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Fitness: Community Life: Partner Spotlight: 1 Senior 2 Jewish 3 Corporate It’s more than just exercise The Fundamentals of Home Stephen Silver

Vol. 1 No. 1

Matters O S H M A N



How Your Gift Makes A Difference

Senior Fitness: It’s more than just exercise Seniors come for the exercise and stay for the community. Twice a week, seniors pack the Morris exercise studio in the Goldman Sports & Wellness Complex for the 45-minute Stretch & Move class. The real impact, though, is the supportive community that has developed among the seniors over the past several years.

With 70 regulars and 40 participants each week, Stretch & Move is now one of the largest classes the OFJCC offers.

Specialized Trainer Debbie Glincher leads the class and is proud of the physical accomplishments she sees in her students, the oldest of whom is a spry 95-year-old.

The seniors now attend concerts and lectures together and have started participating in Community Tuesdays, a program that offers seniors a day of classes, lectures, lunch, entertainment, volunteer opportunities and socialization. Paul Kent, 93, lives at the Moldaw Residences and leads a walking group through Palo Alto.

“We have seniors who are recovering from heart attacks, strokes, cancer treatments, knee and hip replacements and Parkinson’s Disease,” Debbie says. “It’s amazing to see them come to life in this class and see the bonds that develop.”

“It’s the most social group of people we have at the JCC,” said Group Exercise Manager Scott Anderson. “I knew when Debbie came to me and said her class wanted to organize a Hanukkah party that we had something really special.”


OFJCC Appoints Zachary Bodner as new CEO On August 26, 2013, Zachary Bodner will become the new Chief Executive Officer of the OFJCC. OFJCC President-Elect Sharon Leslie, who led the search committee, said: “Zack’s vision, commitment and leadership are the perfect ingredients to guide the next chapter Continued on page 3

J Matters

Jewish Community Life: The Fundamentals of Home Growing up Jewish in Germany, Sarith Honigstein felt disconnected and different from her Stuttgart classmates. So when she finished her schooling, she moved straight to Israel, where she immediately found the sense of Jewish community she had longed for all her life. Sarith soon met, married, and started a family with a bright young entrepreneur, also German. When he came home one day with news of an enticing offer to move to Silicon Valley, her heart sank. Arriving in Palo Alto and not knowing a soul, Sarith sought out the OFJCC. The rest, as they say, is history. “The JCC is such a fundamental part of our everyday life, it’s ridiculous,” Sarith says. “The kids are here twice a week for activities, I’m here every day working out. After just five months living here, when I walk into the café after my workout, there is a 90 percent chance of running into someone I know!” Sarith’s twins are first-graders at Gideon Hausner Jewish Community Day School. Their leisure time is all about the J—swim lessons, gymnastics, day camp, Mitzvah Day. The OFJCC is the fabric that facilitates friendships for mother and children alike. Sarith volunteered on the OFJCC Gala and Auction committee,


where she met a number of preschool and Hausner parents. She works out in the J’s state-of-the-art fitness center, and until recently, did her free-lance work in the café. But that all changed when her OFJCC connections helped her land a job as Jewish LearningWorks’ family concierge. “Finding the answers to other families’ questions helps acquaint me with the local Jewish community and its abundant resources,” Sarith says. “It’s hard to believe, that even though I’m half a world away from the home of my birth, I’ve been lucky to find the home of my heart at the Oshman Family JCC.”

Why I Give: Ada Hau “As soon as I learned a JCC was coming to Palo Alto, I knew I had to be a member. Many people don’t know this, but thousands of Jewish people fled the Holocaust and escaped to China, where I grew up. My mother taught me how important it was to welcome the Jewish immigrants and I fell in love with the Jewish culture and its people. I donate to the JCC because I want to see the Jewish community thrive here in Palo Alto, like it does around the world.”

Corporate Partner Spotlight: Stephen Silver Redefining how charity fits the business model Jeweler Stephen Silver was so frustrated with traditional public relations and marketing, he threw up his hands one day and declared he would rather give the money to charity than spend it on advertising. His staff asked if he was serious, and Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry’s new business model was born. Stephen has built his career hunting for vintage and estate jewelry treasures, creating custom pieces, restoring and repurposing jewelry into unique creations. He established Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry in 1980 to bring old-world traditions to the modern marketplace. It’s not just the jewelry that’s guided by tradition. “Philanthropy has always been a part of my family’s philosophy,” Stephen says. “It’s very important to give back while you’re in the process of living life because it keeps you in touch with people and circumstances less fortunate than you.” Stephen found a way to combine his family tradition of philanthropy with his business

Bodner Named CEO Continued from page 1

when he realized that the more he gave, the more he received. “I figured out that I’d literally rather give money away than spend it on conventional public relations and marketing,” Stephen said. Stephen has selected his nonprofit partners very carefully, and the OFJCC was one of the first to receive a six-figure, five-year commitment. He says, “We’re strict in giving only to nonprofits that benefit the community—supporting children, health, education—and ensuring that the support goes right to the people and programs that need it.” Stephen has been blessed to see financial rewards because of the risk he took in moving away from conventional advertising. As Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry’s budget for giving continues to grow, his goal is to place more into the hands of charity. Stephen’s business is based on creating relationships, personal interactions, and trust, so supporting his community is a priority. “This is a Jewish tradition,” he says. “Jews throughout history have been knocked down and gotten back up stronger. It’s because we help each other. Community makes us strong.”

of our JCC’s remarkable history. Zack not only comes from our own community but he deeply understands our mission and dreams for our future.” Zack has been the Pacific Northwest Regional Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) since 2001 where he led a period of unprecedented growth of their programs and priorities. An accomplished leader and organizational strategist, he has built strong relationships across the spectrum of Jewish life locally, nationally and in Israel. Zack said: “It is a privilege to bring my experience and passion to bear on this magnificent Jewish communal resource. I am excited to fulfill the vision of the leaders and members who built the OFJCC and look forward to working together to further advance this vibrant center for Jewish life.” Zack has served on boards and in advisory positions at many Jewish communal organizations, including Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, the J Weekly and The Israel Center of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Zack succeeds Ric Rudman, who has been Interim CEO since January 2013. Ric will remain as Provisional Chief Operating Officer during the transition. Zack earned a Masters in Religion from Claremont Graduate University and a B.A. from Yale University. He and his wife Ronit have three young children and are residents of Los Altos.


3921 Fabian Way • Palo Alto, CA 94303 • • © 2013 Oshman Family JCC Find us on Facebook:

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Corporate Partners

Bank Leumi • Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School • HighCom Security Services MokaFive • Palo Alto Library

Executive Committee Daryl Messinger President Orli Rinat First Vice President Amnon Landan Vice President Sharon Leslie Vice President Jed Solomon Treasurer Nanette Freedland Secretary Carol Saal Honorary Lifetime Director Paul Resnick Immediate Past President Stephanie Oshman At-Large Member Susan Steiner Saal At-Large Member

MANAGEMENT TEAM Ric Rudman Chief Executive Officer Randi Brenowitz Chief HR & Community Outreach Officer Marsha Deslauriers Chief Financial Officer Elina Kaplan Chief Program Officer Mimi Sells Chief Marketing Officer Susan Wolfe Director of Agency Advancement

J Matters is a newsletter designed to share the vibrant, engaging community that your support makes possible. Edited by Taylor Braun. We welcome your comments at or (650) 223-8645.

OFJCC J-Matters: summer 2013  
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