Deaths

Evelyn Elson died peacefully and without discomfort on January 11, 2010 in her Berkeley home, where she had resided for over 45 years. In the days before her death from lung cancer, she was in the company of her immediate family and many friends. Evelyn was born on July 18, 1924, the daughter of Kathryn and Simon Gins. She grew up with her sister, the late Sylvia Sacks, in their parents’ home in New Jersey. Evelyn was educated in the New Jersey public school system and began her college education at Penn State and Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Evelyn interrupted her education to join the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. She served in Texas and Berkeley, CA. After her military service, Evelyn returned to Berkeley and earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of California. Evelyn had a career as a teacher in early childhood education at many academic levels. She began as a nursery school teacher in the Richmond and Berkeley Child Care Centers and the city of Berkeley Co-operative Nursery School Program. She designed and taught in an early childhood education program at Solano College. She ended her career in the elementary education department at San Francisco State University where she taught and supervised many prospective teachers. It was in Berkeley that she met and married Henry Elson. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in August of 2009 with their three children, their spouses, and six grandchildren. In addition to the joy she received from being with her family, Evelyn enjoyed playing bridge, tending her garden and attending concerts, museums and the theater. She was an active volunteer, most recently, doing vision and hearing screening in the public schools, serving as a docent at the Lawrence Hall of Science and volunteering at the Aurora Theater. Evelyn is survived by her husband, Henry Elson, her children, Margaret Addison (Ritch) of Santa Rosa, Steve (K Webster) of New York City, and Joe (Rebecca Ets-Hokin) of Tiburon, and her six grandchildren, Sarah, Sam, Violet, Gideon, Lee, and Ruby. A memorial will be held on March 21, 2010 at 11am at the Berkeley City Club.


Howard Goldsmith, MD – 5/19/26 – 1/29/10

Beloved husband, father & grandfather formerly of San Francisco has died in Israel with his family by his side. Howard cherished his family. He is survived by his wife of over 55 years, Sonia, daughter, Karen, sons Lee (Marsha) and Glen (Melissa) and grandsons Rafi and Max as well as brother Robert (Ann) and many cousins, extended family members and friends. Howard had a great sense of humor and a non-ending quest for adventure. He enjoyed many varied and unique activities. He and Sonia moved to Israel 14 years ago.

Rabbi Albert Plotkin

Rabbi Albert Plotkin, age 89, passed away in Phoenix on Wednesday, February 3, 2010.  He was born in South Bend, Indiana, into a large and loving family of Russian immigrants. His mother was eager for him to be a cultured American, and he was trained in music and dance. His talent was so obvious that his mother had to stop him from running off to Vaudeville. Instead, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1942. In 1948 he was ordained at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. Rabbi Plotkin served as a rabbi in Seattle, where he met his wife, Sylvia, and in Spokane, where his two daughters Janis and Debra were born. In 1955, he came to Phoenix to become the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel.  He served the Valley and his congregation for 34 years. His name is synonymous with the Jewish Studies Program at Arizona State University and his persistent efforts have been instrumental in making the interdisciplinary program a reality. Through the support of the Jewish Chautauqua Society, Rabbi Plotkin taught the initial Jewish Studies course in the Center for the Humanities at ASU and he continued to lecture in the Department of Religious Studies until last spring.  Rabbi Plotkin’s leadership in the community earned him the respect and admiration of citizens concerned and involved in areas as diverse as the arts, state and city public policy. He was the chaplain at the Phoenix Veterans Hospital and only retired last year at age 88.  He continued to pursue his interest in music and sang professionally in his first opera in 1994 at the Arizona Opera Company’s production of Turandot. Rabbi Plotkin has been widely honored by community and professional organizations across the country. He earned the Doctor of Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles in 1967, and in 1973 accepted an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from that institution. Following his “retirement” from Congregation Beth Israel, he and Sylvia were invited to start a new congregation in Sedona. Rabbi Plotkin served the Jewish Community of Sedona from 1993 until they hired a full-time rabbi in 2005. Upon his retirement they named the Sanctuary after Rabbi Plotkin and his late wife Sylvia. He is survived by his daughter Janis Plotkin of Oakland, CA and was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 47 years, Sylvia, his daughter Debra and his loving brother Robert.  He is survived by many nieces and nephews and the Plotkin Cousins Club. Funeral services were Friday, February 5th at 10:00 a.m. in Congregation Beth Israel, 10460 N. 56th St., Scottsdale, AZ 85253.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory are suggested to Congregation Beth Israel, Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum or the Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, 122 E. Culver St., Phoenix, AZ  85004.  Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary.

Harriet Miriam Rudolph

Harriet Miriam Rudolph born April 17, 1928, passed away on January 31, 2010 in So. San Francisco, CA. She was 81 years old. Harriet was the 1st generation to be born and raised in San Francisco, CA until 1972 where they located to her loving domain in Millbrae, CA. Harriet was born to the late loving parents of Gertrude & Ernest Raphael and dear sister to late brother Myron Raphael. She is survived by her true love and prince charming of 65 years, husband Robert Rudolph. Devoted and loving mother of 3 children, the late Mark Rudolph & surviving children, Jerry Rudolph of Sebastopol, CA & Miriam (Mimi) Rudolph of San Mateo, CA. She was the cherished grandmother of late Jamie Rudolph, and surviving grandchildren, Jennifer Robles of Sebastopol, CA & Kristina (Crissy) Rudolph of Santa Rosa, CA and loving Great Grandparent to Zander & Ryder Robles, dear mother-in-law to Millie Rudolph of Sebastopol, CA. She is also survived by loving cousins, sister-in-laws and dear friends. She happily volunteered over 10 years as a “Pink Lady” at the Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame, CA. She will be truly missed by all.

Henry Sachs, 99, passed away February 8, at home in La Jolla. Pre-deceased by Hilde, his loving wife of 73 years. Survived by his loving children, Carole Liss (Robert) and Raymond (Marcia), grandchildren, Jennifer Smith (Matthew), Andrew and Ben, great grandchildren, Alyssa, David and Mitchell Smith. Graveside services were held February 11 in San Diego. Donations to ORT America, 100 Golden Hinde, San Rafael, CA 94903.

Esther Sorokin

Esther Sorokin

Esther was born on March 11, 1933 in Jerusalem, Israel to Yacov and Lisa Lachdav. Her father died prior to her birth and she was raised by her mother, 4 brothers and 2 sisters and her blind grandfather.  She lived her childhood mostly in poverty but had some wonderful people perform miracles to make her life better. She was very proud of her country Israel and served courageously in the military.

From a young age everyone knew that she had the gift of song. She had an incredible soprano opera voice that wowed everyone who heard her. She sang both professionally and volunteered her talents towards many causes, including ORT, Hadassah & the State of Israel.

Her other main passion was her children: Dafna Mizrahi, Orna Jane (Deceased), Lisa Bialkin and Sam Sorokin. She devoted her life to them and sacrificed her professional career to give them anything and everything they needed. She was also devoted to her six grandchildren: Jonathan & Aron Mizrahi, Sarah & Rachel Bialkin and Ari & Rona Sorokin. She was always there to make their life special.  She cared deeply for her son-in-laws Yosi Mizrahi & Don Bialkin and her daughter-in-law Iris Sorokin as well as the rest of her extended family.

The last decade was extremely difficult while she was battling her failing heart and numerous other health problems. But she showed so much strength while she was struggling with every new health problem. She was an inspiration to us all.

Esther passed away Friday, January 22nd resting comfortably in her bed surrounded by her children, her Rabbi and her caregivers.

She will be missed by her family and all her friends.

Donations are welcome to Hospice By the Bay 415.927.2273 & the American Heart Association.

A Memorial Service will be held on February 21st at 2 p.m. at Rodef Sholom in San Rafael to Celebrate Esther’s Life.


Carol Volansky
passed unexpectedly December 22. Carol is survived by her partner of 25 years Itzhak. She also has a son, Jessie. She was loved by many including co-workers at the ADL and McDonalds Bookshop.

in memoriam

Dorothy Jane Schneider

2/14/17 – 12/19/08

Dorothy Jane Schneider

Preceded in death by beloved husband, Albert, and brother Merrill Ross, Dorothy remains in the hearts of her daughters, Fern Leaf (Berkeley), Vicki Schneider and partner, BJ Irwin (Santa Fe, NM)m and granddaughter, Jaime Schneider-Irwin (UNC-Greensboro, NC).  Born and raised in Chicago, IL, having attended U. of Chicago, Dorothy Ross married Californian Albert Schneider in 1939. Making her home in Richmond and El Cerrito, Dorothy nurtured connections with her family and her husband’s, often traveling to Chicago and South Africa where a vital Schneider family resides in Cape Town. Dorothy and Albert were founding members of Contra Costa County’s Richmond Jewish Community Center (now Temple Beth Hillel), and Dorothy devoted time, energy and leadership to the Sisterhood, Hadassah and B’nai B’rith Women. Longtime member of the Mira Vista Country Club, she participated in many tournaments and women’s community golf activities.  She helped out in the family’s businesses, Schneider’s Men’s and Boy’s Wear, and Schneider’s Insurance of Richmond, CA. A lifelong Democrat, she consistently worked to promote socially progressive initiatives. Since 2004, Dorothy resided in Berkeley’s Chaparral House. She loved the warm, concerned care she received from the staff there and participated in all the activities she possibly could. She will be lovingly remembered by her surviving family, including her sister-in-law, Marilyn Ross (Santa Barbara, Ca), Niece, Deborah (Steve) Brown, Nephew, Ed Ross (Boulder, Co), cousins: Phyllis (Roger) Wood (Fremont, Ca), Sandra (Paul) Luce (Danville, Ca) and many dear friends.