In late January, more than 100 people gathered at Lake Merced Golf Club near San Francisco State University to recognize SF Hillel Board Member Mimi Gauss, and her incredible contributions over many years to Hillel and the broader Bay Area Jewish community.
Mimi, whose son Ari Gauss is Director of North Carolina Hillel, has been involved with the Jewish Community Federation for over 40 years. Including serving as the first Women’s Philanthropy Lion of Judah Endowment chair, its representative to UJC’s national woman’s philanthropy board, the chair of multiple Federation planning and allocations and Women’s Philanthropy committees, a member of the Israel & Overseas Committee, and a member of the JCF board. Beyond the Federation, Mimi has served on the boards of Brandeis Hillel Day School, the JFCS Holocaust Center, Jewish Learning Works and San Francisco Hillel.
Mimi's friend Lynn Sedway opened the event with a lovely speech welcoming everyone and speaking fondly of Mimi. SF Hillel Board President Brett Goldstein then introduced Mimi's children Ari and Ilana, and Ari's son Aaron, who spoke and recited Hamotzi.
USF student Lia Nilson spoke very eloquently about her Jewish journey at the school and how Hillel support is needed there. Dovetailing from that, Executive Director Ollie Benn announced Hillel's plan to expand from San Francisco State University across San Francisco to schools such as USF, UC Hastings, Golden Gate University and UCSF!
Finally, Paul Cohen, a longtime community member and former Hillel regional director spoke elegantly and effusively about Mimi, presented her with a beautiful menorah from the CJM. Mimi then gave a humble but wonderful speech about the ways different types of people can effectively contribute in the Jewish community.