About the Mensch Hall of Fame:
The Mensch Hall of Fame (MHF) is a celebration of human spirit, character, and leadership. It’s designed to honor people who live lives of meaning that value goodness and kindness. Organized by Chabad SF, its mission is to recognize a diverse community of great people who do good things. Our new hall of fame is both a network of people and a digital platform (menschhalloffame.org), with a big mission.
Every year, we will be inducting a select number of mensches (menschen) into our special hall of fame. It will happen at an annual Hall of Fame Awards Lunch in San Francisco. In April 2023 we will announce the names and details of the first inductees. At that time a limited number of tickets will go on sale for our first annual awards event.
Bill Graham was a world class mensch and the original benefactor of Chanukah in Union Square. Since 1975, the 22-foot “Bill Graham Mama Menorah” has set the stage for public celebrations of Chanukah in thousands of cities worldwide. People from all walks of life come together each year over 8 days to hear rousing music, eat traditional foods and, of course, light the menorah.
Like many menschen, Bill Graham was not a religious person, but his spirit of goodness and kindness helped spread light and push away darkness around the world. He started his life as a child refugee of the holocaust. His amazing life and legacy of public and private mensch-worthy actions continues to inspire us today.
Please join us in supporting our new hall of fame, philanthropic gathering, and celebration of goodness and kindness.
About Chabad SF
Chabad SF, (chabadsf.org). established in 1980, is the City’s first and primary Chabad Jewish center, and one of the very first Chabad centers in California.
Chabad SF operates Positively 6th Street, the Gan on Turk Street, and Chabad Nob Hill on Sutter Street. We are part of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, one of the largest Jewish religious organizations with over 5,000 Chabad houses worldwide. Chabad’s western region has a network of over 200 Chabad Houses throughout California and Nevada.
Chabad SF is a community-based nonprofit organization whose efforts are rooted in traditional Jewish values—and many of its programs help the needy regardless of background or belief. Our mission is to reach out to others with acts of goodness and kindness.
In addition to our community services for shabbat, minion prayers, sukkot, and high holy days, we are well known for innovative programs such as the Giving Kitchen, the Mitsvah Cable Car, Shalom Pre-School, the ARK project, Jewish Heritage Nights with the Warriors and Giants, Young Jewish Professionals events, and the Bill Graham Menorah Project.
Rabbi Yosef Langer is Chabad SF’s founder. He is an orthodox Rabbi known for attracting unorthodox supporters with his open arms approach to spiritual life. Rabbi Langer is known by many names in many communities: the Rally Rabbi, the Grateful Yid, the Motorcycle Rabbi, the Menorah Rabbi, and simply Yosef. Born in Oakland, schooled as a Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi in Brooklyn, Rabbi Langer celebrated his 75th birthday in 2021 with a global interment broadcast.
Bill Graham was the projects founding mensch and benefactor. 2022 was the 47th anniversary commemorating a local miracle that happened in 1975 when Chabad, Bill Graham and community leaders joined together to create the first big public menorah lighting and celebration of Chanukah outside of Israel. Since then, Chabad with its Bill Graham “Mama” Menorah has turned the public celebration of Chanukah with large menorahs, into the global phenomenon that it is today in over 10,000 cities. This includes Washington DC, London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Kiev, Ho Chi Min City and Mexico City, as well as Sacramento and Sunnyvale.