facesby suzan berns
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by Suzan Berns
The secretary speaks
True interfaith relating
The Osher Marin JCC’s opening of “Sacred Words: Finding Common Ground” last month drew 200 people, including some of the Muslim artists who are part of the exhibit showcasing work by 20 Muslims, Jews and Christians. Joanne Greene, director of the JCC’s Center for Jewish Peoplehood, the exhibit sponsor, writes, “Shortly before the opening, a few Muslim women asked for a quiet place to pray. I asked if they’d ever been inside of a synagogue and their eyes opened wide. They said they’d love to pray in a Jewish holy place and I took them into the sanctuary of Congregation Rodef Sholom. I opened the ark and took out a Torah and they approached it with great reverence, asking excellent questions. Then, I returned the Torah to the ark and the women spread their prayer rug onto the sanctuary floor to pray.” The exhibit is up through April 7.
Family kvelling and more
PJ Library, a national program that mails free high-quality Jewish books and music to young children on a monthly basis, recently distributed its 5 millionth book and my great-nephew, Jake Kotin, was the recipient. Jake, 4, lives with his parents, Erica and Mike Kotin, in the Boston suburb of Natick. The book was presented by the program’s funder, Harold Grinspoon, at a short ceremony at the Kotin home.
Here in the Bay Area, PJ Library is run by coordinator Vivien Braly through the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation. A whopping 5,400 books are sent each month to families with children 6 months to 7 years old. Families can sign up at http://www.pjlibrary.org.
San Francisco ‘Idol’
Berkeley residents Shira and Jordan Gill and their daughters Chloe, 5, and Emilie, 2, are part of a TV ad for the Chevy Traverse that’s been airing during the Olympics. The ad features families of various compositions, including one with two dads, with a voiceover stating, “While what it means to be a family hasn’t changed, what a family looks like has. This is the new us.” Notes Jordan Gill, “We had no idea what the theme of the ad was, nor that it would be such a big deal. We are thrilled with the message of the ad and feel honored to be a part of it.”
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