Jewish Community Relations Councilof San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties


Thank you so much to all who participated and contributed to making JCRC Behind the Scenes 2017 an outstanding success!

We are deeply grateful to everyone who turned out to honor our community champions -- the Honorable Mark Leno and Laura Talmus and Ace Smith -- and we are inspired by the tremendous support from the community.

Closing Credits

Event Chairs

Nancy and Stephen Grand



The Honorable Mark Leno
Recently termed out, Mark Leno left the California State Senate widely admired, even by political opponents. He earned his sterling reputation through unwavering commitment to the many communities he has represented, and he has always done his work as a proud member of the Jewish community. He is known as a champion of civil rights, LGBT equality and economic justice. During his tenure, he fought tirelessly for quality education, environmental sustainability, safer streets and housing equity, as well as to support and advocate on behalf of the Jewish Home and other Jewish agencies. A bridge builder, community organizer and mensch, he keeps his focus squarely on the greater good. VIDEO


Laura Talmus and Ace Smith
Bay Area community leaders, youth advocates and philanthropists, Laura Talmus and Ace Smith are passionate advocates for the Jewish community, civic engagement and empowering young people to address social isolation. For years they have met every challenge with determination, grace and chutzpah, Laura as an innovative leader in the nonprofit sector and Ace as a partner at his political consulting firm SCN Strategies. Now as the cofounders of a local grassroots advocacy organization, Beyond Differences, they have created a “Know Your Classmates” campaign that last year established a national awareness day with over 600 schools participating. Committed to the values of l’dor va’dor, Laura and Ace are known throughout the community for mentoring the next generation and putting in the hard work to help shape future leaders. VIDEO

Spotlight On

Invest in Peace, a coalition of Bay Area community leaders, business owners, officials and activists promoting people-to-people partnerships among Israelis and Palestinians as a way to move toward two states living side-by-side in peace.

Host Committee

Alvin Baum
Laurie Beijen and Ben Tulchin
Marci and Marc Dollinger
Dr. Kathy Fields-Rayant and Dr. Garry Rayant
Donny and Janie Friend
Bethany and Jim Hornthal
Ellen and Doug Kahn
Stephanie and Sam Lauter
Joyce Newstat and Susan Lowenberg
Joni and Russ Pratt
Arthur Slepian
Roselyne C. Swig
Arthur Wachtel
Diane and Howard Zack

Next Wave Leadership

Max Einhorn
Alexander Fromm Lurie
Joshua Reynolds
Caroline Rubin
David Saxe

Sponsors & Supporters


David and Ann Becker
Dr. Kathy Fields-Rayant and Dr. Garry Rayant
The Friend Family
Nancy and Stephen Grand
Lisa and John Pritzker
Roselyne C. Swig
Ingrid Tauber and Frank Taforo
Diane and Howard Zack


Laurie Beijen and Ben Tulchin
Koret Foundation
Barbara and Richard Rosenberg
Marty Schenker and Sue Diamond
Patti Schneider


Congregation Emanu-El
Marcia and John Goldman
Marsha and Ralph Guggenheim
Bethany and Jim Hornthal
Nicholas Josefowitz and Tali Rapaport
Ellen and Doug Kahn
Wendy and Howard Kleckner
Laura and Gary Lauder
George and Judy Marcus
Carol and Harry Saal
William and Jennifer Schwartz


Mark and Gilah Abelson
Judy and Jordan Bloom
Barry and Debbie Cohn
Cathy Dobbs Goldstein and Philip Goldstein
Alexander Fromm Lurie
Deborah Lopez
Robert and Jan Newman
Joyce Newstat and Susan Lowenberg
Jackie and Dan Safier


Liki and Joe Abrams
AJWS Board & Staff
Alvin Baum
BMWL & Partners
Adele Corvin
Sonia Daccarett and Alex Bernstein
Aaron Danzig
Steven and Pamela Dinkelspiel
Marci and Marc Dollinger
Rabbi Dennis Eisner
Art and Mimi Gauss
Lynda and Alan Goldman
Jeff Halbrecht
James Heeger and Daryl Messinger
Michael A. Jacobs and Ellen L. Fuerst
Karen and Mel Kronick
The Honorable Mark Leno
Marlene and Fred Levinson
Gladys and Larry Marks
Barbara J. Meislin
Shana and David Middler
Susan Moldaw and Bob Stallings
Karen and Brian Perlman
Abigail and Jason Porth
Joni and Russ Pratt
Harriet Prensky and Bill Pomeranz
Primark Benefits
Varda Rabin
Paul Resnick and Joan Karlin
Jaimie Sanford and Ted Storey
Arthur Slepian
Ace Smith and Laura Talmus
Debbie and Larry Stadtner
Joelle Steefel
Vera and Harold Stein
Phil and Cindy Strause
Bob Tandler and Valli Benesch
Dr. Eli and Donna Taub
Gunda Trepp
Arthur Wachtel
Paul V. Wiseman and Richard N. Snyder
Jennifer Wolfe and Nolan Zail


Eve Bernstein and Alex Gersznowicz
Congregation Rodef Sholom Clergy
Fox Rothschild LLP
Jerilyn Gelt
Alan J. Pomerantz
Debra and Michael Sweet
Barbara and Scott Waxman


Andi and David Arrick
Riva and David Berelson
Judith L. Bloom
Russell Cohen & Lynette Stejskal
Max Einhorn
Susie and Alan Greinetz
Frederick Hertz
J Street
Mark and Adele Lieberman
Susan and Jay Mall
Myrna Melgar
Gerri and Larry, z”l, Miller
David and Ellen Newman
Joshua Reynolds
Paul and Sheri Robbins
Caroline Rubin
David Saxe
Hadara Stanton and Jerry Hersh


Barry Schienberg

Please tell others about our Community Champions and continue to support JCRC and our work in the community. For photos from the event, please visit us on Facebook.