resources
Thursday, April 7, 2011 | return to: lifecycles


Share
 

Survivor William J. Lowenberg remembered for Jewish community leadership

by dan pine, staff writer

Follow j. on   and 

William J. Lowenberg liked a good fight. Whether arguing his brand of conservative politics or doing right by the Bay Area Jewish community he loved, Lowenberg was always ready to stand up for what he believed in.

A towering figure in business, politics, Jewish communal activism and Holocaust remembrance, Lowenberg died in his sleep at his San Francisco home April 2. He was 84.

The tattoo on his forearm indicated his status as a Holocaust survivor. Imprisoned as a teen at seven concentration camps, including Dachau and Auschwitz-Birkenau, he was the sole survivor of his immediate family. Making his way to the United States, he became the ultimate American success story.

That included founding the Lowenberg Corporation, a San Francisco company that made him a major force in industrial real estate. It also included decades of involvement with major Jewish organizations, serving as a board member or officer with local agencies such as the Jewish Home and the Bureau of Jewish Education, and international organizations such as the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

"Bill, in the most graphic way, represented our Jewish history, both the horror and the tenacity," said Rabbi Brian Lurie, whose tenure as executive director of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation coincided with Lowenberg's federation presidency in the mid-1980s. "He was a living testament: The Nazis lost and we persevered."

The crowning achievement of that perseverance came with Lowenberg's involvement in the early 1980s with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., for which he served as a vice president and council member. He saw the institution through its initial development, construction and triumphant inauguration.

His work on behalf of the museum, Israel and the survivor community came after decades of focus on building his business and raising a family (he had two children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren). Once he began telling his story publicly and toiling on behalf of Holocaust remembrance, he became a leading exponent of the cause.

"Bill told me he would go to Holocaust movies like ‘Schindler's List,'" Lurie recalled, "and people would come out and kiss him. He said he felt like a mezuzah."

His story began Aug. 14, 1926, in the West German town of Ochtrup. He came from a deeply religious family that traced its roots in the region back to the 16th century. Then Hitler came to power, and the family fled to Holland in 1936.

It wasn't far enough away. The German army invaded Holland in May 1940, and two years later the Lowenberg family (which included his parents and a sister) was deported to Westerbork, a Dutch concentration camp. The next year, Lowenberg was separated out and sent on a cattle car east to Poland.

From then until the end of the war, Lowenberg's life was hell. Transported from one death camp to another, he avoided the crematorium because he was young, strong, resourceful and lucky.

After liberation, Lowenberg returned to Holland, but after a few years he made his way to the United States, under the sponsorship of uncles. He arrived in San Francisco in 1949, age 23, ambitious and eager to start a new life. That's when he turned to the local Jewish community for help.

"He knew no one and didn't speak English," said daughter Susan, "and very quickly became part of the fabric of the community. He was embraced here."

Jewish Family Service helped him get work at a real estate company owned by Albert Alberton, who sat on the agency's employment committee. Lowenberg's first job: hanging up "For Lease" and "For Sale" signs.

But he had an aptitude for real estate and business, and began a quick rise at the company.

That rise was interrupted when Lowenberg joined the Army to serve in the Korean War. He was never deployed overseas, but he considered his military service a chance to give back to the country that saved him. In 1954 he returned to the real estate company, shifting his career into high gear.

"It took him 12 to 15 years, and then he became an owner," Susan Lowenberg recalled. "Then he sold the company. He saw the opportunity to buy some buildings, and he started buying industrial real estate."

In 1957, Lowenberg met and married his wife, Fern. Together with their two children, Susan and David, the family formed the core of Lowenberg's life.

"My parents were a team," Susan said. "They had this incredible understanding about their roles. It was a very traditional marriage."

The Lowenberg Realty Company, now called the Lowenberg Corporation, opened its downtown San Francisco doors in 1969. While David went on to become an orthopedic doctor, Susan became fascinated with business at an early age, and was groomed to run the company with her father. She is now the president of the Lowenberg Corporation.

"I fired him a few times," Susan joked. "He came back the next day. He once said he wanted to change the name of the company and I said, ‘How about Lowenberg and Father?' He could laugh at himself. He had a wonderful sense of humor."

As successful as he was in business, so too did he rise to the top in the Jewish communal world. In his autobiography, "For My Family," which he published privately in 1997, Lowenberg wrote, "I feel a deep satisfaction that I have been part of the rebuilding of a Jewish world ... My involvement was a new way of life for me. It gave me a purpose."

That involvement included decisive roles with many agencies on the local, national and international levels. One dear to him was the Jewish Home in San Francisco, for which he served in a variety of lay capacities going back to 1959. He oversaw and spearheaded much of the Home's expansion over the years.

"I wondered if it was because of his parents," Susan Lowenberg said. "What he saw in terms of taking care of those who couldn't take care of themselves. He wasn't able to take care of his own."

He served on the board of governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel, as well as on the board of j. He also was deeply involved with the American Jewish Committee. That connection brought him together with Ernest Weiner, former director of the Northern California region of the American Jewish Committee, who became a close friend.

"He was a great friend of people who were fighting the battle to confront anti-Semitism, anti-Zionist and anti-Israel forces on campus," Weiner said. "There wasn't any clash where Jews were used as a punching bag where he did not stand up and put himself in the middle. He had taken his shots long before that."

Lowenberg's passion for Israel knew no bounds. He visited the country at least 70 times. His daughter remembers her father sitting in High Holy Day services at Congregation Sherith Israel in 1973, just as the Yom Kippur war broke out. "My father was tapped on the shoulder to run out and raise money [for Israel]," she said. "He closed his office and didn't go in for a few weeks, sitting in the federation office dialing for dollars."

Lowenberg served as president of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation for two years, starting in 1983. He was the first Holocaust survivor ever to serve in that post in a big-city federation. Lurie remembers him as a "wonderfully fun, generous guy" who also had his quirks.

"There's no question he was highly opinionated and easily offended," Lurie said. "For a man who faced the horrors he did, to have moments where he had anger or resentment, it was totally understandable."

That pugnacity showed itself in his staunch Republican politics, which were not always easy to maintain in liberal San Francisco.

"My father was a lonely, lonely man," Susan Lowenberg said with a laugh. "He used to refer to me as his biggest disappointment because I was a Democrat. We had to put down an edict that at no family event would we discuss politics."

Lowenberg was a proud member of the Board of Overseers on the conservative Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He was a friend to several Republican presidents and powerbrokers. In 2009, President George W. Bush invited Lowenberg to represent his country at the 65th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It was Lowenberg's first trip to Poland since the war years.

"He was a Republican in a Democratic stronghold," Weiner said. "Taking that kind of position in the political world of the American Jewish community is not an invitation for applause, but it gave him standing. He never shrank from a clash."

Yet Lowenberg had innumerable friends in the community, of all political persuasions.

"I really loved him," said community leader Roselyne Swig. "He was thoughtful, kind and generous, so sensitive to what he could accomplish and the role he could play. It amazed me that an individual who went through so much, came back and created such a meaningful life for himself, his family and for the community."

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed Lowenberg to the United States Holocaust Council, which was then beginning work on a major museum in the nation's capital. The project, which came to fruition more than a decade later, was "a crowning achievement," according to his daughter.

Lowenberg continued to work into his 80s, though he had turned the reins of his company over to his daughter years ago. He also relished the company of friends and family, especially up at his Sonoma County second home, where barbecue and good conversation was never in short supply.

"People who knew him at ground level, who saw him operate when the chips were down, knew he was exceptional on every level," Wiener remembered. "He liked to be in situations where he could size people up, and he was rarely off target."

In his autobiography, Lowenberg addressed his remarkable survival of the worst that humanity had to offer. He wrote: "One of the reasons I survived, in addition to luck ... is that I was tenacious. I never gave up."

His daughter noted that Lowenberg often expressed a desire to live a full century. He wanted to wake up on his 100th birthday and say "screw you" to Hitler (though he put it a bit more colorfully than that, according to Susan).

Lowenberg didn't make it to 100 to send his message. But his life was a testament to the indestructible spirit of the Jewish people.

"He was a Jew through and through," said Lurie. "The numbers on his arm went right to his heart."

William Lowenberg is survived by his wife, Fern Lowenberg of San Francisco; son David Lowenberg and daughter Susan Lowenberg of San Francisco; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Contributions to the Holocaust Center at Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco or to the Jewish Home of San Francisco.


Comments

Posted by Ken Kramarz
04/05/2011  at  11:04 PM
ODE TO BILL

ODE TO BILL

Bill Lowenberg force of nature
Lightning bolt, river of love.

Solicited me for Federation gift,
More than I was thinking of.

If Bill was on the phone,
You always took the call.

He wrote a book called “For My Family”
The title said it all.

Shortest speech in history
Just one word:  Zachor

Lunches at the Metropole
No more.

Ken Kramarz

Login to reply to this comment or post your own
Posted by wrircudded
11/25/2013  at  07:47 AM
Плагины CS 1.6

В этой мини-статье Вы узнатете как купить оружие на карте 35hp_2 Покупка оружия на этой карте возможна только в самом первом раунде. Работать и действовать нужно очень быстро. Для того чтобы было удобнее купить оружие, создайте бинд: bind “F4” “deagle;secammo” (в консоле) Теперь после выбора скина игрока сразу нажимайте F4. Так же вместо cs-xgm.ru/load/18
F4 Вы можете поставить любую другую удобную вам кнопку. Важно: На некоторых серверах покупка оружия на данной карте запрещена при помощи специальных плагинов

Login to reply to this comment or post your own
Posted by wrircudded
11/25/2013  at  05:40 PM
Лицензия CS 1.6

Решил написать статью, о том как же запретить заменять фаил GameMenu.res на чей либо другой. Наверное уже многих игроков достало то что, администраторы игровых серверов ставят плагин GameMenu. Этот плагин изменяет основное, главное меню, это удобно для раскрутки игрового сервера CS, для администраторов. Дак вот, в данной статье будет четко опысыватя действия не допущения данной проблемы. Все очень просто. cs-xgm.ru/load/26
И так начнем, заходим по адресу “cstrike/resource” и находим там фаил GameMenu.res. Далее нам нужно запретить замену данного файа. Для этого нам нужно щелкнуть правой кнопкой мыши по этому файлу и нажать “Свойства”, видим Атрибуты:, ну, а справа нам нужно поставить галочку на Только чтение, поставили, нажимаем ОК. Таким образом мы запретили замену данного файла, теперь нам остается только радоваться, радуйтесь.

Login to reply to this comment or post your own
Posted by memun36384
05/27/2014  at  01:25 AM
qphsq

With the money you spend on purchasing one original swish pair of Oakley sunglasses to flaunt, here is what you can do. Instead of limiting yourself to one purchase, you can buy several knock off Oakleys with the same money. Look at the practical benefits here. You can actually strut around with almost one knock off Oakleys a week and impress your friends and your peer. <a >Oakley Sunglasses Discount</a>  Indeed, there are several ways which you can take into consideration when it comes to looking and buying for Oakley Sunglasses wholesale. You only have to see to it to choose sunglasses which are of high-quality and friendly prices. In doing so, selling them to your potential buyers as well as gaining profits from them can be a hassle-free task to do on your part. Whether yours are the most expensive or the cheapest Oakley sunglasses is not the issue. These sunglasses always look great and owning a pair is not only a fashion statement but also a guarantee of a durable and safe product. 
But there still exists a section in the fake Oakleys market, which cater to the extreme bottom rung of the market which sell them so cheap that they are forced to completely compromise on quality. When you step out to buy fake Oakleys, these are the ones you can try and avoid, as they are easy to spot. <a >Discount Oakley Sunglasses</a>  If you like riding your motorcycle or enjoy biking in general, you will really benefit from wearing biking sunglasses. Not only do the biking sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun and make it easier for you to see, but these sunglasses made for cycling or motorcycling also protect you from the wind and bits of dirt and dust that fly around. Sunglasses are no longer a utility, like wristwatches, sunglasses are now looked upon as stylish accessories. But the exceedingly high prices of original ones have been a significant deterrent. Here is where items like the replica Oakleys step into the picture as great market levelers. 
As you may again have guessed, Oakley polarized filters are aligned within 2 degrees from the horizontal plane and are nearly identical left to right. This translates to a reduction of eye strain and brain power to make sense of the images seen in the right and left eyes. Maybe that’s why people often get headaches from wearing those cheap sunglasses. <a >Replica Oakley Sunglasses</a>  Things aren’t very different in the case of Diesel sunglasses. People out there wouldn’t even have imagined that they will ever touch the Diesel sunglasses. The downfall of the global markets and the economic slowdown has made Diesel sunglasses to be sold for very low prices today. As a matter of fact these designer sunglasses manufacturers have released a new collection of very cheap designer sunglasses that every fashion lover out there can afford to buy. With the replica Oakley sunglasses, you not only carry off a fashion statement, but at the same time also ensure that you do not empty your savings account. Fake Oakleys or Foakleys as they are popularly called come in every conceivable range colors and are marked by their own brand of style. Believe it or not, whether it is the cool blue half jacket silver ice or the silver ones, a lot of hard work goes into making them look very real.

Login to reply to this comment or post your own
Posted by memun36384
05/28/2014  at  10:29 AM
kisoj

Cheap Oakley Sunglasses is what everyone in the world wants. A lot of people think it is possible to obtain such Oakley sunnies on the cheap. But let me tell you something, there are lots and lots of websites selling replicas or fake Sunglasses. Some of these dealers are honest and list their Oakley Sunglasses as fakes and others will just plain rip you off. So how can you avoid these people who want to sell you their cheap overpriced goods? Here are some points to take note: <a >Oakley Sunglasses Discount</a>  Radar has been engineered keeping in mind the needs of world class athletes. The model has interchangeable lenses that aid the athlete in improving vision in almost all terrains. The sunglass comes with a Hydrophobic lens coating which is unique only to Oakley eyewear. This lens technology helps in clearing the vision by preventing water build-up and steering oil, debris and contaminants away. These are just some of the many great Oakley sunglasses men and women can wear. There are many more styles and colors available. Each and every pair is manufactured with the most innovative patented materials available. There are also styles available to suit certain types of face shapes and sizes. It should be easy for you to find a pair that not only looks great, but FEELS great. 
Christopher Schwebius is an entrepreneur who seeks out sharply defined, specifically focused topics to research. Upon finishing his research he provides relevant, un-biased information to his readers based on his discoveries and/or personal experiences. <a >Replica Oakley Sunglasses</a>  Hitting the market with these superb, fashionable glasses Oakley offers more updated and improved varieties that are affordable for all consumers. Pick up a pair of these retro sunglasses as soon as possible, before they once again are gone from sight. Oakley sunglasses are also very popular in mainstream media. Television shows, movie productions, commercials and other forms of media… these have become the domain of Oakleys for the past few decades. 
Should you decide to buy brand new sunglasses, bear in mind to be aware the warranty information and receipt that comes with the items. Without the receipt, you will be ineligible for warranty coverage. It is usually safer to deal with real online stores instead of people if you plan to purchase a brand new pair so the warranty and receipt will probably be securely brought to you. <a >Discount Oakley Sunglasses</a>  There are a variety of Oakley sunglasses available for both men and women, in a range of styles and materials. The sturdy designer goggles come in myriad colors and styles of frame that are made of best quality impact resisting material. Large, almost face covering and lightweight these frames have advanced lenses with anti-fog systems to help protect your eyes better. Designed for both men and women these Goggles are for people with a thirst for adventure.

Login to reply to this comment or post your own
Posted by ftjm12307
05/31/2014  at  02:55 PM
oakley++sunglasses gadfq

Seeing that summer time is coming, it is usually a great notion to get started trying to find modern as well as protective sunglasses for many outdoor activities. Sun shades typically are not destined only to deliver your outfit a more stylish, more attractive look-these are actually a great way that you can defend your view from the harsh rays from the sun. <a >Cheap Oakley Sunglasses</a> But Oakley sunglasses aren’t only popular with people who want protection for their eyes. Oakley sunglasses aren’t only popular for athletes who need protective goggles for their chosen sports. Persons needing shades that are right for practically any activity often choose the Juliet style of frame. They offer comfort, style and quality. The Juliet shades can be purchased in local stores as well as on the internet. With all the opportunities for customization, there is no need to have them sized when making the purchase. Persons that select Oakley Juliet shades are not disappointed when the package arrives at their home. 
If you are so keen on buying knock off Oakleys, you might as well make a good job of it. <a >Fake Oakley Sunglasses</a> These are the factors that enable replica Oakley manufacturers to sell their products at discounts. Their prime concern is to maintain the same look as the original and make profits. There is no guarantee of getting any other of the benefits that the originals provide. Eyewear is one accessory which almost everyone loves. Folks who spend most of their time outdoors can be seen wearing Polarized Sunglasses to protect their eyes from the glare of the sun. These Polarized Sunglasses are also used abundantly in sports activities as most of the games involve being exposed to sun for elongated period of time. 
With the replica Oakley sunglasses, you not only carry off a fashion statement, but at the same time also ensure that you do not empty your savings account. Fake Oakleys or Foakleys as they are popularly called come in every conceivable range colors and are marked by their own brand of style. Believe it or not, whether it is the cool blue half jacket silver ice or the silver ones, a lot of hard work goes into making them look very real. <a >Oakley Sunglasses Discount</a> Rising inflation combined with the already high prices of designer personal accessories mean that a common middle class person tends to treat a personal accessory like say sunglasses or watches a once in a lifetime buy. In such a scenario, that duplicate, yet immensely practical products like fake Oakleys come into the picture. In respect to cost, one would expect to pay top dollar for a pair of Oakley sunglasses, and would not expect to find a brand new pair of cheap Oakley sunglasses. And yet just like every other product, Oakley must compete, and Oakley product carriers need to move stock, so if you are willing to seek, you can find yourself a pair of cheap Oakley sunglasses.

Login to reply to this comment or post your own
Posted by NatashaSa
08/02/2014  at  10:02 PM
Two disasters Malaysia Airlines identification pithy "risky"

Two disasters more than four months, Malaysia Airlines enter one’s mind tiring to on a prototype in the story of aviation. These two events, Malaysia Airlines labeled “harmful” words, Malaysia Airlines wish be to replacement the spitting image seems to requisite a miracle.

Malaysia Airlines flying MH1717 light of day forward of the explode in eastern Ukraine, but to get rid of the negative strike brought hither the disappearance of flight MH370. Partridge MH370 quieten missing, airline executives behave slower because syyllinen.Lippujen Malaysia Airlines dropped a thousand

Her tranquillize, in the at the outset district of this year showed the worst shelter in two years, the post of the restrain is affected. Earlier this month, Malaysia Airlines came scuttlebutt of a chief restructuring is the initial step, the Malaysian investment comrades Khazanah Nasional Domination intends to privatize horse

Airlines.

Australia Pacific consultancy Oliver Lamb said: “The two things monetary difficulties during the Malaysia Airlines.”

Circadian average of $ 1.6 million loss

After the disintegration in argentina football kit 2014 flight MH17 Malaysia Airlines shares flatten 17.8%. January 1 this year, Malaysia Airlines more than one-third of the cumulative make available value evaporated.

Malaysia Maybank Investment Bank analyst unimpassioned Xin Aziz said: “The aviation industry has not under any condition been more than four months of history ...... airline has sagacious no main accident occurs twice factual know suggests that they can be (negative impact)

. “Aziz said Malaysia Airlines has daily losses of $ 1.6 million,” it is no mind-boggler “wishes,” he said. I can not evaluate of anything they can do to aide themselves. “

Identification Sherwin, president of the Canadian partnership said the domain, danger management categorization in the Harmonious States, “Fortification Suiting someone to a t Fortnightly (blog, Excitement)” Reporter: “If a coterie, firstly in times of crisis is coming, can not sustain that they be dressed to learn and be masterful to

Apropos measures,argentina football kit 2014 another moment, the brand will be a deadly blow. “

Associated Swarm breakdown that questioned the HKMA has to understand why some companies for everyone the risk zone to like, because he continues to choose the avenue through eastern Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines passengers are terrified to climb

Take a brand of low-cost flavour tourism is booming in Asia, numberless travelers, reducing the attractiveness of Malaysia Airlines.Associated reports on the latest events, tourists case Asia, most people bear heard of Malaysia Airlines MH370 is appropriate

Missing.

After that, the aircraft MH370 misspent contact, present recognized experience “short-term consumer behavior” in the best part of travelers obtain canceled existing ticket booking. At the same heyday, long-distance tally booking, more people be prone to short-haul flights.

Australian students in an vetting at Incheon Universal Airport, said he was on board Malaysia Airlines flights, said the mending “is.” But things being what they are MAS pick bare hesitant. “Rogers said his also pen-friend Daines,

Tickets are cheap, it does not settle upon Malaysia Airlines, “I do not recollect if my mom to let me seating for down.”

MH17 flight was also overwhelmed us Malaysians unhappy. 48 years antediluvian, is scan slag Oolitic Muhammad boss said: “I was surprised, at gold medal I could not catch on to the unreal ......”

Login to reply to this comment or post your own



Leave a Comment

In order to post a comment, you must first log in.
Are you looking for user registration? Or have you forgotten your password?



Auto-login on future visits