An excellent vacation
Zeke Gerwein, 12, of Berkeley, rode his bike from the Mexican border to Seattle this summer — 1,851 miles in 45 days! — for his bar mitzvah tzedek project. In doing so, he raised more than $2,000 in donations for the Bay Area chapter of the Sierra Club for its work on climate change. At a recent meeting, the Berkeley City Council gave him a proclamation for his “initiative in helping create lasting positive changes.” Zeke, who will celebrate his bar mitzvah at Congregation Netivot Sholom in March 2014, was accompanied by various adults, including his abba (father). There were bike problems and a few other mishaps on the journey, which began on June 16, but also lots of gorgeous scenery and positive exchanges with people he met. “The trip taught me that most people are kind,” Zeke writes in his blog. “Before the trip I read about murders, climate change, terrorism, which made me think that humans as a whole are terrible. Cycling the coast changed my mind.” Zeke’s daily account of his journey, with pictures, can be found under “Headwinds R Us” at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com.
On stage in Israel and San Jose
Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain
of Mill Valley will tour Israel for a week in November courtesy of the State Department’s 2013 American Film Showcase. She’ll be doing screenings and holding discussions about her latest film, “Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks,” about the connection between technology, our minds and living better in the world. Shlain says she was last in Israel 16 years ago, on her honeymoon … Mischa Stephens
of San Francisco is Jean Valjean in the South Bay Musical Theatre production of “Les Miserables,” which opens this weekend. According to proud dad John Stephens
, Mischa began musical theater at a Congregation Beth Am production of “To Be a Star” about 18 years ago in Los Altos Hills. “My point is to show how musical talent, fostered by involving youth in congregations in musical theater, may allow their nascent ability to blossom,” writes John.
Octogenarian Bill Nemoyten
, aka “The Hornman” for his dedication to horns, music and education, will read from his memoir at the Albany Community Center at a Kol Hadash bagel brunch on Oct. 13. “It All Started with a Trombone” recounts his life, from his days as a 10-year-old yeshiva student through his various careers, including administrator of San Mateo’s Peninsula Temple Beth El … San Francisco author David Perlstein
wonders (tongue firmly in cheek) if Starbucks was influenced by his novel “San Café.” The coffee company recently announced it will open its first store in Bogotá, Colombia. Perlstein’s novel centers around a San Francisco–based coffee conglomerate opening its first store in the fictional coffee state of San Cristo … Marty Brounstein
of San Mateo writes that he has made 180 appearances in three years to talk about “Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust.” Brounstein’s wife was one of the people saved by the book’s real-life heroes.
PJ Cherrin of San Francisco has been named regional director of the Birthright Israel Foundation in the Pacific Northwest … Fremont’s new police building has been dedicated to the late Robert Wasserman, former police chief and mayor.