2008 Distinguished Service Awards of Excellence go live!

Here are some of this year's winners. Check out these YouTube videos to hear what they have to say!

Volunteer of the: Year Tom Kasten

Kasten has served on the Capital Planning, Finance and Administration, Strategic Funding, By-Laws, Leadership Development and PAS Steering Committees, as well as on the Community Study Committee. In addition, Kasten has served as chair of PAS, as the Federation’s treasurer and on the Executive Committee and currently is one of the Federation’s vice presidents. Most recently, he served as co-chair of the CEO Search Committee that resulted in the hiring of the Federation’s new executive. Kasten also served as president of the Board of Directors for Jewish Vocational Services, and completed a term as mayor of his hometown, Hillsborough, where he continues to serve on the City Council and on a variety of County boards.


Program of the Year:

[With Rabbis Eric Weiss, Jon Sommer, Sheldon Marder, Reverend Jennifer Block and Rabbi Michael Barenbaum]

A collaboration between the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, the Jewish Home of San Francisco and the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, its premise is that anyone who is Jewishly connected, no matter their end-of-life-care choice, and regardless of their affiliation in the Jewish community, can have a caring, meaningful relationship with another individual in their final days.


Agency Staff Person of the Year: Naomi Tucker

As co-founder and executive director of Shalom Bayit, Naomi Tucker has built an organization that is a model for a Jewish response to domestic violence.In 2007, Shalom Bayit helped over 80 Jewish women abused by an intimate partner, received 500 calls through its hotline, educated 500 Jewish youth on building healthy relationships and preventing teen dating violence and reached hundreds more with its adult educational programs.


Lloyd. W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership: Michael Feldman

Feldman has been a dedicated volunteer, with the bulk of his efforts directed towards fundraising. He currently chairs the San Francisco portion of the 2008 annual campaign and for the two years before that he either chaired or co-chaired the Major Gifts division. Along the way he has attended and supported numerous Campaign telethons, Super Sundays, strategy meetings and campaign events. Feldman has been a member of the Federation’s Board for the past three years and served on several of its standing committees, including Building, Nominating and Capital Planning. He also served on the Board of the Young Adults Division and is a member of the UJC’s National Young Leadership Cabinet.


Jewish Community Federation Staff Person of the Year: Mark Reisbaum

The rigor and integrity he brings to the grants process has been instrumental in setting the standards for which the Endowment Fund has become known. Since joining the JCEF nearly 11 years ago, Reisbaum has been instrumental in strengthening collaboration with the Federation’s Planning and Programs division, and in providing policy guidance and expertise to the Federation’s executive, capital planning, security and other committees. Reisbaum also has played an active role in building the capacity of the LGBT Alliance. The Federation’s most exacting lay leaders rely on his investment banking background and his substantive grant reports in order to make good decisions about the community’s assets.


Robert Sinton Extraordinary Leader Award: Bernard Osher

The Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Endowment Fund, has often been a “first funder” for innovative projects in their earliest stages, which then have gone on to have long-term impact, including the Osher Marin JCC, the Israel Project (which became the Israel Center), the Bernard and Barbro Osher Jerusalem Center for Religious Pluralism at the Shalom Hartman Institute and countless arts, cultural and educational projects here and in Israel that would never have come to fruition without his support. Osher was a leading supporter of the San Francisco Jewish Community Center’s capital project, along with numerous other capital projects in this community. During his five years as chair of the Endowment Fund (1994 to 1999), Endowment assets increased nearly 100% each year.


Note: The other award winners include... Judith Chapman Women’s Leadership Award: Joelle Steefel Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, Congregation/Community School: Michael Lederman Day School: Ziona Tassa, Gideon Hausner Day School Early Childhood Education: Lisa Elliot, Peninsula JCC Informal Education: Vavi Toran Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award: Batshir Torchio, Brandeis Hillel Day School; Linor Eylon, South Peninsula Hebrew Day School

Categories: Awards, Videos


June 24, 2008


The Federation