Dara Pincas was recognized by Savoy magazine as one of the “Most Influential Black Americans in American Business”. A lawyer and resident of Berkeley, she is vice president of Healthcare Law Genentech, which provides healthcare law advice to the pharmaceutical giant. She previously worked for Pfizer Inc. in a number of roles, including as general counsel for the Israeli subsidiary, and interned at the Clinton White House. She serves on the boards of the Jewish School of Contra Costa, JCC East Bay and the Federation of Jewish Community and Endowment Fund, and is a 2022 Wexner Heritage Fellow. Originally from New York, she has lived with her husband, Oded, in Tel Aviv for eight years before the family moved to East Bay five years ago.
Rabbi Stephen Pearce and Rabbi Sydney Mintz were honored Aug. 5 for their long-time service to Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. Pearce, the synagogue’s rabbi emeritus, served as chief rabbi from 1993 to 2013 and has served in the rabbinate for 50 years. Mintz, senior associate rabbi, has been at Emanu-El since 1997 and has served in the rabbinate for 25 years.
Comings and goings
Tzachi Rechter was named the new principal of the Yavneh Day School in Los Gatos. Originally from Israel, Rechter moved to Silicon Valley with his wife and two adult children in 2015. An entrepreneur and business consultant as well as an educator, he has served on the boards of Jewish congregations in Hong Kong and high schools Jews in Israel and the United States. United States, including several years on the board of Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a BA in Jewish Education from Beit Berl College in Israel. Rechter will succeed Cindy Schlesinger, the former principal of the Yavneh school, and Saran Munson, the current acting principal, effective November 1. Yavneh is an independent Jewish K-8 school.
Hadas Rave is the new Director of Youth and Family Education at Congregation B’nai Shalom of Walnut Creek. Rave received the Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education in 2017 and previously served as Director of Jewish Life at Contra Costa Jewish School. “After 25 years in the field of Jewish education, I have learned so much about how Judaism can help us become the best version of ourselves,” Rave said in an email. “I am excited and honored to begin a new journey of learning at Congregation B’nai Shalom!”
Rabbi Boruch and Mushka Hecht join Chabad de Costa Contra as youth directors, running events and programs for children, including Chabad de Contra Costa Hebrew School; Camp Gan Israel; and the local Costa Contra chapter of CTeen, the Chabad youth group. Boruch, Mushka and their four daughters previously lived in Bangkok, Thailand, and Long Beach, California, where they ran children’s programs and teen clubs and taught preschool.
Congregation Beth Jacob in Oakland welcomes three banot sherout (Israeli emissaries completing a year of national service by volunteering) to the Gan Mah Tov and Beth Jacob preschool communities: Doron Shefer, Noemie Kohn and Tal Barron. They will work with Gan teachers to improve Jewish and Hebrew learning in preschool and with Rabbi Shua Brick, director of family learning, to help with Beth Jacob’s youth programming.
UC Berkeley graduate Deborah Lauter is the new executive director of the Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust and Human Rights Studies, based in New York. Prior to her current role, Lauter founded and directed the New York City Office for Hate Crime Prevention and served 18 years in senior positions at the Anti-Defamation League, including as senior vice president. , where she oversaw the organization’s programs on rights and on Holocaust and anti-bias education. Previously, she led San Franciscans for Good Government. She is the daughter-in-law of the late Bob and Naomi Lauter, Bay Area Jewish leaders who were instrumental in establishing the Northern California branch of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, among other activities. Jewish and city-wide.
Wilderness Torah has three new staff members. Music scholar, educator, singer-songwriter and leader of Jewish song Melita Silberstein is now Family & Tots Program Manager and stephanie frankle as Avodah Coordinator. Samy Kanofskyfounder of SoulLight Ecotherapy, is the new head of youth programs.
Zohar Zanescu is the new Israel Fellow at Hillel of Silicon Valley. Zanescu holds a bachelor’s degree in history and education from the University of Haifa and served in the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command.
Twenty teenagers from the Bay Area traveled to Israel for a special three-week summer seminar as part of the year Diller Teen Fellows program, an immersive leadership opportunity for teens around the world. Participants in the program include Jewish students in grades 10 and 11 who self-identify and are selected for their leadership potential. “Being a Diller Fellow has been such a cool experience. It’s such a unique program, and through it I’ve met so many new people both in my local cohort and around the world,” said Mikaila Levine of San Rafael, according to a press release from the Helen Diller Family Foundation.
“It opened my eyes to the differences in traditions and practices around the world, but also showed me the many similarities in what it means to be Jewish. I loved being part of this program and growing up in alongside teenagers from all over the world!
Jewish Family and Children’s Services Holocaust Center accepting applications for its Pel and Manovill University Scholarships. Pell and Manovill Fellows support Holocaust Center programming, create innovative lesson plans, mentor students, build relationships with Holocaust and genocide survivors, and lead engaging discussions. Paid positions, scholarships provide course credit upon completion and are available to undergraduate and graduate students studying in California. The application deadline is September 19.
Northern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame is accepting applications for two student-athlete scholarships: the Aerial Gilbert Award and Dennis Brown Mensch Award. Applicants for the Aerial Gilbert Award must identify as Jewish or acknowledge their Jewish heritage and have overcome significant obstacles in life to be eligible. Non-Jewish students are eligible to apply for the Dennis Brown Mensch Award, which is awarded to a student with an outstanding academic, athletic and community record who embodies the concept of tikkun olam – defined as “fixing the world through generosity and charitable service to the community as a whole. Both scholarships are only available to high school students graduating in 2023. The application deadline is September 16.
JFCS offer volunteer training in palliative care as part of its Seniors At Home program. Volunteers will learn the Jewish values and customs behind bikkur cholim (providing comfort and support to the sick) and how to provide support and services to people of all ages with serious illness and those at the end of life. The mandatory training takes place over three sessions over the course of a week, starting September 14. The training fee is $180; however, scholarships are available and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
The Mitzvah Projecta theatrical and educational program on the theme of the Holocaust and social justice, recruits four highly qualified people performers who are descendants of Holocaust survivors. They will be trained by award-winning filmmaker Nancy Carlin and The Mitzvah Project founder, Roger Grunwald, to become teaching artists and present The Mitzvah Project in high schools, colleges, synagogues, churches and Holocaust centers, locally. and in the United States. The program is partially funded. by the Federation of Jewish Community and the Bay Area Endowment Fund and the Israel Posen Foundation.
Based in San Francisco Jewish Film Institute announced the recipients of its third round of JFI Completion Grants, with $75,000 in funding distributed to six independent documentary film projects. The grants provide resources to filmmakers who complete the final stages of their films. “We are thrilled to support this beautiful and impactful group of documentaries,” JFI said in a statement. “In these tumultuous times, we have been carried by the creativity, passion and breadth of ideas expressed through the films in question. It is a multi-generational list made up of several different styles of filmmaking, but all with a commitment using non-fiction film media to move people and have a positive impact on the world.