Well, it’s been one for the vault.
The past 12 months have been compelling and dramatic, on that we can all agree. From the election of President Donald Trump to more than 100 bomb threats at JCCs nationwide to the twin hurricane disasters of Harvey and Irma, the Jewish community has been pulled into storm after storm — and at times seen the light — since the shofar was last sounded in shul.
In the Bay Area, there was much to keep the Jewish community busy. Here are some of the highlights, and lowlights, covered in J. during the Jewish year 5777:
Immigration crisis. Beginning with the president’s executive order in January, which placed new limits on who can enter our country, and most recently the threats to the DACA program, which has sent nearly 800,000 undocumented young people into a tailspin, the Bay Area Jewish community has stood up for social justice. We have protected undocumented individuals in our towns and cities, and forged stronger ties with our Muslim neighbors through solidarity gatherings and sharing holidays. Will the unity persist?
San Francisco State’s “Jewish problem.” Faculty, students and Jewish communal organizations spoke to J., loudly, about longstanding problems at SFSU, laying the onus on President Les Wong. A lawsuit and further investigations continue.
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. More than two weeks of top-notch films screened in five cities this summer, bringing us Al Gore, Hedy Lamarr, a “Take Action Day” and more. Plus, almost half the films were directed by women.
Changes at the Israeli Consulate. In July we said goodbye to Israeli Consul General Andy David, who returned to Israel after five years in San Francisco. And last month, we welcomed his replacement, Tblisi-born Shlomi Kofman, former deputy CG in New York. This will be a breeze after the Big Apple. Or will it?
Chew on this. The Jewish food scene bubbled up, with lots of comings and goings. Shorty’s Deli closed in downtown San Francisco, while Wise Sons expanded and expanded. Oakland’s Grand Bakery closed in December and has risen from the ashes — as a commercial bakery, not a storefront. For now.
As we head into 5778, we at J. pledge to continue bringing you the news that matters to our Bay Area Jewish community, something we’ve been doing for 122 years in print and will continue to do online at jweekly.com, on Facebook and on Twitter. We’re everywhere!
We wish you and yours a Shanah Tovah, and all the best for the coming year.