Board of Directors
Reverend Gerald P. Caprio (Executive Director and Board Chair)
Reverend Gerald P. Caprio of San Rafael, CA is Chair and Executive Director of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. He is a priest serving with the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict, an Independent Catholic Community based in San Francisco. He is Board President of Ahimsa – Berkeley and Chaplain of the Marin County Chapter of the U.S. Navy League. He serves as Director of Youth Ministry for the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Mill Valley. He previously held managerial positions for over thirty years in both the Telecom and IT industries.
Camilla Smith (Vice President of Development)
Camilla Smith is a neighbor of the Presidio, living in Presidio Heights. In addition to serving on the Interfaith Center at the Presidio Board as a trustee and Vice President for Development, Camilla serves on several national and community boards including The Executive Committee of Public Affairs for the Bay Area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the National Public Radio Foundation, San Francisco Performances, KQED, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Music @ Menlo, the Library Board at the University of California at Berkeley, Council of Friends of The Bancroft Library, the San Francisco State University Foundation, and she serves as President of the L.S.B Leakey Foundation an international funder of paleoanthropology research whose international headquarters are located in the Presidio.
She is also a Trustee of the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian, a member of the Science Visiting Council of NOVA Science at WGBH in Boston, and a Trustee of Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. She edits the newsletter for The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, Bancroftiana. She and her husband, George Smith, have five children and 12 grandchildren.
Deon Nielsen Price (Secretary)
Deon Nielsen Price is internationally recognized as a commissioned and published composer, award winning pianist, recording artist, conductor, author, church musician, veteran educator, and advocate for women in music and for living composers. Her CD recordings on the Cambria label, including the 2017 release, Radiance in Motion, are widely available on the internet. A lively video interview, her book, Accompanying Skills for Pianists 2nd Ed., and sheet music for her compositions are available online at www.culvercrest.com.
Price’s recent commissions include the orchestration of her work, “Behind Barbed Wire,” about life in the Japanese-American incarceration camps 1942-1946, for a performance with documentary video on May 11, 2019 at the Roulette Theater in New York City by the Metro Chamber Orchestra. Recently relocated from Los Angeles to the Presidio of San Francisco (where she had previously lived when her father was stationed there in the U. S. Army), she coordinates the Interfaith Center at the Presidio Sunday Concerts. Married for 63 years to the late author, Kendall O. Price, PhD, she enjoys sharing the wonders of the Presidio with her family, including grandchildren and great grandchildren, on their frequent visits. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at Brigham Young University, Masters in Music, from the University of Michigan, Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California.
Rita Semel (Treasurer)
Rita Semel, a native New Yorker, first came to San Francisco when her parents moved here in 1939. After graduating from Barnard College, she married and traveled with her soldier husband until he was shipped overseas. Returning to San Francisco, Rita worked first as a copy boy, then as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. When she went to work for the Chronicle, she had to sign a document, as did many women at that time that she would give up her job when the men returned after the War.
When her husband, Max, returned from Army service in Europe in 1945, they settled in San Francisco and Rita became the first Associate Editor of the newly formed Jewish Community Bulletin. She retired from the Bulletin in 1950 when her first daughter, Elisabeth, was born and began doing free-lance public relations for the March of Dimes, the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, and the Israeli Consulate (then located in Los Angeles).
The 1950s and 1960s were a tumultuous time when San Francisco and the nation were struggling for integration, civil rights, and inter-ethnic and interfaith harmony. In 1964, Rita served on the committee that organized the San Francisco Conference on Religion and Race, and she became its coordinator for the next 25 years.
It was during this period that she became a consultant to the Jewish Community Relations Council, and eventually joined the staff as Associate Director. Among the issues she worked on was overturning Proposition 14, a successful ballot initiative that had nullified the Rumford Fair Housing Law which prohibited racial and other discrimination in housing. Ultimately, Proposition 14 was declared unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court.
Rita served as Associate Director and then Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, where she built important coalitions and organized campaigns to advance a just society and a secure Jewish future. For more than five decades, Rita has mobilized broad coalitions to advance common causes of social concern, worked to advocate for those most in need, and built long lasting relationships among the Bay Area’s many communities.
In addition to her important role as a co-founder of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio and the San Francisco Interfaith Council, Rita has served in a prominent leadership role as the first Chair of the Global Council for the United Religions Initiative. She has served on the boards of Catholic Charities CYO, Family Services America, San Francisco Resource and Leadership Council, Friends of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, San Francisco Children’s Rights Coalition, San Francisco Family Service Agency, and Interfaith Center at the Presidio, San Francisco Homelessness Board, and Intergroup Clearinghouse. Rita has served as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She has been recognized for her distinguished service by many of these organizations, and recently was acknowledged by the Islamic Society of San Francisco, Bay Area Cultural Connections, and United Muslims of America for her work as a “longtime Jewish activist and interfaith pioneer.” Rita was honored by the California State Assembly as the Woman of the Year from the 13th District, as well as with the United Way’s Mortimer Fleishhacker Jr. Volunteer Award and the National Council of Jewish Women’s Hannah G. Solomon Award for her leadership contributions. In 1990, Rita received the Rosa Parks Award from Women in Community Service. In 1995, she was a delegate to the fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in China. She also attended the 1985 conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
In 2008, Rita was honored by the Islamic Society of San Francisco for “outstanding service and achievement in interfaith dialogue among Abrahamic faiths.” In 2011 the San Francisco Interfaith Council created the Rita R. Semel Endowment Fund for Interfaith Work. She received the San Francisco Foundation’s Community Leadership Award in 2012 for her “life-long successes in creating healthy, just and inclusive communities in the Bay Area and worldwide, and for building bridges of understanding to help alleviate poverty and end discrimination.” In 2014 she was honored at the annual Catholic Charities CYO Loaves & Fishes Gala for her more than half a century of being a champion of San Francisco’s interfaith dialogue with their “Faith in Action” award.
Rita was the co-founder of the San Francisco Interfaith Council in 1990, and her tenure has been marked by orchestrating significant programs which have a direct impact on the lives of San Franciscans – from the emergency winter shelter program for the homeless, for which she has galvanized multi-faith and City cooperation, to the chaplaincy program at the Youth Guidance Center.
Rita has served as the unofficial, trusted ambassador of the Jewish community to other religious communities for decades. Through the Jewish Community Relations Council, and later working on a national level through Project Interchange, Rita has led dozens of clergy from other faiths to Israel, to learn about the Jewish community’s relationship to the land, people, and their history. She has introduced religious leaders from throughout the Bay Area to Judaism, Jewish history, and the American and worldwide Jewish experience.
Rita serves on the board of Clinic by the Bay, Congregation Emanu-El, Grace Cathedral and In-Home Health Service Public Authority. Rita was appointed by Mayor Edwin Lee to the Human Services Agency Human Services Commission.
After 51 years of marriage, Max Semel died in 1994. He was preceded in death by their daughter, Jane, who died in an accident shortly before her 18th birthday. Their daughter, Elisabeth, is a criminal defense attorney and is the Director of the Death Penalty Clinic at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.
Dr. Henry Baer
Dr. Henry Baer was born in Heidelberg under Hitler. His father was a dentist who taught at a University of Heidelberg, from which he was dismissed because he was Jewish. In his private practice, the Gestapo would come by twice a day to make sure that he wasn’t working on any “Aryans.” Henry’s mother graduated from finishing school. One day, a classmate called her a name in the market and spit on her. She was so embarrassed by this that she said that the family had to leave Germany.
In 1936, they came to the U.S. They lived for about one year in Chicago. Henry’s father made dentures. Henry remembers playing with the false teeth instead of toys. He decided to become a dentist himself. At 13, Henry went through the Bar Mitzvah. It was not particularly meaningful for him, but it piqued his curiosity about religion. In an effort to understand, he visited other faiths, traveled (India, Bhutan, Tibet), always looking into local religions. Henry believes that we, as humans, are biologically programmed to fear and destroy what is threatening to us, and to unite with what is supportive. Religions, he believes, do both. They are a two-edged sword. He calls himself an “atheist” because he does not believe in any particular theos, theology, or theory. Henry works with Ahimsa, founded by Kumar Mehta. Mehta, a student of Gandhi, wrote the definitive textbook on concrete. He funds Ahimsa’s work for non-violence with the royalties. Henry has a biological view of consciousness. He cited the work of Marianne Diamond. He believes that to make real connections between people we have to reach beyond the rational thought of the neo-cortex to deeper modes of understanding, e.g. music and dance. It is understanding that cuts through fear of the unknown.
Dr. Baer has been on the Board of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio for over 10 years. He is the co-founder of Ahimsa (The Sanskrit word for non-violence). Ahimsa programs explore violence and non-violence from scientific, religious and social perspectives. Our goal is to seek pathways which promote peace in our turbulent world. Henry is an atheist and enjoys lecturing, debating and challenging the other board members about their beliefs and convictions.
He grew up in Chicago; spent 4 years in the military defending our country in Germany.
He has served as an officer and president of the Berkeley Dental Society, Floating Homes Association, Midas Pacific Consultants and various non-profit organizations. He believes that the interfaith movement will, “God willing,” create a more harmonious world.
Anna-Marie Booth, Presidio NPS neighbor living in Pacific Heights and former Commissioner of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Advisory Commission, is committed to inclusion and justice. In addition to being a trustee of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio Board, she is a longtime member of Grace Cathedral, which is a welcoming house of prayer for all. Anna-Marie advocates for public policy on issues of importance to older adults as a District Liaison Volunteer for AARP California, and promotes civic engagement as a volunteer with Vote Forward. Anna-Marie's career includes serving as Executive Director for the San Francisco office of the National
Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) after a 15-year tenure as Government Relations Manager for AT&T. A certified National Board Teacher, she taught English Language Arts to students of diverse backgrounds in San Francisco Unified School District middle schools, and maintains her advocacy for quality public education for all through involvement with the Retired Division of the United Educators of San Francisco (UESF). Her academic qualifications include a B.A. in Psychology from New York University and a J.D. from Emory Law School. Anna-Marie is also a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association.
Fred Fielding is a lifelong Episcopalian and resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. Interfaith work became his primary focus while attending seminary 2002. During this time he began to participate in programs and events at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio after taking a class by Paul Chaffee, the founding ICP Executive Director. His involvement grew steadily, eventually joining the ICP Board in 2011. Fred also serves with the United Religions Initiative as a Leadership Council Member for North America and Global Council Trustee.
Along with his work at ICP, Fred also serves as a United Religions Initiative Global Council Trustee and is a member of the URI North America Leadership Council. He also continues to participate in the North America Interfaith Network Conferences. These connections compliment his efforts at ICP by getting larger perspectives of interfaith work throughout the world while sharing the work of ICP and the importance of the historic Presidio Chapel.
Fred has a professional background in television production, and he has used his skills to enhance deeper interfaith communication. He has also produced or assisted in the production of videos for organizations and events including ICP, Partners in Peace, and Crop Walk SF and URI, including the 2015 CBS Christmas Eve Special, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” featuring the work of United Religions Initiative around the world.. Fred received a B.A. in Broadcasting and Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University in 1995 and received a Master's of Theological Studies from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in 2006.
Donald H. Frew (Emeritus)
Donald H. Frew is an Elder in the NROOGD and Gardnerian Traditions of modern Wicca, and High Priest of Coven Trismegiston in Berkeley CA. His coven is a member of the Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), the world’s largest religious organization of Witches. He has served ten terms on CoG’s National Board, as Public Information Officer (PIO) and as First Officer (President).
In 2000, he was appointed CoG’s first National Interfaith Representative and has continued in that position since then. He has represented Wicca in interfaith work for over 33 years, on the Boards of the Berkeley Area Interfaith Council and the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, at the modern Parliaments of the World's Religions (as a member of the Parliament’s Assembly of the World’s Religious & Spiritual Leaders), and as Vice-President of (and frequent contributor to) the online interfaith journal The Interfaith Observer. In 2002, he was elected to the first Global Council (Board of Trustees) of the United Religions Initiative (URI), becoming the first Neopagan to serve on the board of a global interfaith organization. He has continued as an At-Large Trustee since then, while the URI has grown to be the largest grassroots interfaith organization on Earth, involving over 3 million people in almost 1000 Cooperation Circles in 106 countries.
Frew founded and serves as Director for the Lost and Endangered Religions Project - helping marginalized religious communities to preserve their religious traditions - as well as founding and serving as President of the Adocentyn Research Library, a Pagan library in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was the creator of the 2004 international Interfaith Sacred Space Design Competition – incorporating 160 designs from 17 countries – and editor of the resulting book, Sacred Spaces (2004).
While serving as CoG’s PIO, Frew worked with the Committee for Scientific Examination of Religion, the FBI, and the Justice Department to create a report for law enforcement on so-called “Satanic” crime – Satanism in America: How the Devil Got Much More Than His Due (1989) – credited by the FBI with reversing the tide of the “Satanic Hysteria” in America.
Within the Gardnerian Tradition of Wicca, Frew is known as a historian and theologian. Working with his wife, Anna Korn, they compiled, edited, and in 2007 circulated a new edition of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, incorporating material from their researches into early Gardnerian texts and resulting in a Book of over 650 pages.
Frew’s research on the origins of modern Wicca and his interfaith work keep him traveling and encountering the world’s cultures and people, having visited 26 countries to date.
D. Peter Gleichenhaus
D. Peter Gleichenhaus was born and bred in New York City. After graduating from public schools, he attended Blair Academy, Cornell University, and then graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also earned a Masters Degree in Physical Education at the University of Wisconsin.
Colonel Gleichenhaus served for almost thirty years in our Army. His service included two years in Vietnam, first with the infantry and later in the artillery. He was stationed overseas in the Canal Zone and in Germany. He spent a tour of duty in the Pentagon and two tours in the Department of Physical Education at West Point. His final assignment on active duty was as the Inspector General for Sixth Army at the Presidio of San Francisco. He graduated from the Command and General Staff College, and from the Army War College.
After retiring from the Army in 1990, he managed a medical group for five years. Later he served as Dean at a local business college, and then for five years was the Director of Administration for a Silicon Valley communications corporation. From 2001-07 he was the Director of Public Works in Daly City, CA.
Since arriving here in San Francisco in 1985, in addition to his vocational pursuits, he has been the Chairman of Goodwill Industries, has served on the board of the Bay Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Advisory Board at San Francisco State, the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury, and as President of Congregation B’nai Emunah and the Lake Merced Golf Club. He has been a leader in the Jewish War Veterans. He currently serves on the Board of The Korean War Memorial Foundation, the West Point Jewish Chapel Fund, the Assembly of the Bay Area Jewish Community Relations Council and on a City of San Francisco Advisory Board.
Pete and his wife Barbara live in the West Portal neighborhood of San Francisco. They have three children, one in the Army, one living in San Luis Obispo, and the third living nearby and working at UCSF. They also have four grandchildren.
Hala K. Hijazi
Hala Hijazi has dedicated her life and career to public service and civic and interfaith engagement. An immigrant, a longtime public servant with the City and County of San Francisco, a former Human Rights Commissioner, a former Board of Director on the San Francisco Interfaith Council, and now a small business owner. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, Advises on the UC Davis’s Human Rights Studies Program, Founded and Chairs the AMEMSA/ SWANA Community Advisory Groups/ Muslim Impact Council for San Francisco’s Police Chief and District Attorney and other law enforcement agencies, is a Member of Aspen Institute’s Powering Pluralism Network, a Member on the Regional Advisory Council of DignityMoves.org, a Member on the Leadership Circle for Foreign Policy for America, and serves as the Director of the San Francisco Chapter of the Truman National Security Project.
After the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, Hala’s experiences as an immigrant and a Muslim woman led her to address bias, stereotypes, racism, and xenophobia – she formed and continues to manage the Professionals VIP Network, an educational forum, to address the lack of racial and cultural diversity and representation in both the business and civic sectors including the lack of voter participation by engaging citizens and public leaders in civic dialogue and calling them to action on key legislative and philanthropic initiatives.
In her different leadership roles, Hala’s work resulted in the mobilization of diverse constituencies, increased interfaith dialogue, and the passage of legislation and initiatives to address public safety - hate crimes, bullying, racism, and government overreach, including the: 2016 “Know Your Classmates” anti-bullying campaign, the 2017 Non-Cooperation with Identity Based Registry Ordinance in response to the Trump Muslim ban, and a July 2020 resolution “Opposing India’s exclusionary National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act.”
Hala has been honored by the League of Women Voters, San Francisco Chapter as a “Rising Star”; presented by the City and County of San Francisco with Commendations for the transfer of the Old Mint Building, a National Historic Landmark from the federal General Services Administration (GSA) to CCSF and with a Commendation for her service on the Human Rights Commission; featured by KTVU Channel 2 News; interviewed by the NY Times and the SF Chronicle; recognized for her leadership for the San Francisco Women’s March in 2020, and recently honored with a prestigious 2022 Multiplying Good Jefferson Award.
Jumi Kim has been a featured soloist at numerous concerts collaborating with several orchestras and ensembles in the Bay Area and the Central Coast, including Symphony of the Vines, Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale, and Opera San Luis Obispo. Ms. Kim taught voice at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne), and Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. She received her doctoral degree in vocal performance from Ball State University, master's from Indiana University, and bachelor's from Ewha Woman's University in Seoul, Korea. Currently, Ms. Kim is an active soloist in the Bay Area while serving as executive director of Celeste Solo Ensemble, concert series director at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, and music director at Grace Presbyterian Church in Walnut Creek.
Keith McWilliams is a native San Franciscan, having grown up in the areas surrounding the Presidio, experiencing its expansive natural joys and wonders as a youth. Keith is a converted Catholic (from Episcopal) and believes in the intersection of world faiths and the intense need for increasing their more harmonious co-existence. In alignment with ICP programs, Keith has been involved as a volunteer in programs for youth, education and the arts. Keith has been Past Chairman of the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra, Treasurer of the Mills Peninsula Foundation Board and Community Ambassador for their Adolescent Behavioral Health pilot program. Keith is an investment advisor with Evercore in San Francisco, a Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Financial Planner, and graduated from UC Berkeley in Economics and earned an MBA at UCLA.
Tara Mochizuki is a native San Franciscan, a practicing Jodo Shinshu Buddhist and a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. She became acquainted with the Interfaith Center at the Presidio when she was looking for a site for an Interfaith Service for the Girl Scouts of San Francisco. Since 2014, ICP has partnered with the Girl Scouts to sponsor an annual interfaith service celebrating the anniversary of the founding of GSUSA and the various faith traditions of its members. Tara joined the ICP Board in 2020. In addition to serving on the ICP Board, Tara is a member of the National Buddhist Committee on Scouting, the Archdiocese of San Francisco Scouting Committee and the GSUSA Interfaith Committee. Tara attended the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, San Francisco, School of Pharmacy (Pharm.D., 1972) and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (J.D., 1985).
Rev. James Parrish Smith (Organist in Residence)
Rev. James Parrish Smith serves as the Director of Music at the First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California. Prior to his current post, he served as Minister of Music and Organist at the historic Third Baptist Church of San Francisco. He is the founding Director of the Bridge to Arts and Music Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Dillard University and the Master of Music from Samford University.
James Parrish Smith was licensed by the First Baptist Church of Chalmette, Louisiana in 2001. In 2017, Rev. Smith was ordained by Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown at the Historic Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, California. He has served in musical leadership in prominent churches in Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama, most notably serving the historic Sixth Avenue Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama.
James Parish Smith also served as organist at Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida and Miles College, Birmingham, Alabama.
James Parrish Smith is an active organ recitalist and choral director. Recently he was honored to play the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Organ in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has also performed in the presence of President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. He is the founding conductor of the Amos C. Brown Heritage Chorale of San Francisco.
James Parrish Smith is a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity, and serves as the Sub dean of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organist.
James Parrish Smith also believes in community awareness. He currently serves on the executive committee for the San Francisco branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).