Ann Bear Memorial Women of Valor Reception

Featuring a performance by Violins of Hope

This event celebrates our Lion of Judahs, Lion of Judah Endowments, and Pomegranates while connecting with longtime friends and new acquaintances.

A special welcome to the new members of our Federation, our East Bay Lions of Judah and Pomegranates.

We are pleased to be honoring Barbara Kaufman, recipient of the 2019 Judith Chapman Memorial Women's Leadership Award.

Venue generously provided by Music at Kohl Mansion

The Violins of Hope is an extraordinary collection of 70+ instruments, originally owned and played by prisoners in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The violins have been fully restored over the past twenty years by the Israeli father and son team Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein. The Violins of Hope is a project of Music at Kohl Mansion and the official tour will begin in January 2020 in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Experience a performance by Niv Askenazi, a student of Itzhak Perlman, and Rebecca Jackson, the 2018 KSBW Jefferson Award honoree and acting member of San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, on the Violins of Hope. 

We are deeply grateful to the Kaufman and Perlman families for their generous underwriting of this performance in honor of Barbara Kaufman. 

Event Chair:

Jan Newman

Host Committee:

Liki Abrams 
Betty Denenberg Adler*
Valli Benesch*
Riva Berelson 
Madelyn Carmel 
Silvia Cheskes 
Roberta Cohn

Susan David
Marilyn Dobbs Higuera 
Claudia Felson*
Miriam Gauss*
Judith Goldkrand^
Esther Lerner
Cindy Rogoway

Nanette Rowe 
Susie Sorkin*
Joelle Steefel*
Marlene Sturm 
Alyssa Taubman Rothman 
Carol Weitz*^
Kathy Williams*

*Lion of Judah Endowment 
^ National Women's Philanthropy Board Member


Lion of Judah: A woman who embodies the spirit of tzedakah by contributing a minimum of $5,000 to the Federation’s Campaign in her own name.

Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE): A woman who has endowed her annual Lion gift to the Federation’s Campaign. A Lion of Judah endowment perpetuates her gift, ensuring that the needs of the Jewish community will continue to be met for generations to come.

Pomegranate: A woman who generously contributes $1,800 or more to the Federation’s Campaign in her own name.

Minimum gift at the Lion of Judah or Pomegranate level required to attend.

Women’s Philanthropy empowers women and ignites their passion for meaningful giving, service, and leadership, in order to secure the vibrancy and well-being of the Jewish community.

This event benefits the Federation's 2020 Annual Campaign.

October 29, 2019
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Kohl Mansion
2750 Adeline Dr


Organized By: 
Women's Philanthropy of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
Event Contact Person: 
Robyn Carmel, Philanthropic and Donor Services Engagement Manager
Niv Ashkenazi
Virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi has captivated audiences with his heartfelt musicianship and emotional performances. Praised for his “lush sound” and “passionate playing” (CASA Magazine) and “formidable technical powers” (Santa Barbara News-Press), he has made several Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center appearances, and has performed in Europe, the Middle East, and across North America. His conviction that the impact of music serves people beyond the concert stage motivates him to collaborate on projects that create a strong emotional bond with his audience.

As a soloist, Niv gave a world premiere at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall as part of VSA’s 25/40 Anniversary Celebration. Concurrently, he was a featured artist in VSA’s Championing of the Arts Exhibit, where his portrait and personal reflections were displayed in the Kennedy Center Hall of States. He has appeared as a soloist with the Culver City Symphony Orchestra, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, the California State University, Northridge Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra. He has been a guest artist and given masterclasses at La Sierra University, California State University, Northridge, and Westmont College. Other recent performance highlights include recitals at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, the Perlman Music Program Alumni Recital Series, and the Epiphany Music Guild Series.

He has worked with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juilliard String Quartet, Cavani Quartet, and Ariel Quartet. He has been invited to perform at the Lake George Music Festival, Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop, Music Academy of the West, Keshet Eilon Summer Mastercourse in Israel, and iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates. Dyad, his innovative violin and bassoon duo, has performed on many concert series on the West Coast, collaborated with dance companies, and frequently commissions and performs new works alongside traditional repertoire.

One of his most rewarding projects has been an ongoing involvement with Violins of Hope, an organization that uses its collection of instruments that survived World War II to educate and create awareness about the Holocaust. His work with Violins of Hope began with a residency in Sarasota, Florida through the Perlman Music Program and has since taken him to Ottawa, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Los Angeles for performances and educational engagements. He is currently involved with bringing Violins of Hope to Los Angeles in 2020.

Niv also performs for Street Symphony, an LA-based nonprofit which places social justice at the heart of music making and serves communities disenfranchised by homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles County. Working with Street Symphony, he has connected with audiences on Skid Row, in jails, and in transitional housing and has explored using traditional western music, improvisation, and community engagement to create powerful experiences for members of these communities.

Niv is also in demand as a speaker who inspires and motivates diverse audiences. Recently he has spoken and performed at the Jewish Funders Network Conference, and at Secret Knock, one of America’s most exclusive networking events. He has been interviewed live on LA Talk Radio and has played live on classical radio station KMZT.

Niv holds both a B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School, where his teachers included Itzhak Perlman and Glenn Dicterow. He serves on the professional advisory board of Shane’s Inspiration, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to building inclusive playgrounds, and formerly served on the board of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.
Rebecca Jackson
Rebecca Jackson is a 2018 KSBW Jefferson Award honoree and acting member of San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. She is founder and artistic director of Music in May, an annual chamber music festival that has featured notable musicians Jennifer Koh, Cho-Liang Lin, Martin Beaver, Michael Tree, Ron Leonard, and Shmuel Ashkenasi. During her five seasons as acting member of Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, the company won 2019 Grammy for Best Opera Recording for (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. Believing strongly in the power of music to heal and unite, she has performed in many marginalized communities across the U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Costa Rica, and recently into Said Gawash and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. Combining her passion for music and service, she is co-founder of Sound Impact. Recently released and now available on Amazon, her latest undertaking, in collaboration with her father, was completing the authorized biography of her mentor David Arben, imprisoned in many Nazi death camps and former associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Jackson received her B.M. from The Juilliard School and a masters from UC Santa Cruz.
Barbara Kaufman
Barbara Kaufman has been active in the Jewish community since the 1960’s, through her leadership roles at Congregation Emanu-EI, Jewish Family and Children's Services, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. Among many other positions, Barbara is a past chair of the Federation’s Women’s Fund, and co-chaired Northern California AIPAC, helping to create the first AIPAC regional office. While leading the way in the Jewish community, Barbara also took charge in public service.

Prior to taking public office, Ms. Kaufman was the founder and co-director of KCBS Radio's Call for Action, an all-volunteer run consumer advocacy public service. This off-air "action line" helped consumers solve problems with their automobiles, housing, insurance, banks, warranties, taxes, and more. KCBS management subsequently created a broadcast that became Ms. Kaufman's own daily hour-long, live call-in show that soon became the top-rated program at KCBS.
She was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1992 in a city-wide election. In her eight years on the Board, she had many legislative achievements, including numerous fiscal reforms, promotion of job growth through New Jobs Tax Credits, and the creation of both the Department of Neighborhood Services and the San Francisco & CFA Volunteer Organization. She is known for re-writing the San Francisco City Charter, which was overwhelming approved by voters in 1995. It was during her second bid for the Board of Supervisors that she was the top vote-getter city-wide, automatically making her the president of the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Kaufman worked on legislation to clean up news racks around the city, sponsored legislation forming the city's first Business Improvement District in Union Square, and was the sponsor of legislation to implement, on the local level, the principals underlying the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. She rewrote and revised the city's Administrative Code in order to bring it up to date and make it more user-friendly.
While serving on the Board of Supervisors, Ms. Kaufman worked extensively on the issue of domestic violence. She was recognized for this work by the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women with the President's Award during its 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Awards, and by W.O.M.A.N., Inc. with the 1998 Founders Award.

She has also served on the Boards of Directors of the League of California Cities and the Golden Gate Bridge District and is a past member of the Federal Reserve Board's Consumer Advisory Council and the Boards of Directors of the United Way, and the Coro Foundation. Barbara Kaufman is a long-time resident of San Francisco and has been leading the way for the Jewish and general communities for decades.
Following her role on the Board of Supervisors, Ms. Kaufman served as the chair of the Bay Conservative and Development Commission (BCDC) and was a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). She was then recruited in 2004 by Governor Schwarzenegger to represent him and direct the governor's office for the nine Bay Area counties. Barbara retired after 7 years, when the governor was term limited.

Barbara and her husband Ron have been married 64 years. They have 3 children (Steve Kaufman, Karen Perlman, and Nirmada Kaufman) and 4 grandchildren (Anna and Olivia Perlman, the children of Karen and Brian Perlman, and Steve's boys, Zev and Ari Kaufman.) Physical fitness is Barbara’s main daily activity. She is at the Bay Club every day doing exercises that even her grandchildren can’t do!