Latkes and Biden

Lauren Mayer

Singer-comedian Lauren Mayer of San Mateo says she’s “ramping up” to promote “Latkes, Shmatkes,” the comedic album she made last year about (what else?) Chanukah. The series of humorous songs, each in a different musical style, includes titles such as “Eight Is Better than One” and “The Jew-in-a-Gentile-World Blues.” Recently, Mayer says, she’s been “wading into” politics, and the presidential election provided great fodder.

In her “Steely-Eyed Joe” video, which is “a tribute to Joe Biden, who gets overshadowed by all the news about nearly everyone else,” she sings to a country-western tune: “Paul Ryan might be a studley flirt, but Joe’s who I wanna see without a shirt.” There’s also “Put Me in Your Binder Full of Women” and “It’s a Scary Time to Be a Jewish Mother,” from the perspective of a gay-marriage supporter.

About her politics, Mayer says, “All my videos are on the liberal side, but even my friends from high school in Orange County have emailed to say they may disagree with the politics, but they enjoy the comedy.” You can check out Mayer’s clever humor on YouTube, or visit www.laurenmayer.com and find out how to include “Latkes, Shmatkes” in your holiday gifting.


Sports report

The Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Northern California awarded Golden Bagels to four men for their contributions to sports and the community on Nov. 4. Noted the organization’s Gary Wiener, “As our Golden Bagel honorees sat on the dais, one couldn’t help but notice the diversity: Marc Christensen, who once out-sprinted O.J. Simpson in a track meet, to Jon Greenberg, who has been an inspiration to Potrero Hill kids for over 40 years, to the larger-than-life multicultural Kenny Kahn, who looks like he could still play football, to the diminutive Len Norack, the official’s official.” Among other things, Christensen is a retired teacher and president of the San Francisco Association of Athletic Coaches; Greenberg runs the 33-year-old S.F.-Bay Area Pro-Am Basketball League; Kahn is a high school football head coach and co-director of Be’chol Lashon’s family camp; and Norack is a former basketball official.


Superstitious? Yep!

Pam Baer, whose husband, Larry Baer, is CEO of the San Francisco Giants, says she always wore a necklace with three charms — a Star of David, peace sign and a heart — during the playoffs. “I find this to be my lucky necklace … it has gotten me through two World Series now!” she says. She also wears one of many scarves with orange in it to every game. “Some are luckier than others, so you often see me for weeks on end wearing the same one.”


Short shorts

Fred Isaac

Historian, teacher and community leader Fred Isaac is the honoree of Jewish LearningWorks’ (formerly the Bureau of Jewish Education) 2012 Phantom Ball. The virtual event, established under the leadership of the late Kerin Lieberman, provides an annual opportunity to support the organization without having to go anywhere or worry about what to wear! Visit www.jewishlearningworks.org to help … Development executive Judith McFadin Alterman of San Rafael has joined American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev as associate director of its Northwest Region. Most recently, she was director of development for Jewish Family and Children’s Services … Rabbi Elana Zelony of S.F. Congregation Beth Sholom is among 18 fellows of Rabbis Without Borders, an initiative of Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, to help make Jewish thought and practice more available.

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

Suzan Berns