Thank you to the thousands of donors, families and friends who attended our Jewish Community Celebration!June 11, 2012
Sunday, June 10 turned out to be an incredible day to celebrate Israel’s 64th birthday. 250 members of our community gathered to attend our 2012 Annual Meeting and joined thousands later at our day-long outdoor Israel in the Garden’s celebration, followed by the after-party.
Our Annual Meeting entertained and informed
Host and sweater-fashion trendsetter, Fred Raker kept the agenda flowing with questions, interviews, witty repartee, and charming video clips. Board President Nancy Grand and Federation CEO, Jennifer Gorovitz shared the stage, taking turns showcasing the impact of our work and providing the audience with a glimpse of the road ahead.
“The knowledge that we can achieve more together is why everyone is here today.” Jennifer stated, “We were the original social network, the original model for collective action and impact, all now buzz words in today’s world. Now we need to marry our best abilities in networking, technology and our passion for Jewish life and Jewish deeds to meet the next generations where they are. We can do good deeds individually and we should, but when we work together, we are an even greater force for change. That’s the power of community.”
Additional guests included Danny Gal, co-leader and initiator of the “1000 Round Tables” Initiative and special recognition was given to Akiva Tor, who is finishing his tour of duty as the Consul General of Israel for the Pacific Northwest.
Honoring our Jewish community teachers and leaders
The Helen Diller Family Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education recognized winners: Hadara Graubart, Jaclyn Guzman, Ariana Estoque and Zephira Derblich-Milea and Tamar Rabinowitz received the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award. All the exemplary teachers were applauded on stage, accompanied by videotaped accolades from their students.
Lynn Bunim received recognition for the Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award for outstanding Jewish volunteer and leader. Tanya Kaminsky Bernstein received the Dinkelspiel Award, one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in our community. She joined Fred on stage for a short interview where she shared how the assistance her family received during their immigration to the United States led to her commitment to ‘give back’ to the community.
The Robert Sinton Distinguished Leadership Award recognizing outstanding leadership in the Jewish and general community, went to absentee winner is Roselyne (Cissie) Chroman Swig. A previously videotaped excerpt was shown with Cissy stating “There are so many Jews in the world, and if we don’t take care of each other, if we can’t be responsible for each other, than others are not going to do it for us.” Good friend and previous Sinton award winner, Ron Kaufman accepted the award on her behalf.
The ceremonies concluded with two board members from the North Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation, Anna Leemon and Max Darrow sharing their tsories of what they learned and how their involvement with the Teen Foundation changed their lives. It was an inspiring moment of us all, as evidenced from the thunderous applause the teens received as they left the stage.
Israel in the Gardens had something for everyone
The sunny weather was the perfect backdrop to more than 15,000 people who gathered at Yerba Buena Gardens in celebration of Israel’s birthday! With a plethora of stage acts including young Bay Area talent, Efrat Gosh and the Peatot, The Voca People, UC Berkeley Marching Band, and headliners Balkan Beat Box – it was truly a magical day!
People of all ages and backgrounds enjoyed the free music, informative booths, and activities for families. Many sampled the delicious Israeli food and refreshing deserts while others shopped from a variety of vendors. The grassy fields were filled with people picnicking and relaxing, many just enjoying the outdoor festivities.
The entire day was a reflection of the genuine dedication of the JCF staff, in particular our Israel Center colleagues, who worked diligently to make this day the largest Jewish festival in Northern California.
Well done and see you next year for Israel’s 65th!