Friday, December 9, 2005 | by suzan berns

Weizmann Institute is No. 1

Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science beat out academic institutions the world over to be named the best place to work in academia. Some 2600 academics voted in The Scientist magazine's third annual survey, citing relationships with their peers, a sense of accomplishment in their work, and access to research resources as helping make a workplace great.

"Our scientists don't have restrictions on what they can do — if they have an idea, they're free to pursue it," explains Diane Portnoy, director of the Bay Area regional office of American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. "This is a great feather in their caps and a wonderful thing for Israel too," she notes. "It's really cool!" Dr. Jay Levy of UCSF chairs the Bay Area group.

All in the family ...

Avi Rose
told folks who gathered to honor him in his new position as executive director of Jewish Family and Children's Services of the East Bay that he was following in his mom's footsteps. She founded the Sacramento office of JFCS. Karen Bakar, new marketing and communications director of the agency, reports that the welcoming event was warm and intimate, with Rose setting a "positive vibe for JFCS-East Bay's future." Officers of the group include president David Biale, vice president James Gracer, treasurer Bob Feller and secretary Sandra Epstein.

Let them entertain you

In her 35-year relationship with the Jewish Home in San Francisco, Gladys Jonah has played a lot of roles. She was a staff member and volunteer and now she's a resident. She's taking on yet another role — performing artist. Gladys is one of 35 Jewish Home residents who will star in "Around the World in 60 Minutes," the Home's annual holiday show. She'll sing "Let the Rest of the World Go By" with musical director Randy Craig.

The show, which activities director Mark Friedlander says celebrates cultural diversity, will take place at the Home at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. It's a great way to spend a haimish hour or so and contributions support recreational, spiritual and therapeutic programs for the residents. Call J.C. Rafferty at (415) 406-1546 with questions. (P.S. Get there early — seats fills up quickly!)

Not your mother's Hadassah

Anyone attending Hadassah's Marin Business and Professional group's next event will learn a lot about sexuality — and a little about Hadassah too. Danielle Harel, a clinical sexologist, will be the featured speaker 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 at Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon. Susan Schweit, who planned the evening, promises a fascinating look at aspects of sexual desire — spiced up with juicy tips and practical ideas. Admission is $8 for Hadassah members and $10 for non-members. For information, email Schweit at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Mitzvahs — by the numbers...

At San Rafael Congregation Rodef Sholom Mitzvah Day in October, 700 people volunteered for 35 projects. They donated 50 pints of blood, delivered meals to 700 Marin County residents, decorated and donated 150 teddy bears for children at the local free clinic, raised $825 for Hospice of Marin through a walkathon and $220 for the Marin Aids Interfaith Network by washing cars. And provided belly dancing and karaoke fun to residents at a senior center!

Suzan Berns, a freelance writer, was associate director of communications for the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation.