Dobbs, who was presented with her oral history by Rabbi Brian Lurie, a former federation executive director, was one of 15 individuals honored for their work in the Jewish community.
Other honors included the annual Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for young leadership, presented to Lawrence Gallant; the Robert Sinton extraordinary leader of the year award, presented to Richard M. Rosenberg; five distinguished service awards of excellence; and six awards for excellence in Jewish education.
Lurie took the podium amid the cries of an infant in the audience. Minutes later, Dobbs announced that the baby was in fact her first great grandchild. She told the audience a love story — not about her late husband Harold, to whom she attributed her interest in "giving back" and community involvement, but with Israel. "I fell in love — with a country," she said.
Dobbs served as the president of JCF from 1988 to 1990. She was the second woman to achieve that honor and one of the few women to serve as a national vice chair of United Jewish Appeal, from 1983 to 1986. In 1993, she was the first woman to be elected to the board of directors of the Concordia Argonaut Club in its 142-year history. And she just joined the board of directors of the Jewish Bulletin.
Oral histories of federation presidents and executive directors help to document the growth of the Jewish community and philanthropy in the Bay Area. Dobbs' oral history will be added to a library of 21 others. Funded by the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, the history is a part of the U.C. Berkeley Bancroft Library's regional oral history project.
The other awards presented at the meeting — details of which can be found on the federation's Web site at www.JewishFed.org — include volunteer of the year, Kathy Roberts Williams; agency staff person of the year, Bina Guerrieri, Bureau of Jewish Education; federation staff person of the year, Lisa Tabak, director, San Francisco Metro region; agency executive of the year, Ken Kramarz, Camp Tawonga; program of the year, The Late Shabbat, Congregation Emanu-El.
In addition, the Helen Diller Family Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education included Ophira Druch, Temple Sinai; Shulamit Raz, Yavneh Day School; Mimi Grisman, Congregation Sherith Israel; and Sarah Weinberg, JCC of San Francisco. The Grinspoon-Steinhardt Awards were presented to Ann Cauterucci, Temple Beth Jacob, and Rabbi Jay Krause, Brandeis Hillel Day School.