By Nisan Linesch, member of the Federation’s first cohort of LGBT Jewish leaders in its Pathways to Jewish Leadership program
The Pathways fellows gathered at Menorah Park in San Francisco on a recent Monday night to explore a topic close to the core of Judaism – telling our stories. The evening with Rabbi Larry Kushner progressed as we listened to stories and began to craft some of our own. Whether perfected over many years or spontaneously crafted, a story creates a window between worlds. A good story captivates and may, for a moment, connect us deeply with those who came before us and we may grasp in a story how similar we are to our predecessors. As Rabbi Kushner put it: “the stories are what people remember.” Read more
They’re a spirited bunch and they’re on their way to the Bay Area in March. Seventeen dynamic and talented Israelis – secular, Orthodox, Masorti, Reform, Sephardic, Ashkenazi, women and men – all committed to actively shaping Jewish pluralism in Israel, will come to learn first-hand the varied ways in which Judaism, Jewishness, and diversity are expressed here in the Bay Area. Read more
Find out just what the Federation supports in our community: Read more
Purim, which literally means “lots,” is a holiday that commemorates the victory of the Jews over the tyranny of King Ahashverosh in the province of Shushan in ancient Persia. King Ahashverosh, influenced by his royal vizier, Haman, was plotting to murder all of the Jewish people in the land and picked “lots” to determine which day it would happen. However, Ahashverosh’s wife, Queen Esther, heard of the plot from her cousin Mordechai, who worked in the palace. She declared her Jewish identity to the King and pleaded with him to save the Jews. So, in the end, the punishment went to Haman rather than the Jewish people.
The 2014 Winter Olympics is not the only example of “excellence, friendship and respect” to be found of late. Earlier this month, hundreds of young volunteers from nearly all sectors of Israel’s young adult population gathered at Ma’ase Center’s two-day Shared Encounters seminar in Jerusalem, the second of three such meetings during their activity year, to discuss Identity & Belonging in Israeli Society. Ma’ase is a grantee of the Federation that fosters multi-cultural understanding in Israeli society. Read more
This month, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties (the Federation) announced that Sue Diamond will be awarded the annual Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award. Each year, the Federation honors a female role model in the community with this prestigious award, which recognizes outstanding Jewish volunteer leaders who go above-and-beyond in dedicating their time, energy and resources. These women are mentors, modeling and motivating others to express their Jewish values by supporting the overall well-being of their Jewish community. Sue will be physically presented with the award on April 24, at the Federation’s Power of One event. Read more
Earlier this month we announced three new Marin-based grants to outstanding organizations through our Marin Impact Grants Initiative designed to connect Marin families to Jewish life. The Federation’s trailblazing Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) program employs a high engagement and empowerment approach to grant-making modeled on social venture philanthropy. The IGI program provides donor-participants with a hands-on way to make a real difference in their community by making high impact grants that focus on pressing community needs. Read more
Honoring the first president of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, the Annual Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership recognizes an outstanding young Federation volunteer leader in our local Jewish community. Nominate a young leader to be honored before the deadline of March 31. Nominees should be under 40, leaders of our Federation community, and have extensive knowledge of the Bay Area Jewish community. Read more
By Angie Dalfen, member of the Federation’s first cohort of LGBT Jewish leaders in its Pathways to Jewish Leadership program
This past weekend I participated in a decades-old Jewish community tradition – Super Sunday. Not Super Bowl Sunday (which I abstained from this year due to a lousy cable connection and disinterest in the two teams) but Super Sunday, when scores of volunteers descend on the Jewish Community Center to schmooze and kibitz and eat bagels while making phone calls to donors all over the Bay Area. Read more
This post is the fourth in a series on the Helen Diller Family Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education.
Judaism has always been an integral part of Sylvia Gitlin’s life. Nurtured by a small Jewish Community in Mexico, Gitlin realized when she moved to the United States that she wanted her children to have a meaningful, comparable Jewish experience. She volunteered at their day schools only to discover a hidden passion for teaching. She loved modeling Jewish values and traditions for young people. Read more