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Judith Berkowitz
Attended City College San Francisco, University of Illinois
Lives in San Francisco CA


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Research Librarian, President Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods
  • Research Librarian, President Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, present
  • Dept of Antiquities Israel, Healing Alternatives Fdn SF
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San Francisco CA
Mattoon IL - Jerusalem Israel, Kibbutz Matzuva Israel, Champaign-Urbana IL, Mattoon IL
I graduated from U of I in '72 (when did it become U of I at Urbana-Champaign rather than Champaign-Urbana?) BS Degree in Anthropology / Archaeology, minor in Classics.

I went to Israel and studied Hebrew, volunteering on a kibbutz in the Western Galilee; the Yom Kippur War began 7 days after I got there in '73. Then I went on two digs: a prehistoric one in the Jordan Valley near Lake Kinneret and then in the Upper Galilee at Tel Dan. While at Tel Dan, I helped with the surveying. Because my airfare was only good for a year, I returned to the States where I was a waitress (like anyone with a Liberal Arts Degree!) Tel Dan got in touch and paid my way back to Israel to survey for them the next dig season. 

I forfeited my return ticket and stayed in Israel, living in Jerusalem and working as a draftsman for the Dept of Archaeology in the Ministry of Education & Culture for several years. The Dept head asked if I wanted to be Assistant Director of the Dept of Physical Anthropology at Hebrew University at Hadassah, so I did research there for 7 years. 

I also managed to be the mainstay draftsman for an American dig in the Upper Negev during the summers for 5 of those years. Then a couple of odd jobs in anthropological research for private outfits in J'lem before I returned to the States in '87.

I moved to San Francisco later in '87, returning to school (community college) in '91 to get a Library Tech Certificate as part of Workers' Comp rehab (shoulder injury), which was good because Archaeological Research just doesn't go very far in this country. (I was working in a plant nursery before I went back to school.)
I ran my own consumer health library at an HIV/AIDS Buyers' Club (no, not THAT kind of buyers club!) until '97. It was a good gig, and I got to incorporate computers into it as they came to be more important tools.

Now I do research for hire: I'm a Research Librarian.
I also am President of the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, an "umbrella" organization of neighborhood associations citywide. It's like herding cats: everyone's a chief, no one's an Indian. Very political: involved in land use, housing, zoning, election issues:, should you be so inclined. This involvement provides me with perpetual irritation and annoyance. I can also chair a meeting like nobody's business.

A lot of you knew my folks: Jake died in '86, and Hazel died in '97 after having had a stroke a few years prior. My 2 aunts, Dorothy and Molly over on Western Ave, lasted a good long while; and Aunt Vi who baked all my childhood birthday cakes died in '99. So I have no family left in Mattoon.

I came out as a lesbian 20 years ago (woof! who knew?!) and have a wonderful partner of 16 years come this July. She's Senior Lab Tech at Kaiser Permanente labs of Northern Cal. We own our SF home, and have a vacation home in Palm Springs. We have three cats. We got DP'd (Domestic Partnered) both by the city and the state in ‘99.
  • City College San Francisco, University of Illinois
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