OUR GUESTS

Ruth Abusch-Magder

Be’chol Lashon’s Rabbi–in–Residence and Director of Education has been involved in Jewish education and leadership for over 30 years. A graduate of Barnard College, she received her doctorate from Yale University. The recipient of many grants and fellowships for her work on Jewish food and women’s history, in 2006 she was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem, where she developed the pilot curriculum for the JCCA’s adult learning Journeys initiative. A CLAL Rabbi Without Borders fellow, she is a frequent writer and teacher and has taught and published in Europe, Israel, North and South America. She edits Jewish Be’chol Lashon’s blog on MyJewishLearning.com and loves spending time at Camp Be’chol Lashon.


Ron Blatman

A former Director of Business Development for the Mayor of San Francisco’s office in the early 1990s and point man at that time in the effort to keep the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco, Ron is Executive Producer/Producer of “Saving the City: Remaking the American Metropolis” a multi-part TV series in the works highlighting successful and unsuccessful examples of urban redevelopment throughout the US and Canada focusing on downtowns and nearby neighborhoods. He also Executive Produced and Produced “Saving the Bay: The Story of San Francisco Bay” which aired nationally over four weeks in 2011 on PBS TV and continues to be repeated around the country. The series, narrated by Robert Redford, won four regional Emmy awards including Best Documentary.


David Feldman

Associate professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University in California, he is the author of two books including, “The End-of-Life Handbook: A Compassionate Guide to Connecting with and Caring for a Dying Loved One”. His research and writings address such topics as hope, meaning, and growth in the face of life’s difficult circumstances. Feldman has written for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today, been interviewed in SELF, U.S. News & World Report, and Ode, among others, and has had his work featured on WebMD.com and About.com. Visit his official website at www.davidfeldmanphd.com.


Lee Daniel Kravetz

Author and journalist with a masters degree in psychology, his writing focuses on survivorship, hope, and stories of resilience. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, Lee has written for print and television, including The New York Times, Psychology Today, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post, as well as for PBS.  “Supersurvivors” (HarperCollins) is his first book. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit his website, www.leedanielkravetz.com.


Sam Lauter

Fifth-generation San Franciscan and public affairs professional, he is the “Lauter” in Barnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter & Partners (BMWL), a public affairs and lobbying business based in San Francisco. During his career, Sam served on the staffs of Congressman Philip Burton and Congresswoman Sala Burton, California Lt. Governor Leo McCarthy and as the personal assistant of then-Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. He is a key voice and fundraiser for the organized Jewish community in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Among his affiliations: Chairman Emeritus, Jewish Public Affairs Committee; Vice-Chair of the Northern California Region of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); and member, National Executive Committee of AIPAC. During his career, Sam has won two Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Awards.


Ronn Owens

Had the top rated program with KGO Newstalk 810 for over 35 years. In that time he has had thousands of guests in the hot seat, including President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Steve Martin, Condoleezza Rice, Benjamin Netanyahu, John McCain, Eliot Spitzer, Joe Montana, Tony Bennett, Jimmy Carter, Willie Mays, Secretaries of State, CIA Directors and community leaders. Ronn covers everything from politics to pop culture. His show has been called the “ultimate town hall meeting.” Ronn has long been the voice of reason in the Bay Area, balancing issues so that listeners can make up their own minds. Ronn has won numerous awards and was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in December 2007. The National Association of Broadcasters presented him with the prestigious Marconi Award for Major Market Personality of the Year Award in 2003 and again in 2010. Talkers Magazine named Ronn one of the Top 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time, ranking him 13th and the top local personality in the country. His first book, “Voice of Reason: Why the Left and Right are Wrong” was published in 2004.


Fred Raker

Fred Raker is a former stand-up comedian and TV comedy writer. His credits include “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and “Fridays,” where he worked with Larry David and Michael Richards. He’s currently a freelance writer and solo performer in San Francisco. At present, he’s in the process of writing the script for a TV series, entitled, “Marv Tollman: Look Back In Failure.” Visit his official website at www.fredraker.com.

John Roderick

Founder and lead singer of The Long Winters, an indie rock band based in Seattle, Washington that has released three full-length albums and one EP since 2002. He co-hosts the weekly podcast Roderick on the Line with Merlin Mann, has been a columnist for The Seattle Weekly and published a book of short prose, “Electric Aphorisms” in 2009. Appointed to the Seattle Music Commission in 2010, Roderick ran for an at-large position in the Seattle City Council in 2015, garnering 15.8 percent of the popular vote. He has traveled the world, occasionally on foot. Visit his website at www.johnroderick.com and follow him on twitter at @johnroderick.