‘Differences are not barriers’

Simone Rotman

In her four years at Camp Ramah in Ojai, 13-year-old Simone Rotman of Oakland says she learned the value of inclusion — of getting to know people different from herself. That’s what motivated her to put her thoughts into an animated video and enter it in a contest sponsored by the Ramah Camping Movement and the Ruderman Family Foundation. And Simone won first prize! TIPTOE (The Inclusion Project: Through Our Eyes) was open to participants from any Jewish camp.

The video features Simone’s voiceover accompanied by sketches illustrating her thoughts. “Differences are not barriers,” she proclaims in the video. Simone later explains that she was “inspired to make this video because I feel very strongly about sharing the lessons I have learned from inclusion at Ramah in California with other people. The video project was a chance for me to take part in the effort of making a more inclusive world, and I am very thankful for the opportunity.” As first-prize winner, Simone receives $1,000; another $1,750 goes to Ramah of California. To see the video, visit www.tiptoe2014.org/contest-winners.


Giants’ Baer honored

Larry Baer

More than 200 community leaders, diplomats and friends gathered at American Jewish Committee San Francisco’s annual Leadership Award Dinner on Dec. 2 to celebrate this year’s honoree, Larry Baer, president and CEO of the San Francisco Giants. Receiving the group’s Civic Leadership Award for his “community action, leadership and visibility as a role model” from AJC president Nancy Weil Price, Baer commented that he has “witnessed AJC’s evolution” since childhood. “I accept this award with the understanding that it is not made to me but to an ideal that binds all of us in this room, which is it is possible to change the world, and we are the agents of that change.” The event, held in the Julia Morgan Ballroom, was co-chaired by Allan Byer and Ronald Wornick.



Weizmann supporters experience Israel

Nancy and Stephen Grand of Tiburon and Dr. Martin Katz of Menlo Park were among the 20 participants in “A Weizmann Experience in Israel.” Sponsored by the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, it was the Bay Area’s first-ever mission to the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. “We went from the ancient — archaeological digs in Megiddo in northern Israel — to modern-day swinging Tel Aviv,” commented Katz. The 87-year-old, who calls himself “not the father, but the uncle of the birth control pill” (he was the director of research at Syntex when the pill was created), also was impressed with the depth and breadth of the scientific information presented. A highlight of trip was the dedication of the Nancy and Stephen Grand Israel National Center for Personalized Medicine on the Weizmann campus. The trip was co-chaired by Larry Marks and Dr. Gladys Monroy, who are also regional co-chairs of the group.


Short shorts

San Francisco actor Terry Baum is bringing “Hick: A Love Story — the Romance of Lorena Hickok & Eleanor Roosevelt” to the Berkeley City Club Jan. 2 through Jan. 25. For ticket information, visit www.crackpotcrones.com…Lisa Geduldig quips that guests at her 22nd annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy at the New Asia Restaurant Dec. 24-26 will get fortune cookies with humorously insightful Yiddish proverbs like “With one tuchus, you can’t dance at two weddings.” Partial proceeds from the event will benefit Jewish Family and Children’s Services and San Francisco Suicide Prevention in memory of Robin Williams.

This columnist can be reached at faces@jweekly.com.