Thursday, January 10, 2013 | return to: columns, faces



by suzan berns

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Down on the farm

Urban Adamah, the Berkeley-based group that integrates organic farming, social justice work and progressive Jewish living and learning, has a colorful new mural in front of its office. It is East Bay artist Craig Stucky’s response to the group’s proposal for an art installation “inspired by the core Jewish agricultural holidays of Passover, Shavuot and/or Sukkot.” The piece, which is 8 by 16 feet, “holds the story of the three pilgrimage festivals while also containing the seven species of the land of Israel, which all happen to grow very well in the land of California as well!,” writes Kat Morgan, Urban Adamah program associate. The farm is located on a donated acre on Parker Street in Berkeley. It produces a variety of fruits and vegetables, most of which are provided to organizations serving those in need. The organization also has a greenhouse, chickens and bees, and runs a weekly Free Farm Stand — Peah Corner. Learn more at


Who’s writing what?

David Perlstein
David Perlstein
San Francisco writer David Perlstein’s promo material for his latest book, “San Café,” comes with the titillating headline “Revolution. Murder. Betrayal. And a great cup of coffee.” Curious? You can read a few chapters at his website, http://www.davidperlstein.comSusan Sachs Lipman of Mill Valley has published “Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World.” Lipman has been blogging about parenting since 2009 at … And Amy Wachspress of Ukiah has produced “Memories from Cherry Harvest,” about which she writes, “Rooted in Jewish culture and my family’s own stories of survival, this narrative unfolds in original and surprising directions.” Her website is


Kudos and mazel tovs

San Francisco attorney Ephraim Margolin was recognized by the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice with the group’s Significant Contributions to Criminal Justice Award last month … Jordan Carey, 12, of Oakland, was among a dozen kids who created winning posters (and each was rewarded with an iPad) from the Grinspoon Foundation’s Voices and Visions program. The posters illustrated Rabbi Lawrence Kushner’s quote “If you see something that is broken, fix it.” They will be showcased at Los Angeles’ Skirball Cultural Center until March 17 … Kenny Kahn, co-director of Camp Be’chol Lashon and football coach for the El Cerrito High School Gauchos, was named the Oakland Raiders’ coach of the week in late November. The award, given weekly during football season, honors high school coaches who have created successful programs for players on and off the field and includes financial assistance to maintain their football program.


Short shorts

George Komsky
George Komsky
George Komsky of San Francisco, a Ukrainian Jewish tenor, sang the national anthem at the 49ers-Patriots game on Dec. 16. Komsky also recently performed with Grammy Award–winning trumpeter Chris Botti and the San Francisco Symphony, and was the lead tenor of Riverdance’s North American touring party … Tennis pro Brad Gilbert of Marin, currently an ESPN commentator, will report on the Australian Open this month, write proud parents Elaine and Barry Gilbert of San Rafael.  Among many successes, Gilbert won the bronze medal in men’s singles at the 1988 Olympics … When Lisa Geduldig announced on Facebook that state Sen. Mark Leno was presenting her Kung Pao Kosher Comedy with a California state proclamation in honor of the event’s 20th anniversary, San Francisco resident Andrea Carla Michaels posted in response (and in keeping with Kung Pao humor), “20 years is nothing to pupu.”

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