The two, who are law partners at Scher, Bassett & Hames in Sunnyvale, Calif., have played in the Jewish Home’s annual fundraising golf tournament since it began 22 years ago – a fact they are quite proud of. “We’re possibly the only ones who have played consistently since the beginning,” Bill says. There is one exception though, Jerry corrects – the first year, when he missed it for a very good reason: his first child was being born.
Neither of the men are serious golfers. Jerry played at Palo Alto High School – he even lettered – but today, with a family, “golf is a time-sucker,” he notes. He gets his exercise playing tennis a few times a week.
And although Bill rarely plays the game, “This is a great tournament for a wonderful purpose,” he says. “If I miss a shot here and there, someone’ll pick it up.”
The two got involved in the Jewish Home’s fundraiser at the suggestion of Jerry’s late father, Meyer, who was a good friend of Allan Byer. (Allan and his wife, Marian, are sponsors of the tournament’s reception, auction donors, and longtime supporters of the Home.) “Meyer asked us to represent the law firm,” Bill recalls. It is now an event they look forward to each year.
“It’s a full day of entertainment,” Bill compliments. “We get to practice, have lunch, then play golf at a great facility. Then there’s dinner, plus an auction.” And it is all for a cause both men are happy to support.
Jerry says he was credited with raising $10,000 at this year’s auction. “I kept bidding up and other people would bid higher,” he laughs. He emerged with a fine prize himself, though – a night at the San Francisco Symphony, complete with a backstage tour and dinner.
Besides the Jewish Home, Jerry is involved in several Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Community Federation and Jewish Family and Children’s Services. His children are part of the Jewish Teen Foundation, a Federation group that teaches teens about philanthropy.
Bill’s parents are Lebanese Christian. Recently, through a DNA test, he discovered he has Jewish roots. “I guess going way back when. My family came from the southern part of Lebanon. It’s a good story, particularly at my age,” he reasons.
The two are already planning for next year’s event. Jerry says he intends to recruit more of his friends to play in the 2017 tournament and support the Jewish Home. “It’s a fantastic institution. It fills a large void. There’s nothing else like it for Jewish people. I hope people will decide to include the Home in their wills.”