Four Bay Area senior educators in the field of Jewish teen engagement are among 20 selected for the Jewish Education Project’s inaugural Generation Now Fellowship. They are Taylor Epstein, Oakland-based UpStart’s senior director of design strategy; Linda Karlin, director of YouthFirst at S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services; Masha Merkulova, founder and executive director of Club Z in Redwood City; and Debra Massey, senior consultant for teen education at Jewish LearningWorks. The fellows will convene several times over 18 months and share professional development experiences, including a seminar in Israel and an intensive session at Disney Institute. The fellowship is backed by a $2.1 million grant from the S.F.-based Jim Joseph Foundation.
Six Northern California athletes are members of Team USA at the Maccabi Youth Games, which runs through Aug. 1. They are Roy Branitzky of San Jose, Yotam Elazar of Palo Alto and Roy Tessone of Los Altos, all in basketball; Nichols Meng of Moraga, in baseball; Roi Moskowitz of Sunnyvale, in soccer; and Zachary Small of Dublin, in volleyball. Six days of competition will be followed by three days of touring based in Jerusalem.
More than 300 kids from seven Chabad summer camps joined together for a cruise on San Francisco Bay in late June. Campers from Petaluma, Walnut Creek, San Francisco, San Mateo, Novato, Vacaville and Berkeley were treated to music by the Ferris Wheels and magic by Kraynork the Magician on the cruise.
Former Secretary of State George Shultz was part of a panel discussion at the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Northwest Region event in late June at Stanford University, co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Israel, the Hoover Institution and Hillel at Stanford. Shultz, a Hoover fellow, and the other panel members discussed the “Innovative Miracle That Is Israel.”
Parents of students at the JCC East Bay preschool hosted a lemonade stand in front of the JCC on a hot afternoon in late June, with proceeds going to charities helping to reunite families at the nation’s border. The plan was organized by preschool parents Keturah and Jake Kornbluth after a message sent to JCC East Bay members by CEO Amy Tobin about the plight of immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers saying: “We encourage you to get involved to ensure equal rights and safety for all, and to stand with the Jewish community in whatever way is most appropriate for you.”
Comings & Goings
Ilana Kaufman has left the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council after three years as public affairs and civic engagement director to become the Berkeley-based director of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, the first philanthropic fund dedicated to responding to racial injustice by fortifying Jews of color. Funders include the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.
Rabbi Daniel Fox has left Oakland’s Beth Jacob Congregation after serving as associate rabbi and youth director since 2013. He is moving with his family to Illinois, where he will become the new rabbi of Congregation Darchei Noam Glenbrook in Northbrook and a teacher at Ida Crown Jewish Academy High School in Skokie.
Susan Mernit is the new executive director of the Crucible, the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the U.S. The Oakland-based Crucible, which has been around for 19 years, offers arts education and experiences for people of diverse ages and backgrounds. Mernit has years of experience at tech, community and arts organizations in the Bay Area, including leadership roles at AOL, Netscape, Yahoo and most recently as CEO of nonprofit Hack the Hood in Oakland, which helps low-income young people of color pursue tech jobs.
Daniel Farkas has become the senior project director for Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundations, a project of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation. JTF is open to Jewish high school students. During the past 14 years, more than 750 teen board members have raised more than $2.1 million for grants to local, Israeli and global nonprofits.
Tracy Kraft has joined the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund as senior philanthropic adviser. Kraft most recently worked as a senior strategy consultant for CALmatters (a nonprofit journalism organization) and before that as director of development for radio station KCRW and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. She will be based at the Federation’s office at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto.