Two 15-person teams of congregants from Congregation B'nai Tzedek joined the American Cancer Society's 24-hour relay, which began Friday, June 25 at 6 p.m. in Fountain Valley. Since the teams were required to have someone on the track continuously, the synagogue held a service and Shabbat dinner on the field. Of the $82,000 total raised, synagogue teams raised $18,000 (1,000 chai!). B'nai Tzedek's Team Chai received recognition for raising the most money and for best describing the relay's mission. Their booth's theme, "Early Detection Saves Lives," highlighted two cancers that can be treated if found early enough.
Marsha Oblath and Terry Schnitzer are the new co-presidents of the sisterhood at Congregation B'nai Tzedek of Fountain Valley.
Michael Vishny succeeds Sheila Witzling as president of Tustin's Congregation B'nai Israel.
Jenny Levy succeeds Doris Jacobson as president of Anaheim's Temple Beth Emet. The congregation's sisterhood, which recently honored Phyllis Sacks as its woman of the year, installed Susan Baum as its president.
Dr. Robert Kopel succeeds Robin Hacker as president of Newport Beach's Temple Bat Yahm. Janice Newfield is the new sisterhood president.
Sandra Paskus is the incoming sisterhood president of La Mirada's Temple Beth Ohr.
Elliot Katz succeeds Steve Belasco as congregational president of Fullerton's Temple Beth Tikvah. It's sisterhood president, Cindy Jacobson, will be assisted by co-president Cher Krichmar.
New Head of Ed
Elizabeth Bloch, a native of India who grew up in Israel, was hired by Newport Beach's Temple Bat Yahm as its Jewish education director. More than 300 students attend Bat Yahm's Hebrew and religious school classes.
"It is my hope that my students grow up with the love of and pride in Judaism, with a deep connection to our past and be a link in our future," said Bloch, a graduate of Haifa University and an army veteran, who has taught in secondary schools in Israel.
For the past six years, Bloch served as education director at a Bloomfield Hills, Mich., synagogue, where she developed curriculum that included family programming and parental involvement. She also serves on the board of the National Association of Temple Educators.
She and her husband, Yaacov, have two children, Eshai, 18, and Ariel, 7.
AJC Decorates Decker
More than 320 people paid tribute to industrialist Dwight Decker, honored by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) with the 2004 national human relations award.
The June 30 event in Newport Beach was a record fundraiser for the local AJC chapter, attributed to the record support organized by Decker, chairman of Newport Beach-based Conexant Systems Inc., which makes communication devices.
The tribute was presented by Ralph Cicerone, UC Irvine's chancellor. Other well-known guests attending included Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove); Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher (R-Brea); Scott Baugh, local Republican Party chair; and Bishop Jaime Soto of the Diocese of Orange. The keynote speaker was a former county supervisor, Gaddie Vasquez, now director of the U.S. Peace Corps.
Decker, who serves on the boards of the Discovery Science Center and KOCE-TV Foundation, is also a board member of UC Irvine's executive roundtable, its school of management and the Beall Center for Art and Technology.
Get the Pointe
Nearly 350 people participated in Heritage Pointe's Generation Celebration walk on Memorial Day, which raised $60,000 toward financial aid for residents.
"We did great," said Rena Loveless, the assisted living facility's executive director, the walk's No. 2 individual fundraiser. Of 196 residents at the home in Mission Viejo, 33 currently receive full or partial subsidies.
Twelve-year-old Samantha Markovitz, of Villa Park, was the event's top rainmaker. She received a $500 gift certificate to South Coast Plaza for raising $3,000.
Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School was the sponsoring host. Major contributions from other sponsors were the Samueli Foundation, $10,000; Crown Ace Hardware, $2,500; Bona Fide Mortgage, Inc., $2,500; Bill and Carolyn Klein. $2,500; Chateau Felice, $2,500; G. S. Levine, $2,500; Pacific Coast Cardiology, $2,500; and Joel and Ann Moskowitz, $2,500.
Loveless received a second prize $300 gift certificate to Fashion Island for raising $2,245. Loretta Modelevsky, the walk's organizer, received third prize, a weekend stay for two at the Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort & Spa for her enterprise, raising $1,365.