Each year we honor a recipient of the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership. Recipients are consistent leaders in our Federation volunteer community, have great potential for future leadership, and are 40 years old or younger. Please join us in congratulating this year’s recipient, Brett Goldstein. Read more
Posts from the ‘Volunteering’ Category
By Isabel-Duarte Gray, Program Assistant, Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)
Every Tuesday morning, 33 Gideon Hausner 8th graders pile into parent carpools and ride to Theuerkauf Elementary School in Mountain View, where they spend the morning building the literacy skills of K-3rd grade students. In their assigned classrooms, the teen tutors work one-on-one with the younger students, wander the classroom providing help as needed, or sometimes lead groups to enhance their tutees’ reading skills through cooperative exercises. “As I read with them, I try to use techniques that I remember from when I was younger that helped me learn to read,” says Lucy, an 8th grader taking part in the peer-tutoring program. “For me, what is most important is that I want them to know that I love reading too, and that I am helping with it not because I was sent to, but because I want them to develop the same love of reading that I have.” Read more
By Adam Pollack, JCF Federation Fellow
I recently read an article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy entitled, “Boards Are Not Ready for the Next Generation of Trustees,” by Rick Moyers in which he describes the inefficiencies of boards and how that is a turnoff for young adults eager to get involved. The author approached this topic from the side of what current board members must do to change the ways boards function, ultimately making them more appealing to members of my generation. Two major questions are raised for me: how do we spark interest among young adults to become involved in communal life in the first place; and what can communities do to prepare engaged young adults for board service? Read more
There are many ways to help on Super Sunday. Remember a life by saving a life – join us for a blood drive in memory of Ann Bear, z’l. Ann was a great community leader and friend to the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.
WHEN: January 27, 2013 | 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
WHERE: Bloodmobile outside JCCSF, 3200 California Street, SF
by Judy Pam-Bycel, JCL Program Manager, and Randi Dodick Fields, JCL Bay Area Director
Longtime Jewish Coalition for Literacy tutor, Joan Frenkel, loves inspiring curiosity in children. “I was raised by a mother who imparted in me the importance of working to help other people, rather than just yourself.” Joan is a sculptor who spent almost 40 years as the Chief Scenic Artist for the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet until retiring in 2010. She’s been a volunteer reading tutor with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL) for the last 13 years- since the program started in the Bay Area. Joan began by tutoring one child a week, but found she liked it so much, she wanted to do more. Tutoring ‘’taps into my curiosity,” she says, and “gives me the opportunity to impart the love of reading in children…I end up learning more myself!”
Today, Joan tutors at Starr King Elementary School in San Francisco, volunteering five days a week for two-and-a-half hours each day. As part of her tutoring, she reads individually with each student in the kindergarten class as well as tutoring five 2nd grade students. Most of her students, she says, are English Learner students, who have grown up without speaking English at home. “I was never a teacher,” she says, “but I can tell when a child is having trouble and I want to make their life happier.”
Joan has gotten so much out of her tutoring experience with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy that she started to think creatively about ways she could help even more.
Being an artist, she came up with the idea of holding an art exhibition to benefit JCL, since she knows that the organization must raise all its own funds, which is especially difficult in a tough economy. Joan was willing to donate proceeds from sales of her sculptural works to the cause, and she pitched the idea to a local Palo Alto art gallery. The gallery liked the idea, as did several other local artists who also wanted to participate.
As a result, six artists including Joan, who work in ceramics, textile arts, mixed media, printmaking and oils, participated in a 10-day benefit art exhibition for JCL at the Fibre Arts Design Studio in Palo Alto (JCL exhibition), which concluded on September 2. More than 100 people attended the festive opening reception on August 23. Participating artists, along with the Gallery, donated a portion of all sales to the Jewish Coalition for Literacy, a joint project of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.
Nine works sold during the exhibition, raising close to $4000 in support of JCL’s work to fight illiteracy among the most at-risk students in local public schools. The JCL serves about 1,000 predominately Latino, Asian and African American students annually, in 45 of the most under-resourced public elementary schools and after school programs in the Bay Area. If you have just one hour a week, you can become a JCL tutor. Register for one of JCL’s free upcoming tutor training workshops at www.jclread.org
This week, the Helen Diller Family Foundation celebrated outstanding California teenagers working to make a difference at the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards luncheon. Five exceptional teens were recognized for their volunteer work with an Award and $36,000 to further their college education or their vision of tikkun olam (repairing the world). These videos, which premiered at the luncheon, showcase their hard work and dedication.
Zak Kukoff, Thousand Oaks, CA
“We bring students together to build understanding and friendships.”
Zak founded Autism Ambassadors after seeing his autistic cousin ostracized and alienated in the classroom. Moved by her experience, he created this peer-led program to foster friendships between students with and without autism, and to teach autistic students social, emotional and academic skills.
Joe Langerman, Coronado, CA
“Be a part of the solution to end hatred and embrace tolerance.”
Joe stood up to bullying by starting Voices Against Cruelty, Hatred and Intolerance. He has engaged and educated teachers, students and parents about the prevalence and impact of bullying, combating intolerance at his own school and beyond.
Daniel Rosenthal, Santa Rosa, CA
“Magic takes you on adventures–without ever leaving your seat, hospital bed or wheelchair.”
As an eight-year-old, Daniel began performing magic tricks for hospital patients. Inspired by the healing power of laughter, he established Magic is Medicine, coordinating other volunteer magicians who give magic shows in hospitals, schools and rehabilitation and assisted living centers across the country.
Adam Weinstein, Los Angeles, CA
“Sparking interest in math and science enriches students’ lives and betters our world.”
Adam’s love for math and science encouraged him to share his passion with underprivileged fifth graders in Los Angeles. He started Archimedes Learning to teach students through fun, hands-on and creative activities and demonstrations – setting them up to succeed in two subjects that are vital to their and America’s future.
Celine Yousefzadeh, Los Angeles, CA
“Through fashion, we can engage and empower students to take action to help Israel.”
Celine felt a responsibility to help students in S’derot, Israel, after Gaza Strip rocket attacks devastated their high school. She began Fashion with Compassion, an annual event that turns hundreds of students each year into fashion show models, planners and philanthropists raising money for Israeli charities.
By Isabel Duarte-Gray, Program Assistant at the Jewish Community Relations Council
The night before Jerilyn Gelt learned about the Jewish Coalition for Literacy, she enjoyed an unexpected phone conversation with the 10-year-old daughter of a family friend. “I asked her why she was up so late, and she said ‘I’m reading a book,’” explained Jerilyn. “I asked ‘Isn’t it fun when you find an author you really like?’ And she said, ‘Yes, and sometimes I like to be in the book!’”
The next day, Jerilyn attended services for Rosh Hashanah, where her Rabbi addressed the role of Jews as the “People of the Book” and encouraged his congregation to consider volunteering at the Jewish Coalition for Literacy. Remembering the vitality and enthusiasm of the child she’d spoken to the night before, Jerilyn quickly signed up to volunteer with JCL as a tutor.
Jerilyn is one of hundreds of Jewish Coalition for Literacy volunteers who are trained and placed with K-3 students in underserved Bay Area public schools and after-school programs. The program offers an hour of individual literacy training per week to over 1,000 local public school students, distributes thousands of new and gently used children’s books to its partner schools and students, and hosts multilingual training workshops to help parents of JCL students bring the love of reading home. JCL is a wonderful opportunity for Jewish community members to practice Tikkun Olam and help support under-resourced California public school systems in their own neighborhoods.
When Jerilyn joined JCL twelve years ago, she was searching for something “more meaningful” from her community outreach work. These days, Jerilyn has her hands full, serving as President of the Jewish Community Relations Council, but she still makes time for tutoring through the Jewish Coalition for Literacy. “It’s invaluable,” she explained.
“I’d guess that most of the children tutored by JCL volunteers rarely if ever get to spend an hour a day or even a half hour a day with an adult who focuses just on them.”
Jewish Coalition for Literacy tutors have produced remarkable results. Teachers report that JCL students increase an average of three reading levels per school year. Moreover, 95% of JCL pupils show improvement in reading comprehension, 97% become more motivated to read in class, and 95% demonstrate more confidence in their ability to read aloud. With more than half of California children in the 4th grade reading below grade level, the Jewish Coalition for Literacy provides much-needed support to children during a crucial period in their development. Jerilyn can attest to the lasting impact of JCL’s program first-hand, as she recently attended the high school graduation of one of her former JCL students.
Jerilyn began tutoring Jamila Grizzard through JCL when Jamila had just begun the fourth grade at the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, a public elementary school in San Francisco’s Castro district. Although Jamila struggled with reading disabilities, she and Jerilyn persevered and she showed steady improvement. At the end of the school year, Jamila and her mother asked Jerilyn to continue tutoring her, which she did through Middle School and even occasionally in high school . For the next eight years, the two met in libraries, at the Boys and Girls club, and even on weekends to study and enjoy cultural events. One week they’d work on a presentation for social studies, the next they would explore the San Francisco Arboretum. This spring, Jerilyn looked on proudly as Jamila accepted her high school diploma and was accepted to San Francisco City College. She will be the first member of her family to attend college when she begins this fall.
The Jewish Coalition for Literacy provides more than reading resources and support to underserved communities—it enriches the lives of all its participants, tutors and students alike. “The [JCL] experience is really beyond giving money,” Jerilyn emphasized. “It’s giving of your time, and I think that the more time you give with these little kids, the more you see it matters.”
One of JCF’s most effective capacity building strategies is our pro-bono services that leverage the expertise of professionals in the Jewish community on behalf of Jewish nonprofits. Recently, we chatted with Sarah Levin, Executive Director of Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) and Tracy Akresh, a professional coach, whom we connected with Sarah as a pro-bono executive coach. The below interview describes their experience, both receiving and giving pro-bono help.
What motivated you to seek pro-bono consulting help through the Federation?
Sarah Levin: As a small non-profit organization, with room to grow in nearly every direction, the pro-bono consulting service provided by the Federation was irresistible. With room to define our needs and determine our own objectives with the consultant, we received impactful and incredibly effective support. What small, growing non-profit wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to receive professional, pro-bono consulting services?
With room to define our needs and determine our own objectives with the consultant, we received impactful and incredibly effective support. -Sarah Levin
Tracy Akresh: As an executive coach and owner of unpackingthebox professional coaching, I am always looking for new opportunities to expand my coaching offering and help new clients. When I met Bab Freiberg, the Director of Strategic Consulting at the Jewish Community Federation, I was impressed by the proposal to provide coaching and consulting services to executive directors at Jewish organizations. Executive Directors often do not have the time and resources to get the training and coaching that is so critical to the senior leadership of any organization. I felt I was in a unique position to really help make a difference. I have 15 years of hands-on leadership experience at large companies such as Ernst & Young, JPMorgan, Esurance, and Hewlett Packard. I like working with experienced, emerging, and transitioning leaders who are looking to be better at what they do while gaining more work/life balance and personal satisfaction. This opportunity allows me to help experts in their field become expert in business and team management. I focus on helping leaders re-think leadership behaviors, cultivate unique strengths, apply business best practices, take planful action, and focus on what they truly love. This program is a great opportunity to help build stronger organizations for the Jewish community.
Executive Directors often do not have the time and resources to get training and coaching — I felt I was in a unique position to really help make a difference. -Tracy Akresh
What results/impact did you get out of the experience?
SL: Tracy provided our office with new tools to utilize our individual strengths in the workplace. On an organization level, she provided us with useful templates and various resources to help our internal operations and general management. Additionally, she helped facilitate our annual board retreat which was incredibly useful.
TA: Jimena (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) is very special agency. Because I am Sephardic I felt aligned with the mission of the organization. While the content of our engagement is confidential, the director set up her goals early in the coaching process. We focused on identifying and cultivating her unique strengths and leadership practices so that she could be an even more effective leader. From a technical perspective we reviewed goals and objective setting, staff and board development, motivation, accountability, and project prioritization. We also integrated strategic planning for the organization and performance management into our discussions. We were able to make a lot of progress in just a few short months.
Would you seek pro-bono consulting help again?
SL: Yes – receiving support and guidance from an objective outside consultant was a fantastic and useful experience.
TA: I would happily serve the community again as a pro-bono consultant. This program builds good will in the community and through executive coaching, we are building stronger organizations by developing talent at the director and executive levels. This type of coaching also allows agencies to reduce expenses and potentially increase business. Professional consultants typically charge $150-$300/hour for this type of work. Elevating a director’s leadership skills can create more time to focus on programing and fundraising.
We are proud to present our 2012 awardees in the areas of education and leadership, with a special recognition of Akiva Tor, Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest for his term of service here in our community.
We hope you’ll join us as we publicly recognize these outstanding individuals at our Annual Meeting, June 10, the morning of Israel in the Gardens.
This year we’re mixing it up with an interactive talk show format that’s guaranteed to entertain! Our host, Fred Raker (a performer and writer who has worked with Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and Johnny Carson) will be interviewing guests who are rolling up their sleeves to make a real impact in our community and around the world.
AWARD WINNERS FOR EDUCATION
The Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award: TAMAR RABINOWITZ
Since moving to San Francisco, Tamar Rabinowitz has been teaching Tanach at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, in the Yesod program at Congregation Emanu-El, and for Kevah. Originally from South Africa, she moved to Israel and attended Hebrew University, where she received a degree in Jewish History and a Masters degree in Jewish Education. She was also in the first cohort of the Educators Program at Pardes Institute. Tamar has taught Tanach for 12 years at various grade levels in numerous cities, schools, institutions, including middle and high-schoolers for seven years at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, and adults in the Florence Melton program in Rockville, MD. Tamar’s interests lie in teacher education and mentoring, which has resulted in her being a Teacher Mentor at JCHS of the Bay and running a teacher training program at Pardes in Jerusalem over the summer. In her spare time, Tamar trains for marathons while avoiding San Francisco routes with steep hills.
The Helen Diller Family Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education – Early Childhood Education: HADARA GRAUBART
Hadara Graubart, the lead teacher in the Extended Day program at Congregation Beth Sholom Family Preschool in San Francisco, comes from a long line of Jewish communal workers. Her father was an eighth generation Rabbi and her mother has worked at JCCs for 30 years. She has a BA from Wesleyan University and an MA in journalism from NYU. Hadara was a staff writer at Tablet, an online Jewish magazine, for several years, but her true passion is early childhood education. Nothing brings her more joy than sharing ideas of tzedakah and loving kindness with young children and watching them experience the joy of being Jewish.
The Helen Diller Family Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education – Congregation or Community School: ARIANA ESTOQUE
Ariana is the Director of Adolescent Education at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco where she teaches multiple grade levels, implements a Jewish Service learning program for bnei mitzvah students, as well as supervises and facilitates all 7th – 12th grade programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a master’s in Education with a focus in Jewish Studies, both from San Francisco State University. Ariana is an alumna of the BJE’s Shofar Fellowship for Teen Educators and received a certificate in Jewish Service Learning from the BJE and San Francisco State University in 2009. In 2011 Ariana co-wrote a Jewish Service Learning Manual for Early Childhood Education which won the Union for Reform Judaism’s Epstein Communicate Award. Ariana was born and raised in San Francisco and has chosen to never leave! She has been married to Marc Estoque for 7 years and has a 5 year old son, Calen and a 3 year old son, Ever.
The Helen Diller Family Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education – Jewish Day School: JACLYN GUZMAN
Jaclyn Guzman has been a history instructor at Kehillah Jewish High School since 2008. She holds a BA in American History with a minor in Jewish Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz. She also holds a Masters in Education with single-subject credentials in Social Studies and English, also obtained at UC Santa Cruz. Jaclyn credits her amazing professors, especially Bruce Thompson, in fostering her interest in Jewish History. Through their encouragement and support she maintained an active involvement in the Jewish community in Santa Cruz and continues that involvement through her school and current community. Jaclyn Guzman currently lives in Fremont, CA with her husband and adorable cat. In her off time, Jaclyn enjoys collecting and reading books as well as traveling to new and exciting places.
The Helen Diller Family Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education – Informal Education (outside of a school setting): ZEPHIRA DERBLICH-MILEA
Zephira Derblich-Milea grew up in the Bay Area Jewish community and has worked as a violence prevention educator for over nine years. In 2005 she began coordinating Love Shouldn’t Hurt (LSH), Shalom Bayit’s healthy relationships education and dating violence prevention program for Jewish youth. This program has enabled her to connect her passion for promoting healthy relationships with her love for the Jewish community. In 2007 Zephira was awarded a fellowship at the Bureau of Jewish Education and co-authored the successful national LSH curriculum. She also teaches 1st grade religious school at Temple Beth Abraham which gives her the opportunity to look at Judaism from a different lens and at times, to just be silly. When she isn’t in a classroom you will find her on a hike in Tilden Park or dancing and laughing with friends.
AWARD WINNERS FOR LEADERSHIP
The Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Young Leadership Award:
TANYA KAMINSKY BERNSTEIN
Tanya Kaminsky Bernstein is the President of the Federation’s Young Adult Division (YAD). In her role, Tanya works closely with YAD Board and JCF staff to develop an engaged community of Jewish young adults in the Bay Area by providing a broad range of social, educational, volunteer and leadership development opportunities. She previously served as the YAD Campaign Chair where she helped organize the YAD delegation to Super Sunday, developed recognition programs for giving levels and led the recruitment efforts for the National Young Leadership Mission to Israel. Originally from Lviv, Ukraine, Tanya moved with her family to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1994. It was there that she got her first taste of being part of a Jewish community by becoming a member of Young Judaea, attending the Tel Yehudah summer camp and traveling on a summer trip to Israel. Tanya went on to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio where she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and to the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley where she received her MBA. In her professional life, Tanya is an Assistant Vice President at Wells Fargo, where she is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic growth initiatives within the bank’s Small Business Segment. Tanya recently wed Mark W. Bernstein, and together they enjoy traveling, attending lectures and performing arts events, and taking dance classes.
The Robert Sinton Extraordinary Leader Award:
ROSELYNE CHROMAN SWIG
Roselyne Chroman Swig (Cissie) is singularly devoted to philanthropic and community service efforts, at a local, national and global level with a focus on women empowerment, social welfare, fine arts, political advocacy and education. Among other contributions, Cissie is the founder of the advocacy group, Partners Ending Domestic Abuse and is a member of the Collector’s Committee National Gallery of Art. She serves on a myriad of Boards: Vital Voices Global Partnership, the NPR Foundation, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, AIPAC, the American Joint Distribution Committee, and is a past President of both the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation.
She has received numerous accolades including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the SF Arts Commission, the GirlSource Wave Award, the Woman of Valor Award from the State of Israel Bonds, and the Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award. She holds honorary degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute, the University of San Francisco, Mills College and Santa Clara University.
Cissie is a member, Board of Directors of SwigCo, a private real estate investment company; the founder & president of ComCon International; and the founder, Roselyne C. Swig Artsource (1978-94). Appointed by President Clinton, she is also a former Director of the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies Program.
Cissie attended UCLA and UC Berkeley. She is the wife of the late Richard Lewis Swig and has four children and twelve grandchildren.
Cissie was married to her late husband, Richard Swig, for 47 years. She has a son Rick Swig, daughter and son-in-law Susan and Richard Watkins, daughter Marjorie Swig, and daughter and son-in-law Carol and George Sedlack.
The Israel in Our Hearts Award: AKIVA TOR, the Consul General of Israel for the Pacific Northwest Region
Akiva Tor has served as World Jewish Affairs Adviser to the President of Israel, Director of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, and Deputy Director for Palestinian Affairs in the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and has written and lectured extensively on Jewish values in the foreign policy of Israel and on ethical considerations in international relations.
He served as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces and as infantry captain in the IDF reserves. His personal interests include running, mountain biking and ascending high places. Akiva is married to Naomi, a community social worker. Their home town is Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, and they have four children – Yonah, Zohar, Yehudah and Roni.
Become a leader of the Jewish community.
Building on previous years of similar and successful programs, we’re excited to announce the launch of Federation Fellows, a leadership development program designed to attract, train and educate new and emerging leaders for the Jewish community. Participants’ ages range from 20s – 40s and the program requires a commitment of two years, beginning summer 2012.
So what’s in store for our Federation Fellows?
- Following an in-depth orientation, participants will be placed as provisional members on the boards of our community’s agencies, organizations, and synagogues in the fall of 2012.
- During the second year of the program, Fellows will serve as an active committee member at the Federation.
- Over the course of both years, Fellows will participate in numerous leadership training programs, workshops, and seminars.
- Once one participates in the program, one is a Federation Fellow for life! A Fellow will continue to benefit from networking,leadership training, and educational opportunities offered by the Federation.
Both the Fellows and the community organizations they served have benefited tremendously from Federation Fellows over the years. Here’s a look at just a few of those who have been motivated, guided, and inspired by the program.
Rabbi Doug Kahn, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council
JCRC was a true beneficiary of the program – young, committed Jewish adult leaders eager to gain experience in the Jewish communal universe, bringing enthusiasm and commitment and taking away greater understanding of our role in the community. It is a win-win situation – good for our organizations, good for the Federation, and good for the community.
Jeff Maltz (Federation Fellow 2001-2002)
I was placed on the Board of the Institute of Aging (IOA) as it sought to navigate many issues facing its future. By being on the board, I learned about various strategies used for fundraising, how a board helps guide a CEO on organizational direction, and of course, about aging. I found that experience to be invaluable both professionally in terms of working with boards and non-profits, and in my volunteer life to better understand the challenges nonprofits face. Coincidentally, 10 years later I ended up starting a company in the senior space called SilverRide. My experience on the board of the IOA ended up proving to be very valuable, and actually helped guide my thinking when starting the SilverRide.
Lois Wander (Federation Fellow 1999-2000)
I served as a Fed Fellow at A Traveling Jewish Theatre (now TJT), and then later as a full-fledged board member for several years. I learned a lot from the experience, including the basics from how board meetings are run, to some more impactful work such as fundraising, hiring executive directors, and securing loans. In addition to helping the community, you also learn important management and leadership skills. It was very valuable, and I encourage others to participate in this program.
The Federation Fellows program has transformed dozens of individuals into exceptional leaders. This innovative program allows Fellows to make positive changes to JCF, the Bay Area Jewish community, and the San Francisco community as a whole For more information on how to participate, please contact Liza Meckler, Leadership Development Associate, at (415) 512-6260 or LizaM@sfjcf.org.