S.F. Opera general dircetor Matthew Shilvock with Dianne and Tad Taube
S.F. Opera general director Matthew Shilvock with Dianne and Tad Taube

Honors, happenings, comings & goings — March, 2020


Honors

Evan Bloom
Evan Bloom

Evan Bloom, owner and cofounder of Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, has been included on the San Francisco Business Times’ “40 Under 40” list of influential and interesting business leaders around the Bay Area. The list notes Wise Sons’ journey — “From a pop-up experiment and a single brick-and-mortar deli in the Mission, the company has grown to seven locations in the Bay Area and Tokyo, with more California locations coming soon” — and calls it a “leading brand in Jewish and deli food.”

Kitty Millet
Kitty Millet

Professor Kitty Millet, chair of the Jewish Studies department at San Francisco State University, has won the inaugural Marcus Transformative Research Award from the university’s College of Liberal and Creative Arts. The award will help Millet complete research on her forthcoming book “Kabbalah and Literature,” by funding research travel and a leave of absence this semester. The book is set to be published by Bloomsbury next year.


Happenings

Two students from the Technion, Israel’s technical and scientific university, were in San Francisco earlier this month. Shimon Sheiba started a data mining lab while studying for his bachelor’s degree at the Technion and is now a master’s student there working on technology that tailors medical treatments to individual patients with chronic diabetes. Polina Bronov is in the last semester of her senior year; she served as a social worker in the Israel Defense Forces and is majoring in industrial engineering and management. They spoke at an evening event in Silicon Valley on March 3 and at a lunchtime event in San Francisco March 4. Both events were for supporters of the American Technion Society, and they spoke about their IDF service and their current studies and research.

Technion students Shimon Sheiba (left) and Polina Bronov
Technion students Shimon Sheiba (left) and Polina Bronov

The San Francisco Opera has announced that it has received a $6 million gift from noted local Jewish philanthropists Tad and Dianne Taube to name the opera’s general director position. The Taubes are longtime patrons of the S.F. Opera, having already gifted the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater, a 299-seat venue at the opera.

Singer Jeanette Lewicki (Photo/Courtesy Jewish Community Library)
Singer Jeanette Lewicki (Photo/Courtesy Jewish Community Library)
Cantor Sharon Bernstein
Cantor Sharon Bernstein

The Northern California Branch of the Workers Circle/Arbeter Ring has awarded three grants of $1,800 for Bay Area projects dedicated to the advancement of Yiddish culture. The first project is “Doubly Suppressed, Doubly Forgotten: the Meir Noy Collection of Yiddish Songs,” in which Cantor Sharon Bernstein will record “striking and unusual” songs from Noy, a 20th-century songwriter. In “Broders & Badkhens,” musician, translator and artist Jeanette Lewicki “will celebrate the historic working-class roots of Yiddish comedy” and “create a deck of large (roughly matzoh-sized) art cards honoring the singing comedians of the Yiddish Broderzinger movement.” And local klezmer trio Baymele will create and perform “In Veldele,” a concert series of new Yiddish music that will be performed in outdoor parks.

(From left) Matthew Stein and Dmitri Gaskin of Baymele, a klezmer-Yiddish trio, at a recent performance (Photo/Ryan Gourley)
(From left) Matthew Stein and Dmitri Gaskin of Baymele, a klezmer-Yiddish trio, at a recent performance (Photo/Ryan Gourley)

Comings & Goings

Toby Glaser
Toby Glaser

Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco has announced the hiring of Toby Glaser, who is scheduled to be ordained as a cantor at Hebrew Union College in May (pending any delays due to the coronavirus situation; on March 12, HUC began holding its classes online). “In addition to having a truly impressive voice, Cantor Glaser infuses services with an extra dimension through percussion,” congregational president Lindsay Braunig wrote in an email to the Sherith Israel community. “During his interview mock service, the sanctuary was filled with ruach and joy. Every face in the room was smiling.” Glaser, who is from Melbourne, Australia, is scheduled to lead his first service at Sherith on Friday, July 3.

Cantor David Frommer is also a chaplain with the U.S. Army National Guard. (Photo/file)
Cantor David Frommer is also a chaplain with the U.S. Army National Guard. (Photo/file)

Sherith is also saying goodbye to Cantor David Frommer. On May 8, the congregation is scheduled to hold a special Shabbat service to celebrate his contributions to the congregation. Frommer is a chaplain in the National Guard, and is awaiting an active duty deployment somewhere on the East Coast.

Rabbi Carla Fenves
Rabbi Carla Fenves
Rabbi Sarah Joselow Parris
Rabbi Sarah Joselow Parris

Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco is saying goodbye to one of its assistant rabbis, Rabbi Carla Fenves — who is married to Frommer. Rabbi Sarah Joselow Parris, who has been working at Emanu-El as director of congregational engagement, is joining the clergy team as the new assistant rabbi. “I believe in the power of one-to-one connections, and I am eager to help all members of our congregation find new meaning in their relationships with Judaism, with each other, and with Emanu-El,” Parris said in an email to the community. “It has been a pleasure getting to know so many of you this past year; I look forward to connecting with others, and I will work hard to serve this congregation and our members and families as they navigate their Jewish lives.”

Our Crowd is a monthly feature that highlights goings-on in the Jewish community of Northern California. To have your personal or organizational honor, happening or coming/going included in next month’s Our Crowd, email David A.M. Wilensky at david@jweekly.com.

David A.M. Wilensky
David A.M. Wilensky

David A.M. Wilensky is the digital editor of J. He can be reached at david@jweekly.com.