Stacey Ross, Berkeley filmmaker, dies at 58

Filmmaker and editor Stacey Ross had been hard at work on a new documentary, “But is Your Mother Jewish,” an exploration of Jewish life in Israel. Sadly, she will not have a chance to finish the film. Ross, 58, died Feb. 15.

The New York-born Ross was a champion of progressive causes, both in and out of the Jewish community. Over the years she spent time in Israel and Mexico, working with underprivileged families.

A graduate of Portland State University, Ross made her debut as a filmmaker with a documentary on Northwest Native Americans and their tradition of salmon fishing. “Doing Justice: The Life and Trials of Arthur Kinoy,” the story of the renowned civil rights attorney, is also on her resume.

The East Bay resident had offices at Berkeley’s Saul Zaentz Media Center.

She moved to the Bay Area in the early 1980s to work with Guatemalan refugees, and her fluency in Spanish helped her make inroads. She went on to serve as a Spanish language translator at UCSF, and translated books.

In the Jewish community, she championed such organizations as Brit Tzedek V’Shalom and Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, two organizations devoted to dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

Stacey Ross is survived by her mother, Naomi Sklar of Israel; her father, Edgar Ross of Sausalito; and a half-brother, Michael Ross of Southern California. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam,; and Brit Tzedek v’Shalom,

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is J.'s news editor. He can be reached at