Palo Alto Weekly

News - December 21, 2012

News Digest

Newtown tragedy prompts safety discussions

Palo Alto School Superintendent Kevin Skelly said he's had several conversations with Police Chief Dennis Burns, and with campus facilities managers, on the subject of last Friday's school shooting in Connecticut.

"This is clearly something they're interested in," Skelly reported to the Board of Education Tuesday, Dec. 18. "It's a conversation that's happening in earnest in this country."

Skelly and the principals sent messages to their respective school communities.

"I know it's on the minds of teachers, and safety is always something we're thinking about and will continue to work on," Skelly told the board.

At the start of Tuesday's meeting, board members observed a moment of silence in memory of the Connecticut victims.

CEO of Jewish Community Center to leave Palo Alto

Alan Sataloff, the CEO of the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center since 2004, is quitting to take a position in Chicago, according to an announcement by the Jewish Community Center Chicago.

Sataloff, who will become the CEO and general director, will be the 11th director of the 109-year-old JCC Chicago and is expected to take his post in March 2013. He will replace retiring executive director Marty Levine, who led the organization in Chicago for 38 years, according to a December statement by the Chicago nonprofit organization.

Sataloff led a $140 million campaign to build the new Oshman Center in Palo Alto to serve the growing Silicon Valley Jewish and Israeli communities. The center is one of the 10 largest JCCs in the nation, according to the Chicago JCC.

Sataloff previously led JCCs around the country for 22 years prior to his Palo Alto tenure, including in Richmond, Va.; Seattle, Wash.; West Orange, N.J.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Houston, Texas. He was ranked as the 18th highest paid executive of a nonprofit organization in the country by the San Francisco Business Times in 2010, earning $463,551.

"We are grateful for Alan's leadership and passion during these pivotal years of building the Oshman Family JCC from a vision into a thriving center for Jewish and community life," Oshman's board President Daryl Messinger said in a statement. The board is in the process of searching for a new CEO to lead the organization's more than 9,000 members, she added.

Zuckerberg donates $500 million to local foundation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Tuesday, Dec. 18, that he is giving nearly $500 million in Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation — its largest donation ever.

The multi-billionaire made the announcement on his Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 18, saying that he and his wife Priscilla have "made a contribution of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation" as part of a pledge to donate most of their wealth to charity.

The Mountain View-based foundation funds a wide range of nonprofits and charities and declined to say how the money might be spent.

With Facebook's stock price at $27.71 on Dec. 18, the contribution is valued at $499 million. That is slightly more than the $470 million in total donations the SCVF received in all of 2011.

"This is the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's largest single gift," said Rebecca Salner, vice president of marketing and communications for the foundation.

It is reportedly also Zuckerberg's largest donation yet.

In his announcement on Facebook, Zuckerberg says that he and his wife signed "the Giving Pledge" two years ago, an effort started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that now has 81 billionaires pledging to donate most of their wealth to charities.

"Our first major project has been around education reform with Startup: Education in Newark, NJ," Zuckerberg wrote in his announcement. "I'm really proud of the work we've done there, helping leaders like Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Cory Booker sign the most progressive teachers contract in our country, opening four new district high schools, 11 new charter schools and more."

"Today, in order to lay the foundation for new projects, we've made a contribution of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation," Zuckerberg wrote. "Together, we will look for areas in education and health to focus on next. I'm hopeful we'll be able to have as positive an impact in our next set of projects."

Zuckerbeg, who draws a $1 a year salary from Facebook, had an estimated net worth of $9.5 billion earlier this year, according to Forbes magazine.

— Daniel DeBolt, Mountain View Voice staff

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