After the ‘Aftermath’

Gary Gerber of Foster City and Anna Rubchinskaya of Redwood City are Jewish actors who were cast as Arabs in the play “Aftermath” — a production by the Palo Alto Players that closed last weekend. It was about Iraqis who fled their country after the U.S. incursion in 2003.

Gerber played Asad (a husband) and Rubchinskaya was Fadilah (his wife), refugees who describe their lives after leaving the violence and chaos of Iraq for safety in Jordan. The play, which included a multiethnic cast of nine actors, was created by playwrights Erik Jensen and Jessica Blank, after extensive interviews with refugees in Jordan, to educate the public on the suffering of the Iraqi people.

However, noted Susan Ron of San Carlos, a Palo Alto Players staff member, there was a small mistake. In the play, characters describing life in Iraq before the U.S. invasion refer to their Jewish and Sunni neighbors, but the Jews had been forced out by then.


Books and a movie

Mica Jarmel-Schneider

San Francisco writer and investment adviser Bruce Farrell Rosen has published “If You Ever Need Me, I Won’t Be Far Away.” According to publicity, it’s a book about his life and “offers a road map for all of us who are struggling with life’s momentous problems to come to terms with all that has been given us and to prepare for what may be in store.”… Ezra Barany writes that his thriller “The Torah Codes” now ranks in the bestsellers in Amazon’s Jewish literature category … Filmmakers Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider have screened their film “Got Balz,” about their son Mica’s bar mitzvah project of collecting baseball equipment for children in Cuba. Their audience  — a group of 12-year-olds — talked for about an hour afterward about tzedakah and “the rewards and challenges of doing good in the world,” reports Jarmel. Mica delivered 200 pounds of baseball gear to Cuba. For information on the film, email info@patchworksfims.net.


JCRC in Uganda

Erin Pressman, currently working in Uganda, sent her former colleagues at the Jewish Community Relations Council, where she was a program assistant, a photo of herself in front of a large sign imprinted with the letters JCRC. In smaller letters, it stated, “The Joint Clinical Research Center, Kalangala Health Center.”


Short shorts

Sam Zipperstein

Sam Zipperstein of Mountain View, a soccer player at Menlo College in Atherton, was named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics 2011 Men’s All-West team. The senior midfielder also was chosen as first team All-America (for divisions II, III and NAIA ) by Jewish Sports Review, as was Jared Bernstein of Los Gatos, a junior for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (the three Southern California colleges compete as one team in athletics) … Two longtime staff members of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation are moving on. After 10 years at JCF, Roxanne Cohen is the new director of development at the Peninsula JCC. Maxine Epstein, chief development officer (and before that Marin campaign director) ended a 16-year tenure on Jan. 1. “I’m not sure where I’ll land, but it’s been an interesting journey,” she writes … Richard Rosenberg of San Francisco has been elected vice chairman of the board of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging … Marc Levine of San Rafael was named vice mayor of the San Rafael City Council … Gail Perin of San Rafael was nominated by Experience Corps Marin, an organization that provides tutors in the public schools, for Volunteer of the Year at the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership’s annual Heart of Marin.

This columnist can be reached at faces@jweekly.com.

Suzan Berns