Obituaries: Week of December 11, 2015

Carol Elaine Levy, Federation and community leader, social activist, 68

Carol Elaine Levy, director of the Community Campaign for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and a longtime Jewish community activist, died Oct. 20, 2015. She was 68. 

Levy was born in Los Angeles in 1947. A woman of remarkable energy and intelligence, and with a deep, powerful voice, she served as chief song leader at the Reform movement’s Camp Saratoga (later Camp Swig) in Northern California. A UCLA arts major, she later played a leading role in the rock musical “Mother Earth,” which appeared in various cities and on Broadway. She sang in clubs around the country and was a radio personality on KSRF for several years.

She married Rabbi Richard Levy in 1972. After daughters Sarah and Elizabeth were born, Levy began a lay career with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles: She was president of Federation’s Women’s Conference, chairwoman of Federation’s innovative Council on Jewish Life and a vice president of Federation. She met with women refuseniks in the former Soviet Union and with Ethiopian Jews in Addis Ababa.

As her daughters grew, Levy decided to work professionally in the Jewish community. Having taught on the Brandeis-Bardin Institute campus for 10 years, she was invited to serve as development director of Brandeis-Bardin, just months before the devastating 1994 Northridge earthquake, which destroyed the heart of the institute. The donor plaques surrounding the rebuilt facilities testify to her success. Later, she became director of the Pacific Southwest region of the American Jewish Congress, which had initiated a campaign against sweatshops, and she enlisted her board in an aggressive attack against them.

In 1999, after the local American Jewish Congress office was closed down, Levy became head of Federation’s  Western region and took on other positions there, as well, becoming a valued mentor to many Jewish professionals. In 2012, the Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California gave her its highest accolade, the Lifetime Achievement Award.  

Levy’s ovarian cancer returned in 2007, but long-term chemotherapy enabled her to continue working every day until her last two weeks, and to enjoy the birth of her grandson Elijah. She remained a mentor even in treatment, as nurses took regular counsel with her about issues in their own lives. But the years of chemotherapy began to take their toll. Levy started losing strength, and finally her long struggle came to an end. On 7 Cheshvan, she sang her last song and departed for a sweeter place.

Those wishing to give tzedakah in Levy’s memory are asked to contribute to Federation, Run for Her (supporting ovarian cancer research at Cedars-Sinai’s Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute) or Planned Parenthood.

Zecher tzadeket livrachah: The memory of this remarkable woman uplifts (one of her favorite words) us all. 

Chuck Gelfand, business mentor, philanthropist, 81

Longtime member of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and of Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California Chuck Gelfand died Nov. 20. He was 81.

Gelfand had a successful career as an insurance broker in Los Angeles and served as president of the association in L.A. 

Gelfand was born in Detroit and moved to Sierra Madre as a young boy. After high school, he was recruited by UCLA on a football scholarship in 1952 and played on UCLA’s only national championship football team. He graduated in 1956 and continued his involvement with the college as president of the Bruin Hoopsters. He also was active in UCLA’s academics for athletes.

He devoted his life to his family, work and philanthropic endeavors. Gelfand was a most loving husband, father and friend who wouldn’t hesitate to give someone the shirt off his back. His dedication to academics, athletics, philanthropy, and spiritual and Jewish culture never wavered.

He is survived by his wife, Inez, and daughters Cheryl and Janna Gelfand. The Gelfand family welcomes any contribution in his memory to the giver’s charity of choice. 

Hilda Baker died Oct. 22 at 96. Survived by daughter Carol Sue. Hillside

Sylvia Ruth Berliner died Oct. 20 at 95. Survived by son Stephen (Carol); daughters Joan (Clarence) Agress, Ann; 1 grandson; 2 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Gail Buky died Oct. 18 at 67. Survived by son Jordan; sister Pam Sideman. Mount Sinai

Fanny Rose Buzney died Oct. 25 at 104. Survived by daughters Charlotte Shore, Marcia (Irv) Kodimer, Eileen (Alan) North; 9 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren. Groman Eden

Ruth Channon died Oct. 30 at 100. Survived by daughter Sheila Reimer; 3 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Jack Meyer Cohen died Oct. 28 at 90. Survived by wife Arlene; 9 grandchildren; sister Jeanne Griver. Hillside

Richard Coleman died Oct. 30 at 93. Survived by sister Rita (Harold) Demsetz; 1 nephew; 3 nieces. Mount Sinai

Anayatolah Daneshgar died Oct. 24 at 96. Survived by wife Moazazeh; daughter Minoo Shabanzadeh; sons Rahman (Janet Shadgou), Bijan (Minoo Rahban); many grandchildren. Groman Eden

Anthony Dans died Oct. 17 at 58. Survived by sister Mindy (Joel) Stein; brother Stephen; sister Rhonda. Mount Sinai

Arthur Morris Edelheit died Oct. 22 at 88. Survived by daughter Renee Marcus; son Michael (Robin); 3 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Norman B. Feinstein died Oct. 31 at 91.  Survived by daughters Ellen (Rahn) Tobler, Beverly (Tom Ourada); 1 granddaughter; 1 great-grandson. Groman Eden

Susan Fenton died Oct. 14 at 73.  Survived by son Mark (Tina); daughters Deborah, Tamra (Yarone) Schnitman; 4 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; brother Ira (Brady) Rubin; sisters Maxine Rubin, Marilyn Beaudette. Chevra Kadisha

Claire Frisman died Oct. 19 at 86. Survived by husband Mark; daughters Bonnie Brigham, Jayne Ruane; son Dennis; 5 grandchildren; 1 great-grandson; sister Bernice Kushnick. Groman Eden

Anna M. Galper died Oct. 29 at 67. Survived by husband Yefim; daughter Dana (Michael) Madievsky; 2 grandchildren; sister Stella (Izrail) Bikvan. Mount Sinai

Lawrence Drew Goldman died Oct. 18 at 64. Survived by wife Meryl; sons Michael, Jeter “Shorty”; daughter Carrie; sister Leslie (Marc) Cohen; 1 brother-in-law; 2 cousins; nieces and nephews; and his Dirt Devil. Groman Eden

Stuart Greenberg died Oct. 28 at 70. Survived by wife Shirley; son Jeff (Saminh); daughter Stephanie (Jason) Mokhtarian; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Albert Gross died Oct. 26 at 88. Survived by wife Marilyn; son Gary; daughters Lisa Zaghian, Cynthia Elhai Carolyn; 8 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Adaline Jeanette Handler died Oct. 21 at 84. Survived by son Gary (Cathleen); 3 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Hillside

Roland B. Herman died Oct. 24 at 94. Survived by daughters Joan (Richard Rasiej), Gail; 1 grandson. Mount Sinai

Esther Renata Kahn died Oct. 22 at 70. Survived by daughter Fabiana (Naor) Zifferman; sister Eleanor Allen. Hillside

Harold Kaye died Oct. 22 at 88. Survived by daughters Sheila (John) Maddox, Marilyn Kaye; son Steven; 2 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; brother Byron (Susie). Mount Sinai

Roger Allen Keen died Oct. 26 at 65. Survived by sisters Judith (Joel) Adelman, Margot Harris; brother Steven (Gerry). Mount Sinai

Melvyn Kohn died Oct. 25 at 74.  Survived by wife Wendy; daughter Elisa (Alex) Taub; son Gary; 2 grandchildren; brother Barry (Will) Harrison. Mount Sinai

Boris Kolas died Oct. 29 at 71. Survived by wife Rose; sons Vic (Shayne), Gary; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Max Levine died Oct. 21 at 98. Survived by nephews Sidney, Larry Jurman. Hillside

Harold Mark died Oct. 18 at 91. Survived by daughters Judith (Mark Erenbaum), Mindy Friedman, Adrienne Yukawa; son Alan Mark; 7 grandchildren. Groman Eden

Carol Sue Miller died Oct. 27 at 65. Survived by brother Neil Kronenthal. Hillside

Leonid Mirkin died Oct. 28 at 76. Survived by son Gene; sister Lilya (Boris Tsymbalov) Tsymbalova; brother Samuil (Klara) Suknovalnik. Mount Sinai

Harry Alan Morewitz died Oct. 17 at 92. Survived by wife Myra; daughter Dara (Dale) Pearlman; son Ralph (Melissa); 3 grandchildren; brother David. Groman Eden

Judith “Judy” Naftaly died Oct. 22 at 75. Survived by brother Stanley; 1 nephew; 1 great-niece. Mount Sinai

Fay Peritz died Oct. 31 at 91. Survived by sons Steven, Mitch, Robert. Mount Sinai

Gerald Phillips died Oct. 19 at 90. Survived by wife Francine; son Louis (Jaqueline), Stacy; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Elizabeth Remmer died Oct. 18 at 81. Survived by daughter Dena Davidson; son, Bradford (Kelly); 5 grandchildren; brothers Chuck (Carol) Coloran, Jack Coloran; 1 cousin. Mount Sinai

Michele “Mickey” Robin Server died Oct. 18 at 50. Survived by brother Michael (Khalia) Kolodzi; mother Caroline Kolodzi; 1 nephew. Mount Sinai

Doris Rolfe-Greenwald died Oct. 31 at 91. Survived by husband Thomas; son Rick Rolfe; daughter Laurie (Anthony) Spencer; 3 grandchildren. Hillside

Allan Rotman died Oct. 21 at 97. Survived by sons Martin, Robert (Dennis Woods); daughter Nikki; 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Howard Jerome Saks died Oct. 24 at 85. Survived by wife Barbara; daughters Donna (Scott) Rheingold, Valerie (Jeff Goldstein) Sanns, Leslie (Wayne) Rice; Gayle (Ricardo Rodriguez); sons Michael (Ann), Mark (Donna); 11 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Groman Eden

Michael Schackne died Oct. 24 at 71. Survived by wife Kathy; daughter Kylee (David) Stepner; son Kacin (Jessica); 4 grandchildren; brother Richard Barnett. Mount Sinai

Eileen Smith died Oct. 20 at 77. Survived by sons Steve (Michelle) Sugarman, Larry Sugarman; sister Pamela (Loren) Mandel. Mount Sinai

Valentina Tsukerman died Oct. 29 at 73. Survived by husband Lev; son Oleg (Katrina); 2 grandchildren; mother Fanya Tsysar; sister Svetlana Matrosoe. Mount Sinai

Elijah Vaysman-Grisjavla died Oct. 23 at 9. Survived by father Patrick Jaramillo; mother Marina Vaysman; sisters Yanina, Natasia; brothers Patrick, Gabriel; 3 grandparents. Mount Sinai