Coming full circle
It’s Thanksgiving weekend, so it seems like an appropriate time to report on a few of the six-word thank you stories to Hebrew Free Loan from its Full Circle Club members — borrowers who have paid back their loans and then become donors. The 50-strong group, which gathered a couple of months ago in San Francisco for fun and appreciation, included folks whose loans were paid back more than 20 years ago to new donors who had completed the process recently.
Among the short statements of appreciation: “Thank you for building my family,” commented Alex Rayter of San Francisco, who received a personal loan. San Franciscan Carol Lewis wrote about her education loan, “Received my BA, thanks to you.” “Kept my business going and growing,” said business loan recipient Meredith Caplin of Oakland. And Terry Lowe of Oakland, now an HFL loan officer, said succinctly, “Roof over head, son in school,” about her unemployment loan. Check www.hflasf.org for info about its services.
Libitzky named to Muslim-Jewish Council
Jewish community leader and philanthropist Moses Libitzky of Piedmont has been named to the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, a prestigious new group convened by the American Jewish Committee and the Islamic Society of North America. The council will develop a coordinated strategy to address anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Semitism in the United States. Initial members include prominent rabbis, imams, members of Congress and business leaders. A longtime community activist, Libitzky has been involved with AIPAC and served as president of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Greater East Bay and on the boards of many nonprofit and charitable organizations.
Kudos and mazel tov
Wornick Jewish Day School’s tzedakah project has been named the Outstanding Philanthropic Youth Organization by the Silicon Valley Association of Fundraising Professionals. The award was accepted by eighth-grader Aaron Jeck and seventh-grader Caroline Robbins. The project involves each student identifying a world problem through his/her lens of Jewish values, volunteering at an organization that addresses the problem, preparing a case for supporting the organization and fundraising for it. The class then works together to find consensus in how funds should be allocated. “It is so affirming to see our students acknowledged for their inspiring effort in this area,” said Barbara Gerboff, head of the Foster City school.
Sherri Franklin, the founder of Muttville, a San Francisco rescue group for elder dogs, has been named a CNN hero for 2016. A longtime animal advocate and rescue worker, Franklin and the other nine heroes will each receive $10,000. The public is invited to vote for the CNN Hero of the Year, who will collect a $100,000 award. The winner will be announced Dec. 11. Visit www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/vote to vote … At his 80th birthday bash Nov. 19 at Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont, Rabbi Burt Jacobson marked the release of his new book, “This Precious Moment: The Wisdom of the Ba’al Shem Tov,” a volume of edited spiritual talks and new material written in his own voice. Jacobson, who founded the congregation in 1984, is working on another book on the Ba’al Shem Tov, founder of Hasidic Judaism … San Francisco filmmaker Marc Smolowitz is raising funds on Kickstarter for “Diamond Diplomacy,” a documentary about “U.S./Japan relations through our shared love of baseball.”
This columnist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.