Shorts: bay area

Weekend marks

Beth David’s 40th

Congregation Beth David will be marking its 40th anniversary this weekend, Nov. 21-23.

The Conservative congregation in Saratoga will honor the four founding families at Shabbat services on Friday night.

Former rabbis during significant growth of the synagogue will be honored Saturday morning. On Saturday night, a Havdallah service will be followed by a party, which will include skits about the congregation’s history.

Sunday morning’s minyan will feature a lecture by a former Beth David rabbi, Leo Abrami, on “The Lost Tribes of Israel: The Case of the Lembas of South Africa.”

The weekend will conclude with a party geared especially for children, with pizza, bowling and movies.

Call (408) 366-9105 or go to for information.

First a visit, now a Torah for Belarus

A Pacifica couple is traveling this week to Belarus to personally deliver a restored Torah to a “very enthusiastic” Jewish community there.

Hoping to honor a recently deceased parent, Avril Zielin-Brodey and her husband, Robert Brodey, are donating the purchased scroll to residents of Baranovichi, a city near the border of Poland and Lithuania.

That community last year became a partner of Livermore’s Congregation Beth Emek and was a destination for a 14-member mission in June organized by the local synagogue along with the S.F.-based Bay Area Council for Jewish Rescue and Renewal.

Beth Emek congregant Martin Abrams, a Beth Emek congregant whose ancestors lived in Baranovichi, described the trip as “energizing not only to them but to us.”

Baranovichi was a natural choice when the Brodeys called the council this summer, asking for help in locating a community that could “use and cherish” the Torah, which was recently restored by a scribe in Los Angeles.

“What they have is a huge desire to be Jews, to find out what it means, to

celebrate Shabbat and holidays and to teach their children,” said Larisa Margulis, a program associate for the Bay Area council.

“We saw the enthusiasm,” Margulis said. “We decided to connect this family with the same community.”

Organizers hoped the Brodeys’ visit will be part of a continuing relationship between Jews there and in the Bay Area. The couple left Monday, Nov. 18.

Abrams said the Livermore synagogue wants to invite several teens from the community to visit the area next