Awards and awardees

Kyle Weiss

A number of people in the Bay Area Jewish community are being celebrated for their activities and their dedication to helping others. Here are several that have been reported to Faces. (Hint: Send your kudo-worthy information to Faces@jweekly.com. We love to share good news!)

Kyle Weiss, 19, of Danville, is the winner of the 2012 World of Children Award for FUNDaFIELD, a project he created in 2007 with his brother to build soccer fields in regions where impoverished children have experienced conflict or major trauma. The award provides funding and recognition to young people with proven, sustainable programs that are changing the lives of children. FUNDaFIELD has built fields in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda. With the prize money, Weiss and his team of volunteers plan to expand their operation to Swaziland, northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti. Check out www.fundafield.org to be inspired by Weiss’ story.

Steven Kornetsky

The Washington, D.C., Center for Community Change has recognized San Franciscans Paulette Meyer and David Friedman as 2012 Community Change Champions for the impact their anti-poverty work has made locally and nationally. Among other accomplishments, Meyer founded Women’s Initiative for Self Employment in San Francisco, which helps low-income women start businesses, and Friedman is leading a campaign to rebuild the city’s public housing to break the multigenerational cycle of poverty. Friedman is also the chair of the Jewish Senior Living Group.

When Steven Kornetsky of Piedmont accepted the 2012 Distinguished Leadership Award on Sept. 13 from the American Jewish Committee, he recalled the directives his mother, a single mom who was raising her children after her husband died young and unexpectedly, gave to her children: “If you’re not poor enough to receive charity, then you’re wealthy enough to give it.” Kornetsky was AJC regional president from 2005 to 2007.


Short shorts

The Jewish Community Relations Council has two new staff members. Carrie Jaffe-Pickett of San Francisco is JCRC’s first marketing director. She has worked most recently at Samaritan House in San Mateo, where she coordinated public relations and was a private communications consultant. Paula Simon of Santa Rosa is the new director of the North Bay region, succeeding yours truly (that’s me — wearing yet another Jewish community hat), who has retired. Simon worked for JCRC for 23 years in Milwaukee, serving as executive director for the last 12 before moving to the Bay Area several years ago … In other JCRC news, Bethany and Jim Hornthal, Ingrid Tauber and Frank Taforo, and Eve Bernstein and Alex Gersznowicz are co-chairing Words with Friends, the JCRC gala on Sunday, Oct. 14 honoring executive director Rabbi Doug Kahn for 30 years of community service … Josh Cohen, 16, of Berkeley, is one of 16 baseball players nationwide, and the only one from Northern California, chosen to represent the USA at Maccabiah 2013, writes proud mom Emily Cohen. Josh is a graduate of Tehiyah Day School. He’s raising funds to make the trip … Jonathan Friedman is the new Northwest regional director for the Jerusalem-based Shaare Zedek Medical Center. He was formerly senior philanthropic adviser for the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation … The entryway to U.C. Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium has been named the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza in honor of the couples’ gift to athletics at the university. And at another stadium, John Goldman threw out the first pitch for the Giants’ final home game on Sept. 27.

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

Suzan Berns