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Woman of Valor Erev Shabbat Service Honoring Gail Michaelis-Ow

Friday, February 21, 2020 26 Sh'vat 5780

7:30 PM - 8:30 PMSanctuary
Gail Michaelis-Ow:  Woman of Valor
On Friday, February 21st, Gail Michaelis-Ow will be honored with the 2020 Candy Coonerty Woman of Valor Award. The award, started 20 years ago to memorialize Candy’s legacy, honors a Jewish woman who serves both the Jewish community and the community at large. We honor Gail for her exemplary love of family, her leadership in the Jewish community, and her pioneering and ongoing commitment to social justice.
UC Santa Cruz attracted Gail to Santa Cruz in 1970. After college and nursing school, she was hired as a community educator for Planned Parenthood of Santa Cruz County. She then attended a nurse practitioner program at UCSF, returning to Santa Cruz in 1976 to open its first family planning clinic. She has been serving low income patients in Santa Cruz and Watsonville for over 40 years.
Gail credits her teen leadership experiences in her Glendale synagogue and in the National Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) for awakening her commitment to Tikkun Olam.  Not surprisingly, when Rabbi Rick first met her in 1977, he asked Gail to lead the youth group. She declined but joined the Temple!
When sons Benjamin and Andrew attended Simcha preschool, her involvement grew. Soon she joined the Temple Board as chair of the membership committee—a role she has held, off and on, to the present.  In the 1980’s, Gail was an advocate and fundraiser for the “new” Temple building and then became congregational Vice President and finally President.
In the community, Gail served on the UCSC Foundation board for over a decade. She worked with the Women's Educational Success program at Cabrillo College and chaired the Battered Woman's Assistance group from 1990 until recently. In January of 2017, with her son Andrew, she helped found Indivisible Santa Cruz, to promote political activism that is in sync with her Jewish values.
Gail currently serves as chair of the Temple’s Gesher V' Kesher program, welcoming new members and, on the Chai event committee, celebrating long-time members. She is also an inspiring force gathering sponsors for Rock Shabbat.
When not working or playing with her five grandchildren, Gail loves to run, swim, do yoga, read, and garden.


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Tue, April 7 2020 13 Nisan 5780