Finding my place in history: A love letter for Father’s Day


It is not enough to thank my father privately for the best gift he’s ever given me, because his own humility interferes with my every attempt to express sufficient gratitude. “Dad, I don’t know how to thank you enough for this,” I say. “I tried a new restaurant last night,” he says. His eyes tell me he’s received my gesture, but because he never allows me to lavish him with praise, I’m writing this article instead—for I am equally as stubborn, and I insist on sharing just how much I value his efforts.

Since 1998, my father has been researching our family history. Initially, he gave his parents a hand-held tape recorder, hoping they’d impart the past into an easily preserved format, but when his mother dismissed the idea out of hand, he realized he’d have to do any recordkeeping as he always had: on lined, yellow legal pads with his dark blue felt pens. In addition to interviewing his parents and as many relatives as he could reach, he consulted a wide range of sources, including the National Archives, the Ellis Island Passenger Search, newspapers, genealogists, doctors, translators, websites, court documents, state and school and military records, cemetery markers and gravestones, old photographs and old letters and old tickets still tucked into burlap envelopes, new photographs, emails, voicemails. He transformed our family tree into a Table of Contents, composed a 206-page narrative, and for Father’s Day last year, had it printed and bound, and gifted one copy to me and one to my sister.

At first, I read it looking for evidence of what made us special: the time my father let then-Senator JFK borrow his clipboard to sign autographs, the time my great uncle Max (aka Mackie) spent as an arranger for the Sev Olsen Band featuring Peggy Lee, or playing trombone at a burlesque house with chorus girls known as the Alvin Adorables. Then I became more interested in what makes our family story just like many other immigration tales: one guy in 1907 with few resources and even less money who travelled steerage across the Atlantic looking for a better life; then later his brother, my great-grandfather: first a stevedore on the docks unloading cement ships, then a fruit peddler selling oranges door-to-door from a bushel basket until he could afford a horse and cart, until he could afford a Ford one-ton truck, until he could afford a grocery store.

The family genesis and introductory paragraph is as follows:

There were originally four brothers, Mendel, Samuel (Sholom), Bencha, and Zalmon, and also sisters Reva and Hannah. There was a half brother, Samuel (Schmuel), and another sister, for whom there is no record of her name. The original family name was Metelitza according to some immigration records; however, according to Al Mattenson, a son of the half brother, the original Russian family name was Metelitzi (“blizzard”). Records of Ellis Island, however, state Metelitza.

Dad attempts to offer the facts unfiltered, and yet, just like biblical genealogies, there are gaps and ghosts in the story. Nothing is known of Bencha, Zalmon, Reva, and Hannah, who are believed to have remained in Russia. Was my great-grandmother born in Kluisi, Klency, Klinzcy, or Kleentsi? We’ll likely never know, though the town is believed to be near Kiev, Ukraine. Why did my Jewish great-grandfather, when asked to submit his Petition for Naturalization in 1918, list Christmas as the birthdate for two of his sons, and then change his own birthdate to December 25 in a World War I draft Registration Card, when he was born on January 25, as stated in his Declaration of Intention upon entering the country?

Perhaps my grandfather inherited his father’s sense of humor, because when asked to provide a birth certificate in order to get a job selling shoes, he obtained a fake one and selected Friday the 13th as his day of birth. He never knew his original birthday until my father consulted the Deputy Clerk of St. Louis County District Court, but even after we discovered that he was born on August 23, 1912 (assuming his father didn’t make up that date too), we continued to celebrate on September 13th. We like to call my dad Sherlock Holmes because he is such a thorough researcher, but there are just as many questions and discrepancies in our story as there are moments of clarity.

In school, we are taught to learn history by memorizing names and dates and fixing our understanding of events around something certain. Our family story reads more like the way history actually happens: some of it is recorded and some is not, some is understood only in context and only by the people living it, and everybody has a different view about how and why and even when and where things occur. These tensions are entry points into history. They demand our participation, and offer us a means of knowing ourselves by inquiring after our forebears.

In junior high school, I had to create a family tree in English class, and for the first time found out that my grandmother’s maiden name was Glass. I immediately recalled one of my favorite episodes of The Brady Bunch in which Jan invents a fake boyfriend named George, and when pressed to give his last name, sees a drinking glass on the nightstand. “George Glass! And he thinks I’m super cool,” she exclaims. I thought about my grandmother. I knew her as Sarah Mattenson, so Sarah Glass seemed as fictional as Jan’s George. Her history was not real to me; it was far away, in some other time and place. I was naturally inquisitive and wanted to know more about her life, but she chose to protect my innocence, so she never told me she wore dentures since early adolescence because her family, rather than spend money on dental care, extracted all her teeth instead. She never told me she was addicted to Miltown and other tranquilizers for 28 years until she voluntarily entered a chemical dependency center. She never told me she failed eighth grade three times and then dropped out of school altogether, or that she was traumatized when her family sold the piano, her one source of joy and confidence. Now that I know, I long to talk with her and let her tell her story. She had a lot of secrets.

My grandmother started writing about her life when it was almost over, and my father included those letters, knowing his mother wanted to be heard, and knowing his daughters wanted to listen. Dad included everything: the happy and sad times, detailed evidence and elusive memories, and everyone’s presence from the progenitors to Mr. C, the family dog. Dad regards everyone equally; there are no minor characters. Everyone is part of the story. This family history gives me access to human history in that sense: everyone is part of the story. It’s what my ancestors wanted—to be part of a new story—and American life. Maryascha became Minnie, Dweire became Dot, Gootel became Gertrude, and Metelitzi became Mattenson. Reading about all of them in this manuscript allows me to see them both intimately and from a distance, and thus myself the same way. Who am I and what is my place in history? Is it enough to be part of the story? My ambition drives me to stand out and make a name for myself rather than to fit in.

My grandfather’s ambitions all had a purpose. He wanted to be a dance instructor in order to meet women. He took on jobs in order to make enough money to survive. He polished Ford nameplates in a factory, sold sewing machines and flavored extracts (vanilla, lemon, and orange) and eventually shoes, and once ran away at age 16 to join the Marines. I once asked him, “Papa, why did you decide to be a salesman?” He laughed and said, “There was a job. If there was a job to be a fisherman, I would have become a fisherman.” He dropped out of school before ninth grade because his father died and he had to help support the family. It’s in part because he struggled so much that I have the luxury to choose a career and craft my own ambitions.

I took particular note of my father’s description of Samuel (born in 1873), who came to this country in 1911 and took the Grand Trunk Railway to Duluth, Minnesota to be with his brother and my great-grandfather. He was a tailor, and he executed his Declaration of Intention “by making a mark.” We can only assume he was illiterate and could not read the form, so when asked to sign his Petition for Naturalization, he must have made some sort of X or checkmark. Dad’s phrasing stuck with me and I started to wonder how all these people felt about making a mark in the world. This document itself is one way my father is making his mark. He is keeping our family alive. He even brought some people back to life; my grandfather never knew he had a fifth brother until my father’s research revealed that Louis died at age 5. Since poor families couldn’t afford gravestones, Louis was likely buried along the perimeter of the first Jewish cemetery in Duluth. He probably would have survived appendicitis if he had been born after antibiotics were discovered. His family never talked about him, and there’s only one known photo of him, now included in our collection.

For some reason, as I read, I’d keep turning back to Louis’ photo. He looks so sweet in his little black coat with his soft, golden curls, and his tiny hand resting on his brother’s shoulder. He’s holding some sort of staff and his brother sits upon a tricycle. I think about Louis. He never got to “make a mark.” The phrase reminds me of a moment, years ago, in my grandfather’s kitchen when we were making lunch. He took out a small notepad used for phone messages and drew a few lines. “Here’s the alley,” he showed me, “and here’s where our house was—522 E. 8th St. in Duluth, and here’s where I made my mark!” Apparently he had carved his initials into the cement a few feet from the garage. I’ve always wanted to travel to Duluth and see if the inscription is still there.

I, too, want to make my mark in this world, so I was honored to represent my department in a competition for a distinguished award this year. Many of my colleagues have been nominated but not selected over the years, but I assumed my dossier would be strong enough to transcend committee politics and rise above the other candidates. When I did not win the award, my ego was bruised. How will I make my mark if I’m not on the official high-achievers list?

I went home, made some strong coffee, reread all 206 pages of the family history, and emerged transformed. I’ve been so focused on being the star of my story that I’ve forgotten I’m a part of a much larger narrative, from family history to Jewish history to human history. I’ve started to think more about my life in context as opposed to being primarily distinctive. It’s a relief. I’ve got a lot of angels in these pages sending me messages: think Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life. “You’ve been given a great gift, George,” he says, “a chance to see what the world would be like without you.” In the film, it is only when George Bailey sees his life from a distance that he can then reenter it with a renewed enthusiasm. He learns what really matters to him. That’s the gift my father has given me as well. I am merely one entry in the Table of Contents, and I can see the value of my life even as it slowly slips away. I don’t mean for that to sound melancholy. To the contrary, the subtext of impermanence throughout Dad’s offering makes me want to love and learn in as exuberant a way as possible, for as long as possible.

At dinner last week, my father made a joke about his own mortality, and my eyes filled with tears at the mere thought. I see him as too youthful to be in his seventies, and similarly, I think he has trouble believing he has two daughters in their forties. He sent us “Happy 29th Birthday!” cards for at least a dozen years. I can’t pass for that age anymore, but the older I get, I understand Dad’s humor and even the denial. I want him to live forever. He will—in the pages titled Our Family—and no doubt, I’ll return to them many times, for my father’s love is in every word of the text. It’s hard to imagine a more meaningful gift from father to daughter.

Dad’s last line is excerpted from a prayer book on the page after the Mourner’s Kaddish: As we remember our departed, we perpetuate their presence among us. By remembering them, we confer upon them the gift of immortality.

Immortality is conceptual; the reality is that my father’s father, for example, is gone, and we miss him. But his legacy is alive, and there are things he said and did that remain with us. Every time we talked on the phone, instead of “goodbye,” Papa said, “you’re a good person.” When I was younger, I’d laugh and say, “No, You’re a good person!” Sometimes, I’d say, “I love you, Papa” or “see you later.” And then he’d repeat: “you’re a good person.”

Dad, I get to be the one to bestow Papa’s enduring blessing this time: I love you dearly. Thank you for this gift. You’re a good person!


Mattenson is a Lecturer with UCLA Writing Programs. Her latest work can be found at www.LauriMattenson.com and her new Kindle Single, “Backbone: A BodyMind Breakthrough” is now on Amazon.

Obituaries


Norman Aaronson died Dec. 24 at 94. Survived by daughter Susan Stone; son Neil Aaronson. Hillside

Warren Ackerman died Dec. 19 at 95. Survived by daughter Laurie; son Richard (Barbara); 3 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; nephew Michael (Sheri) Hirschfeld. Hillside

Harry Altman died Dec. 9 at 86. Survived by wife Lynn; daughter Jan; son John; 1 grandchild. Malinow and Silverman

Henry Baron died Dec. 23 at 93. Survived by wife Marcia; daughters Susan (Charles) Franklin, Debora (Irwin) Fienberg; 6 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Jean Beaumont died Dec. 15 at 88. Survived by daughter Sharon Gahlbeck; 3 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Esther Bender died Dec. 18 at 100. Survived by daughter Joyce Snyder; sons Leon (Carol), William (Berdine); 6 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Colette Berman died Dec. 16 at 81. Survived by son Joshua. Sholom Chapels

Beatrice Bierer died Dec. 25 at 103. Survived by sons David (Bonnie) Gould, Harold (Elizabeth) Gould; 5 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Steven Bowen died Dec. 23 at 57. Survived by father Julius. Malinow and Silverman

Suzanne Brickman died Dec. 21 at 75. Survived by husband David; sons George (Sharon), Eric (Heather); stepson Larry Brickman; 5 grandchildren. Hillside

Lynne Brickman Weaver died Dec. 16 at 56. Survived by brother Larry Brickman; uncle Kent Ugoretz; companion Tony Dykeman. Hillside

Elaine Brown died Dec. 21 at 79. Survived by husband Irving; son Lloyd (Barbara) Brown; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Jeannette Bursteen died Dec. 7 at 95. Survived by daughter Nina (Joe) Klotchman; 1 grandchild; 1 great-grandchild; sisters Norma Wishingrad, Marilyn (Jerry) Stone; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Sam Capelouto died Dec. 23 at 84. Survived by wife Mary Capelouto; daughters Lori (Jim) Kuhlman, Karyn (Kent) Drescher; son Craig (Coraline); 2 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Sidney Chattler died Dec. 3 at 85. Survived by wife Anna Lee; son Steven (Lisa); 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Howard Cohen died Dec. 18 at 71. Survived by brothers Irwin, Richard, William (Maria). Malinow and Silverman

Amy Cohn Werner died Dec. 3 at 55. Survived by husband Michael Werner; sons Eric Werner, Roy Werner; mother Charlotte Werner; father Samuel Werner; sister Dorie (Bill) Cohn; brothers James (Kathy) Cohn, Peter (Jane) Cohn; brother-in-law David Werner; sister-in-law Denny (Mark) Zucker. Mount Sinai

Roslyn Cottler died Dec. 19 at 92. Survived by daughters Paulette, Starr Cottler; 1 grandson; sister Joey Funaro. Mount Sinai

Florence Duben died Dec. 23 at 94. Survived by daughter Roberta (Charles) Holt; sons Richard (Jeanne), Jeffrey (Lynn), Ronald; 6 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Grace Einstein died Dec. 22 at 88. Survived by son Michael (Yoland); 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Julius Engoren died Dec. 17 at 75. Survived by wife Doris; daughter Sabrina; son Kevin (Linda); 3 grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Florence Fagan died Dec. 9 at 82. Survived by husband Seymour; son Robert. Sholom Chapels

Jack Forsch died Dec. 18 at 96. Survived by sons Glen, Gary; 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Ruth Friedman died Dec. 24 at 94. Survived by daughter Debbi; sons Bruce, Hank; 6 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Dinah Gleiberman died Dec. 19 at 86. Survived by sons Robert (Eleanor), Nathan Joseph (Ziva); 4 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Mount Sinai

Jeffrey Glieberman died Dec. 2 at 57. Survived by daughters Tracy, Rachel; son Daniel; mother, Sylvia Schwimmer; sister Helene. Groman Eden

Louis Goldberg died Dec. 26 at 93. Survived by daughter Debbie Taylor; sons Jeff (Debbie), Eugene; 4 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Betty Goldstein died Dec. 25 at 87. Survived by daughter Madeline Neeline; sons David, Neil; 7 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Evelyn Goldstein died Dec. 12 at 96. Survived by daughter Madeleine Eisenberg. Sholom Chapels

Murray Goldstein died Dec. 26 at 93. Survived by wife Barbara Ann; daughter Judy Egan; son David; stepdaughters Darla, Vanessa Himeles; stepson Daren Himeles. Hillside

Geraldine Gould died Dec. 14 at 78. Survived by daughters Suzanne (Hiroshi) Minae, Jan; 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Helen Green died Dec. 26 at 92. Survived by son Bob (Dana Henry) Somers; 4 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Billy Greenberg died Dec. 13 at 62. Survived by daughters Amanda (Victor) Lopez, Jennifer; sister Klara Zimmerman; 2 grandchildren. Hillside

Charlotte Gross died Dec. 13 at 85. Survived by husband Richard; daughter Saundra (James) Mee; son Dale (Jodi); 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Howard Huckman died Dec. 21 at 82. Survived by son Larry; daughter Bobette Bisby. Sholom Chapels

Evelyn Hudis died Dec. 18 at 82. Survived by daughter June Poyourow. Malinow and Silverman

Michal Katzovitz died Dec. 16 at 92. Survived by daughter Lili; son Harold. Mount Sinai

Ruvin Kopilevich died Dec. 1 at 84. Survived by wife Dekabrina Kopilevich; daughters Stella (Mark Coppick) Averbukh, Aleksandra (Albert) Aynlender; 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Liane Kamola died Dec. 6 at 74. Survived by husband Richard; sons David, Russell; 3 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Sheila Kaufman died Dec. 21 at 76. Survived by children Kenneth, Laura, Thomas, Victoria. Sholom Chapels

Jerome Klein died Dec. 24 at 86. Survived by wife Bette; daughters Shoshana Klein Weinstein, Laurie; son Jeffrey Persky; stepdaughter Sheryl Polus; stepsons Alan Kopp, Michael Brown; 8 grandchildren; brother Marty (Stephanie) Klein. Mount Sinai

Richard Kravitz died Dec. 2 at 73. Survived by wife Lynn; daughter Laura (Benjamin) King; sons Todd (Ashley), Scott (Natasha Sarvanja); 4 grandchildren; sister Ruthann; brother Bill. Mount Sinai

Ethel Lambertus died Dec. 15 at 94. Survived by son Darryl (Kay) Wisnia; 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; sister Julia (Irving) Silver; 1 nephew; 1 niece. Mount Sinai

Eleanor Lazaroff died Dec. 24 at 84. Survived by daughter Jill (James) Wagner; sister Rivie Shev; brother Robert Rosenfeld; 1 niece; 1 great-niece. Mount Sinai

Norman Lesman died Dec. 24 at 81. Survived by wife Rita Lesman; son David Lesman; sister Shirley Ingber. Malinow and Silverman

Rickie Levey died Dec. 7 at 56. Survived by father Eugene; sisters Ellen Hayes, Joanie Trujillo, Susan. Malinow and Silverman

Robert Levin died Dec. 8 at 86. Survived by daughter Holly Wolf. Sholom Chapels

Calvin Levinson died Dec. 23 at 89. Survived by sons Marc (Betsy) Levinson, David (Andrea Jacobs) Levinson; 4 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Margaret Liebenau died Dec. 16 at 86. Survived by son Gene. Mount Sinai

Diane Linder died Dec. 20 at 58. Survived by husband Haim; daughter Judy Horowitz; son David; father Sam Berman. Sholom Chapels

Natalie Livingston died Dec. 22 at 87. Survived by daughter Vicki (Ron) Koffler; sons Steven, William (Terri); 4 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; brothers Maurice Fialkoff, Jack Fialkoff. Mount Sinai

Timothy Maher died Dec. 12 at 65. Survived by wife Sandi; four children. Sholom Chapels

Rubin Mann died Dec. 25 at 97. Survived by daughter Patricia (David Spence); 1 grandchild. Mount Sinai

Ann Marks died Dec. 21 at 94. Survived by nephew Louis Cooper; great-niece Karen Cooper; caregiver Jocelyn Ong. Mount Sinai

Esther Medall died Dec. 21 at 93. Survived by sons Burton (Rita), Irving (Lee), Steven (Karin); 7 grandchildren; 3 step-grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; 7 step-great-grandchildren; 4 step-great-great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and cousins. Mount Sinai

Leon Morgenstern died Dec. 23 at 93. Survived by wife Laurie; sons Seth (Elinor) Reed, David (Catherine); 5 grandchildren. Hillside

Charlotte Moss died Dec. 23 at 104. Survived by daughter Susan; son James (Bridget); 3 great-grandchildren; brother Ted (Mariana). Hillside

Jack Mount died Dec. 18 at 81. Survived by wife Judie; daughter Cyndi; son Edward (Barbara). Mount Sinai

Dorothy Nuger died Dec. 7 at 93. Survived by son Ken; daughters Trudy Goldberg, Maddie Moran. Sholom Chapels

David Okrent died Dec. 14 at 90. Survived by daughters Nina (Robert) Loebl, Joceyln (Takis Mitropoulos); son Neil; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Seymour Ostrow died Dec. 18 at 87. Survived by wife Paula; daughters Lisa, Pam; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Aaron Ott died Dec. 26 at 88. Survived by wife Rita; daughter Sabrina (John). Mount Sinai

Peggy Page died Dec. 17 at 75. Survived by daughter Jodi (David) Page-Hoover; 2 grandchildren; sister Karen (Sandy) Richman. Hillside

Gertrude Pepp died Dec. 21 at 100. Survived by daughter Suzanne (Stephen) Gilbert; son Dudley (Arline); 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Lawrence Podoksik died Dec. 19 at 71. Survived by wife Darielle; daughter Caryn (Jim) Manhart; son Howie; 1 grandson. Mount Sinai

Laurence Rabb died Dec. 18 at 84. Survived by daughters Kathy (Dennis) Gura, Debbie (Tony Stein); 4 grandchildren; sister Doris Kimmel; brother Irving. Mount Sinai

Jeremy Romanovsky died Dec. 8 at 94. Malinow and Silverman

Jayson Rome died Dec. 15 at 89. Survived by wife Rose; sons David (Edna), Jeffrey (Susan), Jonathan (Gretchen Vanhorne), Stuart (Catherine); 5 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Jacob Schainblatt died Nov. 2 at 102. Survived by daughter Anita Smukler; son Glenn (Gayle); 5 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Sheryl Scoggins died Dec. 17 at 57. Survived by husband Jimmy; brother Ira (Linda) Cohen. Malinow and Silverman

Marvel Shapiro died Dec. 13 at 85. Survived by husband Maurice; daughters Beth Frank, Ellen Simon; 5 grandchildren; brother-in-law Fred. Mount Sinai

Meyer Rofe died Dec. 20 at 95. Survived by sons Larry (Ana), Peter (Judy); 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Shirley Rosen died Dec. 18 at 91. Survived by daughters Susan Luner, Jan. Sholom Chapels

Bernice Rosen Siegel died Dec. 17 at 95. Survived by daughter Joyce (David) Antebi; 4 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Irving Ross died Dec. 26 at 84. Survived by wife Carol Ross. Mount Sinai

Richard Rossman died Dec. 23 at 70. Survived by sister Harriet Satkin; brother Sheldon. Malinow and Silverman

Marcella Solomon died Dec. 19 at 86. Survived by son Barry (Patricia Gotschalk). Hillside

Morton Spilkomen died Dec. 14 at 82. Survived by daughter Joyce Hampson. Sholom Chapels

Raymond Steele died Dec. 8 at 92. Survived by son Richard; 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Gertrude Stoller died Dec. 16 at 97. Survived by daughter Barbara (Donald) Wohl, Deborah; two grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Theresa Terris died Dec. 19 at 90. Survived by daughters Barbara, Susan; sons Michael (Laure), Robby; 8 grandchildren. Hillside

Ed Wallach died Dec. 16 at 81. Survived by wife Sheila; son Jeff Wallach; 2 grandchildren. Hillside

Rose Watkins died Dec. 22 at 102. Survived by daughter Linda (Lewis) Barlow; stepdaughter Eileen Brierley; stepson Howard Watkins; 2 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Mount Sinai

Mary Weinstock died Dec. 15 at 87. Survived by daughter Debra; 2 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Samuel Weinstock died Dec. 15 at 89. Survived by daughter Debra; 2 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

George Weisberg died Dec. 24 at 89. Survived by wife Arline; daughters Debra (Kim) Gibbons, Janette (Adam) Simms; 3 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Mount Sinai

Lydia Weiss died Dec. 2 at 76. Survived by husband Robert; sons Jeremy (Nina), Ryan (Marti). Mount Sinai

Norman Weiss died Dec. 13 at 85. Survived by daughter Julie Garcia; son Michael; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Arnold Winett died Dec. 15 at 73. Survived by sister Arlene Popkin (Martin) Norton; 1 niece; 2 nephews. Mount Sinai

Earl Wynn died Nov. 30 at 87. Survived by wife Margaret; daughters Samantha (Steve Leon) Anobile, Linda “Lindy” (James) Walsh; son Steve (Linda Pitmon Wynn); 3 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Paul Yampolsky died Dec. 25 at 85. Survived by daughter Elayne Pelz; son Michael Yampolsky; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Lillian Zimbalist died Dec. 23 at 95. Survived by Michael. Hillside

Walter Zuckerman died Dec.14 at 91. Survived by son Alan (Ann). Mount Sinai

Obituaries: Oct. 21-Dec.12, 2012


Salamon Alaton died Nov. 25 at 98. Survived by daughter Sara (Isaac) Avigdor; sons Kalev (Maria), Saul (Sara); 6 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha

Evelyn Alpert died Dec. 5 at 96. Survived by daughter Michelle Urcis. Malinow and Silverman

Yuri Feldman died Dec. 11 at 64. Survived by wife Galina; daughters Alla (Alex Makh), Irene (Igor) Lapsin; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Esther Geller died Dec. 7 at 98. Survived by daughters Laura, Miria, Irene, Rochelle; 5 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild. Mount Sinai

Makhlyusa Gershkovich died Dec. 10 at 87. Survived by daughter Nataly Gersh; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Enayat Ghodsian died Dec. 3 at 87. Survived by wife Akhtar Gabbay Ghodsian; daughters Edna (Sammy) Kahen, Jilla (Steve) Carpey, Fariba (Nathan) Fischel, Neli (Ramin) Roofian; 10 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha

Irwin Bernard Goldstein died Dec. 9 at 83. Survived by wife Judith; sons Stephen (Jennifer), David Miles (Michelle), Kenneth (Leslie Sands); 6 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; brother Norman (Gigi); sister Dorothy Krieger. Mount Sinai

Milton Gornbein died Nov. 22 at 81. Survived by wife Judy; daughters Sharon, Cindy; sons Howard, Hershel; 13 grandchildren; sister Sarah Horowitz; brother Louis.

Bala Isaacs died Dec. 12 at 94. Survived by daughter Joan; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Mildred Blossom Karpman died Dec. 10 at 90. Survived by daughter Ilene; son Alan (Rochelle); 2 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild Eva; brother-in-law Harold. Mount Sinai

Ephraim Aaron Lazaroff died Dec. 9 at 90. Survived by daughter Sharon (Richard) Tauber; son David; sister Edith Tannenbaum; nieces; nephews. Mount Sinai

Louis Levine died Dec. 11 at 47. Survived by mother Patsy; sister Jul Vann. Mount Sinai

Louis Lunsky died Dec. 8 at 89.  Survived by wife Eugenie; daughters Ann, Laurie; son Benjamin (Maggie); 5 grandchildren. Hillside

Harry Marks died Dec. 12 at 85. Survived by wife Harriett; daughters Donna (Tom) Bonar, Shelly Chandler; son Jerry (Chamuntal); 8 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Florence Markson died Dec. 9 at 84. Survived by husband Leland; daughter Laurie; sons Brett (Rosemary), Bill (Robin); 5 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Sidney Morhar died Dec. 12 at 97. Survived by daughters Barbara “Bobi” (Jeff Zarrus) Harberson, Marilyn “Mickey” Alper; 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Rhea Reta Parker died Dec. 12 at 96.  Survived by son Keenan; daughter Joi; 4 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Rose Marie Pauker died Dec. 12 at 90. Survived by daughter Gabrielle (Tony) Nassaney; son Avram; brother Al; 2 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Jeffrey Phelps died Dec. 7 at 53. Survived by daughter Sarah (Josh) Ariza; son Lucas; mother Lyn; brother Steven; aunt Rochelle Abrams. Mount Sinai

Michael Robbins died Dec. 12 at 72. Survived by wife Louise; sons Scott (Shannon), Andrew (Kate); 4 grandchildren; brother Jeff (Nancy); sister Judy (Henry) Wollman. Hillside

David Sokol died Oct. 21 at 91. Survived by daughter Claudine Unterman; son Aaron; 7 grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha

Obituaries: Sept. 2 – Oct. 17, 2012


Jacqueline Alvy died Oct. 12 at 86. Survived by husband Reuben; son Ralph David (Ashley Wrobel); stepdaughter Sarah Wrobel; stepson Jonathan Wrobel. Mount Sinai

Michael Asher died Oct. 15 at 69. Survived by cousins Rayna Kraman, Manfred Linder. Hillside

Leon Barankiewicz died Oct. 13 at 90. Survived by daughter Ilana (Arie) Goldberg; son David (Iris); 5 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Marian Block died Oct. 9 at 93. Survived by daughter Sherry (Richard Harris) Radis; son Steven (Sunny Franklin); sister Blanche (Roland) Young; 6 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Leonard Boasberg died Oct. 9 at 89. Survived by wife Lore; daughter Judith (Mark Landry); sons Mark (Enid), Daniel (Linnie Radman); 4 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Frances Corn died Oct. 15 at 75. Survived by husband Charles; sons Richard (Soheila), Gerry (Silene); 3 grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha

Emanuel Diamant died Oct. 11 at 83. Survived by daughters Adrienne (David) Weil, Melissa; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Josef Fikhman died Oct. 11 at 65. Survived by wife Lisa; sons Mikhail (Edita), George (Natasha), William (Simona Byk); brother Stanley (Irena); mother Manya; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Arthur Frankel died Oct. 16 at 70. Survived by wife Carol; daughter Deborah (Graham) Marshall; son Sean (Emilia); sister Toni (Gerardo) Wolff; 2 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Lawrence J. Gartner died Oct. 13 at 67. Survived by sister Barbara. Mount Sinai

Maurice B. Goodman died Oct. 15 at 84. Survived by wife Elaine; son Steve (Abbe); daughters Wendy (Jon) Hauptman, Bonnie (Ronny) Bensimon; 9 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Sally Grunwald died Oct. 10 at 86. Survived by daughter Esther Gutierrec; son Michael (Shela); 5 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; sister Anja Ickowitz; brother Joseph (Rivi) Poslun. Mount Sinai

David Kagan died Oct. 9 at 78. Survived by wife Joan; sons Jeffrey (Briana), Andrew (Miriam); daughter Debra (Rod) Luciz; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Elliott H. Kajan died Oct. 17 at 74. Survived by wife Judy; sons Jordan (Michelle), Evan; 1 grandchild; sister Gloria Weiner. Mount Sinai

Nasha Kamberg died Oct. 16 at 92. Survived by daughter Caren (Michael Kosecoff). Hillside 

Dorothy Kaplan died Oct. 15 at 84. Survived by daughter Andrea (Walter) O’Brien; sons Hunter (Harriett), Randy; 7 grandchildren. Hillside

David J. Knell died Oct.16 at 95. Survived by daughter Sandra Kievman; sons Ronald (Lori Russo), Gary (Kim Larson); 8 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Ella Kohn died Oct. 12 at 96. Survived by sons Steve, Harvey. Malinow and Silverman

Harold Leventhal died Oct. 10 at 89. Survived by wife Gayle; son Rob; daughter Nancy Burt; stepsons Randy (Kimberly), Ronald Magnin; 6 grandchildren. Hillside

Stanley Lever died Oct. 16 at 88. Survived by wife Evelyn; daughter Susan; son Kevin (Jonda); brother Ron (Doreen). Malinow and Silverman

Harvey Levich died Oct. 9 at 81. Survived by wife Susan; daughter Deborah; son David; sister Ruth Mogol; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Marvin Levin died Oct. 8 at 87. Survived by wife Sylvia; daughter Ann (Winthrop Morgan); sons Andrew (Mazel), Fred (Anna); brothers Clinton, Gilbert; grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Albert Mandell died Oct. 14 at 92. Survived by daughters Marlene (Fred) Berns-Weissman, Debbie; son Gary; 3 grandchildren. Hillside

Eugene Manusov died Oct.17 at 83. Survived by wife Sari “Sunnie”; daughters Vicki Guay, Valerie; 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Lillian Marks died Oct. 14 at 92. Survived by daughter Sue Shenfeld; son Arnold (Jann); 3 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren. Eden

Jeffrey Persky died Oct. 9 at 63. Survived by wife Debbie; daughter Tina; sons Evan, Nicholas; brother Hank (Katherine). Hillside

Howard Pincus died Oct. 17 at 90. Survived by wife Maud; sons Glen (Jill), Phil (Kathleen); 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Molly Plotkin died Oct. 10 at 92. Survived by daughters Michele Levenstein, Charlene (Lawrence) Huston-Bernstein; Janet (Robert) Plotkin-Bornstein; 5 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Mitchell Popick died Oct. 17 at 79. Survived by daughters Cindy (Jonathan) Petrak, Randy (Glenn Lipson) Kasper; son Jeffrey (Debbie); 4 grandchildren; sister Felice Durazo; brother Harriman. Mount Sinai

Beatrice Powell died Oct. 8 at 93. Survived by daughter Gail (Alex) Glikmann; sons Bruce (Debby), Zachary (Jill); 9 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Marlene Pressman died Oct. 9 at 90. Survived by daughter Ellen (Jeff); sons Joel (Judy), Robert (Barbara); 7 grandchildren; sister Claire Winer; brother Abe Klein. Mount Sinai

Rita Reier died Oct.16 at 86. Survived by husband Melvin; daughters Sarah Tyack, Ellen, Nancy, Alice; son David; 10 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Portia Fisher Rose died Sept. 2 at 88. Survived by husband Edward; daughter Elisa (Allen) Wax; son Marc; 4 grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha

Blanche Schimmel died Oct. 13 at 107. Survived by daughter Bella Desser; son David; 1 grandson. Malinow and Silverman

Marvin Schlezinger died Oct. 8 at 84. Malinow and Silverman

Bailey Schwartz died Oct. 14 at 95. Survived by daughters Joni Lavick, Reva Zane. Malinow and Silverman

Harry Schwartz died Oct. 10 at 85. Survived by daughter Joyce; son Paul (Ellen); 2 grandchildren; sister Marion (Hyman) Kuritz. Mount Sinai

Eric Seif died Oct 13 at 87. Survived by wife Sally; daughters Rita (David) Reifman, Judy (Mitchell) Cohen; son Jeffrey; 4 grandchildren; sister Gita Schwarz. Eden

Larry Sloan died Oct. 14 at 89. Survived by wife Eleanor; daughters Claudia (John Sacret Young), Bonnie (Greg) Derin, Liz (Joe) Fallet, Amy Harrison; son Scott Harrison; 6 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Ethel Spalter died Oct. 9 at 84. Survived by sons Michael (Julie), Matthew (Karen); 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Morton Waldow died Oct. 16 at 93. Survived by daughters Marcia, Sheila (Mark) Matusow; 2 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Malinow and Silverman

Jack Weinstock died Oct. 13 at 100. Survived by wife Elaine; daughters Tobi (Alan) Pepper, Maxine Bleakley; stepson Eric Abrams; 3 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Leon Weiss died Oct. 11 at 82. Survived by son Steve (Carol) Chudy; daughter Leona (Harris) Cohen; 3 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Obituaries: Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2012


Mina Bear died Sept. 18 at 88. Survived by daughter Moraye (John Hall); brothers Nate, Leo Rosen. Hillside

Edythe Berman died Sept. 18 at 91. Survived by husband Isaac; son Paul (Becky) Gerwin; daughter Jeane (Zane Marhea) Freer; stepsons Ed (Robin) Ron, Gil (Nancy); 5 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside 

Betty Brown died Sept. 16 at 83. Survived by daughters Janet (Howard) Lutwak, Debra (John) Edelston; son David; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Rachel Cohen died Sept. 15 at 78. Survived by son Solomon. Mount Sinai

Pauline Cordova died Sept. 14 at 94. Survived by husband Tom; daughter Bette (Dan) Marinoff; son Mark (Claudia); sister Betty Angel; brother David Franco; 6 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Robert R. Dubrow died Sept. 21 at 88. Survived by wife Marie; daughter Judy Horton (Brian); son Michael (Shauna). Hillside

Jerry “Hannah” Efros died Sept. 14 at 94. Survived by daughters Susan, Lynda; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Mildred Giesberg died Sept. 16 at 87. Survived by husband Richard; daughter Susan (David Lappen); son Daniel (Carol Lifland); 6 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Hillside

Neil Gold died Sept. 21 at 70. Survived by wife Maureen; sons Daniel, Michael (Danny); sister Mona Goldpanitz; 2 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Aviva Hoyer died Sept. 17 at 95.  Survived by daughters Jennifer (Mark) Holtzman, Stephanie Pinkus; sons Daniel (Megan), Paul (Helen); 10 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Samuel Jacobson died Sept. 18 at 93. Survived by daughter Sharie (Hal Tipton) Woodward; 2 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Evelyn Kanter died Sept. 13 at 92.  Survived by daughter Terry (Marcia) Rosenthal; son Randy (Pauline); brother Alvin (Elaine) Lewis; 4 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Selma Esther Koletsky died Sept. 18 at 80. Survived by daughter Susan (Stuart) Davis; son Roy Aaron (Barbara); 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Evelyn Kravetz died Sept. 17 at 90. Survived by husband Nathan; daughter Deborah; son Daniel. Mount Sinai

Renee Kupferstein died Sept. 17 at 91. Survived by daughter Phyllis (Don); sons John (Drina) Gruber, Ron (Merri); 6 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Elaine Lenhoff died Sept. 19 at 85.  Survived by daughter Carol (Nathan) Nayman; son Alan Lefko; sister Beverly (Bob) Canvasser; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Melvin H. Levine died Sept. 17 at 96. Survived by son Harmon (Tema); daughter Barbara; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Irwin H. Linden died Sept. 17 at 86. Survived by wife Barbara; daughters Margo (Alexander) Linden Katz, Amy; sons Gregory M. (Pamela), Kenneth L. (Kathe), Charles E.; 8 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Victor Lishman died Sept. 15 at 89. Survived by daughters Jo (Ira) Karnofsky, Robin (David) Berger; 3 grandchildren. Hillside

Louis Severin Lockspeiser died Sept. 12 at 91. Survived by wife Toni; daughter Irit; son Gideon. Hollywood Forever

Randall Charles Newman died Sept. 18 at 59.  Survived by wife Janet; daughters Sarah, Erin; brothers Robert (Debbie), Eric (Ronnie) Feldman; father Sidney (Adeline). Hillside

Doris Melnick died Sept. 15 at 97. Survived by sister Edith Sara Zinman. Hillside

David Moss died Sept. 12 at 76. Survived by wife Priscilla; daughter Elisa; son Jeffrey (Wendy); brother Irving; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Ida Pierson died Sept. 20 at 103. Survived by sons Sanford (Mila) Carson, Charles; 3 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Harold Rosenbaum died Sept. 15 at 91. Survived by daughter Jan (Mark) Sass; sons Alan, Eric (Pierre Valet); 2 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Gertrude Roth died Sept. 18 at 95. Survived by daughters Marsha Ann (Philipp) Wilson, Naomi (Michael) Elbert; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Rita Rubin died Sept. 15 at 69. Survived by husband Robert; sons David (Ming) Berger, Richard Berger; daughter Kimberlee; 3 grandchildren; brother Stuart (Susan) Nacher. Mount Sinai

Beatrice Saphra died Sept. 21 at 88. Survived by daughter Zane Buzby. Malinow and Silverman 

Anne Margaret Schwartz died Sept. 16 at 93. Survived by daughters Teri, Susan (Robert) Rosser; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Neil Shanman died Sept. 19 at 76. Survived by wife Merle; daughters Allyson (Craig) Barton, Lisa Bacerra; sons Sandy, Kevin (Randy); 8 grandchildren; brother Jay. Mount Sinai

Grace Silverman died Sept. 14 at 91. Survived by son Larry (Gail); daughter Merle Yeager; sister Beatrice Dubman; 4 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Hillside

Wilbert Stein died Sept. 19 at 93. Survived by son James (Diane); stepson Howard (Valerie) Price; stepdaughter Elisa (Steve) Rubin; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Cecile Weiss died Sept. 15 at 92. Survived by daughters Yvonne (Stuart) Lasher, Monique (Marty) Hoch; brother Rudolph Loebel; 4 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Rose Woronow died Sept. 15 at 91. Survived by daughter Judy (Don) Weber; 1 grandson; 1 great-grandson. Mount Sinai

Davood Yebri died Sept. 12 at 81.  Survived by wife Talat; sons Fereydoun (Roya), Farshid (Roya); 5 grandchildren.  Eden

Obituaries: Aug. 31 – Sep. 6, 2012


David Arnson died July 17 at 94. Survived by brother Maurice. Hillside

Aleck Block died July 18 at 94. Survived by wife Ruth; daughter Susan Reiner; son Mark (Debra Lau); sister Jackie Eckous; 5 grandchildren. Hillside

Ellie Davis died July 19 at 76.  urvived by son Todd (Lauren) Feder; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Samuel Eiferman died July 26 at 69. Survived by wife Ellen; daughter Veronica; son Carl; sister Joyce Satran; brother Barry. Malinow and Silverman

Harry Eisen died July 19 at 95. Survived by wife Hilda; daughters Frances Miller, Ruth, Mary Cramer; son Howard; 8 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren.

Lilia Faiman died July 18 at 74. Survived by husband Felix; daughter Orit (Zeek); son Romar (Natalie); 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Shary Farkas died July 24 at 89. Survived by daughters Rachel Sternfeld, Sally Lefton; son Michael (Francine); 6 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; sister Shoshana Levita. Chevra Kadisha

Anne Fink died July 23 at 60. Survived by brother David (Norma); sister Rebecca (Frank) Banks. Mount Sinai

Jeanne Friedman died July 23 at 93. Survived by daughter Gail (Steve) Shendelman; son Kenneth L. (Karen Antonelle); 3 grandchildren; sister Dorothy Brown; brother Harold (Trudy) Exler. Mount Sinai

Norma Frosburg died July 21 at 81. Survived by sons Ronald (Linda), Steven (Iris); 5 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Clifford Harris died July 24 at 95. Malinow and Silverman

Everette Jacobson died July 22 at 67. Survived by wife Doris; daughters Donna, Holly (Judd) Finkelstein; son Jeff (Evelyn); sister Marla; brother Lloyd; 4 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Norbert N. Kent died July 21 at 99. Survived by wife Tchella; sons Daniel (Laura), Sabi (Arlene); 5 grandchildren; sister Sarika Bereshit. Mount Sinai

Dorothy Levinson died July 23 at 85. Survived by sister Marilyn Sanshuck. Hillside

Robert Mark Lifson died July 26 at 50. Survived by sister Byrdie (Bruce) Lifson-Pompan; brother Harold Alan (Brigitte). Mount Sinai

Donald Meyer died July 19 at 93. Survived by wife Dena; sons David, William. Mount Sinai

Karoly Pollak died July 7 at 84. Survived by wife Martha. Mount Sinai

Fruma Rabkin died July 20 at 96. Survived by brother-in-law Robert Cushnir; sister-in-law Eleanor. Chevra Kadisha

Leonard Bernard Robin died July 22 at 82. Survived by wife Constance; daughter Jennifer (Jerry Freeman); son Daniel (Karan); stepsons Jeremy, Samuel Eskenazi; 2 grandchildren; brother Marvin (Vyvian). Hillside

Helen Roberts died July 18 at 90. Survived by son Larry (Paula); 3 grandchildren. Sholom Chapels

Charlotte Ross died July 26 at 86. Survived by daughter Rhonda Ross-Adcock; son Bruce (Lynn); 5 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Ina Roth died July 20 at 73. Survived by husband Herbert; sons Phillip, David; sister Carole (Edward) Smithline. Malinow and Silverman

Ari Rubin died July 20 at 30. Survived by mother Shelley; brother Kelman. Sholom Chapels

Pearl Savitt died July 21 at 87. Survived by daughter Susan Lawton; son Ronnie; 5 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Stanley Schulman died July 21 at 82. Survived by wife Elaine; daughters Sheri (Edmond) Kohos, Terri, Lori (Jerome) Haig; son Norman (Marla Weise); 8 grandchildren; brother Marvin. Hillside

Anne Shoenman died July 24 at 97. Survived by son Elliott (Linda), daughter Marsha (Carl) Schoen; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

David Shore died July 22 at 85. Survived by wife Florence; daughter Lenore (Harry) Rauch; sons Kenneth, Stanley (Leslie), Alan (Jan), Eric (Fred), Larry (Cindy) Greenberg; 13 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Bud L. Silberman died July 23 at 80. Survived by wife Joan; daughter Patti (Chris) Jack; sons Russ (Teena), Grady; 5 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Max Small died July 19 at 89. Survived by daughter Pamela; son Ron (Teresa); daughter-in-law Kathleen; 2 grandchildren; brother-in-law Joe Tauber. Mount Sinai

Bob Steele died July 25 at 93. Survived by wife Edy. Sholom Chapels

Mitchell Lee Sternfeld died July 25 at 52. Survived by mother Barbara; father Allan; sister Joanne. Hillside

Hanni Jenny Tichauer died July 24 at 84. Survived by sons Larry (Susan), Randolph (Marilyn); 7 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Donald George Townend died July 17 at 64. Survived by daughters Tina Kinsel, Wendy; 3 grandchildren; half-brothers Mario, Joe Rey. Hillside

Sidney Wallis died July 26 at 92. Survived by wife Betty Gene; daughter Toni (Bruce) Phillips; son Rick (Barbara) Frederick; 6 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Hillside

Selma Weber died July 24 at 88. Survived by daughter Karen (Bill) Figilis; son Gary (Christina); brother Stanley Moss. Malinow and Silverman

Harold Weinberg died July 22 at 85. Survived by wife Ruth; daughter Valerie (Randalf) Kincaid; sons Lawrence (Daisy), David; 7 grandchildren. Hillside

Constance Williams died July 20 at 76. Survived by husband Andre; son Benjamin. Sholom Chapels

Soleiman Yashar died July 21 at 92. Survived by wife Mounes; daughter Jila; sons Behrad, Hamid (Farideh), David (Sahar). Malinow and Silverman

Yefim Yusim died on July 18, 2012 at the age of 86. Survived by wife Ikheveda; daughter Inaida (Anotoly) Safransky; son Zinovy (Marianna); 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Obituaries: Aug. 24-30, 2012


Mary Batansky died July 13 at 93. Survived by daughter Lorraine First; son Norman; 8 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Groman

Leonard M. Bram died July 15 at 71. Survived by daughters Dominique, Jessica (Brett) Fisher; sons Eric (Danielle), Jason (Dana); 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

David Leon Brown died July 14 at 85. Survived by wife Zelda; sons Michael, Peter; stepsons Steve (Sharyn), Michael (Patti), Robert (Tammy) Gats; 3 grandchildren; 4 stepgrandchildren. Mount Sinai 

Libbie Bucky died July 10 at 94. Survived by daughter Ruth (Dennis) Sokol; 1 grandchild. Mount Sinai

Esther Bulka died July 5 at 89. Survived by daughter Jean Brown; sons Stephen, Howard (Jennifer); 4 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha

Pat Cantor died July 17 at 61. Survived by sons Aaron, Joshua; mother Joan Rorke; brother William (Laura) Rorke. Malinow and Silverman

Phillip Caplan died July 16 at 63. Malinow and Silverman

Bernard Coler died July 14 at 95. Survived by wife Pauline; daughters Donna, Barbara; sister Esther Bernstein. Hillside

Pearl Elichman died July 8 at 94. Survived by daughter Michele Cherney; son Bruce; 4 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Ursula Felsot died July 15 at 92. Survived by daughter Julie Felsot Schlesinger; sons Peter, Steven Berger; 4 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren.

Eugene Zachary Field died July 14 at 69. Survived by wife Karen; daughters Felicia (Chris) Bennett, Stacey; son Darren (Trisha); 4 grandchildren; brothers Brian Finke, Barry. Mount Sinai

Paul Bernard Fox died July 11 at 80. Survived by wife Emelie; daughter Rachel; sons Jonathan, Jordan; 3 grandchildren; brother Steven. Sholom Chapels

Raymond Gelgur died July 15 at 90. Survived by wife Beatrice; daughter Lori (Bill Angell); son Dale (Merete); 1 grandchild. Malinow and Silverman

Carol Goldstein died July 16 at 65. Survived by friend Gail Michelman. Sholom Chapels

Sarah Gutman died July 8 at 86. Survived by husband Benzion; son Henry; 2 grandchildren. Hillside

Harry Halperin died June 29 at 96. Survived by wife Dale; daughter Lisa (David); sons Jeff (Shelley), Andy (Teresa);  6 grandchildren. Neptune Society

Bradley Halpert-Schilt died July 6 at 25. Survived by mother Elena; father Alan; sister Erica; grandfather Larry Schilt. Malinow and Silverman 

Colleen Huniu died July 1 at 88. Survived by sisters Esther Michaels, Gladys Levy; brothers Mike, Joe (Joan), Eddie (Shelly. Malinow and Silverman

Murray Jackson died July 15 at 84. Survived by wife Linda; daughter Elizabeth (Brad) Fields; sons Mitchell (Pamela), Stuart; 3 grandchildren; sisters Irene Klein, Lorraine Arzt. Mount Sinai

Moise Kamhis died July 8 at 93. Survived by sons Daniel, Jacob (Linda Reser). Malinow and Silverman

Frances G. Katz died July 10 at 84. Survived by daughter Elyse Katz Flier; son Richard (Regine); 1 grandchild. Mount Sinai

Lewis Katz died July 12 at 67. Survived by wife Anne; daughter Rachel (David) Brenneman; son Andrew (Eileen Shelden); 1 grandchild. Malinow and Silverman

Vivian Klein died July 12 at 85. Survived by daughters Diane (Hil) Covington, Sandra (Donald) Dumont, Linda (Marcos) Fleiderman; 4 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; sisters Beanie (John) Howe, Dorothy (Ralph) Hersch. Hillside

Doris Koonin died July 13 at 72. Survived by sons Mark (Erica), Brian; 7 grandchildren; sister Maxine Barens; brother Sammy Hess. Mount Sinai

Harriet Levenson died July 15 at 89. Survived by husband Alexander; daughter Gail (Gary) Margolis; sons Steve, Jerry (Sarah); 5 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Beba Leventhal died July 17 at 88. Survived by husband Lee; daughter Mary; son Michael (Sharon); 2 grandchildren. Hillside

Ned Lockman died July 11 at 87. Survived by wife Eleanor; daughter Sandra (Scott) Marks; son Emmitt; 1 grandchild. Mount Sinai

Rosa Maister died July 2 at 99. Malinow and Silverman

Sophie Malloy died July 12 at 102. Survived by daughter Marsha (Bob) Hersh; son Gerald (Sondra); 4 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha

Herbert Marmorstein died July 2 at 82. Survived by daughters Rochelle, Dara (Tom) Deremo; son Mark (Louisa); 8 grandchildren; companion Rennee Fordis. Malinow and Silverman

Lynne Mazur died July 10 at 57. Survived by husband Jeff; daughter Jessica; sons Michael, Jonathan (Susan). Mount Sinai

Marvin Meyer died July 16 at 88. Survived by wife Helen Lewis; son Michael. Hillside

Stanley Morse died July 11 at 80. Survived by wife Aileen; daughter Leslie; son Todd; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Doris Pastor died July 9 at 85. Survived by daughter Joyce Lucas; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Nitza Paz died July 12 at 87. Survived by son Ariel; 2 grandchildren; sisters Sara, Judith Liberman; brothers Mayer, Abraham. Mount Sinai

David Plotkin died July 11 at 86. Survived by daughter Nancy Nimoy; sons Daniel (Gretchen), Gary (Helene); 6 grandchildren; brother Peter. Hillside

Ben Powers died July 13 at 87. Survived by wife Joyce; daughters Linda Leviton, Cynthia; son Mark (Ginger); 5 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Idlya Romashkanu died July 10 at 92. Survived by sons Boris (Lydia) Rome, Yulian; 3 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Mount Sinai

Natalie Rosenthal died July 12 at 94. Survived by sons Jeff Harlan, Allan. Malinow and Silverman

Marc Alan Ruskin died July 11 at 52. Survived by father Franklin; sister Lisa (Steven) Chlavin. Hillside

Anna Scharf died July 8 at 93. Survived by daughters Charlotte (Rick), Jackie (Marc) Alain; son Eli (Debbie); 7 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren. Eden

Michael Silberman died July 14 at 65. Survived by wife Denise; daughter Stacey (Jill); son Marc; 2 grandchildren; brother Steven (Nora) Silberman. Malinow and Silverman

Elisa Sokol died July 10 at 79. Survived by husband David; daughter Claudine (Ira) Unterman; son Aaron (Heidi); 7 grandchildren.

Joseph Solomon died July 14 at 89. Survived by wife Charlotte; daughters Phyllis, Ellen Edinger; 5 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Yolande Wade died July 10 at 88. Survived by nephew Joey Benadretti. Sholom Chapels

Jan Young died July 13 at 80. Survived by husband Fred; daughter Laura (James) Case; sons Mark (Laura), Michael (Roberta); 6 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Jerry Zeitlin died July 14 at 82. Survived by wife Rita; daughter Michelle (Plynn) Doss; son Jeffrey; 3 grandchildren; brother Alan (Harriett).

Obituaries: June 15-21, 2012


Barbara Billing died April 18 at 75. Survived by sister Joan Feifer. Hillside

Wilma Marine Braun died April 25 at 77. Survived by daughters Alison (Benjamin Malay); Stacey (Geoff); brother Irwin Marine. Mount Sinai

Robert Daryl Canfield died April 19 at 66. Survived by wife Susan. Sholom Chapels

Forrest “Woody” Cole died April 19 at 72. Survived by wife Linda; daughters Michelle (Randy) Godden, Marlene (Eron Ben-Yehuda); 3 grandchildren. Hillside

Lillian C. Elman died April 22 at 93. Survived by daughter Jeri (Ron) Sobel; 1 grandson; brother Eli Catran. Mount Sinai

Nicolas Faigin died April 21 at 47. Survived by mother Anne; father Thomas; sister Cecelia. Mount Sinai

Murray Finebaum died April 28 at 70. Survived by wife Harriett; daughter Elizabeth; son Bruce; sister Lenore; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Lila Fink died April 20 at 81. Survived by husband Fred; daughter Patty; sons Larry, Steve; 7 grandchildren; 1 great-grandson.

Lenore Fenster died April 20 at 88. Survived by daughter Debra (Richard)Lebby; son Arthur Fleischer; brother Nate. Mount Sinai

Beatrice Marlene Fletcher died April 27 at 83. Survived by sons Arnold (Cynthia) Burke, Mark Irwin (Jerese) Burke; stepdaughters Eileen, Robin Johnson, Patti Maxine Zanghi; 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Ira Friedman died April 18 at 75. Survived by wife Judie Stein; daughters Nicole, Jessica; son Eric. Mount Sinai

Berta Gales died April 17 at 92. Survived by daughters Debbie Stern, Lili Rubin, Susan Hochstein; son Ron; grandchildren. Sholom Chapels

Jean Gandel died April 22 at 91. Survived by daughters Judith Golden, Suzanne Hinman; son Robert; 2 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Hillside

Jeanette Goldberg died April 26 at 88. Survived by sons Neil (Carol), Ross (Susan); 6 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Michael Grossman died April 16 at 98. Survived by wife Millie; daughter Lynn Braitman; son R. David Stephens; 2 grandchildren. Hillside

Eleanor “Alice” Howard died April 21 at 85. Survived by husband Leo J.; daughter Jane Howard Blitz; sons Alan, Scott (Marcie); 8 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Eunice Kagan Kleinfeld died April 21 at 86. Survived by husband Kenneth; daughter Nancy; son Alan; sister Dorothy Weinberger. Groman Eden

Ruth Kroll died April 18 at 97. Survived by husband Sol; daughters Judith, Elise; sons Jerry, Elliott; 9 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Gerald Labgold died April 27 at 86. Survived by wife Ruth; daughters Robbin Velasco, Lori (Robin) Roques; son Richard; 2 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Theodore Levine died April 24 at 90. Survived by wife Shirley; sons David, Jay, Mark; 4 grandchildren. Sholom Chapels

Zena Lewis died April 22 at 87. Survived by son Jeffrey (Cindy). Hillside

Ruth Morris died April 19 at 75. Survived by husband Percy; son Aaron (Andrea). Sholom Chapels

Irwin Nebron died April 22 at 84. Survived by wife Ruth; daughter Catherine; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Elaine Pasternack died April 16 at 76. Survived by sons Dan (Amy), Ben, Ira; 1 grandchild; sister Bobbie Teperman. Hillside

Marcia Pflug died April 24 at 84. Survived by husband Howard; daughter Andrea (Barry) Forman; son Robert (Renalee); 2 grandchildren. Hillside

Robert Rippner died April 24 at 99. Survived by wife Carolyn; daughter Joan; sons James, David; 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Ilona Ross died April 23 at 98. Survived by niece Gloria Caris. Mount Sinai 

Madrian “Mady” Schneider died April 28 at 75. Survived by husband Stanley; daughters Andrea (Patrick) Murray, Lisa (Eddie) Iannone, Lynn (John) Eissele, Lori (Dan) Gense; son Gary (Karen); 9 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Hal Stearns died April 20 at 98. Survived by sons Gary (Rachel), Steve (Janice); 4 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren, sister Ray Gere; brother Sid. Hillside

Rose Wegner died April 20 at 99. Survived by daughter Felicity Johnson. Sholom Chapels

Phyllis Zeldin died April 23 at 85. Survived by sons Steward, Lloyd; 3 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Obituaries: May 11-17, 2012


Rosella Applebaum died March 11 at 88. Survived by daughters Pamela McCormick, Debra Shapiro; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Ellen Bagelman died March 11 at 63. Survived by father Sam Bubrick; brother Paul Bubrick. Hillside

Samuel Benton died March 13 at 85. Survived by wife Marilyn; daughter Marcia Leoff; son Randy; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Felicia Barron died March 17 at 94. Survived by daughters Barbara Fully, Reggie Visner, Suzanne Chiat; 5 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; sister, Sylvia Oppenheim. Mount Sinai

Sylvia P. Berger died March 15 at 95. Survived by son Mel; 4 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild. Mount Sinai

Jeanette Block died March 12 at 87. Survived by husband Louis; stepdaughter Marlene (Stephen) Cain. Hillside

Manuel Briefman died March 17 at 94. Survived by son David (Delaine). Hillside

Leon Brush died March 12 at 87. Survived by wife Natalie; daughter Allison. Hillside

Edna Cozen died March 12 at 96. Survived by daughter Cathy Jo; son Harry Jay. Hillside

Thelma “Tema” Dunoff died March 14 at 103. Survived by daughter Sandy (Norman) Greenbaum; son-in-law Tom Lindauer; 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; sisters Sonia Spinka, Gertrude Klein. Mount Sinai

Diana Franzblau Gozansky died March 11 at 99. Survived by daughter Joyce Kitay; 2 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Ruth L. Gaynes died March 14 at 88. Survived by daughter Roberta (Victor) Barabash; brother Jack (Barbara) Levin. Mount Sinai

Lawrence Glass died March 16 at 57. Survived by wife Karen; daughter Julianne; sons Evan, Dan; mother Sally. Mount Sinai

Nora Gordon died March 14 at 88. Survived by daughter Bonnie; sons Ronald (Lisa), Michael; 6 grandchildren. Hillside

Evon Gotlieb died March 10 at 80. Survived by husband Jerry; daughters Heidi (Robert) Smith, Lori; son Jeff; 3 grandchildren. Hillside

Edythe Karon died March 13 at 87. Survived by daughter Diana Karon Ginsburg; sons Steve (Susan), Jeffrey (Nancy); sister Sara (George) Collen; brother Max (Ruth) Avrick; 7 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Martin Keller died March 11 at 75. Survived by wife Diane; daughter Robin Glugatch; son Jerry; 4 grandchildren; brother Joel (Laraine). Mount Sinai

Ivan Lane died March 12 at 87. Survived by wife Batyia; sons Linnard (Natalie), Scott (Jan); 2 grandchildren. Hillside

Jill Beth Cherneff Laverty died March 13 at 64. Survived by husband Rocky; daughter Molly; son Rory (Jessica); sister Merle Lambeth; brother Ric Rosenbaum; 1 grandchild. Hillside

Steven Lehrer died March 12 at 72. Survived by daughter Lauren; sister Judith Villa; former wife Elodia. Mount Sinai

Lillian Levy died March 13 at 95. Survived by son Donald (Shelly); 3 grandsons; 2 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Earl Lewis died Feb. 4 at 88. Survived by daughter Madeline; son David (Terry); 1 grandchild; brother Marshall (Judy). Eden

Esther Link died March 15 at 94. Survived by daughters Barbara (Ronald) Cimorelli, Gale (Cris) Garzal; son Robert; sister Rose Varga; brothers Sanford Raab, Louis Piltz; 6 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Sylvia Kummer Margolis died March 15 at 89. Survived by fiance Munroe Silver; daughters Roberta Czyzyk, Sharon (Ed) Kummer-Eberts, Darleen (Marty) Feig; son Neil (Frances) Kummer; 7 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; brother Jack (Geraldine) Weichman. Mount Sinai

Betty Morris died March 13 at 98. Survived by son Henry Chaim Brent; 2 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Hillside

Milton Piller died March 16 at 89. Survived by wife Evelyn; sons Dean, Corey; 2 grandsons. Mount Sinai

Shirley Pollock died March 14 at 91. Survived by daughter Eileen Weber; son Robert. Hillside

Martin Rose died March 8 at 78. Survived by wife Lucy; daughter Carie Ann (Alain) Baron; 2 granddaughters. Mount Sinai

Bernice Rosen died March 15 at 89. Survived by daughter Manette (Joel Paul) Bender; son Richard (Nancy); 2 grandchildren; sister Edith Kotter. Mount Sinai

Ida Jane Sall died March 16 at 93. Survived by 2 granddaughters; son-in-law Marvin (Linda) Lotz; caregiver Carla Galvez. Mount Sinai

Herman Salomon died March 17 at 89. Survived by daughters Frieda, Esther Kurta; 3 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Mount Sinai

Rose Salter died March 9 at 88. Survived by daughter Sharon Salter Balfour; sons Randy, Brad (Lida); 2 grandchildren; brother Albert (Renee) Solnit. Mount Sinai

Irwin Shapiro died March 16 at 85. Survived by wife Rita; sons Steve (Gail), Daniel (Annette); sister Sylvia Steinberg; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Ralph Sheplow died March 9 at 81. Survived by sister Bernice (Nathaniel) Stein; 1 niece; 1 nephew. Mount Sinai

Florence Frances Shield died March 12 at 98. Survived by daughter Alita Berger. Hillside

Harold Silverman died March 7 at 75. Survived by 3 nieces; 1 nephew. Inglewood Cemetery

Iser “Izzy” Sofer died March 18 at 81. Survived by wife Dina; daughters Vera Sofer Hendler, Marsha Miller; 3 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Edith Wachtel died March 15 at 86. Survived by stepdaughter Susan (Claudio) Kaiser-Blueth; brother Walter Arlen. Hillside

Rae Weiner died March 12 at 88. Survived by sons Jeff (Tracy), Benjamin (Arlene); 3 grandchildren; sister Sarah Schwartz. Mount Sinai

Obituaries: April 13-19, 2012


Clarice Bailey died Feb. 4 at 85. Survived by daughter Ferrel (Jeff) Rimer; son Steve (Suyen); sister Helene (Jerry) Slaten; brothers Larry (Florine), Sheldon Slaten; 4 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Robert Bass died Jan. 31 at 87. Survived by wife Suzonne; daughter Ellen Armijo; son Jerry (Michelle); stepdaughter Cindy Festa; stepsons Brian Reich, Jeff Warner; 11 grandchildren. Hillside

Ella Wallace Barnes died Feb. 3 at 95. Survived by daughters Sandy (Fred) Singer, Bobbi (Art) Kroot, Phyllis (Paul) Margolis; 6 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Isaac Behar died Feb. 6 at 85. Survived by wife Trudi; daughters Miriam (Mark Kornbluh), Sara; 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Caroline Bergal died Jan. 31 at 86. Survived by daughter Lisa; son Mark. Eden

Rosa Bershadsky died Feb. 6 at 87. Survived by son Ilya (Inna); 1 granddaughter. Mount Sinai

Saul Brand died Feb. 6 at 85. Survived by wife Constance; daughter Lisa Brand Held (Robert); son Michael (Paula); 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Harry Michael Brener died Jan 11 at 57. Survived by wife Mara Eve; daughter Madeline Esther. Chevra Kadisha

Brenda Cane died Feb. 2 at 72. Survived by husband Bennett; daughter Leslie (Mark) Schneiderman; son David (Leora); 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Jacqueline Cyrlin died Jan. 29 at 76. Survived by daughters Helene, Beth (Louis) Elperin; son Alan; 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Harriet Dubin died Feb. 4 at 87. Survived by daughter Ellen Roundtree; son Howard; 3 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; sister Nancy (Al) Cohen; brother Elliott (Brenda) Kleinman. Mount Sinai

Evelyn Fleishman died Feb. 6 at 73. Survived by sons Ron, Jeff (Arlene); 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Loretta Gallant died Jan. 30 at 90. Survived by daughter Lesley (Alan) Stein; 3 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; sister Muriel Davis.  Mount Sinai

Jean Goode died Feb. 4 at 88. Survived by son Terrance (Carolyn); 1 grandchild. Hillside

Helene Goodman died Feb. 6 at 79. Survived by husband Arthur; daughters Roberta (David) Goodman-Rosenberg, Deborah Cohen; son Ira (Helen); 4 grandchildren; sister Phyllis Roslow; brother Norman (Lorraine) Rosenblatt. Mount Sinai

Jacqueline Gordon died Feb. 1 at 82. Survived by daughter Melissa (Kim) Albertson; son Justin; 2 grandchildren; brother-in-law Bernard Gordon. Mount Sinai

Daniel Gourarie died Feb. 1 at 79. Survived by wife Hadassah; daughter Ora (Udi Shorr); son Eran; 4 grandchildren. Home of Peace

Bill Greene died Jan. 30 at 46. Survived by partner Dennis Munoz; mother Gail; father Fred; sister Leslie Martin. Mount Sinai

Ruth Hoffman died Jan. 30 at 93. Survived by daughters Beth (Jack) Koonan, Carla (Ted) Munsat; 2 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; sisters Janet Marx, Muriel “Sockie” Ellis. Mount Sinai

Fay Helen Kozberg died Feb. 4 at 89. Survived by daughter Gale (Tim) Boonstra; son Joel; sister Shirley (Perry) Sparks; 5 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Molly “Mickey” Kurshan died Feb. 5 at 85. Survived by many friends; 2 caregivers. Mount Sinai

Reeva Marcus died Jan. 30 at 89. Survived by sons Jonathan, Brian (Yvonne); daughter Pamela (Robert) Hunau; 6 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; brother Harold (Shirley) Cozen; sister Ruth Snyder. Hillside

Mavis Mermelstein died Jan. 21 at 95. Survived by daughter Sharon Felsen; 1 granddaughter. Hillside.

Edward Newlander died Feb. 5 at 100. Survived by daughters Ruth (Dan) Merritt, Judith (Melvin) Selzer; son Ira (Ronna); 10 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Valerie O’Krent died Jan. 31 at 68. Survived by husband Arthur Nabel; brother Gary; sister-in-law Emily Kayne; niece Charlene (Russ) Krasnoff. Mount Sinai

Shirley Perlmutter died Feb. 2 at 97. Survived by sons Dan (Sandra), David (Vangie); 4 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Albert Rosen died Feb. 1 at 66. Survived by wife Marian; daughter Melissa; son Joshua (Kathryn); 1 grandchild. Mount Sinai

Alan Mark Rosenberg died Jan. 30 at 62. Survived by wife Pamela; daughter Rachel; son Daniel; mother Charlotte; sisters Carol, Nancy Edelman; brother Robert. Hillside

Sam Ross died Jan. 31 at 98. Survived by sons Garry (Shelly), Douglas (Judith); 4 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Geraldine Satz died Feb. 4 at 72. Survived by daughters Jody (Neal) Marder, Michelle (Doug) McKenzie, Diane (Ken) Porter; 6 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Sy Schoenwetter died Jan. 31 at 80. Survived by wife Gloria; daughter Marcia (Don) Pompan; son Michael (Corrie); 4 grandchildren; sister Florence Penkin. Mount Sinai

Lillian Senitzky died Jan. 31 at 87. Survived by husband Israel; daughters Judith Reichman, Naomi Galili; 5 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Harriet Share died February 1 at 87. Survived by mother Betty German; daughter Karen; sister Franchie German; 2 grandchildren. Hillside

Robert Silverstein died Jan. 29 at 89. Survived by wife Anita; daughter Suzanne Silverstein Chiaramonte; son Rob (Susan); stepdaughter Blair (Paeper) Tefkin; 5 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Stephen Harris Thatt died Dec. 23 at 53. Survived by wife Cheryl; stepson Ernest Stone; mother Beverly; sister Stacey Haviv. Chevra Kadisha

Diane Weiss died Feb. 1 at 78. Survived by husband Ronald; daughters Julie (Jim) Gerard, Kerie Schwartz, Leslie Weiss; 6 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Mike Zweig died Feb. 4 at 88. Survived by daughters Constance, Jane. Hillside

Obituaries: March 23-29, 2012


Irving Belfer died Jan. 20 at 97. Survived by daughter Terry (Jeffrey) Ellis; 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren.  Groman Eden

Frank Benton died Jan. 20 at 66. Survived by wife Ann. Sholom Chapels

Susan Carl died Jan. 13 at 66. Survived by husband Harvey; son Ryan; stepchildren Darren and Tracy; brother-in-law Rabbi Haim Asa; sister-in-law Elaine Asa. Malinow and Silverman

William Adam Capozzi died Jan 9 at 45. Survived by sons Thomas, Mark; brother Mark Andrew; parents Judith Ortega and Thomas Capozzi.

Frank Cooper died Jan. 19 at 99.  Survived by wife Sylvia; daughter Pamela; sons Martin (Shelley), Jeffrey (DeeJay); 6 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; sister Sylvia Glasser; brother Bill (Lorraine).  Mount Sinai

Rita Cooper died Jan. 20 at 92.  Survived by daughter Linda; sister Trudie Cara. Mount Sinai

Freeman Crawford died Jan. 18 at 93.  Survived by wife Gloria; son Robert; daughter Barbara Perry, 4 grandchildren;  6 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Jack Galen died Jan. 21 at 86.  Survived by son David (Deirdre); 2 grandchildren; brother Robert (Bernice).  Mount Sinai

Harriett Glickstein died Jan. 18 at 87.  Survived by daughters Harry (Phil) Mendelson, Paula; son Gary (Joanie); 10 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren.  Hillside

Dolores Goodman died Jan. 18 at 83.  Survived by daughter Sheryl Modesti; sister Joan Kushell. Mount Sinai

Marjorie Ruth Gorby died Jan. 17 at 92.  Survived by daughters Phyllis, Janis Kummer, Laurie Shapira; 4 grandchildren; sister Beverly Rudin. Hillside

Marilyn Gotz died Jan. 20 at 88. Survived by sons Jonathan (Cindy), Steven (Laura),  Michael (Rosalie), Donald (Vilma); 8 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Hillside 

Norman Greenberg died Jan. 4 at 85. Survived by daughter Nancy (Carl) Cedar; sons Jerry (Teresa), Steven (Patricia); 5 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Arnold Hoffman died Jan. 12 at 85. Survived by wife Mildred; daughter Judy; sons Maury (Sheenah), Larry (Dori);  5 grandchildren; sister Sharlene (Mel) Leventhal. Malinow and Silverman

Natalie Hoffman died Jan. 17 at 86. Survived by husband Louis; daughter Pamela (Martin) Brown; sons David, Michael (Gillian); 6 grandchildren; sister Evelyn Brown; brother Daniel Wilson. Malinow and Silverman 

William Hurwitz died Jan. 10 at 97. Survived by wife Helen; sons Stephen, Ron, Scott (Reyna), Jeff; 2 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Florence Kaufman died Jan. 19 at 95.  Survived by sons Bruce M. (Lynn), Jack; 6 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Beverlee Kert died Jan. 20 at 86.  Survived by daughters Sheila, Carol.  Mount Sinai

Victor Klein died Jan. 3 at 82. Survived by wife Barbara;  daughter Randi (Paul) Levine; son Steven (Shira); 4 grandchildren;  brother Allen. Malinow and Silverman

Beverly Y. Kline died Jan. 18 at 81.  Survived by husband Sidney; daughters Sandy, Carrie; sons-in-law Ralph Rodley, Jerry Shapiro; 5 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Milton Kressh died Jan. 2 at 88. Survived by wife Etta; daughter Evynne Cohen; sons Brian, Perry (Linda). Malinow and Silverman

Gerald Kushner died Jan. 10 at 59. Survived by wife Ronda; sons Joshua, Collin; brother Leslie (Lynn).  Malinow and Silverman

Shirley Lapidus died Jan. 7 at 93. Survived by daughters Deborah (Harold Sweet) Lapidus, Martie Koskoff; 2 grandchildren; sisters Audrey Sacks,  Zelda Siegel .Malinow and Silverman

Leon Levi died Jan. 4 at 88. Survived by wife Dory; daughter Viviana (Dr. Howard) Wynne; son Alexander Levi.  Malinow and Silverman

Robert Margolis died Jan. 17 at 75.  Survived by daughter Lisa; son Daniel; 1 grandchild; brother Michael.  Mount Sinai

Ira George Marks died Jan. 17 at 93.  Survived by wife Ann; daughter Ellen (Richard Teague); sons Harold (Susan), Steven (Maria); 7 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; sister Irene Reess; brothers Stanley, Kenneth (Pearl), Bertram (Arlene), Harold (Ruth). Mount Sinai

Farideh Merel died Jan. 18 at 78.  Survived by husband Saul; brothers Abdulah (Sorya) Safizadeh, Salim (Fauzieh) Niksefat. Mount Sinai

Libby Millet died Jan. 19 at 95.  Survived by son Mike.  Mount Sinai

Charlotte P. Mintz died Jan. 18 at 85.  Survived by daughter Cindy (John) Petty; son Charles; 3 grandchildren.  Mount Sinai

Diane Sonia Perkins died Oct. 16 at 64. Survived by husband Elzo; son Michael; daughter Marissa. Chevra Kadishan

Evelyn Posner died Jan. 20 at 67.  Survived by husband David Sadava; daughters Carol, Michele; stepdaughter Dana Sadava; brothers Gerald, Alan Eichwald; stepsister Seba Roberts. Hillside

Patricia Rassiner died Jan. 18 at 87.  Survived by daughters Marguerite, Glynis (Selwyn) Gerber; son Brian (Gillian); 6 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Seymour Reinstein died Jan. 16 at 76. Survived by wife Rita; daughter Susan (Chris) Burr; son Steven (Diana);  8 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Barbara Rona died Jan. 16 at 88.  Survived by partner Beverly Moore; daughter Shoshana; son Jeff (Kelly); 5 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Hillside

Selma Sabah died Jan. 21 at 78.  Survived by daughters Ivy (Alex) Kessel, Debra Sabah Press; son Howard Turner; 6 grandchildren.  Mount Sinai

Raymond Shonholtz died Jan. 7 at 68.  Survived by wife Anne; daughter Kelley (Drake);  son Patrick; 1 grandson; brother Barton (Marlene).

Rae M. Simon died Jan. 19 at 86.  Survived by daughter Beth (Russ) Wageman; son David; 8 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren.  Mount Sinai

Alex Sklut died Jan. 17 at 45. Survived by aunt Edith (Joseph) Gerson.  Hillside

Gertrude “Gert” Swerdlow died Jan. 19 at 86.  Survived by husband David; daughters Marsha (Steve) Senft, Cathy (Ken) Unthank; 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Lillian Teplitz died Jan. 18 at 86.  Survived by daughters Arlene H. (Jeff Levine) Wilkoff, Janis (Don) Florez; 4 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; sisters Mary (Dan) Speare, Mildred Sacks. Mount Sinai

Benjamin Wachtel died Jan. 3 at 97. Survived by daughter Carolyn (Allan) David; sons Jack, Elliot (Felise); 8 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Barnard Weiss died Jan. 17 at 92.  Survived by daughter Debra; 1 grandchild. 

Susan L. Werner died Jan. 18 at 66.  Survived by daughter Laura; son Daniel H. (Flora); 2 grandchildren.  Mount Sinai

Ruth Zax died Jan. 16 at 91.  Survived by daughter Larraine (Louis) Rosner; son Brian. Hillside

Obituaries: Feb. 24-Mar. 1, 2012


Sylvia Ashmann died Dec. 26 at 98.  Survived by daughter Rita (Morris) Eagle; son Warren (Amy); 5 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren.  Hillside

Shirley Molly Berg died Dec. 19 at 77.  Survived by husband Wilbert; daughter Marci (Ken) Chmielewski; son Neal (Rosalyn); 2 grandchildren.  Mount Sinai

Douglas Brill died Dec. 25 at 84.  Survived by daughters Syndee Brill, Jana (Sean) Roche; sons Matthew (Sylvia), Michael (Nancy); 3 grandchildren; sister Jesse (Phyliss).  Hillside

Ruth P. Camins died Dec. 19 at 98. Survived by daughter Diane Siegel; son Martin (Joan); 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Eli Cutler died Dec. 15 at 91. Survived by sister Bernice Krock. Hebrew Cemetery

Maurice Dahan died Dec. 20 at 68.  Survived by daughter Sabrina; son Dustin; sisters Nadine Kaufman, Ann Crosner, Natalie Selzer, Fortune Elgrably; brother David. Hillside

Leonard Elgenson died Dec. 25 at 92.  Survived by wife Esther; sons David, Gary (Denise), Richard. Mount Sinai

Diane Finkel died Dec. 9 at 80.  Survived by husband Harry; daughters Bonnie Kurnick, Holly Magady; grandchildren. Sholom Chapels

Andrew Fischer died Nov. 20 at 46.  Survived by father David; sister Pamela (Chris) Phillips; brother Jeffrey (Susan). Mount Sinai

Diane N. Fortuna died Dec. 16 at 76.  Survived by husband Vincent; daughter Deborah Ann (Randy Orlik) Kerr; sons Michael Alan (Kari) Kerr, Bentley Theodore (Mercedes) Kerr; 9 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; sister Bea (Norm) Winkel. Mount Sinai

Marion Freed died Dec. 22 at 77.  Survived by husband Herbert; daughters Polly Segal, Elizabeth Segal; brother Richard Sobol. Hillside

Esther Friedman died Dec. 24 at 82.  Survived by husband Howard; daughters Nancy (Jerry) Sherman, Sharon (Mitchell) Levine; son Douglas (Elfreda); 8 grandchildren.  Hillside

Stuart Stanley Friedman died Dec. 19 at 87.  Survived by wife Sonia; sons Robert (Shari), Rick; 9 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

 Linda Joy Ginsburg died Dec. 24 at 68.  Survived by son Joseph Maisel; sister Judy Pollock. Hillside

Rachela Gorodenzik died Dec. 8 at 51. Survived by husband Amir; daughters Kiat, Danielle; son Jonathan; father Avraham Lichter; brother Yoav Lichter.  Sholom Chapels

Buelah Hammond died Dec. 24 at 98.  Survived by sons Steven, Michael (Ellen), Eugene Korney; 6 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Clarisse A. Hananel died Dec. 27 at 83.  Survived by husband Samuel; daughter Joyce; son Jeffrey Ira (Sylvie); 2 grandchildren; brother Edmond Agabra; sister-in-law Rosemary Agabra. Mount Sinai

Marie Jabin died Dec. 24 at 86. Survived by daughters Marta, Risa. Sholom Chapels

Alfred Katz died Dec. 16 at 100. Survived by sons Roger, H. Victor. Mount Sinai

Hinda Kleinmuntz died Dec. 16 at 85. Survived by husband Max “Manny”; daughter Nomi; son Josh (Victoria Adler); 2 grandchildren; brother Marvin (Goldie) Bookstein. Mount Sinai

David Laurie died Dec. 20 at 85.  Survived by son John (Joanne); 3 grandchildren.  Mount Sinai

Mathilda Levy died Dec. 16 at 88. Survived by daughter Grace Sussman; sons Eli, Samuel (Janet). Malinow and Silverman

Irving Lynn died Dec. 17 at 99.  Survived by daughter Lorraine D. (Martin) Korn; son Alan; 3 grandchildren; brother Jack. Mount Sinai

Al Mandel died Dec. 27 at 89.  Survived by wife Dora; daughters Cheryl, Debra; stepdaughters Nesa (Roger) Weir, Ora (Jeffrey) Nadrich; 3 grandchildren.  Mount Sinai

Harriett B. Margolin died Nov. 21 at 81. Survived by daughter Denise Hankins (Tim); sons Scott (Songmi), Guy (Elisa), Zachary (Robin) ; 5 grandchildren; 1 great-granddaughter;  sister Zenita Sawyer (Clifford). Hillside

Phyllis Mirsky died Dec. 24 at 78.  Survived by daughter Lyn (Chris) Heller-Altona; son Hal (Chris); 4 grandchildren; sister Norma (Lee) Laine; brother Steve (Rochelle) Kasten. Mount Sinai

Max Mittleman died Dec. 20 at 89.  Survived by daughter Leah (Simon) Goldseker; son Michael (Erica); 4 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; sisters Helen Roseman, Faye Swartz. Sholom Chapels

Charlotte Myers died Dec. 8 at 91. Survived by daughter Rhonda (Klaus) Rosebrock; sons Richard (Roberta), Russell (Adela), Robert (Lynn); 6 grandchildren. Sholom Chapels

Harry Leon Naiman died Dec. 22 at 90.  Survived by wife Dorothy; daughter Marlene (Kenneth) Jones; son Alan (Sandi); 4 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; sister Lila Hansen. Mount Sinai

Sharon Nicholson died Dec. 18 at 64.  Survived by sons Adam Moskowitz, Jonathan Moskowitz; 5 grandchildren; sister Barbara Klein.  Sholom Chapels

Jeanette Pastor died Dec. 18 at 101.  Survived by daughter Susan (Richard) Fishman; son Mark (Bonnie); 4 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Harry Robbins died Dec. 24 at 93.  Survived by wife Ida; daughter Roberta (Gary) Decker; sons Jeff (Timea), Michael (Mary Anne); 3 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild.  Mount Sinai

Ann Shaftel died Dec. 19 at 71.  Survived by daughters Gerri-Ann Constant, Elayne Gammage, Abby Reeve; 4 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; sister Gloria (Matthew) Stewart; brothers Sanford (Bobbi) Robbins, Joel (Susan) Robbins. Mount Sinai

Irene Sklar died Dec. 17 at 86.  Survived by daughter Maureen (Steve) Sloan; 3 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren.

Bertha Smith died Dec. 15 at 99. Survived by daughter Bonnie. Malinow and Silverman 

Benjamin Solow died Dec. 17 at 94. Survived by daughter Beth Mills; son Andrew; 2 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Harold Spector died Dec. 24 at 83.  Survived by wife Goldie; sons Warren, Steven, David, Scott; 9 grandchildren.  Mount Sinai

Rabbi Seymour Stern died Dec. 10 at 91.Chevra Kadisha

Kathleen Stone died Dec. 25 at 99.  Survived by sons Richard Vincent, Ronald Tansky; 5 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Samuel Stone died Dec. 22 at 62.  Survived by wife Susan; son Dan.  Sholom Chapels

Mildred Targon died Dec. 19 at 87. Survived by sons Lenny, Michael (Robin); 5 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren.  Mount Sinai

Richard Unger died Dec. 23 at 76.  Survived by father Ronald Shilton; daughters Elizabeth (Eric) Levitt, Ami Shilton; 3 grandchildren. Hillside

Ruth Weglein died Dec. 26 at 90.  Survived by daughter Naomi (Sean) Greene; son Stephen David (Chouket); 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Helen Wolloch died Dec. 20 at 88. Survived by daughter Harriet Krause; son Phil; 5 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren. Sholom Chapels

The Jewish Journal publishes obituary notices free of charge.  Please send an e-mail in the above format with the name, age and survivors of the deceased to obits@jewishjournal.com.  If you have any questions, e-mail or call (213) 368-1661, ext. 116.

Obituaries: Nov. 4-10 2011


Raymonde Abitbol died Oct. 2 at 80. Survived by brother George Abitbol. Hillside

Renee Gittler died Oct. 12 at 56. Survived by companion Jeffrey Resnick; daughters Jennifer, Nicole; mother Camille Venus; brother David (Renee) Venus. Hillside

Vivian S. Hoffman died Oct. 16 at 85. Survived by daughters Shelley (Jeffrey Ellis), Randi; 3 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Naomi “Mimi” Kaplan died Oct. 13 at 72. Survived by husband Richard; daughter Hilary (Bret) Fausett; son David (Andrea); 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Edward Levy died Oct. 11 at 84. Survived by daughters Laurie (Charles) Harris, Nancy (Robert) Tanowitz, Cheryl (Bradley) Cohen, Leslie (Dwayne) Talley; 10 grandchildren. Hillside

George Polinger died Oct. 10 at 88. Survived by daughters Sari, Patricia (Peter) Cohen; son Thomas (Melanie); 5 grandchildren; sister Gerri Strock. Hillside

Irwin Reiner died Oct. 17 at 80. Survived by friend Adrianne Steiger. Mount Sinai

Lawrence L. Richards died Oct. 18 at 78. Survived by wife Marcia; sons Marc (Nancy), Scott (Lisa), Brett, Todd (Mara); 8 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; brother, Paul (Ilse) Lazovick. Mount Sinai

Gladys Saidoff died Oct. 10 at 69. Survived by husband Nehemia; sons Isaac (Valerie), Joseph; 4 grandchildren; sister Freda Silvera; brothers Avi Glicksberg, Jackie Glicksberg. Hillside

Rohollah Shayani died Oct. 14 at 82. Survived by wife Farokh; daughters Roya (Fereydoun), Shiva (Sina); son Vafa (Elizabeth); 8 grandchildren. Eden

Otto Schaffer died Oct. 5 at 91. Survived by wife Katherina; daughter Erit (Floyd) Siegal; son George (Julie) Schaffer; 4 grandchildren. Eden

Alda Siegan died Oct. 5 at 79. Survived by husband David; daughter Lorian (Billy) Gans; sons Mitchell (Ann Hodgkinson), Gary (Karen) Sandler; 5 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; sister Etty Korengold. Hillside

Harvey Siegel died Oct. 9 at 71. Survived by wife Wendy Elissa; son Joshua Henry Marshall; mother Sylvia Leib. Hillside

Shirley Sterns died Oct. 12 at 89. Survived by husband Hal; sons Steven (Janice), Garry (Ricki); 4 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Eugene Tabak died Oct. 17 at 92. Survived by daughters Linda (Dan) Lichtner, Eleanor (Elliot) Ross; son Michael; 4 grandchildren; brother Leon. Eden

Benjamin Teicher died Oct. 18 at 92. Survived by nieces Ruth Akiba, Antonia Rabin. Mount Sinai

Joanne Wolfus died Oct. 6 at 89. Survived by sons George (Nanci), Daniel (Christine); 4 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Donald Yospur died Oct. 17 at 84. Survived by wife Shirley; daughter Leigh (Kirk) Davis; sons Simon (Melanie), Gerald; 5 grandchildren; brothers Bernard, Gordon (Sheila). Mount Sinai

Eradicating torture should be the legacy of Sept. 12


What is the legacy of 9/11? As we approach the 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we have a chance as a nation to reflect on more than just our own stories of what happened that day.

One theme that has emerged is “Remember Sept. 12” because it was the day after the terrorist attacks that our nation came together as one—people reaching across divides of class, religion and race to mourn the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives and remember the heroic first responders who raced to the scene of chaos and destruction. Unity and lovingkindess are part of the narrative we tell this year and the legacy for which we hope.

But it was also immediately after the 2001 attacks that a darker story emerged. Under the guise of safety from future terrorist threats, America abandoned its longstanding repudiation of using torture as a method of interrogation. Torture was used at Guantanamo, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and was authorized at the highest levels of government.

The gloves may have come off, but in reality we lost our way.

Ten years later this is a story we are still unraveling. The U.S. government’s use of torture is yet to be fully investigated, and with every passing day such an investigation seems less likely. On June 30, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced an end to a two-year preliminary investigation by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham into the CIA’s use of torture on detainees. Holder concluded that further investigation was not warranted and that the deaths of only two detainees would be investigated further.

Having the administration’s only probe into the use of torture stopped with such a minimalist outcome demonstrates the need for an independent investigation—one free from political bias and the limits of a criminal investigation—to provide a complete accounting of our nation’s use of torture.

At no point in our nation’s history has the use of torture presented a greater danger of becoming widely accepted than now. In 2009, two days after President Obama was sworn in, he issued an executive order halting torture and calling for the closure of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. But more than two years later, Guantanamo Bay remains open and the U.S. government refuses to confront its history and fully investigate its use of torture. Meanwhile, proponents of torture still advocate for it, claiming the necessity of its use for American survival.

But survival at what cost? The Jewish tradition teaches that every person is created in the image of God, endowing each of us with sacredness and dignity. That sacredness is marred by the use of torture, which by its very nature denies the image of God found in the victim. We do not have the right to engage in abominations in order to ensure our safety. Survival at any cost is not the goal. We have an obligation to hold ourselves to a higher moral and ethical standard, which is that torture is always wrong.

Being created in God’s image is not a trivial sentiment. If one takes God seriously, as Americans of faith do, then one has to take the image of God seriously to recognize every person, even one’s enemy, as sacred. If we desecrate the image of God in order to survive, then we have survived only as monsters.

I was in New York on Sept. 11, 2001 and saw the second plane hit the Twin Towers. I have long considered my work directing Rabbis for Human Rights-North America’s campaign to end American use of torture permanently to be part of my personal ongoing narrative of that day, part of my commitment to a legacy of lovingkindness. We are part of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, a group of more than 300 religious organizations committed to the moral imperative that torture is always wrong and runs counter to the teachings that all religions hold dear. We believe that torture degrades everyone involved—policymakers, perpetrators and victims—and fails to honor the God-given dignity of all people.

Even as the urgency of the photos of Abu Ghraib fades from public memory, we continue to call for a thorough investigation of America’s use of torture and the legislative will to permanently eliminate the possibility of its future use. This year, the legacy of Sept. 12 is to make that commitment a permanent reality.

(Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, of Teaneck, N.J., is director of North American programs for Rabbis for Human Rights-North America. She is a member of the board of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.)

Deciding one’s legacy


Whether reading about yet another contested celebrity will or comforting a friend caught in a family estate squabble, many of us have stumbled upon the conflictual residue of estate planning gone sour. To be sure, some grantors would be just as happy to learn of these post-mortem dramas; however, this is the exception. Most often, the difference between a grantor’s wishes for his/her estate and the actual legacy that results in family discord, is the unintended and tragically avoidable result of inadequate planning.

Much of the time, especially with young, healthy people, lack of planning can be a simple matter of administrative oversight or putting off something that seems abstract and nonpressing. It’s as easy to deny the importance of estate preparation as it is to deny one’s own mortality; focusing on estate matters forces us to confront death. Additionally, many parents, especially in affluent families, do not wish to discuss their estates with beneficiaries out of fear of how their heirs would respond emotionally and financially to knowledge of their inheritance.

Nor are people typically eager to look beyond finance and taxes to face some tough decisions. Such conundrums include how to treat in-laws, remarriage or children with special needs, mental illness or addiction. If adult children have varying family sizes, do you distribute equally among family branches (resulting in some grandchildren having less than others), or do you divide equally among grandchildren (risking potential resentments and conflict among siblings who feel unfairly treated)? If there is a family business, how should shares be divided if some children work in the business and some don’t? How much should be given to charity? How much is enough? Who should be the executor? The questions can get complex indeed. No wonder many wish to refrain from deciding or discussing these issues altogether or fear confronting heirs with their estate decisions. What many don’t consider, however, is the impact of avoiding this process.

Even in the best of circumstances, money can become a powerful emotional metaphor representing ideas about fairness, or the feeling of being loved, cared for or special. In grief this can become even more pronounced. If the decedent’s wishes are left to chance and/or not made explicit before death, a vacuum is created that can only magnify the situation, and survivors can react in unpredictable ways.

“The biggest issue is grantors not sharing decisions and explaining why they are made” said Rebecca Maggard, a tax accountant and wealth coach who advises clients navigating the technical and emotional complexities of family estates. Even in the best of circumstances, where family dynamics run smoothly before death, things can go terribly wrong if not properly spelled out.

“You never know what to expect,” said Maggard, who advises her clients to clearly articulate their wishes in writing and to their heirs to avoid post-mortem confusion and squabbles.

Even if the discussions are difficult, there is still the opportunity to work things out while everyone is still alive.

Ways to organize such discussions can range from informal conversations to more formal family meetings organized by outside trusted advisers versed in the complexities and dynamics of family estate planning. Such advisers can include financial, legal and tax advisers who look beyond finance and taxation, or family enterprise consultants who take a more holistic family-systems approach, working with the family to organize around decisions and to facilitate difficult conversations.

One of the tools Maggard uses to help clarify and transfer family values is an ethical will, the ancient Jewish custom of documenting the values that a person wishes to pass on in addition to financial wealth. Written ethical wills date back to medieval times, with an oral tradition as old as the Bible itself, in which Jacob expresses in Genesis 49 his wishes for his sons and for his burial. Clarifying values in such a way can also help resolve some of the thorny questions needed to shape legal documents and are a way to pass on to subsequent generations the family’s legacy of lessons learned, stories, advice, guidance and values important to them such as family, hard work, education and the family’s role in the community.

However it occurs, in order to create consistency between intentions and execution of the estate plan, decisions have to be made, written down and clearly articulated to the beneficiaries. While the task may be challenging for some, engaging in this process can be about more than just the financial component of wealth; it’s also an opportunity to decide the legacy of values you wish to transfer and to have that legacy carried on.

Ilene Weingarten is an associate with Relative Solutions LLC, a family enterprise consulting firm that works with multigenerational families who share assets. Weingarten also maintains a private counseling practice in Santa Monica, specializing in the particular concerns of affluent families.

Lieberman’s legacy: bridge builder or burner?


Joe Lieberman ascended to national prominence by building one bridge at a time. Then, having reached the pinnacle by becoming the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, he spent 10 years burning bridges.

Ultimately, Lieberman’s most celebrated bridge—between America’s non-Christian, non-establishment minorities and the highest office of the land—will be his legacy, say both friends and critics.

The U.S. senator from Connecticut, perhaps the nation’s best-known independent, announced last week that he would not be running for re-election in 2012.

In an anxious, jokey appearance in Hartford—he started by likening himself to daytime TV talk jockey Regis Philbin, who also had just announced his retirement—Lieberman’s first serious reference was to his role as a history maker.

“I can’t help but also think about my four grandparents and the journey they traveled more than a century ago,” he said. “Even they could not have dreamed that their grandson would end up a United States senator and, incidentally, a barrier-breaking candidate for vice president.”

“First Jewish candidate on a major ticket” would be the Lieberman legacy to outlast all others, said Ira Forman, the former director of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

“It was an electric moment,” Forman recalled of Al Gore’s choice of Lieberman in 2000. “It galvanized the feeling that everything is open to you.”

Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, had come to that point through a reputation of independence – but also one of reconciling the seemingly irreconcilable.

In 1998, he delivered a floor speech excoriating President Clinton for his affair with an intern, Monica Lewinsky. He called his one-time friend “immoral” and said that Clinton had “weakened” the presidency.

The speech sent out shockwaves—news networks interrupted broadcasts to go to the Senate floor—but it also staved off calls for Clinton’s removal from office. It was credited with salvaging the presidency when the Senate subsequently rejected the U.S. House of Representatives’ impeachment. Through a Democrat’s excoriation of a Democratic president, Lieberman seemed to have punished Clinton enough.

Lieberman’s reputation for outreach to the other side defined his career in the Senate since he arrived in the body in 1989, having been elected after serving as Connecticut’s attorney general. His breaking with Democratic ranks in backing the first Persian Gulf War in 1991 helped him later in the decade, when he rallied Republicans to support Clinton’s military actions in Kosovo.

In 1992, when Clinton’s campaign was cold-shouldering Arab Americans, the community reached out to Lieberman, despite pronounced differences with him over Israeli-Palestinian issues, because of his reputation for fairness.

James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute, tells of Lieberman’s outrage, and how after one phone call from the senator, Clinton’s headquarters in Little Rock, Ark., abashedly opened its offices to Arabs.

Yet it was at his very pinnacle—running for vice president—that signs emerged of how the subsequent decade would play out. He delivered an ineffective performance—some said even deferential—in his debate with Dick Cheney, George W. Bush’s running mate. And during the recount, he undercut one of Gore’s best arguments—questionable absentee ballots from the military—when he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that they should be honored.

The real turning point came after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when the Bush administration launched a political and diplomatic campaign to make the case for war against Iraq.

Like many other Democrats, Lieberman steadfastly backed war. But while many of his Democratic colleagues came to regret their decision, he stuck by it, and even made it the centerpiece of his 2004 campaign for the presidency. He was bitter when Gore, who opposed the war, endorsed Howard Dean for president that year.

Lieberman’s adamant backing of the war led to an insurgency in Connecticut. Liberal Democrats descended on the state to back his anti-war opponent, Ned Lamont, helping him win the primary. It didn’t help that at this late stage, when the Iraq war’s failure had become conventional wisdom, Lieberman wrote an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal backing Bush’s strategies.

Establishment Democrats, including a freshman senator from Illinois named Barack Obama, supported Lieberman in the primary but could not see a way to support him once Lamont prevailed. Lieberman ran as an independent, and with the Republican Party refusing to back its candidate, he won with votes from the GOP and independents.

In that election, Jewish Democrats were torn between their loyalty to the party and to Lieberman. Notably, the National Jewish Democratic Council stayed out of the fight.

That loyalty helped Lieberman capture a fourth term and proved he still had ties to the Democratic Party.

But that bridge burned when he made it clear that he’d back his old friend Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the GOP candidate, in the 2008 election. Lieberman’s announcement led to a tense, whispered conversation with Obama on the Senate floor in which Obama reminded Lieberman of how he had made time to campaign for him against Lamont.

Particularly galling for Democrats was Lieberman’s agreement to endorse McCain on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. McCain even considered Lieberman as a possible running mate.

“He put himself in a position where his longtime supporters, particularly the hard-core Democrats who had supported him over the years, could no longer defend him,” said Marvin Lender, who raised money for Lieberman in 2006. “I say that recognizing he was a very loyal person to his old friend, but he crossed over a line when he did that and disappointed a ton of people.”

After the election, Obama made it clear that he wanted Lieberman to stay on his side. That meant Lieberman maintained his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee while caucusing with Democrats.

He still had a bridge or two left to burn: On health care reform—a signature issue for Jewish Democrats—Lieberman equivocated until the last minute, ultimately casting his vote in favor.

His relationship with Obama remained cordial but tense. Lieberman took the lead in criticizing Obama’s approach to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking as overly confrontational when Obama met last May with Jewish lawmakers.

Lieberman maintained his fierce independence until the end. His career cap was a nod to his more liberal sensibilities, when in the final weeks of 2010 he earned kudos from liberals for enabling repeal in the Senate of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule that had made it impossible for gays to serve openly in the military. Gay activists did not fail to notice that Lieberman, a Sabbath observer, stuck out the vote, even though it was on Shabbat.

Yet that also was a bridge burner of sorts. When Lieberman a few nights later attended a Republican Jewish Coalition party celebrating the GOP’s win of the U.S. House of Representatives, at least one GOP donor to Lieberman’s 2006 campaign buttonholed him and said he would never again give him money because of his success in leading the “don’t ask” repeal.

Lieberman smiled, said he had to do what he had to do and left the party.

“Senator Lieberman is a true mensch and a great American,” the RJC said in a statement Jan. 19. “He showed that it’s possible to have a successful political career while doing what you feel is right—even when what’s right is not what’s in your political best interests.”

That’s still open to question. After Lieberman’s announcement last week, New York Times columnist Gail Collins denounced him as a narcissist while fellow columnist David Brooks praised him as a man of principle.

For Jewish Democrats, the tendency may be toward the latter position, even if it’s mostly sentimental.

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), said he would miss Lieberman, despite their differences over issues such as health care.

“Even if I disagree with him,” Engel said, “I known he’s doing it because he feels it is right.”

Sherry Lansing’s epiphany


By 8 a.m. last Wednesday, when Sherry Lansing took the stage at the downtown Bonaventure Hotel, the women of Hadassah were hollering as if they were in a gospel service.

“Sixty is the new 40,” said TV anchor Rikki Klieman to shouts and cheers swirling through the crowd.

Lansing disagreed. “I used to think 60 is the new 40, but now I say, 60 is the new 60!” More cheers erupted from the 1,800 delegates at the Hadassah Convention, who were munching on bagels and lox during a conversation between Klieman and Lansing, gal pals from Northwestern.

“We are younger, healthier — and, statistically, people in their 60s are the happiest group demographically,” Lansing continued. “We’re not competing anymore, we’re just enjoying.”

Lansing has good reason to enjoy the prime of her life: Since retiring as chairwoman of Paramount Pictures and her historic role as the first female to head a major movie studio, Lansing has “shifted priorities” and is now devoted — full time — to her new thrill and philanthropic enterprise, the Sherry Lansing Foundation.

As she describes it, on the eve of turning 60, she had an epiphany.

“Suddenly, I cared less about a hit movie or making money than I did about giving back. That was the legacy that I wanted,” Lansing said.

Indeed, she achieved her Hollywood dreams, is financially secure and, she says, equally passionate about the new chapter of her life advocating for education and healthcare. Through her foundation, the one-time movie mogul responsible for such critical and box office hits as “Forrest Gump,” “Braveheart” and “Titanic” is working with the Los Angeles Unified School District to place qualified retirees in either volunteer or paid positions in local public schools.

For Lansing, turning 60 was not about retirement — it was an opportunity to start over from a different place. With years of vitality left, she is encouraging other 60-somethings to give back too. Why waste the expertise and talent of successful individuals on golf courses?

Lansing’s inclination toward social work has been a part of her dream fabric since she was a child growing up in Chicago. After her father’s death when she was 9, her mother chose to learn the family real estate business instead of passing off responsibility to some male friends who offered to manage it. Her mother’s work ethic and determination is the source of Lansing’s drive and inspiration.

“I watched my mother never be a victim. I watched her never show me her tears, and like she used to say ‘pull up her socks’ and take care of her life.”

When other girls dreamed of marriage and family, Lansing thought of work. In 1984, when she became head of 20th Century Fox, she discovered that being a woman had its setbacks — but it also had benefits.

“No one knew how to handle a woman. I could be myself. I didn’t have to follow any rules. All I did was work. I overworked,” she said.

After three decades in the upper echelons of showbiz, Lansing shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to her work with her foundation, she is also on the board that governs California’s $3 billion stem cell research fund. When husband and filmmaker William Friedkin was directing an opera in Israel, Lansing went from hospital to hospital encouraging Israeli doctors to apply for California grant money. When she mentioned that Hadassah Hospital in Israel is a leading stem cell research institution, the crowd cheered again.

Lansing is an impressive icon in many circles, but in this room, she was among hardcore fans.

New Chabad telethon chief follows in his father’s footsteps


Rabbi Chaim Cunin, the seventh of Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin’s 13 children, has a strong handshake. That may be hereditary. His father, the spiritual leader of West Coast Chabad for many decades, famously used to arm-wrestle the UCLA heavyweights along fraternity row on Rosh Hashanah. The elder Cunin would always win.

“I felt so proud,” says his son, seated at the marble table of Chabad Lubavitch’s fifth-floor conference room in Westwood.

If the idea of an arm-wrestling rabbi sounds a bit unorthodox, the Southland has grown accustomed to the notion of a dancing rabbi, the signature image of Chabad’s “To Life” Telethon, which will be celebrating its 27th year on Sunday, Sept. 9, airing live on KCAL, Channel 9.

Cunin, 33, executive producer of the telethon and CEO of Chabad of California, may represent a movement that dates back to the 1700s, but on a recent August day he wasn’t wearing a dark frock coat. Instead, he sported casual attire: a blue button-down shirt, a brown tie and a yarmulke, that, when flipped around, bore the trademark dancing rabbi logo.

It was a nod to the good-natured whimsy of the telethon, whose theme this year is “People Helping People.” Chabad has always helped people of all faiths. In turn, not surprisingly, Hollywood glitterati of all religions and races, including Jon Voight, James Caan, Edward James Olmos and Magic Johnson, have made appearances on the telethon over the years. They have helped raise money for Chabad, which runs such nonsectarian programs as drug rehabilitation centers, old age homes and the friendship circle. And while Chabad charges fees for these programs, “no one is turned away for lack of funds,” Cunin said. The one requirement of those seeking treatment is that they are “truly committed to turning their lives around,” he added.

Chabad, to be sure, straddles the traditional and the new. To carry out Chabad’s mission of performing mitzvot, Cunin has become an “Apple enthusiast,” navigating the Internet with ease on his iBook. Cunin also keeps handy an iPhone, which he calls an “OiPhone,” because every time his cell phone rings he knows it is one more responsibility he must undertake in preparation for the telethon.

Questioned about the seeming paradox of a Chasidic rabbi using newfangled products, Cunin said: “The values of Judaism, the principles of Judaism, the Torah, are relevant in every generation and every day. Whether it’s the Apple computer today or the telephone when that was invented…. In Judaism these are tools … which help us bring godliness, holiness, the light everywhere.”

As calm as Cunin might have appeared as he leaned back in his swivel chair, there was no denying the anxiety of supervising a major production like the Chabad Telethon.

Next to his Macintosh computer was a box of Commit, over-the-counter nicotine lozenges. As he sucked on one of the cherry lozenges, Cunin explained that he’d quit smoking nine weeks before.

A few books in Hebrew were spread out on the conference table. When asked what the day’s Torah portion was, however, he drew a blank, then said, “I’m losing it.” He looked it up at Chabad.org. It was a portion from Deuteronomy.

If Cunin was stressed this day, that was nothing new. In 1980, when he was six, his family received a phone call at two or three in the morning. He awakened his father, who was informed that the Chabad House was on fire. Three young men died in the blaze, and three torahs were severely damaged and had to be buried. Shortly thereafter, Cunin’s father began the telethon.

As a boy, Cunin stuffed envelopes and distributed fliers for the telethon in stores; he now works nonstop for days, doing everything from helping to pick “stories [that] might be of interest, booking the talent, overseeing the publicity,” he said.

Getting up from his chair, he moved briskly past a warren of cubbyholes to the elevator. A few flights down, he entered the offices of film editor Carter Reedy, who was cutting testimonials with producer Mike Levin. There was very little equipment in the room where they worked, just a TV screen and two computer monitors next to each other, one showing a full-sized image, the other a miniature version alongside computer text.

Levin and Reedy ran three segments, one on a Latino man, who says he “actually didn’t even know what a rabbi was” until Chabad helped him overcome his drug problems; another of a Holocaust survivor who did not have enough money to pay for the funeral of her husband until Chabad came to her aid; and a fun spot at Dodger Stadium featuring former Dodger Shawn Green, comedian Richard Lewis, Fox Sports Radio personality Vic “the Brick” Jacobs and Cunin and his brother, Levi, all kidding one another, singing Ya’aseh Shalom, and running about in antic fashion during batting practice.

“Shawn Green, feeling you,” said Vic the Brick. “No, I’m feeling you,” Green said.

These will air during the telethon, along with a live show, including performances by entertainers and encouragements to donate. The telethon has always had a mix of poignancy and showmanship. Messages are layered throughout, but guilt is not one of them. Cunin called the telethon, which will be hosted this year by last year’s co-host Elon Gold, a “legacy of goodness and kindness … with a smile.”

As this interview ended, Cunin’s face was flushed, even though the air conditioning was on in the room. The last two weeks before the telethon, which he hopes will generate a record $7 million, will be intense, but he can handle it. As producer Levin said of the extra four hours of material he must prune, “These are good problems.”

The Chabad “To Life” Telethon will air on KCAL, Channel 9, from 4 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9 and Web cast at

Jews laud Boris Yeltsin’s legacy


Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first popularly elected president, made a lasting impact on Russian Jewry, though his legacy included its share of controversy and tragic failures.

Russian Jewish leaders agree that the community should remember Yeltsin, who died Monday at age 76, primarily as the man who ended decades of state-sanctioned anti-Semitism in Russia.

“With Yeltsin’s passing, a page is closed for the Jewish community, that of revolutionary changes in the life of Soviet and Russian Jewry,” said Borukh Gorin, spokesman for the Federations of Jewish Communities, Russia’s largest Jewish group.

“Yeltsin was an important figure” for the Jewish community, said Mark Levin, executive director of NCSJ, a Washington-based group that works on behalf of Jews in the former Soviet Union.

“His opening of the country allowed for the development of Jewish communities throughout Russia. His willingness to create a more open, democratic country certainly had an impact on the Jewish community.”

Both of Russia’s chief rabbis offered their condolences Monday to Yeltsin’s wife, Naina, and daughter, Tatyana.

Mikhail Chlenov, who established Russia’s first legal Jewish group in the early years of Yeltsin’s rule, said Jews should remember Yeltsin as a great figure.

“It was his great achievement that the new Russia came to life without that evil called state anti-Semitism,” said Chlenov, president of the Va’ad of Russia.

Others credit Yeltsin for allowing Jewish life to develop freely in Russia to an extent that was hard to imagine even under his predecessor, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

With American Jewish activists marking the 40th anniversary this year of the movement to free Soviet Jewry, it is notable that meaningful Jewish emigration began under Gorbachev, but it was Yeltsin who really opened the floodgates.

“While Gorbachev made freedom of emigration a reality for Soviet Jews, it was Yeltsin who made possible an unprecedented freedom of Jewish life in the country,” Gorin said. “Jewish schools and new synagogues were opened — it was he who made the impossible possible.”

Yeltsin was much criticized for economic policies that left millions of Russians below the poverty line, but he was the “ultimate Russian president with a very Russian character,” Gorin said. “It’s no exaggeration to say we were blessed to have Yeltsin as president.”

Another leading figure of the Russian Jewish renaissance during Yeltsin’s presidency noted the fundamental changes in civil liberties and economic freedom that Yeltsin helped establish in Russia — changes that ultimately benefited Jews.

“I won’t make a direct connection between Yeltsin’s rule and Jewish life in Russia unless we take into account the maxim that the more freedom there is, the better it is for Jews,” said Alexander Osovtsov, who served as executive vice president of the Russian Jewish Congress from 1996 to 2000.

But Yeltsin’s legacy also was filled with controversy.

“His resignation did not mean an immediate return of the things he demolished, but I cannot consider it accidental that during his rule, many people with anti-Semitic views came to power,” Osovtsov said.

Osovtsov noted in particular Boris Mironov, an anti-Semitic publicist now on trial for hate speech who served as press minister early in Yeltsin’s tenure.

“This only underscores the controversies of this gigantic figure,” said Osovtsov, who is now a liberal opposition activist.

At the same time, some observers said that controversial policies in the second half of Yeltsin’s presidency — such as the escalating war in Chechnya and his decision to appoint a successor rather than have one elected — paved the rise to power for Vladimir Putin and the slide back toward authoritarianism that has been associated with his rule.

Yet Osovtsov said Yeltsin’s legacy cannot be underestimated, since some of the fundamental changes associated with his reign — including the end of state-sponsored anti-Semitism — have continued long after he left the office.

Chlenov agreed that Yeltsin was a controversial and even tragic figure, which has become even more evident since he stepped down in December 1999 in favor of Putin.

Yeltsin successfully fought the predominance of communist ideology, but was unsuccessful in overcoming the influence of bureaucracy and powerful apparatchiks. Many of the negative trends in Russian political and public life since his resignation are a direct result of the unfinished struggle Yeltsin led, Chlenov said.

“These are these bureaucratic circles who are taking their revenge now,” Chlenov said.

Spectator – Fiddle Dee Dee and Oy Vey!


Like any good Southerner, Brian Bain eats moon pies and punctuates his sentences with “y’all.” But Bain is also Jewish, which colors his experience as a third-generation Southerner in a unique way.

In his documentary film, “Shalom Y’all,” Bain set out to explore exactly what being both Jewish and Southern actually means. Bain travels through the buckle of the Bible Belt, stopping in small towns where once-thriving Jewish communities have now dwindled to single-digit populations, and he juxtaposes these with flourishing communities in places like Atlanta. He visits genteel mansions still occupied by aging Jewish Southern belles and explores the legacy and the part Jews played in historical Southern milestones, including the Civil War and the Civil Rights era.

“Truthfully, my grandfather really was the catalyst for the journey,” Bain said in a phone conversation from Dallas, where he relocated after his New Orleans home was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. He was referring to Leonard Bain, a retired traveling hat salesman and silent film editor who was 99, in 2002, when the film was made. The elder Bain has since died at the age of 101.

“Growing up, I remember him telling us stories about his travels through the South and spending the Sabbath away from home with Jewish merchants, and how he had this interesting connection with other Jews from the South. I really wanted to get my grandfather on film and just talking to him reminded me of the bigger story of the Jewish South.”

“Shalom Y’all” explores issues of identity and submersion into a larger culture. It is, in many respects, a quirky documentary filled with characters and incidents that might be at home in a Christopher Guest film. In Natchez, Miss., there is Zelda Millstein, who still dresses in Antebellum hoop skirts, and Jay Lehman, a grocery store owner who sells pickled pigs feet and who, as a younger man, participated proudly in the Natchez Confederate Pageant — a homage to the pre-Civil War era. Then there is the older Natchez couple whom Bain interviews sitting in the pews of their synagogue, which once boasted 200 families. Now they get five people for Friday night services.

“Except when the student rabbi comes,” says the husband. “Then we get eight.”

Bain hopes to return to New Orleans as soon as his home is habitable, and he says he has high hopes for the future of the Southern Jewish community.

“Young people have left and found new opportunities, and my parents’ generation is pushing toward retirement, but I think it is going to be interesting period of rebuilding for the Jewish community” in the South, he said. “I am optimistic because the community is strong and tight knit, so I have no doubt that it will persevere.”

The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring is screening “Shalom Y’all” on Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at 1525 S. Robertson Blvd. For more information, call (310) 552-2007, or visit

Qumran Offers Look at Legacy of Scrolls


Descending eastward from the rolling hills on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the sapphire-colored Dead Sea appears like a jewel set in the dusty brown Judean Desert. As you breathe in the thundering stillness, it’s easy to imagine why the ancient Essenes chose this place for their spiritual refuge.

When they lived here some 2,000 years ago, the Essenes led a highly ritualized life along the sea’s northern shores, 40 miles east of Jerusalem.

You can learn more about them and the fascinating legacy they created — the Dead Sea Scrolls — at Qumran National Park. This well-kept archaeological site preserves the center of Essene activity.

An introductory audiovisual program describes the Essenes’ way of life, which the Romans destroyed in the year 68 C.E., during the great Jewish revolt. These Jews were mostly male ascetics, dedicated to spirituality, who fled Jerusalem.

They created a largely self-reliant, communal settlement amid picturesque limestone hillside cliffs. Their structures included stone assembly halls, a main dining room for ceremonial meals, a kitchen, laundry room, watchtower, stable and pottery workshop.

Archaeologists believe the Essenes were highly concerned with maintaining their ritual purity and bathed at least twice a day. An aqueduct system caught water from the hills above and channeled it into an elaborate series of mikvahs, or ritual baths.

In the 200 years they lived at Qumran, Essene scribes also dedicated themselves to copying biblical texts in a scriptorium, or writing room, with desks and inkstands.

The biblical texts were discovered by a young Bedouin shepherd in 1947. When an errant goat disappeared into a cave, the boy tossed a rock inside, and was surprised to hear the rock hit something. As he continued searching, he discovered clay pots that had protected seven ancient scrolls for centuries.

When the film concludes, the screen lifts and you are directed toward a darkened hallway, where replicas of the implements of the Essenes’ daily routine are displayed. From there, it’s a short walk to the ruins, where you can see remnants of the mikvahs, as well as the aqueduct and other finds, in addition to a view of the historic cave.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical documents ever found, often are described as the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century. They date to a time that spawned Christianity and laid the foundations for modern Judaism.

The scrolls include books from the Torah, the Apocrypha and the sect’s own works. Some of these are on permanent exhibit at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

They are stored in the iconic white domed Shrine of the Book, which resembles the lid of the type of clay jar in which the scrolls were found. As you walk into the exhibit, you enter a dark hallway that resembles a cave.

The parched climate of the Dead Sea helped preserve the scrolls and items rarely found by archaeologists: wooden combs, leather sandals, linen fabric and ropes made from palm leaves and rushes.

Most of the scrolls discovered at Qumran were made of a lightly tanned animal skin. A small percentage were written on papyrus. To prevent their further deterioration, the exhibit was specifically designed with low lighting and controlled humidity and temperature.

The scrolls are stored in darkened cases that are illuminated with the press of a button. The beautifully penned texts reflect portions from every book of the Bible, except the scroll of Esther, as well as the entire book of Isaiah. And some reveal the beliefs and customs of the Jews at Qumran, such as monogamy and prohibitions against divorce and celibacy.

The scrolls and thousands of fragments later discovered in the same area have been mired in controversy since 1954, when four scrolls were advertised for sale in The Wall Street Journal. They were subsequently purchased for Israel, but only a select group of European and American scholars were chosen to reconstruct and publish the texts. The 1984 publication of an article about one scroll discovered years earlier ignited a lengthy battle over long delays in publication and freedom of access for other scholars.

In 1991, independent scholars broke protocol and released computer-generated reconstructions of some fragments. The Huntington Library in San Marino later allowed access to its photographic copies. The Biblical Archaeological Review printed complete photographs of the unpublished fragments without disclosing the source.

You can view the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum (phone: 02 670-8811) and the ruins of the Essene settlement at Qumran National Park (02 994-2235). Call for updated hours and admission charges. For more information, contact the Dead Sea Information Center at

Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Legacy Expanding


Ten years after the death of the last Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, his influence on the Jewish world continues to grow.

Tens of thousands of mourners visited Schneerson’s grave in Queens, on Tuesday for his 10th yarhzeit. Israel’s two chief rabbis had called for a worldwide day of communal prayer, saying, “The flourishing success of other groups, not only among Chasidic circles [but among] the Jewish community at large, is in large measure due to the rebbe.”

It is a big claim, but one that Jewish figures of nearly all movements echo.

“The rebbe has left an indelible impression on Judaism in the 20th century,” said Rabbi Norman Lamm, chancellor of Yeshiva University and one of the leading figures of the Modern Orthodox movement. Though he criticized Chabad for building a “personality cult” around its rebbe, whom many Lubavitchers believe to be the Messiah, Lamm said Schneerson “was an indomitable leader, a preeminent scholar and a truly creative visionary of organization. He consolidated the Chabad movement so that it was able to outlast his own life.”

Lawrence Schiffman, chair of New York University’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, will hold an academic conference next year on Schneerson’s legacy, the first such conference outside the Lubavitch world.

“He showed the Jewish community that it was possible to revive and rebuild — after assimilation, persecution or both — and that this could be done on a tremendous scale,” Schiffman said.

Schneerson’s background was unusual for a Chasidic rabbi. Born in 1902 in Russia into a Lubavitch family of prestigious lineage, he learned in yeshivas as a youth but went on to study math and science at the University of Berlin and the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1941, Schneerson fled Nazi-occupied Europe for New York. In 1951, a year after the death of his father-in-law, the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe, Schneerson was proclaimed the seventh rebbe by Chabad elders.

Schneerson died childless and without appointing an heir after two years of illness, during which he was unable to speak. The lack of an heir, and some ambiguous statements Schneerson made in the years before his illness, fueled speculation among many of his followers that the messianic age might be approaching and that Schneerson was the Messiah.

While many Lubavitchers still believe the deceased rebbe to be the Messiah, the power of the movement’s messianists decline with each passing year, although the issue remains a point of contention both inside and outside Chabad. The movement today is led by a 22-member board of rabbis that allocates funding from its headquarters in Crown Heights, adjudicates disputes and serves other administrative functions.

Chabad outreach activities are growing, with more than 4,000 shluchim (emissaries) spreading Schneerson’s message in more than 70 different countries, more than double the number a decade ago. There’s hardly a Jewish community anywhere in the world that doesn’t have a Chabad center, and hardly a Jew that does not know of “the rebbe” and his shluchim.

By sending his yeshiva students into the streets of middle America with beards and hats at a time when even observant Jews tried to hide their ethnic identity, Schneerson exerted the single greatest influence on the revival of Jewish pride in the United States, perhaps even more than the creation of the State of Israel, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz said.

Many Jews say they’re inspired by Schneerson’s teachings, especially his sichos (weekly talks), which still are being compiled and published at Lubavitch headquarters.

Schneerson most often is credited for his outreach work — not just the practical accomplishments, such as the creation of schools, holiday services and adult education classes, but the underlying philosophy that focused on each individual Jew with caring, warmth and love.

“The rebbe was the first person on American soil to put priority on what today is called ‘kiruv [drawing Jews closer to their religion],” said Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive director of the Orthodox Union. “Today everyone is doing it, but there’s no question that Chabad was doing it decades before anyone else.”


Over the past 10 years Chabad Lubavitch on the West Coast’s growth has included:

  • 112 shluchim couples moving to the West Coast.

  • 84 new Chabad regional centers and outreach programs; 22 such centers have opened their doors in the last year alone.

  • 12 new Chabad Houses established at universities throughout California.

  • 42 new building projects launched and completed.

  • More than $125 million raised toward capital projects.

  • 10 new mikvahs.

  • More than 200 Jewish Web sites offering Jewish content, outreach and social services.

— Staff Report

Essays Reflect on Pearl’s Last Words


Three words, among the last uttered by journalist Daniel Pearl before his murder two years ago this month (on Feb. 21, the public learned of the murder), have become a nucleus for thoughtfulness and creativity. "I Am Jewish," edited by his parents, Judea and Ruth Pearl (Jewish Lights), is a collection of brief essays by almost 150 noted contributors who tease out meaning from these words and compose personal statements of Jewish identity.

As Judea Pearl explains in a telephone interview from his office at UCLA where he teaches computer science, the book, with its diverse insights into Judaism, is intended to empower young Jewish people and foster pride in their heritage. It is also meant to send a strong message to the murderers that while they tried to sow humiliation, the words of Danny — as he refers to his late son — would "eventually lead to a stronger, more united Jewish people." And, the book is for Adam Pearl, Daniel’s son, to show him how his father inspired many Jews to come together and reflect on their Jewishness.

The publication of the book marks a turn in the Pearl family’s outlook about the Jewish nature of the tragedy. The work of the foundation they established in his memory is universal in its program. When asked why the family urged the press to downplay Daniel’s Judaism in the aftermath of his capture and murder, Judea Pearl rewords, "There was not an attempt to emphasize that element. The family didn’t want to give ammunition to the defense team, who wished to gain public sympathy in Pakistan."

Now, the family is no longer concerned about anti-Semitic outbursts in the courtroom so they feel like there’s no reason to shield the information.

In fact, Judea Pearl sees that in emphasizing the Jewish element of the tragedy, there are "tremendous opportunities for the Jewish community. For the first in modern times, we have an association between Jewishness and the concept of bridge-building and peace seeking."

"Jews are being portrayed as warmongers and baby killers. It’s about time that our real face will be portrayed with pride," he added

Contributors to the book include people of various political, religious and cultural stripes: Many would rarely be in a room together, let alone a book. They span generations, countries, professions and perspectives, among them Edgar Bronfman, Avraham Burg, Debbie Friedman, Thomas Friedman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Grossman, Larry King, Francine Klagsbrun, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Jackie Mason, Thane Rosenbaum, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Kerri Strug, Mike Wallace and Elie Wiesel.

The Pearls, along with the publisher, approached a wish list of journalists, entertainers, authors, government figures, business leaders, scientists, rabbis, scholars, Jewish communal figures and others. Most said yes.

"Danny’s legacy has the magnetic capacity to energize," Judea Pearl explained.

There were a few ‘no’s,’ some of which Judea Pearl managed to turn around. Some people felt that they could write thick books but nothing concise, others expressed reservations about being associated with a project they saw as divisive in its ethnicity. To one reluctant celebrity, he said, "In the same way that you are proud of being part of a community that gave the world Einstein and Chagall, there are Jewish youngsters who would like to be proud of you and what you have achieved. You have a responsibility to them."

The contributors were asked to reflect on what they mean when they say the words, "I am Jewish." "The question is not trivial," Judea Pearl writes in the preface. Contributors were also asked to minimize references to the tragedy.

Some contributors sent tributes to Daniel Pearl, which the editors sent back. Shimon Peres, who sent in a long tribute, was very gracious about rewriting and sent back a poetic narration of his life, emphasizing faith. Others declined to rewrite.

The book makes for compelling reading. Wide ranging in perspective, the entries are mixed in their literary quality, but a rich, bold, meaningful, intense and joyful vision emerges. The effect of reading essay after essay is to begin composing one’s own.

Some essays reveal personal stories; some read like original liturgy; many are full of questions, others use jokes and humor. Their themes may be rooted in family, memory, Jewish texts, conversion experiences and the Holocaust. Certain writers mention God, covenant and Israel; for others, these concepts don’t seem part of their vocabulary. Sometimes it’s the kids who are the most impressive, speaking powerfully in few words.

The only voices that seem to be missing in the mix are more young American Jewish poets and novelists.

For actor Joshua Malina, "the statement, ‘I am Jewish,’ is no different from the statement, ‘I am.’ Judaism is the foundation of my identity."

Leon Wieseltier begins his essay by slightly amending the statement to, "I am a Jew." "There’s nothing adjectival about this dimension of my being. It is not a qualifier of anything else, not a modifier of another essence; it is itself."

He goes on to speak of the significance of words and ideas and offers a traditional Chasidic text "in sorrowful and respectful recollection of Daniel Pearl."

Like Wieseltier, many point out that being Jewish is one part of their identity.

Several contributors, like Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua, speak of secular identity. Many, including Natan Sharansky mention anti-Semitism. Journalist Daniel Schorr and others tie their professional life with their Judaism; for him being Jewish relates to searching for truth. Novelist Anne Roiphe and others write about how their humanity is colored by their Judaism. Many speak of being Jewish as a matter of choice.

In several essays, the writers present colorful imagery. Editor David Suissa writes of "80 generations of grandmothers and grandfathers, all holding hands," encouraging him to continue their "eternal mission of lighting up the world."

Actor Shia LeBeouf describes Judaism as "the name of the telephone in my heart that allows me to speak to God."

Judea Pearl sees a connection between his son’s story and that of Anne Frank. "Both symbolized the horror of their era, both were writers who inspire people, Jews and non-Jews, to study anti-Semitism and the consequences of fanaticism. The difference is that Anne Frank’s diary was discovered after the Holocaust and Danny’s tragedy is a warning of another Holocaust."

A Friday night service dedicated to the memory of Daniel Pearl will be held Friday, Feb. 27, at 8:15 p.m. at Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd, Encino. Speakers will be Rabbi Harold Schulweis and professor Judea Pearl. For more information, call (818) 788-6000.

‘Living’ in Chitown


From my seat on the stage of the ornate Grand Ballroom at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, I look out from behind a beautiful bouquet of purple and red flowers at the assembling audience of nearly 1,000 people. I study the faces of Shoah survivors, sitting with their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

As I wait for the opening ceremony to begin, I think back to my awakening identity as a daughter of survivors. I grew from a carefree child to a person with a mission. I spent the next 25 years reaching out to other descendants, encouraging them to acknowledge the gifts, not only the burdens, of growing up with survivors.

Two and a half years earlier, Michael Zolno, president of a descendants group in Chicago, telephoned me with a vision: a family-focused, multigenerational gathering — descendants joined by their children and parents. The conference would emphasize small-group discussions, rather than large impersonal lectures. Soon, he said, the opportunity for three generations — survivors, their children and grandchildren — to meet, would pass. Could we make it happen? I immediately agreed to try. Descendants of the Shoah, a global organization I had co-founded, would be a sponsor. Chicago 2002: Living the Legacy sprang to life, and the journey that led me to this stage began.

From my position near the podium, I hear babies babbling amid the soft hum of chattering adults. The fourth generation is here. The program opens. Lisa Lipkin, a storyteller from New York, breaks my reverie with lighthearted comments about growing up with a survivor mother and American father — just like me. She is followed by an inspiring performance of “Will of a Thousand Men,” a piece written by Charlie Lustman, the owner of the Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood, for his survivor father. Gazing out, I see that his heartfelt song has touched each person in the room. I am moved by the realization that survivors, their children — and especially their grandchildren — are sharing the intensity of this moment together.

My thoughts turn to my speech. My job is to close this program and send everyone off with a positive understanding about why we are here — to welcome the third generation as our partners in carrying on our legacy.

I hear my name and step up to the podium. “The good news is that I am the last speaker. But before I send you off, I want to take a minute to talk to you about the three generations who are here.”

My eyes come to rest on my two tall, handsome teenage sons, Michael and Ethan, sitting together. As I speak, my heart is filled with joy. They are here, third-generation participants in this incredible gathering, witnessing for the first time what I love to do best.

The next three days are a blur of sessions, workshops, meeting old friends, making new ones. In a packed room, survivors’ sons and grandsons share experiences in “Standing on the Shoulders of the Men Who Came Before Us.” Mother-daughter teams stay behind after the conclusion of a session on their relationships, engaged in first time ever, meaningful conversations. Three generations participate in storytelling together. A feeling of satisfaction washes over me as I see the dynamic interaction among people of different ages.

At the last minute, I agreed to co-facilitate a multigenerational workshop on intermarriage. Entering the room, I am shocked to see all of the seats filled. What was planned to be a small group had expanded to 40 people, mostly second and third generation with a few survivors. One young woman states that her second-generation mother is living her unfilled life through her. I am immediately taken back 20 years when I said the same thing about my mother. It’s devastating to think that our children have experienced the same mishegoss with us as we did with our parents.

Throughout the conference, I sit among activists discussing creation of a structure for Descendants of the Shoah as an international congress. My excitement grows with this new energy for addressing our goals of mobilizing descendants worldwide, promoting Jewish continuity, and acting on threats to Jewish survival — carrying on our heritage.

On the morning of the third day, it is time to pass on the legacy. Rabbi Holly Cohen, the granddaughter of survivors, calls all grandchildren to the stage to read the descendants legacy pledge. More than 20 young people ages 8-32, fill the stage. Together they recite, “I am proud of the strength and courage of my ancestors. I am a descendant of the Shoah. I am here to remember and continue the legacy.” Tears flow as we realize that our legacy is being brought forward into the future.


Darlene Basch co-founded Descendants of the Shoah in 1997. For more information, visit

A Small School With Big Plans


On a recent Thursday afternoon at the New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) in West Hills, 20 students fill the biology lab to hear a guest speaker discuss cryogenics. Next door, another 14 teenagers sit in a semicircle as their English teacher describes their next chapter in Homer’s "The Odyssey." Down the hall, four students in the beginning Hebrew classes learned the Hebrew names for other languages.

In other words, NCJHS — or "New Jew," as the students call it — is pretty much like any other high school, only on a much smaller scale.

Located at the Bernard Milken Jewish Community Campus in West Hills, NCJHS opened its first year with 40 students, offering a curriculum split 30/70 between Jewish and secular studies — with an integration between the two.

During the school’s grand opening ceremony on Sept. 17, Head of School Bruce Powell outlined NCJHS’ mission: to be a place "where students take advanced placement kindness, where science and math are the grand tools in tikkun olam … and where the precious legacy that resides in the souls of our children is nurtured, one mind at a time."

A respected educator in the Los Angeles Jewish community, Powell’s holistic approach can be seen in everything from the curriculum to the weekly schedule. For example, the school has a kehillah where students and teachers gather after lunch several days each week for 40 minutes of Jewish song or Israeli dancing.

"Judaism, when given to students only through text and history, can become very dry," Powell said. "You need both the cognitive and the affective, the intellectual and the spiritual."

Spiritually speaking, NCJHS bills itself as non-denominatinal. While over the last decade much of the Jewish community has been moving both to the left and the right, creators of NCJHS hope it will fill a middle ground between the more traditional Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles and the Reform-leaning Milken Community High School of Stephen S. Wise Temple in Bel Air.

The process began three years ago, when a group of Los Angeles parents and community leaders decided they needed an option between the Orthodox and Reform schools. They joined a group of parents whose children were attending Abraham Heschel Day School in Northridge, who were interested in starting a high school. The two parties merged to form the initial board of directors for what would become NCJHS.

Schools feeding into the new high school include Kadima Hebrew Academy in Woodland Hills; Heschel Day School in Northridge and its Agoura sibling, Heschel West; plus three synagogue day schools: Valley Beth Shalom, Adat Ari El and Temple Beth Hillel.

The mix makes for some interesting arrangements. In order to accommodate students from many different schools, a flexible schedule was key, said Rabbi David Vorspan, the NCJHS Jewish studies director and official rabbi-in-residence.

It also makes for a varied student body. "We have kids who have been home-schooled; we have kids who come from public school programs," Vorspan said. "We have kids who did not know an alef from a bet when they came in, and kids who were involved in heavy text study when they were in day school. So we have had to create a program that could meet everybody’s needs."

The NCJHS offers three levels of Hebrew, from basic to advanced, and several tiers of other academic classes such as English and math. There are also innovative electives, like American Sign Language (made possible by a donation from Shirley and Aaron Kotler in memory of deaf relatives), computer science and art classes that take advantage of the Milken’s gallery.

Like any Jewish private school, the cost of Jewish education at NCJHS does not come cheap. Tuition for the 2002-2003 school year is $17,500 — not including the application fee, textbooks and other costs such as school trips that can add another $1,825 or more. Financial assistance is available, and there is a nice perk: once enrolled, students and their entire families automatically become members of the West Valley Jewish Community Center.

In addition, the students get to use the 10,000-square-foot gym and a swimming pool on the $4.5 million Ferne Milken Sports and Youth Complex which opened in 1999.

Although only enrolled for a few weeks, on this hot Thursday afternoon, the students seem comfortable in their new and somewhat quirky environment, where one is as likely — while going from one class to another — to encounter a group of tots from the JCC’s preschool as to run into a fellow student. Elan Feldman, 15, of Woodland Hills was at Heschel for four years and chose the New Community Jewish High School after looking over the descriptions of the teachers and classes.

"My parents said I could go pretty much anywhere I wanted to go as long as I could get good grades," he says. "Dr. Powell was at Milken and my brother went there and it was good. I liked the idea of starting a new school. I want to start something new, be a pioneer."

Feldman says that going to a small school is both challenging and interesting. "It’s nice that I know most of the people that are going here," he says. "It is kind of small and I might like a bigger environment, but the people are so great it makes up for it."

Talya Vogel, 14, comes to NCJHS from Kadima, which she attended since kindergarten. Like Feldman, she chose the school over nearby academic decathlon-winning El Camino Real High School.

"I preferred to come here," she says. "I think the people you meet influence who you are and I would rather be with people more like me. The classes are great, the teachers are great and the faculty makes the school."

Vogel says that some of her friends are considering switching back to public school after this first year. "They just came here to experiment with it. Some of them might go to El Camino or even switch to Milken, just because they are bigger schools. But, I think this is exciting. We are what will start everything, what will be remembered."

As for the future, Powell and the board are in the process of looking for a site on which to build the school when it outgrows the current facility — although the intention is to keep NCJHS a small and user-friendly school.

"I would like to see the school be 100 students per grade," Powell told The Journal. "I believe that is the ideal size for a high school. A lot of research has been done now on high schools showing schools of 250 to 400 are optimum. They are able to offer the programs that are necessary yet maintain the smallness so no child is missed."

A Woman’s Voice


Since 1987, Bill Rosendahl has been airing significant public affairs programs on Adelphia cable.

This week he told me he rarely sends cameras out in the community for tapings. Adelphia is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Rosendahl’s former bosses back East are under indictment for various forms of corporate fraud. The situation has left the broadcaster facing an uncertain future and Rosendahl challenged for cameraman cash.

The issue came up at a media roundtable discussion at the Islamic Center of Southern California in which Rosendahl and I took part Tuesday morning. About two dozen mostly young, articulate local Muslim Americans voiced their frustration with media outlets that they feel refuse to present stories that reflect moderate Islamic voices. As if to help them make their point, a local CBS-TV cameraman did show up, but turned off his equipment halfway through, then left.

Rosendahl said he would have wanted to tape the discussion and air it, but he simply must be frugal with what resources he has. In years past, Rosendahl has tirelessly provided coverage of local news and, through shows like “God Squad,” “Local Talk,” “Beyond the Beltway” and “Orange County Perspective,” a rare broadcasting platform for a wide variety of community voices. These programs reach some 2 million homes.

Now, while teams of local commercial news crews spend hours covering every Winona Ryder court date, Rosendahl is hoping to find a few good Angelenos willing to sponsor programs to help create an informed citizenry.

The problem with Adelphia may only be a few bad apples. But the deeper problem with our broadcast media stems from a combination of the aftereffects of Reagan-era deregulation and the subsequent abandonment of any meaningful public programming requirement. The even deeper problem, of course, may be our own: we demand so little of those who profit from public airwaves, and we get what we ask for.

Thinking about such things takes on deeper poignancy this week with the passing of two people who were committed, absolutely committed, toward serving their community.

One was Ira Yellin, a visionary who sought to revitalize downtown Los Angeles and, through development and philanthropy, more than fulfilled what he he once told me was his sense of “an obligation to give back” (see obituaries page 56).

The other, of course, was Marlene Adler Marks, our senior columnist who passed away on Sept. 5.

In her weekly column for this paper — which she started writing in 1987 — Marlene dissected local politics and local politicians with insight, wit and a sense of high moral purpose. Any line you draw from I.F. Stone and Murray Kempton to national columnists like Molly Ivins and Maureen Dowd to local columnists like Patt Morrison and Steve Lopez would have to pass through the collected works of Marlene Adler Marks.

Her column became part of this paper’s identity and its import, though I always thought it was misnamed. “A Woman’s Voice” seemed too limiting for words that often spoke to and for so many of us.

Marlene was not only a superlative writer. She was a loyal, challenging friend, a mentor to many of us here at the paper, a deeply loving mother.

She brought all her many qualities to bear in her fight against cancer, and her columns about that struggle are a legacy in themselves.

Marlene’s funeral reflected her life: hundreds of friends and admirers, important politicians, more than a minyan of rabbis — from a man in a black hat to a woman in Anne Taylor — and plenty of laughter interspersed with the tears. It was a big, fat Jewish funeral and she would have loved it.

Shortly after the funeral, KCRW’s “Which Way L.A.” host Warren Olney asked me how The Journal would find a replacement for Marlene, if such a thing were possible. To replace her as a person is impossible.

But one way to perpetuate her legacy is to ensure thatjournalists like Rosendahl are able to meet the challenges of providing truelocal news coverage. Ask him how you can help at bill.rosendahl@adelphia.com . I’m certain Marlene would want a column dedicated to her to at least score some points for the kind of journalism she so admired.

Another way we can honor her legacy is to nurture the next generation of civic journalists. The Journal will shortly announce plans for an annual award in memory of Marlene Adler Marks. The award will go to a person whose writing presents critical civic issues with an informed and passionate voice. Los Angeles desperately needs such voices, for we have just lost a dear one.

Fighting Hate ‘Under Danny’s Banner’


Professor Judea Pearl, an internationally recognized authority on machine intelligence, has discovered a great deal about human emotion — both private and public — since his son, journalist Daniel Pearl, was murdered by Islamic extremists in Pakistan eight months ago.

He, his wife and two daughters have tried to draw a line, not always successfully, between their insistence on a modicum of privacy and their desire to perpetuate Daniel Pearl’s legacy throughout the world.

They have been deeply touched by the thousands of individuals, from President Bush to ordinary Pakistanis, who have expressed their sympathy, and have been deeply offended by those in the media who, they feel, have exploited the tragedy for a string of kitschy interviews and stories.

Now, some three weeks after finally burying their son, Judea and Ruth Pearl are full of plans and projects to transmute their private grief into public good. To reach that point, they have had to pass through three stages.

"At first, the mind can’t cope with the finality of death," the father said. "Then the mind refuses to accept the senselessness of the act and tries to derive something positive from it. Finally, you realize that there is an opportunity to fight, under Danny’s banner, against the very hatred that caused his death."

The primary vehicle for this purpose is the Daniel Pearl Foundation (www.danielpearl.com), whose broad aim is to address the root causes of his murder by promoting, through his example, "cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music and innovative communication."

An indicator of the foundation’s international breadth is the composition of its board of trustees, which includes former President Bill Clinton and Elie Wiesel, Pakistani social welfare pioneer Abdul Sattar Edhi and Sari Nusseibeh, president of the Palestinian Al-Quds University.

One of the foundation’s current top projects is an international music day on Oct. 10, which would have marked the 39th birthday of The Wall Street Journal reporter. Cities and musical groups throughout the world will dedicate performances reflecting Daniel Pearl’s own eclectic love of music, ranging from classical and jazz to folk music and bluegrass.

The kickoff for this global concert will start Sunday, Oct. 6, in Encino, with a music festival sponsored by the California Traditional Music Society. A bluegrass concert for the foundation is set on Nov. 16 in Boston. Performers will include musicians from two of the bands in which Pearl played the violin, mandolin or guitar, such as The Clamp and The Ottoman Empire.

A major fundraising concert will be held Dec. 5 in UCLA’s Royce Hall, with pianist Yefim Bronfman as soloist. As part of the event, excerpts from Daniel’s travel diaries and writings will be read.

Judea Pearl will travel to East Brunswick, N.J., on Oct. 20 to help dedicate Congregation B’nai Shalom’s Educational Center, which will bear Daniel’s name.

Among many other tributes, the Los Angeles Press Club and the South Asia Journalists Association have established annual awards to honor Pearl’s example of professional courage and integrity.

New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman will deliver the first Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture on Sept. 26 at the UCLA Faculty Center.

An innovative project in "hate reduction," conceived by Daniel’s sisters, Michelle and Tamara, would allow a foreign student — perhaps a Pakistani or Palestinian — to retrace the steps in Daniel’s college and journalistic careers.

In chronological order, the selected candidate would study at Stanford University’s communications department, then work in Massachusetts at the North Adams Transcript and Berkshire Eagle, followed by the San Francisco Business Times and finally, The Wall Street Journal.

Also under consideration is a partnership with an organization named YouthNoise, visualized as an Internet dialogue among teenagers focusing on the world’s flashpoints, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Anti-Defamation League has offered to assist in similar programs to reduce hatred and prejudice.

Some of the best of Pearl’s own writings have been collected in the book, "At Home in the World," published by The Wall Street Journal and Simon & Schuster (see story on next page).

The Pearl family appreciates the recognition bestowed by journalistic colleagues and praises the media’s self-restraint in not revealing their Israeli roots, while there was still hope that Daniel’s life might be spared. At the same time, the Pearls, perhaps naïve about press priorities and mechanisms, express some bitterness about many of their media encounters.

In appearances on television and in interviews with reporters, the Pearls had hoped that their own priorities — the work of the foundation and publication of the book — would be featured, or at least included. Instead, Judea and Ruth Pearl said, most of the media has opted for a "sob sister" approach, embodied in the constantly repeated question, "How did you feel when you learned that your son had been murdered?" Judea Pearl cites as major "offenders" the Daily Telegraph of London and the Los Angeles Times.

Among other new skills, Judea Pearl is learning to be a fundraiser on behalf of the foundation.

So far, considering the worldwide attention on the case, efforts to establish a substantial endowment have met with only modest success. In the absence of major donors, some $400,000 has been raised from around 2,000 contributors.

Appraising his own performance in dealing with the new worlds of the media and philanthropy, Pearl said, "I’m not as shy as I used to be, but I’m not very eloquent. I also realize that I have been given a rare chance to speak to the Jewish and global communities."

Beyond the public spotlight, there are the private Ruth and Judea Pearl, both persons of distinctive accomplishment. Ruth Pearl graduated and worked as an electrical engineer and Judea Pearl is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and recently received a prestigious prize from the London School of Economics for his contributions to the philosophy of science. As a 65-year-old professor emeritus in the UCLA computer science department, he directs the Cognitive Systems Laboratory, continues his research, teaches one graduate course a year, and supervises five doctorate students.

When Daniel Pearl was a youngster, he was frequently asked whether he was the son of professor Pearl. Nowadays, the senior Pearl acknowledges, the roles are reversed, as strangers wonder whether he is the father of Daniel Pearl.

"I checked Google on the Internet and found 4,000 entries for myself," Judea Pearl said. "There were 78,000 entries for Daniel.

Grand Denial


During the lamest duck days of his presidency, Bill Clinton hustled to cobble together a series of under-the-wire executive orders and pardons, but he was unable to secure The Grand Prize: a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Though he continued to preach piously to Israelis and Palestinians about the need to make tough sacrifices, Clinton harbored no illusions about his chance for success. Nevertheless, he’d always been a risk-taker, and wouldn’t it have been nice to leave behind a legacy headlined by something other than Monica? A Nobel Peace Prize wouldn’t have been too shabby, either.

Ironically, Clinton entered office with no intention of getting involved in that foreign policy black hole known as Mideast negotiations. Several years ago, a source close to the president informed me that Clinton had been defending Israel staunchly against those who demanded that the Jewish state make large-scale concessions, only to have Yitzhak Rabin enter covert talks with the Arabs and concede far more than Clinton had deemed reasonable. Initially angry with Rabin, but ever the adroit politician, Clinton jumped on the peace-talk bandwagon and attempted to maneuver his way into the driver’s seat.

Rabin’s protégé, Ehud Barak, offered to relinquish even more territory and power to the Palestinians than any Western diplomat — or Rabin — would have believed feasible. And Barak continues to give ground despite receiving nothing in return, agreeing to “marathon” talks in Taba because he’s struggling to salvage a political career brought down by staggering ineptitude.

And the third player in this Levantine chess game?

Yasser Arafat, ever adroit, directs his minions to violence as he digs his heels in and demands more. And gets it. The Palestinian leader is at the top of his game. Barak and his supporters in the Israeli left are in severe denial.

Working as a psychologist, I learned about the curative value of denial. Sometimes, you just need to put on blinders in order to go on. In a sense, our very existence is a grand denial. Death is inevitable, but constant awareness of that certainty and the resultant crushing anxiety would make life unbearable. So we turn away from dark truism and live out our days in joyful delusion.

But despite its protective value, denial can be dangerous, even fatal: The alcoholic who convinces himself that one more wee nip can’t hurt as he gets behind the wheel of his car is courting disaster. So is the chain smoker who shuts his eyes to dark spots on x-rays, or the victim of domestic violence who keeps excusing the punch in the eye as an aberrant fit of hubby’s bad temper.

Denial practiced in the political sphere often leads to doom of monstrous proportions. Hitler spelled out his intentions in “Mein Kampf” years before taking power. Joseph Stalin wasn’t the least bit coy about his plans for world domination. Yet attempts were made to appease both dictators, and the result was unprecedented global horror.

Until recently, dysfunctional denial on a national scale has operated for some time in the collective consciousness of a large segment of the Israeli people. The initial concepts of peace promulgated by Rabin were grounded firmly in reciprocity, but once the Israeli left gained ascendancy, any Israeli who tried to talk about reciprocity or demanded that Arafat make good on any of his promises was denigrated as an enemy of peace. But after witnessing the Ramallah lynching, the destruction of Joseph’s Tomb and the torching of the oldest Jewish synagogue in the world, the mosaic-floored beauty in Jericho, as well as the rest of the nonstop violence orchestrated by the Palestinian Authority, Israeli public opinion has finally shifted away from grand delusion and has embraced realpolitik.

Will the conversion endure?

Arafat is banking on the fact that it won’t as he continues to demur diplomatically while sanctioning murder. But despite his history as a terrorist and a despot, on one level Arafat is an honest man. Arafat has made no bones about his intentions: the total dissolution of the Jewish state and its replacement with yet another Arab-dominated Mideast dictatorship. During his contacts with American and European opinion-makers, Arafat has claimed to desire nothing more than democratic self-determination for the Palestinian people.

A prime example is his recent “60 Minutes” interview with Mike Wallace, during which Wallace abandoned his usual pit-bull interviewing style, and, in a rather bizarre change of persona, sat back as Arafat pontificated righteously. However, when Arafat’s reign has been anything but democratic and when he and his representatives communicate to their own people in Arabic, the message is anything but peace-loving.

To wit: Palestinian Authority Minister of Planning Nabil Sha’ath’s Oct. 7 interview with the Arabic television channel, ANN: “The Palestinian people never ceased during seven years of negotiating from bursting out into intifadas against Israel and from saying its words in ways different from the way of the negotiating table.”

Or this, from Hassan Al-Kashef, director-general of the P.A. Information Ministry, in a daily Al Ayyam newspaper column last October: “The only way to impose our conditions is inevitably through our blood.”

And consider this sermon from Ahmad Abu Halabiya, member of the P.A.-appointed Fatwa Council and former acting rector of the Islamic University in Gaza, broadcast live on P.A. television: “Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them. … We will not give up a single grain of soil of Palestine, from Haifa and Jaffa and Acre.”

Halabiya and other Palestinian leaders talk about Jews, not Israelis, because this is a religious, not an ideological war, and when militant Muslim expansionists rail against America as “the great Satan,” they are referring to Christianity.
Perhaps most chilling is the P.A.’s exploitation of children as front-line warriors. Recently, I viewed a taped segment of the P.A.’s version of “Sesame Street,” in which an adorable Arab boy of 7 or 8 stood up and declared himself ready and eager to die as a martyr in the holy war against the Jews. Both the Disney characters standing in the background and the child’s teacher applauded enthusiastically. Bert and Ernie this wasn’t.

The real reason Arafat won’t accede to Barak’s offers is that he wants nothing less than the whole pie.

Clinton and Madeleine Albright — she of a lifetime of “forgotten” Jewish identity — couldn’t have cared less about any of this: They craved Rose Garden ceremonies and — that obnoxious pop-psych fiction — “closure.” If Israel had been destroyed in the process — ho hum, let’s move on to the next foreign policy challenge.

But Barak and his supporters should know better, and though aware intellectually of the P.A.’s true intentions, they have remained cut off emotionally, to a mind-boggling extent. This has allowed Arafat to renege on every single promise he made at Oslo and yet be rewarded with rising prestige in the Arab world, more generous concessions from Israel, and rising advocacy in Europe and the United States. More than any other president, Clinton legitimized Arafat. During the final months of his presidency, Clinton underwent a grotesque morph from Friend of the Jews to Palestinian Surrogate.
The fruits of the post-Oslo era are tragic and painful: As a result of the Oslo accord, hundreds of former Palestinian terrorists newly appointed as P.A. police were armed by the Israeli army. Now, those same guns are being used to shoot Israeli soldiers and civilians. Palestinian hatred for Jews is evident; the P.A. does nothing to hide it. Yet the Israeli left denies. If Barak and his aides were a person, that person would belong on the therapist’s couch.

Rabin typically brushed off questions about Arafat’s intentions with the oft-quoted, “You don’t make peace with your friends. You make peace with your enemy.” That pronouncement has acquired a sacred gloss, but Rabin’s logic was highly flawed. The truth is you can only make peace with an enemy who has decided to stop being your enemy, and nothing in the P.A.’s rhetoric or deeds lends support for that attitude shift. On the contrary, the years that have lapsed since the advent of Oslo have witnessed a hardening of Palestinian attitude, to the point where Arabic-language newspapers habitually engage in Holocaust denial, publish rabidly anti-Semitic cartoons reminiscent of the Third Reich’s Der Starmer, and resurrect medieval blood libels against the Jews.

And yet it took the bloody hands of a lyncher and months of car bombings, snipings and stabbings to finally turn around Israeli public opinion. Why was Arafat’s very explicit message ignored? Perhaps because resurrecting memories of the Holocaust and its burning message of genocidal hatred are as intolerable to the psyche as the inevitability of death.

Living with the constant reality that your neighbors want nothing other than to destroy you is excruciatingly painful. Israelis are weary of war and of being viewed as brutal occupiers, and, notwithstanding 50 years of oil-state-financed propaganda to the contrary, the Israeli people are peace-loving, wanting nothing more than to live out their lives on a few square miles of ancestral Jewish homeland.

When faced with cold facts, the ideologues of the Israeli left retort with: What’s the alternative?

There are no easy solutions to a centuries-old religious war, but one wise alternative to the current debacle would be a gradual process contingent upon the demonstration of good will on both sides and predicated upon strict adherence to clearly enunciated criteria.

More important, peace in the region will never be accomplished unless the Palestinians learn how to function democratically. Neither Israel nor the world needs yet another Arab dictatorship.

All this adds up to a torturous process. However, failure to recognize the true intentions of Israel’s enemy can result only in the attrition and eventual death of the State of Israel. No one else may care, but Israelis — and Jews the world over — should.

If history has taught us anything, it is that denial is often the last meal of wanton optimists.

Jonathan Kellerman is the author of 16 novels and five nonfiction books. His latest novel is “Dr. Death” (Random House). He is clinical professor of pediatrics at USC School of Medicine and clinical professor of psychology at USC’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Jack Skirball Film Screenings


Twelve years after Jack Skirball’s death, at age 89, his legacyappears, at times, omnipresent.

There is, of course, the thriving Skirball Cultural Center in theSepulveda Pass. And the American Jewish Committee’s SkirballInstitute on American Values. And the Skirball ArchaeologicalBuilding and Skirball Museum on the Hebrew Union College campus inJerusalem. And the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at NewYork University.

There is also the Skirball Film Archive Fund at UCLA.

On Aug. 27, UCLA will present its second annual tribute to JackSkirball and his widow, Audrey Skirball-Kenis, who has continued andexpanded his legacy, particularly in the theatrical world.

Appropriately, the evening’s screening will be drawn from amongthe films produced by Skirball in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Theyinclude “Miracle on Main Street,” “It’s in the Bag,” “Payment onDemand,” and, most notably, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Shadow of a Doubt”and “Saboteur.”

Jack Skirball was, at one time or another, and sometimesconcurrently, a congregational rabbi, a motion picture pioneer whosold one- and two-reelers in the late 1910s as a college student, andan astute real estate developer.

He built the Vacation Village family resort in San Diego and soldit at a handsome profit. He became one of Hollywood’s firstindependent producers and won three Oscars for his short subjects.

He took a fling at Broadway, producing “Jacobowsky and theColonel” in 1944. It took such a long time to pull the play togetherthat one wag suggested retitling it “Jacobowsky and the General.”

The Aug. 27 presentation will be “Saboteur,” filmed in 1942, and,according to The Movie Guide encyclopedia, “as polished andsuspenseful as any the great director would make.” It stars RobertCummings, Priscilla Lane, Otto Kruger and Alan Baxter. Screenwritersinclude Peter Viertel and Dorothy Parker.

Admission is free, but seating will be on a first-come,first-serve basis. Doors open one hour before the screening.

“Saboteur” starts at 7:30 p.m. at the James Bridges Theater(formerly the Melnitz Theater) on the UCLA campus. For information,call (310) 206-FILM or (310) 206-8013.

Go to The Jewish Journal’s 7 Days in theArts

The Third Generation


As the son of Holocaust survivors, Adi Liberman grew up, as many second-generation children did, with a sense of profound loss. He knew that he had no grandparents, that his mother, a hidden child during the war, had lost her parents at age 5, and that his father’s father died before the war and his father’s mother in Auschwitz.

Now, as he watches his 27-month-old daughter, Hannah, growing up, Liberman wrestles with a mix of emotions about his own upbringing and about the legacy he wants to pass on to his child.

Above, Adi Liberman; at left, Dr. Aaron Hass

“A lot of us in the second generation criticize our parents because they can’t separate enough, for wanting to live their childhood through us. And here we have these children, and the children have these grandparents we never had,” Liberman said. Now, he said, he has a new appreciation of what his parents went through in their search for vicarious pleasure.

“I see how much my daughter enjoys the relationship [with her grandparents], and I want to be the grandchild too. I want to have the relationship with my parents that my daughter is having with them and that I never had with my own grandparents,” said Liberman, chief of staff to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter and an executive-board member of Second Generation, a group that meets regularly at the Jewish Federation Building in Los Angeles.

Liberman, like other children of survivors who themselves have become parents, has had to come to terms with how, what and when to pass on his legacy to his children, the third generation. Although much has been written, and is being written, about survivors and their children, little, so far, has been said about this new generation of survivors’ descendants, many of whom are still very young.

While still grappling with the overwhelming impact that his parents’ experiences have had on his own life, Liberman, nevertheless, wants his daughter to know, from an early age, about the Holocaust and how it has impacted her life.

“I think it would be just shocking to one day tell our child at age 8 or 10, ‘Here are all the horrible, grisly things that happened, that are part of your past.’ I would rather her confront it at an earlier age.”

Part of his desire, Liberman admitted, comes out of his own need to have his daughter relate to his own difficult experience growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust.

“It definitely, totally colored who I am,” he said. “I want her to absorb it in such a way that she feels it as coming from within her. Part of it is, I feel, how can she understand me, my brother, my sister, my parents, my family without being able to understand this?”

On the other hand, Liberman wonders if, by passing on this legacy, he is perhaps placing too heavy a burden on his daughter — the same weight of memory his parents passed on to him.

“Why should my children feel this?” he said. “Maybe I should give them a break and let them break free of this cycle.”

The answers to these questions, of course, are anything but easy and certainly not uniform. Just as sons and daughters of Holocaust survivors were affected differently by their parents’ experiences during the war, the experiences of the third generation will be even more varied, suggests Dr. Aaron Hass, the author of two highly acclaimed books on the Shoah’s legacy, “In the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Second Generation” and “The Aftermath: Living With the Holocaust.” Hass, a professor of psychology at Cal State Dominguez Hills and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, is himself the child of Holocaust survivors and the parent of three young children. Hass, who has lectured widely on the Holocaust, says that he is often asked about the right time to start speaking to children about the subject.

“My response is one that I follow in my own home: It’s not age so much that matters as the temperament of the child. If you have a child who is frightened, then that needs to be taken into consideration.” Personally, Hass says, he is careful when talking to his children, ages 12, 8 and 5, making sure not to engender the kind of fear that so haunted many members of the second generation. At the seder table last month, he made general references to the Holocaust and talked about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which began on Pesach 1943.

“There is a difference between that and sitting your child down and saying, ‘I want you to watch this movie with me. I want you to know about this,'” Hass said.

For Dan Rothblatt, director of resource development for the American Jewish Committee, the legacy that he learned as the son of survivors is one that he plans to pass on carefully to his daughter, who is almost 6. Although his daughter has fond memories of baking cookies at age 3 with her great-grandmother, whose cooking skills helped her survive a Viennese prison during the war, Rothblatt still believes that the Holocaust is “too complicated an issue” for such a young child.

Also active in Second Generation, he says that many of the members, now parents, are wrestling with the issue of translating the message of the Holocaust to a third generation. Although some Jews have relied on institutions, such as the Jewish Federation Council’s Martyrs Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust and the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, to do the telling for them, that isn’t enough for members of the second generation, for whom the Holocaust is totally personal, Rothblatt said. “It’s the story of the blood that runs in our veins and the people who bore us. It’s not like some biblical tale — they killed our families. That’s about as real as anything can be.”

Rothblatt and his wife always light candles in their home during Yom HaShoah as both a personal remembrance and a reminder of the 6 million Jews who were murdered. But they decided not to bring their daughter to Holocaust Remembrance Day services this year.

“She is still worrying about a shark coming up through the bathroom drain,” Rothblatt said. “To put in her mind that there were once armies of people out to get her, me and everyone Jewish is too terrifying a thing.”

Jeremy Kingston Cynamon, the 3-year-old child of two second-generation parents, has been learning about the Holocaust almost since birth. At just 3 months, he sat in his mother’s arms as Marilyn Kingston gave a speech at a Yom HaShoah service at University Synagogue. Since then, Kingston and her husband, Harry Cynamon, have taken their son to other Holocaust Remembrance events, the Holocaust Museum in Washington and to Israel to meet the artist who made a special Holocaust memorial plaque for her in-laws’ temple in Florida.

“I know he doesn’t understand everything, but I feel it’s important for him to be there, whatever he absorbs,” Kingston said. “I don’t want my son learning about [the Holocaust] late in life. I want him to know it from his parents and grandparents. I think knowledge is really your only defense against oppression, against genocide.”

Growing up in what she describes as a happy home, with “extremely lovely, insightful parents” and a grandmother who early on told her and her brother about the family’s war experiences, has given Kingston a model for passing the knowledge of a painful past onto her own son without traumatizing him, she said.

Jeremy “will always be different than his American peers,” just by virtue of having four grandparents who are survivors, Kingston said. “I certainly was different, and so was my husband. The effect will be less dramatic for [Jeremy]…[but] he will know that most of his family was killed, and he will be affected by that in a way that others won’t.”