BBQs will start Tuesday evening June 21 and will run every Tuesday after that. Watch for more information at or at Space is limited so reservations are suggested, (408) 286-6669.


Collaborative Practice: A Different Way to Divorce

Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley

MAY 2011 • JCN •


community news

Congregation Emeth takes 20 travelers to the Holy Land


wenty travelers recently returned from a two-week pilgrimage to the Holy Land, most of them members of Congregation Emeth, a Morgan Hill synagogue whose members also live in South San Jose, Gilroy, and Hollister. The trip was organized and led by Congregation Emeth’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Debbie Israel.

The group traveled the expanse of the State of Israel, beginning in Jerusalem. They were led by one of Israel’s most experienced tour guides, Yoram Preminger. The first days of the tour focused on the archeological sites of the First and Second Holy Temples in the ancient city and included exploring newly excavated walls and tunnels of the old city. The trip included a swim in the Dead Sea; a stay at two different kibbutzim (communal communities); a boat ride on Lake Tiberias (also known as the Kinneret); an ecological adventure in the Hula Valley Nature Reserve, which is a crucial stop for migratory birds, and the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, which is a unique combination of nature and archeology whose finds date to the Neolithic or Stone Age. In addition to Jerusalem, the group also visited Israel’s other primary cities: Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Safed.

Front row, left to right: Nancy Palm, Peter Mandel, Mario and Eileen Caballero , Cheryl Thompson, Elizabeth Mandel, Ann Rosenzweig, Susan Meyers, Judi Griser and Fred Topf (Los Angeles), Nancy and Patrick Ederer (Ohio), Jerry Dubin, Lindy Wisotsky, Mark Thompson, trip organizer and leader Rabbi Debbie Israel, Peggy Thompson, Michael Oshan, and Kathy and Rick Coencas, and Israeli Tour Guide Yoram Preminger

“Our journey through Israel was a life-changing event for me,” said Rick Coencas, an Emeth member who participated on the trip. “Losing myself in the streets of Old Jaffa and Safed. Seeing the awe-inspiring view from atop Masada. Visiting the Western Wall and the old city of Jerusalem. Learning from our guide Yoram and Rabbi Israel. Enjoying the delicious food and wines of Israel and spending time with our wonderful and enthusiastic group of travelers. This was a journey not to be forgotten.” “This was Congregation Emeth’s first Pilgrimage to Israel in its nearly 35-year history,” said Rabbi Israel. “Also joining us on our tour were non-Jewish Morgan Hill and Gilroy residents, as well as relatives of members from other cities, all of them enhancing the experience for everyone. I look forward to planning a second trip for others in our synagogue and community in the near future!” For more information about Congregation Emeth, email or go to the synagogue’s website,, or call (408) 778-8200.

Shir Hadash teens travel to Costa Rica


sk the teenagers in Congregation Shir Hadash’s Jews Around the World Class, “Do You Know the Way to San José?” they would likely respond, “Sî, Mishka! (“Let’s go!” in the language of the Costa Rican indigenous Bribri people).

Over spring break, a group of eleventh and twelfth graders traveled to Costa Rica for community service, Jewish learning and fun!

The group spent Shabbat with a traditional Reform synagogue. On Sunday morning, they were joined by youth from the Bnai Israel congregation for the first service project, mixing and pouring cement for the continuation of a road in the district of La Carpio. All participants took advantage of the opportunity to practice their EnglishBecky Barryte, Carlos Dell, Lyla Pack, Megan Spanish skills while helping Pappas, Jessica Safran, Rachael Snyder, this immigrant community of Daniel Spool, and C.J. Weil, accompanied mostly Nicaraguan refugees. by Rabbi Melanie Aron, film maker Tricia La Carpio is a Los Gatos-sized Creason-Valencia, chemistry teacher Ken barrio located between the Porush and parent chaperone Ellen Hudson- municipal airport and sanitary Snyder, participated in the expedition led by landfill, where houses are Matt Cook of CASE (Central American Service small tin-roofed structures. Education goes through Expeditions). elementary school and the daycare center is the central meeting place. The 18-year-old sector began as a squatter community, and other community service projects have assisted the residents build houses and roads and add electricity. Following a warm and humid day of construction,

students made a presentation of school supplies, baby clothes, and money to the community leaders, all of which were gratefully acknowledged. Monday’s travel to the coast included a stop at the Sloth Rehabilitation Center where injured or abandoned sloths are brought for care and where appropriate for preparation for release. Destruction of the local rainforest is a major contributor to the decline of the sloth population; the group got to see some permanent resident sloths as well as recent arrival as young as a few weeks. From the coast, travel continued upstream in dugout canoes to the tiny community of Yorkîn—a community of some 200 indigenous people located deep in the rainforest. One traveler commented, “It looks like we’re in a postcard!” The community is sustained by the production and sale of organic bananas and cacao, used to make chocolate, bolstered by sales of hand-made jewelry and crafts, as well as donations from outside groups and some support from the Costa Rican government. The Shir Hadash contingent came prepared to help, with donations similar to those at La Carpio. The service project in Yorkîn involved arduous work on a hot and humid day. The teens divided into groups and the process began with digging rocks and sand from the banks of the Yorkin River. Umpteen bags of these materials were carried uphill and over the muddy unpaved paths to a location about half a mile from the river where they were used to extend a path through the forest. The tired, sweaty and sunburned diggers, carriers, and path makers then planted two native trees each to help prevent deforestation in the area and compensate for the carbon impact of their air flights. Cameras were flashing throughout the journey, and many students helped film the work and conduct interviews for a planned documentary, funded in part by Bechol Lashon, which will be screened at the congregation in early August. The excursion ended where it began, back in California with a troupe of tired teens. The lessons learned about crossing boundaries—physical, economic and linguistic—to spread social justice, and the friendships made with both Jews and non-Jews will remain important memories for years to come. Thanks to CASE and the people of La Carpio and Yorkîn, these kids now DO know the way.


community news • JCN • MAY 2011

Kehillah Jewish High School's junior and senior classes travel to Israel By Kayla Sculnick


veryone says that a trip to Israel is the trip of a lifetime and that it provides you with the greatest experience. I believe that this statement does not even come close to summarizing the experience that that Kehillah Jewish High School juniors and seniors shared this past March. Our trip was an amazing journey. It was a time where 50 students not only bonded as a group but also grew as individuals. From the self-reflection time during a magnificent dawn in the Negev Desert to swimming together near a cascading waterfall in Ein Gedi, we have become more knowledgeable and mature adults while visiting some of the most beautiful and historic sites in the world. As we (the Seniors) impatiently awaited our college decisions, everyone was supportive, understanding and caring about this changing and evolving aspect of our lives. Chatting in Hebrish (Hebrew and English) over some fresh shwarma and falafel, not only strengthened our friendships, but allowed us to create new ones. I could not have asked for a better trip or a more meaningful experience. It was an honor (as someone who has been to Israel before) to share the trip with those who were experiencing Israel for the first time. Three weeks can seem like a lifetime. But on this trip, three weeks was not enough. I love Israel. This trip was a great way of introducing those who were not acquainted with the country. For me, it was profound and so much more than a 'school trip'. It was my connecting moment to the country in which I will Fifty Jewish teens bond on their trip to Israel spend the next year on a Gap Year program before college. We bargained with merchants in the Shuk (open market) in Jerusalem. We walked through the streets of Tel Aviv-Jaffo where we felt the delicious sea breeze. We watched the various students of the different Yeshivot walk through the streets of the Old City welcoming in Shabbat. These were defining moments for me. It was at these times I was able to see myself living in Israel. What we experienced was a glimpse of our futures and the strength of our friendships.

Take me out to the


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Annual Meeting

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The Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley cordially invites you to its 2011 Annual Meeting. Join us for tailgating and then watch the San Jose Giants game.

Sunday, June 26, 2011 4:00 pm Meeting; 5:00 pm Game San Jose Giants Municipal Stadium, 588 East Alma Avenue, San Jose, CA 95112

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Tickets & dinner just $10! Contact (408) 358-3033


MAY 2011 • JCN •

local news

Sunday School teachers sharpen skills to teach local kids


or the last eight months, a group of 25 Sunday and Hebrew School teachers from throughout the Silicon Valley have participated in an in-service program called TEP or the Teacher Enrichment Program.

TEP, a curriculum from the Melton School of Education of Hebrew University and the Florence Melton Adult Mini School, introduces some of the most important Bible Stories to Jewish educators and explores the many ways in which those stories can be understood and used in the classroom. “This approach to Jewish education gives educators material to work with and ideas about how to teach ideas, values, and culture,” …” says Rabbi Joshua Fenton of the APJCC and the TEP instructor. Jewish supplementary education is an issue for the tens of thousands of Jewish children in the South Bay who do not attend Jewish day school. For the small part of the group that does enroll in some supplementary Jewish educational program, a quality experience is crucial. Rabbi Fenton, to address this concern, approached the Jewish Federation with this idea. In the absence of a BJE in the Silicon Valley, the charge to raise the level of the religious school program falls upon already existing agencies like the Jewish Federation and the JCC. The TEP is funded in part the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, and a Koret grant supporting the Center for Jewish Life and Learning.

Temple Emanu-El to receive prestigious award for E-Waste Awareness Program


emple Emanu-El will receive the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism’s coveted Irving J. Fain award for Outstanding Synagogue Social Action Programming, one of the highest honors available to congregations within the Reform Jewish Movement. Winners of the Fain Award have been chosen from a pool of more than 900 synagogues and exemplify the passion for social justice that is the hallmark of Reform Judaism.

Temple Emanu-El receives this award for its “Responsibly Recycling Electronic Waste” initiative. Following a twoyear congregational listening, planning and educational process, an action night was planned to educate and take action toward responsibly recycling electronic waste (e-waste). The evening featured educational presentations and concluded with synagogue members securing public commitments from policy makers to address the issue of e-waste. County of Santa Clara Supervisor Liz Kniss, who was represented by her Senior Policy Advisor Scott Strickland, agreed to have the County contract with an e-Stewards certified recycler to handle their own e-waste. As a result, the County’s Valley Medical Center is estimated to save $11-12,000 annually due to the elimination of a third party to pack and transport the surplus equipment. “Social justice is such an essential component to our Movement,” said Dr. Cheryl Gutmann, chair of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism. “As Reform Jews, we are commanded to be G-d’s partners in standing up for the voiceless and fixing what is broken in our society. The winners of the Irving J. Fain Award for Outstanding Synagogue Social Action Programming justly embody what it means to profoundly pursue tikkun olam–repairing the world. Their innovation in the pursuit of justice is truly inspiring.” Established in 1983, the Fain Awards recognize Irving J. Fain, a dedicated member of the Commission on Social Action who served as chair for a decade and is considered a social justice icon in the Reform Movement. The award is given biennially to select congregations that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to social justice in their social action programming. The Fain Awards will be presented during the Religious Action Center's Consultation on Conscience, May 1-3, the Reform Movement’s flagship social justice conference. Each synagogue’s award-winning program will be depicted in a booklet that will be disseminated widely to provide examples of best practices. They also will be available on the Religious Action Center’s online program bank at [The Commission on Social Action is a joint instrumentality of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union for Reform Judaism and its affiliates. The Commission oversees the work of the Religious Action Center.]

20 • JCN • MAY 2011

@ the levy family campus

The Levy Family Campus (LFC), on Oka Road in Los Gatos, is owned and operated by the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley and hosts many community events and programs daily. Located on campus are the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center (which runs the fitness center, pool, tennis courts, preschool, summer camp, after-school programs, café, teen lounge, and Center for Jewish Life and Learning), Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley and Yavneh Day School. In addition, community resources, such as the community Mikvah, are also hosted at LFC. The facilities are available for private and corporate functions as well.

Summer Events at the APJCC The Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos has many events that are open to non-members. We encourage everyone in the Jewish community to support the JCC by becoming members, but even if you don’t join, please come out and participate in some of these fun summer events. Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival Sunday, May 22 from 1:00pm-8:00pm For details about this free outdoor festival, see the cover of this issue of the JCN! Float Night Pool Party and Barbecue Wednesday, June 22 from 5:00-8:00pm Keep cool in the JCC pool at our first Float Night of the summer. Pool admission is free for nonmembers during Float Night. Plus we’ll have a dance party on the field with DJ Aaron David. BBQ tickets are $5 JCC members, $8 non-members, children under 3 free. Fitness Center Open House Wednesday, June 22 from 5:00-8:00pm Admission to the JCC's fitness center, aquatics center and tennis courts is free for non-members during the Open House. This Open House is being held at the same time as our first Float Night Pool Party of the summer (see above), so feel free to bring the whole family. Jazz by the Pool Thursday, July 14 from 7:00-9:00pm Join us for jazz, drinks and hors d'oeuvres by the pool. Admission is $5 for JCC members, $7 for non-members. Float Night Pool Party and Barbecue Wednesday, August 10 from 5:00-8:00pm See June 22 Float Night description above. Outdoor Movie Night Saturday, August 27 at 8:00pm Bring a blanket and join us on the JCC field for a family-friendly outdoor movie. Free. Movie title will be announced as the date gets closer. More information is available at

JFS Duck Race coming to Vasona Park on June 12

RACE DAY SCHEDULE 11:00 a.m. Festival Starts Noon

Preliminary Heat

1:30 p.m. The main duck race starts 3 p.m.

Festival Ends

Fifteen thousand rubber duckies are kicking off their summer at the Fourth Annual Silicon Valley Duck Race and Festival in Vasona Lake Park on Sunday, June 12. Rubber duckies are only $5 each; the more you sponsor the greater your chance to win $1,000,000. There will be lots of food, fun, games, and entertainment on this egg-ceptional day. Support Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley and 15 other local charities in Silicon Valley who give families, kids, and adults a better life in our community. Visit for more details on duck sponsorship and charities benefitting from your lucky duck purchase. Want to volunteer at the Duck Race? We need 300 Wise Quackers to help us the day of the race. It’s a quacktastic and fun way to spend a sunny, summer day! Contact Cherie Ravel, JFS director of volunteer programs at (408) 357-7467 or Need more info? Please contact Duck Race Events Director Joanne Johnson Felt; or phone (408) 357-7543.

MAY 2011 • JCN •


inside federation

Ask the Experts: Can I make charitable contributions from my IRA? Provided by Raymond James & Associates Yes, if you qualify. The law authorizing "qualified charitable distributions," or QCDs, has recently been extended through 2011. You simply direct your IRA trustee to make a distribution directly from your IRA (other than a SEP or SIMPLE) to a qualified charity. You must be 70½ or older, and the distribution must be one that would otherwise be taxable to you. You can exclude up to $100,000 of QCDs from your gross income in 2011. If you file a joint return, your spouse (if 70½ or older) can exclude an additional $100,000 of QCDs in 2011. But you can't also deduct QCDs as a charitable contribution on your federal income tax return--that would be double dipping. QCDs count toward satisfying any required minimum distributions (RMDs) that you would otherwise have to take from your IRA in 2011, just as if you had received an actual distribution from the plan. However, distributions that you actually receive from your IRA (including RMDs) that you subsequently transfer to a charity cannot qualify as QCDs. For example, assume that your RMD for 2011 is $25,000. In June 2011, you make a $15,000 QCD to Qualified Charity A. You exclude the $15,000 of QCDs from your 2011 gross income. Your $15,000 QCD satisfies $15,000 of your $25,000 RMD. You'll need to withdraw another $10,000 (or make an additional QCD) by December 31, 2011, to avoid a penalty. You could instead take a distribution from your IRA and then donate the proceeds to a charity yourself, but this would be a bit more cumbersome, and possibly more expensive. You'd include the distribution in gross income and then take a corresponding income tax deduction for the charitable contribution. But the additional tax from the distribution may be more than the charitable deduction, due to IRS limits. QCDs avoid all this by providing an exclusion from income for the amount paid directly from your IRA to the charity--you don't report the IRS distribution in your gross income, and you don't take a deduction for the QCD. The exclusion from gross income for QCDs also provides a tax-effective way for taxpayers who don't itemize deductions to make charitable contributions.

Rabbis lead call for justice for Hyatt Hotel workers

This Passover, rabbis in San Francisco, Santa Clara and Los Angeles were joined by Christian and Muslim leaders in sending a powerful message to the Hyatt corporation, calling on the hotel to provide better wages for the hotel’s non-management employees, an end to union busting and a safer work environment for its employees. Prominent religious leaders in the bay area were joined by members of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, the Interfaith Council for Economics and Justice, Progressive Jewish Alliance, the Jewish Labor Committee and JCRC in bringing symbols of Passover — matzoh, bitter herbs and cups of wine — to Hyatt management. Using symbols of suffering and liberation - the Jewish community showed their ongoing commitment to Hyatt employees and invited Hyatt management to pursue justice for their workers.”

Congratulations Class of 2011

14855 Oka Road #100 Los Gatos, CA 95032 (408) 984.6700


local news Silicon Valley Jewish music festival in Los Gatos May 22 • JCN • MAY 2011

Hatikvah House joins Beth David in “Passover Passages”


ring a blanket, pack a picnic, and grab the whole family because the South Bay is getting its own outdoor Jewish music festival. On Sunday, May 22 (1-8 p.m.) at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center (APJCC) in Los Gatos, the first Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival will be held. The festival, featuring both local and national music acts, is free and open to the public. Performers will include: the David Grisman and Andy Statman Quartet, Elana Jagoda, Craig ‘N Co, the Macaroons, and PapaHugs. There will also be a wide selection of tasty food (kosher available), innovative arts vendors, and a KidsZone with e n t e rt a i n m e n t for little ones. “How often can you enjoy a sunny day being entertained with your kids in posh Los Gatos, without spending a fortune?” asks Rabbi Joshua Fenton, director of the APJCC Center for Jewish Life and Learning, which The David Grisman and Andy Statman Quartet will headline the Silicon is organizing the Valley Jewish Music Festival. event. “The free Jewish Music Festival promises to be a fun way for the entire community to get together and appreciate great food, great art and great music.” The music festival schedule begins with an afternoon of live music geared towards families, with the Macaroons, PapaHugs, Elana Jagoda, and Craig ‘N Co performing. The Macaroons bring catchy pop-rock center stage for kids with music that features big harmonies, irresistible melodies and a guitar-based sound that recalls a variety of sounds from the Kinks to Queen. PapaHugs is a popular South Bay band founded by David Sharpe. His music is infused with rock-n-roll, blues and country sounds. Later in the day, popular Bay Area performer Elana Jagoda (4-5 p.m.) will take the stage, redefining Jewish music with her energetic folk-rock vibe and passion for world music. Jagoda’s beautiful voice is reminiscent of jazz greats like Joan Baez. Craig ‘N Co will take the stage (5:30-6:30 p.m.) performing songs that bridge traditional Jewish themes and ancient teachings with contemporary Jewish life. These performers bring to life the joy and spirit of Jewish heritage, appealing to young and old alike. In the evening, (7-8 p.m.) headliners David Grisman and Andy Statman with the David Grisman and Andy Statman Quartet will take center stage. Grisman is an American bluegrass/newgrass mandolin composer who has played with Peter Rowan, Bonnie Raitt and Jerry Garcia. Statman is an American klezmer, avant-garde jazz mandolinist and clarinetist who has played with jazz and bluegrass greats since the 1960s. Admission to the Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival is free to all (though you’ll want to bring money for food and shopping). Ample free parking will be available at the APJCC at 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos, with overflow parking available at the church next door. The SV Jewish Music Festival is being organized by the Addison-Penzak JCC’s Center for Jewish Life & Learning. The Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, the Koret Foundation, and the Taube Foundation are co-sponsors. For a detailed schedule and more information about the music festival, visit: www.SiliconValleyJCC. org/music or call (408) 357-7411.

Hatikvah House residents enjoy Passover learning led by Irene Swedroe and Ilana Eshel. On April 3, Congregation Beth David held their annual Passover Mishpaha Program called “Passover Passages.” There were learning stations for K-7 graders, a Pre-K/ tot program, adult lectures, and a finale which brought everyone together. Parents had the option of learning with their gradeschoolers or attending a lecture, or some of each. Some of the many learning activities included haroset making for the tots, being a slave for K-1, a desert experience (in a tent, wearing desert garb) for 2-3 graders, putting together group presentations for 4-5 graders, and multimedia exploration of the four children for 6-7 graders. Everyone also participated in Israeli dance led by Rachel Bagi and got to create their own ‘tushy roll’ pillow to recline on during their seder. Adults had the opportunity to study the “narrow place” (Mitzrayim) as a personal metaphor with Rabbi Pressman, and the “Spiritual Dimension of Hametz” with Rabbi Ohriner. In keeping with Beth David’s motto of inclusivity, the residents of Hatikvah House were their special guests. Hatikvah House, located in Campbell, is the only Jewish live-in facility for developmentally disabled adults in Northern California The Hatikva House residents had their own learning experience led by learning specialist, Irene Swedroe, and teacher Ilana Eshel. Using the theme of Slavery vs. Freedom as a master story, the young adults discussed the meaning of the Passover story, the symbols of the Seder plate and their personal Passover celebrations. The Hatikvah House group joined the entire Beth David Community in a lively sing-a-long which was then followed by a luncheon of Passover foods. There was ‘lotsa matzah and lotsa learning’ as everyone began their annual Passover Passage! Join Beth David for their 2011 Mishpaha Programs: Shabbat theme on October 30, and Hanukkah theme on December 11.


MAY 2011 • JCN •

By Andrea Cohen Greyber BIRTHS David & Thu Brodsky of Campbell were pleased to welcome their first child Nathaniel N. Brodsky on Feb. 9. He weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and was Nathaniel Brodsky 21 inches long. He is the grandson of Edie & Robby Brodsky of San Jose and the nephew of Daniel and Deana Brodsky of San Jose and Eric Brodsky of Louisiana. He has three great-grandparents in this area; they are Herb & Zena Brodsky and Art Cepeda. Arianna Bresson was born on Feb. 17 to Scott & Sofia Bresson, T e m p l e Emanu-El congregants, of Santa Clara. She weighed 4 pounds 5.5 ounces and Arianna Bresson was 17.5 inches long. Her grandparents are Raquel Duran of Saratoga, Diane Riskin of Laguna Niguel, Helmut Bezak of Grover Beach, and Allan & Pam Bresson of Boca Raton, FL. Jim & Pam Harlow and their daughter M i r y a m Shir’el, 2½, of San Jose welcomed Josephina Z u r i y a d a S o u s a Josephina Harlow Harlow into their family on Jan. 16, 11 Shevat. She weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces and 22.5 inches long. The family held a Zeved HaBat at Ahabat Torah Sephardic Synagogue on Feb. 6, 2 Adar. Aaron Rubin & Libby Werba of Temple Emanu-El welcomed their second daughter Gweneth Rubin to their family. She arrived on March 2 and weighed 5 pounds and 1 ounce and was 18 inches long. She joins big sister Natalie, 10 months old. Gweneth is the granddaughter of Alan & Pat Werba of San Jose who belong to Congregation Beth David and Marvin & Darcy Rubin who reside in Buffalo Grove, IL. Aunt Jenny Werba lives in San Francisco, Uncle Jim Vanoli is in San Jose and

Aunt Anne Rubin lives in Chicago. CALLED TO THE TORAH Matthew Blumstein, son of Kristi & Ron Blumstein, was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on February 2. He is a seventh grader at Dartmouth Middle School in San Matthew Jose where he plays Blumstein the trumpet in the Symphonic Band. Matt is the younger brother of Alicia, 15 ½, a student at Leigh High School, and Justin, 10 ½ a student at Guadalupe Elementary School. Matthew is a Star Boy Scout who is working toward his Eagle Scout rank. He swims year round for Tempo Aquatics. For his mitzvah project, he was able to collect about 100 DVDs for the Pediatric Ward at Good Samaritan Hospital. His grandparents, Rita & Howie Blumstein of San Jose and members of Congregation Beth David, David & Sandra Lemon and his greatgrandmother, Virginia Worthington, 92, all of Lompoc, CA were on hand to celebrate this special event with him. Ari Sweedler, son of Susan & Jonathan Sweedler of Los Gatos, was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on Feb. 12. He is a seventh grader at Fisher Middle School. He plays select and Ari school soccer as well Sweedler as tennis and rugby (complete with the former black eyes and bloody noses to prove it!). Ari enjoys reading and math and participates in the Math Olympiad program at Fisher. He and his sister Maya, a freshman at Los Gatos High School, are die-hard “Ramahniks” and Ari was thrilled that two of his camp friends from Los Angeles were able to share in his Bar Mitzvah. Maya chanted from the Torah; his grandparents, Bryna & Michael Sweedler of NY and Sylvia Fritz from southern California all had aliyot and were kvelling from the pews. Friends and family attended from Phoenix, TX, GA, Chicago, Portland, OR, MD, MN and NJ in addition to NY and southern CA. For his mitzvah project, Ari spent five months collecting gently used soccer equipment, inventorying it and then donating everything to the San Jose Police Activities League (an organization introduced to him by Passback—non-profit which hooked him up with SJPAL so that


the equipment can be distributed to kids in need locally).

with the special tallit which he had selected on a trip to Israel.

Alexandra Healey, daughter of Michele Healey & Chris Eaton of San Jose and granddaughter of Marcia & Joe Riggio of Los Gatos, was called to the Torah as Alexandra a Bat Mitzvah at Healey Temple Emanu-El on Feb. 26. Alex is a freshman at Presentation High School where she plays both field hockey and basketball. She has three sisters, Erin, 12, Madison (15) and Cara (11). She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, seeing movies and being outdoors; she recently completed her Girl Scout Silver Award. Alex is active in raising money for Type 1 Diabetes research and participates in the annual Tour de Cure bicycle race to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. For her Bat Mitzvah project, Alex made and donated blankets to Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley to bring warmth to families during the winter months. Alex was delighted to share this special day with Aunt Lori & Uncle Ted Moorhead of San Jose and with cousins Brooke and Lola. She was additionally thrilled to have her closest friends and extended family in attendance.

Lavi Paoletti, son of Reuma Etkin and Giovanni Paoletti, was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on March 5 at Congregation Sinai. He is the younger Lavi Paoletti brother of Gabriel Paoletti, 16, a student at Los Gatos High School, and Noam, 19, a student at San Jose State University. Lavi is in the seventh grade at Fisher Middle School. He enjoys roller hockey, reading, playing video games and hanging out with his friends. His grandmother, Lia Paoletti, was happy to be with the family for this special occasion as was his Aunt Daphna & Uncle Daniel Rabinowitz who came in from Boston, MA.

Elijah Versman was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah at Temple Beth El in Aptos on Feb. 26. He is the son of Robin Belkin & Lou Versman and the Elijah brother of Daniel, Versman 18, who is spending the year as part of a Young Judea program in Jerusalem and Jonah, 15. Elijah, a seventh grader at Pacific Collegiate Charter School, participates in extracurricular journalism and ultimate Frisbee. He also plays baseball in the Pony League and enjoys all sports. Elijah really likes old school rock ‘n roll and takes guitar lessons. In addition he is an excellent chef. For his mitzvah project, Elijah volunteered as a Counselorin-Training for 115 hours at the Renaissance art and science camp last summer. Relatives came from Israel, England, CO, OR, MA, NY, TX, IL and CA. Elijah was very happy that his grandmother, Dorothy Versman, 91, of Rock Island, IL could come for the celebration; she presented him

Kai Wyatt Golden, son of Susan & Eric Hammer and Rebecca & Josh Golden was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah at Temple Beth El in Aptos on April 9. Wyatt is a seventh grader at San Lorenzo Valley School. He is the older brother of Natasha Golden and Ruby and Charlie Hammer. His grandparents are Sonny Golden of Los Angeles and long time Temple Emanu-El members Marilyn & Eugene Handloff. Aunts and uncles who attended included Philip & Debbie Handloff of San Rafael, David Handloff and Melissa Hutchinson of Pacific Grove, and Bruce & Masami of Soquel and Aunt Dana Lea of Santa Cruz. For his mitzvah project he has been volunteering at McKendrie House, a group home for disabled young adults. He reads and plays music for them as well. He also helps clean up around the facility. Wyatt loves attending Camp Newman. He likes to surf and skateboard. ENGAGEMENTS Jason Goldstein and Kaila Lawson met at the APJCC where they both work. Jason is the son of Michael & Tammy Goldstein of Jason Goldstein & Dublin and Kaila Lawson the brother of David Goldstein and younger sister Michelle who is in high school. He is the grandson of Janet Goldstein, a member of Beth David. Jason graduated from San Jose State with



a degree in communications. He is currently enrolled in an MBA program at Cal State Monterey Bay. Kaila is a student at San Jose State where she is majoring in psychology. She is the daughter of Caryn Giles Lawson of San Jose and the sister of and sisterin-law of Sarah & Cheney Rock of San Francisco. She is the granddaughter of Roslyn & Gerald Giles of Monroe Township, NJ. A 2013 wedding is planned. Joshua A. Kashinsky and Michelle Fadem have announced t h e i r engagement. Josh grew up in Sunnyvale and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah Joshua Kashinsky & Michelle Fadem at Beth David. He is the son of Eileen Eisenberg & Marc Kashinsky who currently live in Palm Desert. Josh is the grandson of Frances Eisenberg and the late Irv Eisenberg of Voorhees, NJ and the late Kate & Dave Kashinsky of Long Beach, CA. Michelle is the daughter of Susan Fadem and the late Rod Fadem of Olivette, MO and the granddaughter of Charlotte Sherman & the late Nat Sherman and Rose & Mike Fadem, all of St. Louis, MO. Josh graduated with a Bachelor of

Arts degree in theater and philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Master of Fine Arts in theater from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. He completed an internship at Princeton University’s McCarter Theatre in NJ and is presently a freelance director and the interim director of Jewish student life at Hofstra University Hillel on Long Island. Michelle received both Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. A published playwright, she is presently a production manager at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The couple were introduced by Michelle’s dear friend and former New York University professor, Gary Garrison, who also happens to be a mentor of Josh’s. A July 2011 wedding is planned. REAFFIRMATION OF VOWS As part of the Sixth Grade Religious School life-cycle curriculum at Emanu-El, reaffirmation of wedding vows of Barbara & Mort Berlant occurred on April 3 in the sanctuary. The class planned the whole event and took care of the flowers and the refreshments. The “bride” said that it was like a brand-new wedding without the pre-wedding jitters of • JCN • MAY 2011

51 years ago. Mort grew up in NY and Barbara in CA. Their lives were destined to come together in Peoria, IL. Mort was living there with his The Berlants grandmother after his army service and Barbara was living with her aunt and attending Bradley University. Their mothers were girlhood friends in Peoria. Mort and Barbara had seen each other occasionally at family gatherings before it finally “clicked” at a Chanukah Hillel party in 1959. They had their first date on Dec. 6 and were married three months later on Mar. 6, 1960 at Temple Beth Shalom in Las Vegas. They established their first home in southern CA, but job

transfers brought them to Mountain View and then to San Jose. They have been members of Emanu-El for 42 years. They have two daughters, Melinda Berlant Gurman and Suzanne Berlant, and two grandchildren, Russell and Rose Elysa Gurman. Mort continues his sales career and Brotherhood activities and Barbara serves on the Sisterhood board and volunteers with Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley and Knitzvah! Mazel Tov! to the happy couple who are honeymooning in Pismo Beach.

Please submit simchas to Andrea Greyber, agreyber@ or (408) 377-6224.

Wedding and Bar/Bat Mitzvah Videography

408.206.6505 408.

Why do we step up our observance on Passover? Rabbi Joshua Fenton, APJCC Recently my children asked me if Passover was the most important Jewish holiday. Taking the opportunity to have a conversation, I asked them why they would think that. They answered “because so many people keep kosher on Pesach but not during the rest of the year. Why is that Aba?” they asked. Of course I was at a loss and so I deferred to the same old answer I always give when asked by our small children to explain differences in observance and religiosity among those in our community. “We all observe Judaism in different ways.” But their question got me thinking and asking the same question. In the weeks following Passover, it is strange how we all slip back into our default behaviors relative to our Judaism. Wherever we fall on the religious spectrum, come Passover everyone takes it up a notch. Then as soon as Passover is over, and for some of us before it even ends, we for some reason or another revert back. What is it about Passover that inspires us and why is that inspiration so temporary? Passover is the holiday that reminds us of a central, if not the central message of Judaism. We must work to create a world in which all people are free, for we were once slaves in Egypt. The foundational narrative of the Jewish people is the story of a group of freed slaves making a life for themselves. This story transforms us and sensitizes us to the plight of others, instilling within us a disdain for tyranny, an intolerance for despotism, and a sense of connectedness to all who are still not free. On other Jewish holidays, it might be the aesthetic that attracts us. Certain rituals make us feel at home or comfortable. Smell and tastes appeal to our senses. Passover, though rich with flavors and smells and rituals, gives us something much greater. It is during Passover that we are reminded of our purpose as Jews and the meaning we can find in our lives through helping others. Rabbi Fenton

I believe the reason we all step it up a notch is because we are all proud of this very simple yet profound message of Passover. As we open the doors to our Seders and say “all who are hungry come and eat,” we can do so with full hearts and true intentions. The message of Passover, regardless of one’s theology, enables Jews of every stream imaginable and many non-Jews as well, to connect on deep levels to the story of the Exodus and the holiday of Passover. We call this time of the year, “Zman Cherutaynu,” the time of our freedom, and that is true on many levels. It is a time for us to remember when we were physically enslaved and freed by the Holy One, a time to reflect on the ways in which we still struggle to be free, and a time when we are called upon to let go of the selfishness and self-centeredness that dominates so many of the days in our lives. Remember from where you came, remember what your story is, and think about how you should behave in light of that understanding. Pesach challenges us to act in accordance with our shared experience of slavery and redemption, a challenge that we can all aspire to and be proud of. In this time after Passover, a time of growing holiness and purity as we count the days to Shavuot and prepare to once again receive the Torah, may we be blessed to retain some of the magic of Pesach in our hearts and the messages of Pesach in our mouths. May we one day live in a world in which all people are free.

MAY 2011 • JCN •


ask the rabbi

Ask the Rabbi: about gay people in the military Rabbi Lisa Levenberg

Q: There seems to be a lot of controversy about whether gay people should be able to serve in the U.S. military and whether that would affect morale or readiness. Don’t openly gay people serve in the Israeli army, one of the best armed forces in the world? Does the Israeli army accept everyone? A: About 25 armies around the world accept openly gay soldiers. In case studies of US allies who have lifted restrictions on gays in the military, Israel has been specifically cited as a model of tolerance. Aaron Belkin and Melissa Levitt of UC Santa Barbara’s Palm Center found that inclusion of gays and lesbians had no negative effect on unit cohesion or preparedness. Further, they found that rank-and-file soldiers expressed few concerns about serving with gay officers or being supervised by a gay commanding officer. It is important to note that integration of gays and lesbians is not “in name only.” While negative comments do occasionally occur, issues of anti-gay harassment in the military are rare and a Knesset committee is empanelled to investigate those cases. Israeli gay rights organizations express overall satisfaction with the IDF’s handling of sexual minorities. Interestingly, the Knesset decision to lift all de facto restrictions on gays and lesbians in the IDF occurred in 1993, the same year that the United States implemented “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Eighteen years later, the IDF remains one of the world’s elite fighting forces, while the US military has discharged more than 14,000 soldiers due their sexual orientation. Rabbi Lisa Levenberg

Inclusion and tolerance in the IDF goes beyond the question of gays and lesbians. The army is one of the most important structures in the Israeli national identity. Beyond protection, the army construes its mission broadly, helping shape Israeli society. Belkin and Levitt write, “Israelis rely on a strong military to ensure their safety as citizens and as a nation, and the IDF has been central to the Israeli sense of mission concerning the renewal of the Jewish homeland.” Because most Israeli young adults serve in the army, service creates a shared national experience and collective memory. The IDF has taken on additional responsibilities to help underserved minorities and difficult-to-reach populations successfully integrate into the IDF and, by extension, life beyond. One example of this sense of obligation of inclusion is the role of Michve Alon, a special base near Carmiel, in northern Israel. This past summer, I visited Michve Alon and attended a seminar with Lt. Col. Itai Karin, then the commander of the base. He described its mission and the unique programs it offers, such as Sahar, a program that accommodates the needs of soldiers with learning disabilities and minor behavioral differences. Lt. Col. Karin described the unique challenge of young adults who wet the bed. “For three months, during basic training, their commanding officer wakes them up at night. No one else has to know. There’s no embarrassment. They are able to complete basic training and then get a military assignment where they live at home. It sounds funny, but why should a little problem keep someone from serving his country and contributing his skills?” Another program, Tagat, provides remedial education for soldiers who did not complete high school. There are also projects to support the distinct needs of the Druze and Ethiopian populations. Karin observed, “The thing about these programs [for economically or educationally disadvantaged soldiers] is that the effects are lasting. After they are on this base, they can serve in an elite unit and get a good job after the army. I promise you, some one who comes out of this program, his kids will not need this program.” Likewise, Havat Hashomer is a base near Afula that offers troubled young people an opportunity to turn their lives around. Lt. Col. Raz Karny, who was commander at Havat Hashomer and is now himself at Michve Alon, says, “"This is Zionism. We're taking care of the most difficult cases: Youths who were abandoned, who became addicted to alcohol or drugs and involved with criminal activity... These youths know nothing but crime, drugs, and alcohol, and suddenly they receive a once-in-a-lifetime chance to start fresh. In my book, we're dealing with real soul-saving," The Israeli Defense Force, while far from perfect, is an important vehicle for social change in Israel. Karny concluded, “According to the true vision of the IDF set by [Israel’s first Prime Minister,] Ben Gurion,” he explains, “the job of the army is not just to protect Israel’s borders, it’s also to help the soldiers become better people. We fulfill this vision…by helping them become better civilians. And with strong, moral values and education an IDF soldier becomes a model for the entire nation.”

26 • JCN • MAY 2011

upcoming events ONGOING PROGRAMS SUNDAYS Brunch & Schmooze (Singles, 40s-60s) 11:30 AM, Mountain View or Redwood City Locations (Weekly, location changes) Membership info: group/HaverimConnection. Events info: MONDAYS Bereavement Support Group 7:30 PM, Beth David (May 16, June 6 and 20) (408) 357-7487, TUESDAYS Jewish Legends 7:30 PM, Beth David (May 17 and 24), (408) 257-3333 WEDNESDAYS Ima and Me (Mommy and Me) Playgroup 9 AM, Sinai (Weekly), (408) 264-8542 Musar Shmooze with Rabbi Fenton 11 AM, Levy Family Campus (Weekly), (408) 357-7492

SPECIAL EVENTS FRIDAY, MAY 13 Shabbat 2.0 & Volunteer Recognition Service 8 PM, Shir Hadash Fresh music from both established and emerging Jewish composers., (408) 3581751 x5 SATURDAY, MAY 14 Haverim Services 10:30 AM, Beth David, (408) 257-3333 Tot Shabbat 9:30 AM, Shir Hadash Tot Shabbat is free and is open to the community--tell your friends!, (408) 358-1751 x3 Jewish Book Discussion Group Approx. 1:30 PM, Beth David “The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible” by A. J. Jacobs is the book discussion being led by Steve Levin. All adults and teens are welcome. Free. Miriam Marr, (650) 968-7138 Poker, Pastrami, Mahj & More! 6 PM, Shir Hadash Play Texas Hold’em, Mah Jongg, or Games of Your Choice. A Texas Hold’em tutorial will be provided

Lunch & Learn Torah Study Noon, Emanu-El (May 25, June 22), (408) 292-0939 THURSDAYS Weekly Torah Study 12:30 PM, Levy Family Campus (Weekly), (408) 357-7492 Jewish Practices: What We Do and Why 7:30 PM, Beth David (Weekly), (408) 257-3333 FRIDAYS Talmud Study with Rabbi Daniel Pressman 8:30 AM, Beth David (Weekly), (408) 257-3333 Pirkei Avot: Sayings (Ethics) of the Fathers 9:45 AM, Beth David (Weekly), (408) 257-3333 Alzheimer's Family Support Group 10 AM, Shir Hadash (May 13, June 10), (408) 358-1751 x5

before play begins. Childcare, including dinner and snacks, available for all ages for a nominal fee of $5/child. Appetizers, pastrami sandwiches, vegetarian choices, salads and more, wine and beer--all for $54/adult! (408) 3581751 x5, "Jews and Baseball" 7 PM, Camera 3 Theater See box on page 27 SUNDAY, MAY 15 Pet Adoption Day Noon, Levy Family Campus Adopt a rescued dog or puppy, get information, or find out about fostering a dog through the Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) of San Jose. CARE is an allvolunteer, non-profit animal rescue organization., (408) 357-7499 Interfaith Poverty Simulation 2 PM, Los Gatos Join members of local congregations in this experiential approach to learning about poverty in our community. The Poverty Simulation will be lead by Step Up Silicon Valley. Register at http://povertysimulationlosgatos., (408) 358-1751 x5, Jr. Kadima Ice Skating 2 PM, San Jose Join Jr. Kadima for a fun ice

SATURDAYS Torah Study 9:30 AM, Shir Hadash (Weekly), (408) 358-1751 x5 Torah for Tots 11 AM-Noon, Sinai (May 21, June 4, June 18) This delightful children’s service is parent-led and designed specifically to accommodate young children ages 0-5. Plenty of singing, movement, and stories, and the entire family can play a part., (408) 264-8542 Laugh and Learn with Doug Brook 1:30 PM, Beth David (May 28, June 25) Based on his humor column in Southern Jewish Life, Doug Brook will guide you through the lighter side of Judaism and the substance underneath it. Brook is a synagogue instructor, actor and playwright., (408) 257-3333 Torah of Song at the Rabbi's Table 1:30 PM, Beth David (May 21, June 4 and 18), (408) 257-3333 x102 Tot Shabbat 11 AM, Beth David (May 14 and 28), (408) 257-3333

skating event at Sharks Ice. $13/ Kadima member; $15/non-member., (408) 257-3333 x102 Hadassah: Installation of Region Board President Ginny Baird 5 PM, Mountain View Central Pacific Coast Region of Hadassah will honor incoming Region President Ginny Baird, and thank retiring Region President Liz Alpert. The special guest speaker will be AIPAC Pacific Northwest Regional Director Zack Bodner. $50 couvert for a Gala Buffet Supper. Register by May 10:, S.P.H.D.S. Annual Dinner 6 PM, Los Altos Hills South Peninsula Hebrew Day School will honor its longtime supporters Nancy & Yasha Gofman and teachers Rachel Bar Shir, Hanna Bleiweiss, Barbara Goldstein, Elaine Harris, Ilana Kazovsky, Bilha Ram, Etti Tassa, & Paula Zaffos, at its annual dinner., (408) 738-3060 Sr. Kadima Chaotic Dinner 6 PM, Beth David Join Sr. Kadima for a dinner out of order. Open to all Jewish 6th-8th graders. $10/Kadima member; $15/ non-member. (408) 257-3333 x102,

Sinai Sisterhood Book Club 7:30 PM, Call for details “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See--a novel about the lives of 19 upper-class Chinese women will be discussed. (408) 264-8542, THURSDAY, MAY 19 An Evening with Aviva Zornberg 7:30 PM, Levy Family Campus Dr. Aviva Zornberg is one of the world’s greatest and most fascinating Bible Scholars. $5/JCC member; $7/non-member., (408) 357-7492 FRIDAY, MAY 20 Tot Shabbat and Potluck 6 PM, Emanu-El Brief services are led by Rabbi Magat and Cantor Meeka Simerly and feature songs, a short story, and a talk with the Rabbi on the bimah. Remember not to include meat and dairy in the same dish and do not bringing pork or shellfish. Plan to bring enough for 4-8 servings. (408) 292-0939, Shabbat Baccalaureate Service and Synaplex with Choir 8 PM, Shir Hadash The Synaplex concept is an analogy to movie theatres with many screens, offering several flavors of activities while providing a single place for the Shir Hadash


MAY 2011 • JCN •

upcoming events

SVJFF presents film on Jews in baseball with panel discussion Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival is presenting a new documentary "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story" on Saturday, May 14, 7 p.m., at Camera 3 Theater, 288 S. Second St., San Jose. The film brings to life the contributions of Jewish major leaguers and explores the special meaning that baseball has had in the lives of American Jews. More than a film about sports, it is a story of immigration, assimilation, bigotry, heroism, the passing on of traditions, and the shattering of stereotypes. Dustin Hoffman narrates the movie. After the showing, attendees will have the opportunity to hear comments by a panel including Lew Wolff, owner of the Oakland A's; former major league star Shawn Green; and Ken Korach, in his fifteenth year as the broadcast voice of the A's. For more information, visit or call (408) 899-6013. community to meet and mingle., (408) 358-1751 x5 SATURDAY, MAY 21 Torah N' Tefillah 10:30 AM-Noon, Sinai, (408) 264-8542 Addison-Penzak JCC Open House 10 AM, Levy Family Campus Be our guest! Admission to the JCC is free to everyone today. Bring friends. Free snacks & treats. Enjoy a “taste of fitness”…special showcase of group fitness classes., (408) 357-7499 SUNDAY, MAY 22 Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival 1 PM, Levy Family Campus A day of song, dance and celebration. Children’s musicians The Macaroons and PapaHugs will perform in the early part of the day, followed by concerts for all ages with musicians Elana Jagoda and Craig Taubman. The day will conclude with the first performance in years by the Grisman Statman Quartet. There will be entertainment, art, kosher food, and activities for the whole family. FREE to all., (408) 357-7411 Evening of Classical Music in Memory of Beverly Pressman 4 PM, Beth David Schola Cantorum, a vibrant arts organization that presents and perpetuates live choral music, will perform a special concert in memory of Beverly Pressman., (408) 257-3333 x102

THURSDAY, MAY 26 Navigating the Middle East Political Environment 7:30 PM, Beth David Consul General of Israel for the Pacific Northwest Region Akiva Tor will focus on Israel in a period of tectonic political shifts within Muslim countries across North Africa and the Middle East. (408) 257-3333 x102, FRIDAY, MAY 27 Shir Shabbat--A Service of Song, Spirit and Celebration! 6:30 PM, Beth David, (408) 257-3333 MONDAY, MAY 30 Explore the valley by foot 9 AM, Levy Family Campus Walk with others to discover the beauty of our valley. Meet other women while walking the paths of Vasona, Rancho San Antonio, the Stanford Dish and other local trails. Bring your own water and wear comfortable walking shoes. (408) 357-7501, FRIDAY, JUNE 3 No Shush Shabbat Service 6:30 PM, Shir Hadash This special worship opportunity is designed for elementary schoolaged children and their families. Filled with camp-style music and hand motions, led by song leader and guitarist Angela Gold, the No Shush Shabbat features a 'hands-free siddur.' (408) 358-1751 x3, SUNDAY, JUNE 5 Sinai Lunch Team for the San Jose Family Homeless Shelter 10 AM, San Jose

Contact the Sinai office for details., (408) 264-8542 Jr. Kadima Shavuot Spectacular 2 PM, Beth David Torah-themed scavenger hunt, prizes and more dairy desserts than you can eat. $15/Kadima member; $20/non-member. (408) 257-3333 x102, APJCC Dance Academy Recital 3 PM, Levy Family Campus Recital will last about an hour., (408) 357-7534 TUESDAY, JUNE 7 Confirmation Service 7 PM, Shir Hadash, (408) 358-1751 x5 Shavuot Service and Dairy Delight Dinner 7:50 PM, Sinai Shavuot service followed by a delicious Shavuot dairy meal (dinner will begin approximately 8:45 pm). Open to the entire community. Advance RSVP required for dinner., (408) 264-8542 Shavuot Late Night Study 10 PM, Shir Hadash With Rabbis Melanie Aron, Lisa Levenberg and Hugh Seid Valencia and Religious School teacher Jeff Levin., (408) 358-1751 x5 Joint Tikkun Leyl Shavuot with Congregation Sinai and Temple Emanu-El 10 PM, Sinai, (408) 264-8542 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8 Lunch & Learn Noon, Emanu-El, (408) 292-0939 THURSDAY, JUNE 9 Shavuot Picnic 12 Noon, Sinai Bring a dairy or pareve lunch and a blanket to sit on and join us for a festive Shavu'ot picnic. Kiddush wine, challah and dessert provided. No RSVP necessary., (408) 264-8542 FRIDAY, JUNE 10 Board Installation & Shabbat 2.0 Service 8 PM, Shir Hadash Celebrate Shabbat with a lively, interactive, musical service on the second Friday of the month. Fresh music from both established and emerging Jewish composers each month is introduced. Guitar, bass,

and drums add to the dynamic experience. (408) 358-1751 x5, SATURDAY, JUNE 11 Tot Shabbat 9:30 AM, Shir Hadash Tot Shabbat is free and is open to the community--tell friends!, (408) 358-1751 x3 Tea and Torah with Cantor Meeka Simerly 10:30 AM, Emanu-El Temple Emanu-El's Sisterhood and Adult Education Program are excited to announce that Cantor Simerly will be leading a new Torah Study program once a month following Shabbat Morning Minyan. The Egalitarian Tea and Torah Program will include study of the week's Torah portion over tea and noshes, utilizing commentaries from a female perspective, including the URJ Torah: A Women's Commentary. Learn about the history, thought process, and the fast evolving "freedom of expression" of Jewish women. Open and welcoming to all in the community who want to learn., (408) 292-0939 Jewish Book Discussion Group Approx. 1:30 PM, Beth David “The Cosmopolitans: A Social and Cultural History of the Jews of the San Francisco Bay Area” by Fred Rosenbaum is the book discussion being led by Miriam Palgon. All adults and teens are welcome. Free. Miriam Marr, (650) 968-7138 Zipcode Havdallah 7 PM, Shir Hadash Sharing a Havdallah service with Temple members is a great way to meet people and enjoy a spiritual experience with your family and friends who live near you. At the home of a local host, celebrate, sing, schmooze and, of course, eat! Each family brings an appetizer or desert to share with 5-7 people. Please no shellfish, pork and do not mix dairy and meat. The host family provides the beverages. (408) 2920939, SUNDAY, JUNE 12 The Silicon Valley Duck Race 10 AM, Call for details Join Jewish Family Service for the 4th Annual Silicon Valley Duck Race!! More details will be posted shortly. To help plan this year's event: Sandi Gaertner,, (408) 357-7456

28 • JCN • MAY 2011

upcoming events Sinai Men's Club Golf Outing 12 Noon, TBA, (408) 264-8542

Float Night, except for water wings., (408) 357-7499

PJ Library and Hadassah Celebrate Israel 2 PM, Saratoga Public Library Wander across Eretz Yisrael collecting the special delectable fruits that grow in the land. Then make a great big "Friendship Fruit Bowl" to share and enjoy. Sponsored in collaboration with Sharone Hadassah of Silicon Valley. The program has been designed by Hadassah leaders Jane Jacobson and Bette Emanuel. Be sure to register in advance; space is limited at the Library!, (408) 357-7512

SUNDAY, JUNE 26 Wine Tasting and Appreciation 4 PM, Levy Family Campus An afternoon of wine tasting and donor appreciation. More details to come soon!, (408) 357-7402


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22 Pool Party & BBQ 5 PM, Levy Family Campus Keep cool in the pool at the APJCC's Float Night summer pool party and barbecue! Games, prizes and, best of all, DJ-to-the-Stars Aaron David will lead us in a dance party on the field. Pool admission is FREE to the public at this event, and BBQ tickets are $5/APJCC member; $8/non-member; children under 3 free. Flotation devices of all kinds are allowed in the pool during


Sinai Sisterhood Book Club 7:30 PM, Call for details “100 Years of Solitude” by G. Marquez-a novel about 100 years of life in a Latin American village will be discussed. (408) 264-8542, How to submit events: Please submit all events online at to have them included in the JCN. Contact Amanda Orrin, (408) 357-7503 or with any questions.

With over 20 Years of residential real estate experience, I am your Silicon Valley real estate expert!

408-357-5767 office

408-316-9894 cell

408-676-0113 efax DRE #: 01068584

Lyndsey Askenas Arielle Bendahan Sheeva Bhutani Elizabeth Robin Blumenthal Erez M. Cramer Eytan Davidovits Anna Freedland Michael Steven Gortovnik Emma Audrey Goss 3900 Fabian Way, Adam Nogueira Hadar Palo Alto, CA 94303 Ashley Elysa Kaplan Max Ian Kaplan Benjamin Victor Lehmann Audrey Lehrer Sam Dakota Twin Falls Lerner Laurie T. Resnick Jacob Rhein Deborah Lynn Rod Kayla Michelle Sculnick Andrew Phillip Simmons Raz Serero Riley Smith India Suzanne Spears Esther Starr-Glass Allison Stein


Susan Fagin

‫ג‬:‫”והיית לקהל עמים“ בראשית כח‬ “And you will be a community of peoples” Genesis 28:3


Celebrates our Sixth Commencement Ceremony Sunday, June 12, 2011 2:00 p.m. Heritage Theatre 1 West Campbell Avenue Campbell, CA 95008 Reception following ceremony Open to all Kehillah is a beneficiary of the Levine-Lent Family Foundation, Len & Vivian Lehmann, area Jewish Community Federations, and the Jim Joseph Foundation.

MAY 2011 • JCN •


beyond silicon valley

Elizabeth Taylor and her commitment to the Jewish people By Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of Simon Wiesenthal Canter


he death of Elizabeth Taylor was front page news everywhere around the world. Her life, her more than sixty year career in Hollywood, her commitment to AIDS, and even her marriages were thoroughly dissected. Some even opined that we will never see the likes of her again. Less known, however, was why for most of her life, Elizabeth Taylor considered herself Jewish and identified so openly with the Jewish people. But unlike President Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, that commitment was much more than just an act of solidarity.

In 1980, Elizabeth Taylor, a great admirer of Simon Wiesenthal, agreed to narrate the Simon Wiesenthal's Center first documentary feature, "Genocide: The Story of the Holocaust," along with Orson Welles, which later won the Academy Award. At a dinner in her honor that year, she became the first recipient of the Wiesenthal Center's Humanitarian Award. For that occasion, she asked me to work with her on her acceptance speech. When she told me what she wanted to say, it became clear to me that she felt a great empathy for a people that had contributed so much to mankind and yet were the victims of such inhumanity. Those thoughts were beautifully expressed in her remarks and despite the passing of three decades, are still as relevant today as they were then: "I’m so deeply touched by this moving tribute. Words hardly seem adequate on such an occasion. I stand before you with mixed emotions. Humbled that you have seen fit to bestow this unique honor on me. And yet at the same time, so very sad, because it brings back into focus that tragic epic in human history. "When death became ordinary. When torture was so trite. Silence so pronounced. When the tears of children gushed forth like running streams. When leaders forgot to lead. When few cared. When men and women forgot that they were formed in the image of G-D.

Elizabeth Taylor 1932-2011

"I am often tempted to speculate how fortunate I am to have escaped the horror. To have been spared the anguish, but when I think about it deeply, I realize I did not escape unscathed. None of us did. We were all in a sense there. Hovering above the gates of Auschwitz, trying to shield ourselves from the magnetic pull of its destructive force that wanted to do us all in -- Jew and Christian, black and white. It wanted everything we possessed and cherished. Our Van Gogh’s, our Rembrandts, our Tennyson’s, our Freud’s, and our Einstein’s. "Today a whole generation is growing up that doesn’t know this. That has no memory of these events. That has no terms of reference to know how close we all came to the final curtain. Worse, around this new generation can be heard new ominous voices seeking to pollute their minds, to corrupt their values, to impair their future. In Europe and here in the United States, anti-Semitism is on the rise. Haters are running for public office pitting white against black, Christian against Jew. "When I read the script for the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s project, I could see the victims before my eyes. Their voices speaking to me. Tell our story they said to me. Nay, not for our sake for we are long gone, but for yours so you may live. I have tried so very hard to tell their agony and their heroism and I hope millions of people will see and hear their profound message. "I’ve never doubted the basic goodness of human beings. All my life I have been a believer in the tenacity of man to overcome the cruelest of tests and to raise high the spirit of human resilience. Come what may, I place my trust and faith in man’s capacity never to yield to injustice. Yes, the work may be hard and the day short, the workers a bit sluggish. But life’s reward is great and in the end we shall prevail. "In conclusion just let me just say to the enemies of our people wherever they may be we say in the words of one of the victims, mir velen zey iberleben, we shall out live them. And to the friends of mankind, wherever they may be − chazak v’amatz! Be strong and be brave! Remember that in the final analysis, they that sow in tears shall yet reap in joy."

Kids who attend Jewish overnight camp 45% more likely to attend synagogue as adults The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) recently reported the findings of CAMP WORKS, a study revealing the long-term effect of Jewish camp. Professor Steven M. Cohen led a research team comparing the Jewish behaviors of adults who had attended Jewish camp as children, with those of adults who did not, and controls for factors involving Jewish education and upbringing. Ultimately, the report reveals that the childhood camp experience significantly impacts adult Jewish practices and commitments, and instills a sense of belonging to a larger Jewish community. As adults, Jewish camp alumni are: • 45% more likely to attend synagogue monthly or more; • 30% more likely to contribute to their local Jewish federation; • 55% more likely to feel very emotionally attached to Israel; and • 37% more likely to light Shabbat candles. (as compared to adults who did not attend Jewish camp) “CAMP WORKS clearly proves that Jewish overnight camp inspires a life-long commitment to Jewish living,” explains Jeremy Fingerman, CEO, FJC, “As the North American Jewish community strives to find ways to evoke Jewish practice and passion in children and their families, CAMP WORKS proves that camp should be high on the docket. The Foundation takes this study as our calling card to continue to drive more kids to camp, enhance programming and emphasize professional development among camp leaders.”

30 • JCN • MAY 2011


LAWRENCE (LARRY) BARKO July 30, 1929–February 7, 2011

Larry Barko was born in Los Angeles and passed away peacefully in his home in San Jose. He met his wife Barbara at a Jewish Community Center in southern California and then the two of them moved here together 42 years ago. A retired jewelry salesman, Larry was an active golfer and bowler. He was a veteran of the Korean War. He and his wife were long-time members of Temple Emanu-El. Larry was devoted to his family and is survived by his wife of 54 years, their daughter Laurie Le May of Magalia, grandsons Anthony and Matthew Le May, and son Michael (Janet). He was pre-deceased by son Steven. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.


February 28, 1926–February 11, 2011 Marcia Goldfarb was born in Brooklyn, NY to Nettie and Ezra Berger and moved to San Jose with her late husband Martin and their children in 1961. She worked at Del Mar and then at Branham High School as secretary to the dean. She touched many lives with her outgoing and caring personality. Former students always greeted her with big smiles and hugs. After retiring she continued helping others by volunteering at Village House, Art Docents and the Tech Museum. An avid walker, Marcia could be seen frequently on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. She passed away peacefully from complications of dementia. She is survived by her daughter Ann Lee of San Jose, her son Michael Goldfarb (Trish) of Los Gatos, grandchildren Melissa (Russell) Benaroya, Megan Lee, Aaron and David Goldfarb and great-grandchildren Maya and Shane Benaroya.

ROBERT KAUFMAN May 4, 1966–March 9, 2011

Robert Kaufman was born in San Jose to Dr. Fred S. Kaufman & Madeline Louisa Soares. He and his brothers Andrew and Michael attended Los Gatos High School, and Bobby went on to San Jose State where he majored in communication. His mark on the community began even before his high school football days. He met his wife Kelly when he worked at Steamers restaurant, and he went on to his career as one of the premier realtors in Silicon Valley. Bob’s courage, his resilience and his selfless attitude served to inspire all who knew him. He was remembered movingly by Rabbi Melanie Aron at the services of Congregation Shir Hadash where he and his family belonged. He is survived by his wife Kelly and beautiful daughters Sophia Louise, 8, and Georgia, 6, his brothers Andrew and Michael, his stepmother Barbara and nieces and nephew Sarah, Madeline and Ethan. Donations may be made to:


March 28, 1921–February 13, 2011 Henrietta Mintzer, a native of New York, moved to San Jose in 1956. She and her husband were active members of Temple Emanu-El for many years. She was a volunteer in the religious school where she enjoyed organizing the model seders for the children for Passover and making sure that they had hamentashen for Purim. She was a Sisterhood “Woman of Valor” and was an avid knitter and loved to sew. Her family was the most important thing in her life. She was the loving wife of the late Samuel Mintzer for over 66 years, the devoted mother of Gail (Jerry) Jacobs, Ilene (Herb) Finger, Jill (Craig) Judson, adoring grandmother of Shauna (Robbie), Rachel, Randy (Dana), Lisa, Scott (Kristen) and Stacy, and great-grandmother of Sarah and Megan. Donations in her memory may be made to Temple Emanu-El in San Jose or the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living.


November 8, 1922–January 17, 2011 Shirley was born in Detroit, MI and lived there until 1944. She graduated from Wayne State University in 1944 with a degree in chemistry. She began her career at a pharmaceutical house in Detroit during World War II until her father was hired by the Navy and moved the family to San Francisco where she joined the chemistry lab at Hunter’s Point. After a brief time, she began her forty-year career at Stanford Research Institute. After retiring, she began her own consulting firm, doing literature searches, writing reviews on chemicals and other problems of interest in the medical field. Shirley was a long-time member of the American Chemical Society and an annual award is given each year in her name. She was pre-deceased by her brother Irving Radding and is survived by a sister Thelma Radding Smith of Santa Clara as well as a brother Herbert Radding (Bonnie) of Saratoga. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews including Mike Radding and Joanne Hilliard of southern California and Laurel Radding and Lisa Harris of northern California. Donations in her memory may be made to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Please submit obituaries to Andrea Greyber, or (408) 377-6224.


MAY 2011 • JCN •

Jewish Professional Directory

David S. Howard

Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel 60 S. Market St., Ste. 1400 San Jose, CA 95113 (408) 287-9501 Specializing in complex taxation, corporate strategy, and business succession planning; Jewish Federation Silicon Valley Financial Advisory Board.

Steven D. Siner

Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel 60 S. Market St., Ste. 1400 San Jose, CA 95113 (408) 287-9501 Specializing in complex business transactions, estate planning, and family business succession planning.

Shannon Stein

Law Offices of Shannon Stein 438 South Murphy Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (408) 774-9097 Family Law Attorney, specializing in dissolutions, child custody, child support, mediation, restraining orders, limited scope representation, post-judgement issues.

16450 Los Gatos Boulevard, Suite 208, Los Gatos, CA 95032 Tel: 408-358-6900 Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law. The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Cantor-Educator Dr. Itzhak Emanuel

27 Eucalyptus Lane San Rafael, CA 94901 Phone/Fax (415) 453-3899 Cell (415) 218-1295 All Life cycle ceremonies-special events, Spiritual Leadership; Cantorial-Liturgical skills; Hebrew-Jewish studies

Commercial Real Estate

Guggenheim Realty Group, Inc

1671 Dell Avenue, Suite 218, Campbell, CA 95008 (408) 871-8722 x222 Fax (408) 834-4959 Commercial Real Estate Management, Investments, and Leasing. Call us for your property management, leasing and sales needs. Allen Guggenheim & Gary Naillon


Law Office of Derryl H. Molina

“Trust Your Trust to Us!” 1142 S. Winchester Blvd., Ste. B San Jose, CA 95128 (408) 244-4992 Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law. Mediation Facilitor.

Call (408) 357-7512 or email elisa@

Your Face Here!

Robert Chaykin Vice President / Branch Manager 16000 Los Gatos Blvd. Los Gatos, CA. 95032 (408) 358-0988 We offer comprehensive financial planning, asset allocation strategies, college savings plans, and retirement planning. Investments and services are offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, member SIPC.

Matchmaking Soul Mates Unlimited ®

Carol Elias Zolla

Eliana B. Weissman

Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel 60 S. Market St., Ste. 1400 San Jose, CA 95113 (408) 287-9501 Specializing in family law matters.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Dr. Zuri Barniv, DDS

1210 E. Arques Ave., Suite 200 Sunnyvale, CA 94085 (408) 733-1124 Dr. Barniv is a university faculty member, practicing high-quality dentistry in a mercury-free office with digital X-rays. Dentist speaks Hebrew.

Events AMB Designs

(408) 942-0852 Balloon & Event Décor • Any Occasion, we do it all! Call Amy Blach, your Event Designer

Personalized Matchmaking

Experienced, successful matchmaker

Judith Gottesman, MSW

(510)418-8813, cell

Senior Services Lyn Pasqua DELIVERED BY GRACE

Transportation and Shopping Service 408-590-5898 Personalized transportation service, serving seniors throughout Santa Clara and most cities in San Mateo County. Our service is tailored to meet your needs.

Promote your business or service in the Jewish Professional Directory! Market your company to the Silicon Valley Jewish Community.


Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel 60 S. Market St., Ste. 1400 San Jose, CA 95113 (408) 287-9501 Specializing in commercial and residential real estate transactions & finance

101 Church St., Suite 7, Los Gatos, CA 95032 (408) 354-5590 Adoption, Custody, Dissolutions, Guardianship, Juvenile Court, Paternity

Werba & Davis Advisory Services, LLC 3055 Olin Ave., Suite 2000 San Jose, CA 95128 (408) 260-3109 (408) 423-0209 Fee-Based Portfolio Management since 1990. Securities offered through Loring Ward Securities Inc., member FINRA/SIPC

for everything jewish in silicon print

David J. Hofmann

Lynne R. Snyder

Alan Werba, CPA, CFP

jewish c mmunity news

Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel 60 S. Market St., Ste. 1400 San Jose, CA 95113 (408) 287-9501 Specializing in complex family law matters. Certified Specialist in Family Law, State Bar of CA; Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

14500 Big Basin Way, Suite D, Saratoga, CA 95070 (408) 741-3500 Estate Planning, Probate, Elder Law


Philip L. Hammer

Minda B. Parrish

Bake sale for Haiti p. 13

First graders at Yavneh raise $275 for Haiti at bakesale When the first grade (Kitah Alef) Yavneh Day School class talked with their teacher in the days following the earthquake in Haiti, the sentiment was clear. The six and seven-year-olds wanted to help. After brainstorming different ideas, the students decided they would like to host a bake sale. Teacher Jordan Emmart sent an email to parents, telling them of the children’s interest in helping and asking for baked goods to be brought to school for the sale. “It really came out from the first graders,” said Dana Lowy, whose seven-year-old daughter is in the class. "It wasn’t something that was pushed on them, it came from their idea to help.” The students arrived at school the next week with home-baked cookies, cupcakes and even some gluten-free items. In the end, the students raised $275, which the entire first grade class delivered to Jewish Federation CEO, Jyl Jurman, in the adjoining building of the Levy Family Campus. “They were just adorable, and so proud of their efforts,” said Jurman. “This is what Jewish day school is all about, teaching kids at this young age the reward of helping cont. on p. 13

IN THIS ISSUE: Teens bake "Challahs for Dallahs"...............p.5

Silicon Valley celebrates Israel p. 9

It’s effective and affordable. Contact Elisa Gerston today to learn how you can get started. NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID SAN JOSE, CA PERMIT #553

Blecher & Hubbell 1500 E. Hamilton Ave., Ste., 201 Campbell, CA 95008 (408) 369-1010 Certified Family Law Specialist (State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization). Specializing in the practice of family law, divorce, custody disputes, and child and spousal support.

Financial Services

Beth David receives national awards.......p.6

Shir Hadash celebrates 30 years.....................p.7

Over 500 people attend Jewbilee.....p.10 Federation Annual Event photos..........p.15 Local Summer Camp Guide......................p.16

Passover Section...p.21

Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley 14855 Oka Rd. Suite 200 Los Gatos, CA 95032 Change Service Requested

Brooke A. Blecher


Published by the Jewish Federation of Silicon valley Vol. #72, Issue #1, MARCH 2010


Call (408) 357-7512 or email

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Take a picture at the Federation photo booth at the Jewish Music Festival

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May JCN  

May JCN 2011

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