Success at Sundance

Jacob Kornbluth

Berkeley-based director Jacob Kornbluth’s film “Inequality for All” won a special jury prize in the documentary category at the Sundance Film Festival last month.

The film, which was inspired by U.C. Berkeley  economist Robert Reich’s book “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future,” takes a big-picture look at what Reich and Kornbluth believe is one of the most important issues of our times — widening economic inequality and how it will affect the economy as well as democracy.

In an interview on the Sundance website, Kornbluth, the brother of monologist Josh Kornbluth, explains that his goal was to make a film that was both “approachable and entertaining given what could be a dry and serious topic.”  He researched the topic for more than a year before he felt he had the education and authority to make the film. About inequality, he concludes, “Even the rich would do better with a smaller slice of a growing pie than a larger piece of a shrinking economy.”


Beyond therapy

Nancy Lipsitz of San Francisco writes that four photographs by her psychotherapist-photographer husband, Stan Lipsitz, are featured on the cover of the January edition of the American Psychologist. Stan retired as the director of a San Francisco mental health clinic and is currently in private practice. His photographs have been exhibited in galleries, libraries and at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and his documentary series on San Francisco’s homeless was shown at Grace Cathedral … Dina Tasini of Berkeley reports that her mother, Southern California psychoanalyst Miriam Finder Tasini, has written “Where are We Going,” a memoir about her family escaping Krakow in 1939 just ahead of the Nazi invaders. The book received a glowing review in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal.


Reunion revision

When Marcia Tunik lodged a complaint that her San Rafael High School 50-year reunion was slated for Yom Kippur, she expected (possibly) an apology, nothing more. Instead, writes Tunik, who now lives in Spokane, Wash., the reunion date was changed. The note to classmates explained: “As noted by a number of our fellow classmates, the original date (Sept. 14, 2013) was in conflict with Yom Kippur. The new date allows us to respect the heritage of those who observe this holiest day of the Jewish calendar.”


Short shorts

Jyl Jurman

Jyl Jurman, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, was honored for 25 years of service to the Jewish community at a gala event on Feb. 2 at the Levy Family Campus … Arlene Burbank of Berkeley has been named director of development for the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay.  Her former positions include director of communications for the Jewish Federation of the East Bay and director of donor relations for the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation’s Endowment Fund … Through donations to its Aaron and Sylvia Schwartz Hessed (Kindness) Fund, Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael raised $1,500 for Marin’s gun buy-back program, which was funded through private donations. When she heard that the county was raising funds for the buy-back, says Meredith Parnell, the synagogue’s communications director, she felt it was an opportunity for congregants to do something about gun violence on a local level … Gladys Monroy and her husband, Charles L. “Larry” Marks, of the Peninsula are the new co-chairs of the Bay Area region of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science.

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

Suzan Berns