BBYO stands up

Mack Radin

Members of the Simon Wiesenthal (SiWi) chapter of BBYO in the Palo Alto/Mountain View area did such a great job fundraising for their “Stand Up” cause, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, that in November the group was treated to a visit by Israeli soldier Nuriya Neumann. About 35 teens from local AZA and BBG chapters heard Neumann describe her experiences with the IDF canine unit she was a part of, said Mack Radin of Los Altos Hills, who was godol, or president, at the time. The visit inspired the group, he said. “It was a great honor for our chapter and for me. It felt like our efforts had made a difference. Our chapter had reached a higher purpose, not only fulfilling lives of our own members but also those outside the chapter.”

Supporting Stand Up causes that help to heal the world is important in the international order of BBYO, Radin explained. “We’re a strong chapter with the potential to do something really great in the community,” he noted. The group chose the FIDF for its efforts because of SiWi’s solid support of Israel and the belief that “the soldiers are deserving of any help we can give them.” The chapter raised $2,000 in a mostly letter-writing campaign led by Stand Up chair Ron Miasnik of Mountain View.

And in other SiWi news … recently installed godol Josh Kaplan of Palo Alto, a junior at Gunn High School, was among a handful of high school students selected to attend the college-focused AIPAC Saban Leadership Seminar in Washington, D.C., last month.


AJC honors

Peter Rothen

S. Douglas Weil and German Consul General Peter Rothen were honored by the American Jewish Committee San Francisco at a festive celebration at the consul’s residence on Dec. 10. Weil received the distinguished leadership award for his AJC involvement and leadership, starting in 1956. Rothen was honored with the group’s international human relations award for his outstanding outreach to and support of the San Francisco Jewish community. In his acceptance speech, Rothen remarked that, because of the work AJC has done to repair and restore the Jewish community’s relationship with Germany, “75 years after Kristallnacht, tonight and on German soil, AJC was able to gather and present me with this honor.”




Short shorts

Mark Holtzman

Karen Stiller is the Jewish Community Relations Council’s new director of Middle East affairs. She formerly served as JCRC’s Peninsula director … Mark Holtzman of Palo Alto is the new chief financial officer at the Oshman Family JCC. He has served as both president and treasurer of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills … Drs. Alan Fisher and Barbara Sommer of Atherton have been elected co-presidents of the Jewish National Fund’s Northern California board of directors. Among other activities, the two are co-chairs of the region’s JNF Doctors for Israel. Fisher is former president of Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City and Sommer heads the congregation’s Israel action committee … Dan Alpert of San Francisco and Neon Weiss, who recently moved from San Francisco to Oakland, had a surprise reunion at a holiday party. The two knew each other some 30 years ago at New York University, hadn’t seen each other since and had no idea either was living in the Bay Area. Alpert, who is the husband of Rabbi Eric Weiss (not related to Neon), recognized her, he said, “because you don’t meet a lot of people named Neon.”

by Suzan Berns

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

Suzan Berns