Thursday, May 29, 2014 | return to: columns, faces



by suzan berns

Follow j. on   and 

‘Creating Hope’ amid domestic violence

At “Creating Hope,” Shalom Bayit’s annual gala held May 14 at the JCC of San Francisco, executive director Naomi Tucker gave “a shout-out to the men in the room who can teach their sons and daughters” about healthy relationships. The Oakland-based group provides programs and resources for Jewish women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Joshua Safran
Joshua Safran
The evening’s keynote speaker was local attorney Joshua Safran, who told the crowd he found the courage to speak publicly about the abuse he and his mother suffered — starting when he was 10, and at the hands of her alcoholic boyfriend — only after successfully representing and freeing a woman sent to prison for killing her abusive husband. The story was told in the documentary “Crime After Crime.” Safran’s memoir about his childhood, “Free Spirit,” was featured in J. last year (

When he and his mother finally escaped, Safran said, “We didn’t have a Shalom Bayit.” They hid in a friend’s basement. “The pintele [core of] shame I carry with me enables me to work with Shalom Bayit, so other people don’t have to go through what my mother and I went through.” Just in the last year, Shalom Bayit has helped 90 Jewish women and their 50 children escape abusive relationships. For information about the group, including a helpline number, visit


The rabbis are coming … to honor mentor

Rabbi Martin Weiner
Rabbi Martin Weiner
They’re coming to San Francisco’s Congregation Sherith Israel on June 6 from Southern California and Massachusetts, among other faraway congregations, to honor Rabbi Martin Weiner on the 50th anniversary of his ordination. Now rabbi emeritus, Weiner served the Reform congregation for 31 years. Rabbi Daniel Weiner, son of the celebrant and himself a senior rabbi in Seattle, will lead the music for the evening. In addition, three former associate rabbis at Sherith Israel — John Rosove (Hollywood, Calif.), David Meyer (Marblehead, Mass.) and Stephen Kahn (Scottsdale, Ariz.), along with several rabbis Weiner mentored — Rochelle Kamins Tulik (Los Angeles), Greg Wolfe (Davis) and Jessica Zimmerman Graf (Sherith Israel) — will take part in the celebration. The event will include a Kabbalat Shabbat service at 7:30 p.m. and a 9 p.m. gala oneg and reception. Reservations for the reception are requested.

P.S. Weiner will chat about his years in the rabbinate with Rabbi Eric Weiss on “Mosaic,” airing June 15 at 5 a.m. on KPIX–Channel 5.


Short shorts

Kenneth Bamberger
Kenneth Bamberger
Former Jewish Community Relations Council president and East Bay attorney Mark Schickman is one of several “community champions” who will be recognized by the East Bay JCRC for their “work in pursuit of a just society and secure Jewish future.” Also receiving awards at the June 8 event at Berkeley’s Magnes museum are professor Kenneth Bamberger, founder of the Berkeley Institute of Jewish Law and Israel Studies at U.C. Berkeley, and JCRC volunteers Michael Nye and Sheila Yudenfreund.Jake Rosenberg was part of the entertainment honoring Grandma Barbara Rosenberg at the Jewish Community High School’s gala last week in San Francisco. The multitalented senior, accompanied by a five-piece band (he was the pianist), sang a witty original song, including the lyrics: “Oh, Barbara, here we all are for you; just the way you like it, surrounded by Jews; Shmoozing and boozing in appreciation; for your lifelong commitment to Jewish education” … An email plea by the S.F.-based JCRC’s Rabbi Doug Kahn and the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund’s Jim Offel asking folks to sign a petition for direct flights between San Francisco and Tel Aviv has resulted in 1,000 new signatures, bringing the total to more than 8,200. “We’ve made sure that the relevant airlines are aware of the petition,” Kahn noted. Add your name to the list at

by Suzan Berns

This columnist can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Comment

In order to post a comment, you must first log in.
Are you looking for user registration? Or have you forgotten your password?

Auto-login on future visits