Israel in our Hearts

Join us for a day to celebrate Israel!
This will be a day for families to celebrate Israel, have fun, and learn about the Federation's important work to advance a shared society in Israel. We will also announce the annual Israel in our Hearts award to members of our community who have shown outstanding commitment to Israel engagement and advocacy.

Tickets include event lunch, all-day admission to the San Francisco Zoo, and admission to the Playfield Lawn for special event activities and entertainment:

  • Activities and crafts around Israeli diversity and pride, presented by PJ Library.
  • Gaga Pit, presented by
  • World famous Puppet Show based on the Israeli children’s book Dirah l’Haskir, sponsored by Sterling Bank and Trust, presented by Jewish LearningWorks, and performed by Up a Tree Puppetry
  • Music by Melita Silberstein, Jonathan Bayer, and Brass Magic
  • Featuring falafel and other Mediterranean delights for lunch
  • Presentation of Israel in our Hearts award to Arthur Slepian and Norman and Carol Traeger
  • Remarks from community leaders and dignitaries


Tickets available at the door - $18 for adults and $12 for children ages 4-14 (children 3 and under are free) 

Getting There:

You are encouraged to take public transportation to the event, as there will be limited parking and heavy traffic! Plan your trip at Within San Francisco, take the Muni L Taraval line outbound to the Zoo. Muni bus lines 23 and 18 also stop at the Zoo. 

Free Israel in our Hearts Shuttle

Israel in our Hearts is offering a FREE shuttle to/from the San Francisco Zoo between 10:00 am and 3:30 pm (last shuttle leaves the Zoo at 3:30 pm). Shuttle pickup/drop-off location is in the main parking lot at City College of San Francisco, on Phelan Avenue between Ocean Avenue and Judson Avenue. Parking for the day costs $3, and the shuttle is free. 


  • Varda Rabin
  • Richard and Barbara Rosenberg
  • Norman and Carol Traeger 
  • Steve and Maribelle Leavitt
  • Marcia and John Goldman
  • Ron and Barbara Kaufman
  • Joe and Liki Abrams
  • James Heeger and Daryl Messinger
  • Gary and Laura Lauder
  • Rick and Patricia Gibbs
  • Steve and Gail Karp

Israel in our Hearts Host Committee:

Liki Abrams
Mark Bernstein
Julie Brandt
Dr. Andy David
H. Michael Feldman
Hillary Frank
Rosalind Franklin
Danny Grossman
Marissa Halbrecht

Doug Kahn
Gail Karp
Tom Kasten
Abby Porth
Varda Rabin
Dick and Barbara Rosenberg
Scott Seligman
Arthur Slepian

Rabbi Idit Solomon
Susie Sorkin
Norm and Carol Traeger
Arthur Wachtel
Sharon Weinberg
Howard and Diane Zack
Jeff Zlot
Murray Zucker

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is there a fee for parking? The Zoo parking lot is $10. Street parking is free.

Is public transit available to the event? Yes. Within San Francisco, take the Muni L Taraval line outbound to the Zoo. Muni bus lines 23 and 18 also stop at the Zoo. Plan your trip at  

What’s for lunch? Guests will enjoy falafel of course! Plus a variety of sides, salads, desserts and beverages. For guests following dietary laws, please contact so we may accommodate your needs. 

Do I need a ticket to attend? Yes! Advance registration is encouraged, as there is a significant ticket discount. You can register online through April 30. If the event has not sold out with advance ticket sales, then tickets will be available at the door.

I’m a member of the SF Zoo – do I still need to buy a ticket? Yes, the cost of the event ticket helps to cover the expenses of lunch, entertainment, crafts and activities. The zoo admission cost has been heavily subsidized by the Federation, event sponsors and individual underwriters, so further discounts are not available.

Community partners providing Israel education to children and families:


May 03, 2015
12:00 AM
Playfield Lawn at the San Francisco Zoo
Sloat Blvd at the Great Highway
San Francisco


Organized By: 
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
Event Contact Person: 
Norman and Carol Traeger
Norman and Carol Traeger’s first trip to Israel was in 1967 during the Six Day War. Since that trip, they have been passionate and committed supporters of Israel. Norm and Carol have three children and five grandchildren and have been married for 51 years. They have lived in the Bay Area for 15 years. In 2008, Carol and Norm co-chaired the Federation’s successful $25 million Annual Campaign.

Carol holds a Ph.D. in Psychology, summa cum laude from Ohio State University, and has been practicing for the past 36 years in hospital-based and private practice. In addition to her work as a psychologist, she is completing an M.F.A. in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Carol has served on the Federation’s Board, its Israel & Global Committee, Women’s Division chair at the Columbus, Ohio Federation, and co-chaired with her daughters the “Power of One” dinner. She serves on the National Council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the AIPAC Executive Board of the Pacific Northwest. She also serves on the Board of the Marin Psychology Association, the UCSF Osher Center of Integrative Medicine, and the Regional Board of Birthright.

Norm has an extensive roster of leadership positions, including his past chairmanship of the Federation’s Marin region Annual Campaign and his service on the Federation’s Endowment Committee. During his tenure in Columbus, Ohio, he served on the Board of Directors for the Columbus Federation as its Campaign chair, in 1986 and 1987, and as co-chair of the Vision 2000 Fundraising Campaign. In addition, he has served on the boards of Prescott College, Kol Shofar Congregation, and American Jewish World Service.

Norm is founder of United Skates of America – the largest owner/operator of roller skate facilities in the U.S. – and president of the Discovery Group. He is a Board member of M/I Homes, a Columbus-based homebuilder, and co-founder of Mentor Technologies (in 1984), a computer user training company that merged with Productivity Point international in 1992. Norm spearheaded the Federation’s unified community endowment development campaign in 1995, giving countless hours to make the effort work. A Navy veteran, serving 1956-1958, Norm holds a B.S. in Marketing, summa cum laude from Indiana University. Both Carol and Norm are Wexner Heritage fellows.
Arthur Slepian
Arthur Slepian is the founder and Executive Director of A Wider Bridge, a pro-Israel organization that builds bridges between LGBTQ people in North America and Israel. The organization, which began here in the Bay Area five years ago, has grown into a global movement of LGBTQ people and allies, Jews and non-Jews, with strong interest in and commitment to Israel and its LGBTQ community. The work of A Wider Bridge, through missions to Israel and programs across the United States, inspires LGBTQ Jews to deepen their connection to Jewish peoplehood through engagement with Israel and its vibrant LGBTQ community. Through learning and collaboration, its work strengthens the LGBTQ communities of North America and Israel.

Arthur is currently a member of the Federation's Board of Directors and is Vice Chair of the Israel and Global Committee. Prior to these positions, he was the Chair of the LGBTQ Alliance Advisory Committee.

Arthur has been a leader for more than 20 years at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco, holding various positions including serving as president for three years. He is also on the Metro Council of JCRC, and the Board of Overseers of Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles campus.

Arthur also had a long corporate career in new business development, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and enterprise risk management. His last position was as Executive Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management at The PMI Group. Arthur received his B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an M.A. in Economics from Stanford University. Arthur is married to Gerry Llamado.