Daily Archives: January 3, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 01.03.12

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Terry Doran, longtime Berkeley educator, dies

Terry Doran. Photo: courtesy of the Doran family
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Terry Doran, who served two terms as president of the Berkeley school board and inspired generations of students at Berkeley High, died on January 1 after a long battle with cancer.

Doran was a towering figure at Berkeley High until he retired in 1998. He worked for the district 32 years, teaching history and economics. He started the high school’s photography program, chaired the Arts Department, and served as faculty advisor to the award-winning Berkeley High Jacket.

Upon his retirement, Doran ran for school board, twice garnering the most votes of any other candidate and thus earning appointment as board president. Doran was an advocate of breaking down Berkeley High into smaller schools. He felt that students would get more individualized attention if they were in groupings of 500 people or fewer.

“Terry Doran was School Board President when I was hired,” said former BUSD Superintendent Michele Lawrence. “In large part he was the reason I came to Berkeley. I was convinced that a man with the soul of a teacher would always put students first, and he did… always. He was a man of integrity, generosity, extreme kindness and dedication of purpose. I consider it an honor to have known and worked with him.” … Continue reading »

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Snapshot: David Berkeley, songwriter, writer

David Berkeley
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By Pete Rosos

David Berkeley is an acclaimed songwriter with five albums under his belt. He was a guest on “This American Life” and tours all over America and beyond. Berkeley was a student of philosophy and literature at Harvard, worked for “Outside” magazine, has guided whitewater rafting trips, and has taught public school. Last January he published a book of essays entitled “140 Goats and a Guitar” which tells the stories behind the songs on his newest album. Berkeley lives in Berkeley with his wife and two sons. He plays at the Subterranean Art House in Berkeley on January 21st at 8:00 pm.

When did you arrive in Berkeley?
Last August. But given my name (which is actually my middle name) it feels like I’ve been here for quite a bit longer.

What’s your hood?
West Berkeley, I suppose.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oddly, I don’t think I thought about it that much. I’m not sure what that says, as my 5-year old talks all the time about the seven things he wants to be. At some point, though, pretty early on, I started wanting to write. And I sang all the time when I was little. I think I always wanted to be onstage. … Continue reading »


Rebecca Fromer, co-founder of Magnes, dies at 84

Rebecca Fromer. Photo by Erin Vang
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Rebecca Camhi Fromer, a poet, playwright, historian, and co-founder of the Judah L. Magnes Museum of Berkeley, died in San Francisco on January 1 with her family by her side. She was 84.

Fromer and her husband, Seymour, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 87, started the Magnes Museum in 1960 in response to what they saw as California’s lack of knowledge of its Jewish heritage.

Starting with a few objects and a display case in the Oakland Museum in Seymour Fromer’s office at the Bureau for Jewish Education in Oakland, the Magnes grew to become the country’s third largest Jewish museum with more than 10,000 objects ranging from paintings, photographs, rare books, archival material, and Judaica.

Situated in a historic home on Russell Street for more than 40 years, the Magnes Museum merged with UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library in July 2010. Now renamed the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, it is scheduled to open in a remodeled building at 2121 Allston Way on January 22.

Fromer wrote, or co-wrote, numerous nonfiction books, including The House by the Sea: A Portrait of the Holocaust in GreeceThe Holocaust Odyssey of Daniel Bennahmias, Sonderkommando, Rumkowski and the Orphans of Lodz, and Bridge of Sorrow, Bridge of Hope. Her poetry and prose were collected in Out of Silence, Into Being and One Voice, Many Echos. … Continue reading »

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First person: A tree of life to mark the start of a new year

Screen shot 2012-01-03 at 9.15.38 AM
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By Rosy Aronson

On an unusually warm and sunny new year’s day stroll, I was strolling with my husband Kim Aronson and we stumbled upon a special tree on Vine Street, between Grant and Josephine. Dangling from its branches were notes of gratitude, hope and remembrances, a small stack of extra note cards, a marker… and the invitation to respond to questions such as: “What are you grateful for?” and “What do you hope to change in 2012?”

Inspired … Continue reading »