Jean Reba Bass Bradman, October 31, 1928 — March 16, 2016
Jean Reba Bass Bradman died on March 16, 2016 at her home in Berkeley, California, according to her wishes. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she grew up during the Great Depression and World War II. Her grandparents left Brooklyn for the country because of violence associated with their work organizing unions. She fondly remembered summers in the Catskills visiting their chicken farm and swimming in the Neversink River.
Jean was smart, and loved to learn although neither her family, nor her era, encouraged education for girls. Jean shared many stories of rebelling against teachers in elementary school and being kicked out of class to the library, which was hardly a punishment for her — more like a version of “heaven.”
She loved Manhattan, and took classes at City College of New York, where she met her husband, Bernard Bradman, who was finishing college on the GI Bill. Together, with barely a dime in their pockets, they sailed to Europe so he could attend medical school. At the time, Europe was a frightening place, where family had disappeared during World War II, but it was an adventure that she relished. She loved their time living in Paris and Geneva, where she supported her family on her meager secretarial salary. During this time she learned to speak French fluently.
Jean and Bernard returned to New York in 1958, and then moved to Cincinnati to complete his residency. In Cincinnati, Bernard began what would become a thriving practice, and they moved to Marin County in 1967.
It was no surprise that she went back to school as soon as financial resources and her child care responsibilities permitted. She started part time while still living in Cincinnati, and then completed her B.A. at Dominican College in San Rafael. She subsequently attended Hastings Law School, graduating in 1973. She was hired as a public defender in Marin County and specialized in juvenile law. Later, her law practice extended to family law, and she was proud of her leadership role in founding the Marin Family Law Center, which still serves low-income women and families. In 1980 she returned to New York, passed the New York Bar Exam, and represented children’s interests in complicated family law cases in the Bronx Family Court system. She always had a sharp, analytical mind, and brilliantly absorbed every nuance in a case, book, news article, or religious sermon or text.
In the mid-1980s she parted ways with Bernard, moved to Berkeley, and purchased her beloved home on Russell Street. Berkeley suited her, and she loved her neighborhood. The Tuesday farmers’ market on Derby Street was a favorite place to shop and she was a fantastic cook, especially adept at wonderful vegetable dishes.
She was one of the early members of Congregation Netivot Shalom, which has provided a wonderful community for her over the last 25 years. As a member of the Netivot Building Committee, she spotted the “for-sale” sign on the old Jay Vee Liquor store on University Avenue in Berkeley, which is now the shul. She was a devoted caregiver to her mother, Ethel, who lived at the Home For Jewish Parents in Oakland, California from 1989 until her death in 1993. During these years she gradually retired from her law practice.
Jean built deep relationships with her family, friends and community. She is survived by her children Sandra, Jesse and his wife Paula, Asa and his wife Joanna, granddaughters Eva and Ilana, sister Marilyn, nephews Bruce and his wife Julie, Greg and his wife Shelley, her great-nephews and -nieces, and dear friends around the country.
As her health declined, she told her family that when she could no longer read and enjoy The New York Times, it would be time to die. That time has come and we will miss her deeply.
Donations in her name can be made to the ACLU, the Hebrew Free Loan Society or Temple Netivot Shalom.
Joan Rabinowe Goldberg was born April 20, 1932 in Yonkers, New York, to Betty Woolf Rabinowe and Herman Rabinowe. She died March 11, 2016 in Sacramento after a brief illness.
She is survived by her beloved children and grandchildren, to whom she was devoted: Her daughter Karen Goldberg and fiancé Chas August, and granddaughter Ilana of Albany, California, and her son Ken Goldberg, daughter-in-law Kathleen, granddaughter Avi Beth and grandson Eli of Portland, Oregon. She is also survived by her sister Lenore Corelitz and family, brother Ed Rabinowe and family, and her beloved partner of 20 years, Dan Fawcett, of Pollock Pines, California.
She lived life to its fullest, gave generously of her time and abundant energy, loved her family and friends, her work and her community. She will be dearly missed, and she will be with us always.
Donations in her memory may be made to the U.C. Davis Hospice Program online at https://give.ucdavis.edu or by check made out to “U.C. Regents,” with a memo that the donation is for the “Hospice Memorial Fund in memory of Joan Goldberg,” mailed to U.C. Davis Home Care Services, 4900 Broadway, Suite 1150, Sacramento, CA 95820.
Her full obituary and memorial page are available at www.memorialwebsites.legacy.com/JoanGoldberg/homepage.aspx