Jackie Berman died peacefully on Aug. 29, 2016, at her home in Palo Alto.
Jackie was born to Dora and Emanuel Kotkin in Los Angeles on Dec. 29, 1930. Her mother was a schoolteacher in Watts, and her father ran a plastics factory, working hard through the Depression to give Jackie a comfortable childhood. As a child, Jackie enjoyed acting in the theater and spending summers with family on their ranch in Montana. After graduating from Beverly Hills High, Jackie studied political science at U.C. Berkeley, where she joined a sorority and met Uri Berman, a charismatic, eccentric and brilliant Zionist activist, with whom she fell in love.
After marrying, Jackie and Uri contemplated making Aliyah, but due to health issues they decided to stay in the States and moved to Los Angeles, where Jackie began working as a teacher. There, Jackie raised her two sons, Daniel and David, imbuing them with their senses of humor, Jewish identities and love of family.
In 1970, the family moved to Palo Alto. Jackie decided to stop teaching, but motivated by her studies in political science, and the injustices she witnessed as a woman, she became active in the League of Women Voters. She went on to join their board from 1971 to 1974, advocating for statewide policy issues.
Jackie and Uri expanded their Jewish community in Palo Alto by joining Temple Beth Am, where Jackie actively attended services, minyan and Torah study for over 40 years. In addition to her network of friends in her neighborhood, Beth Am became the foundation of Jackie’s local community.
Combining her political activism with her dedication to the Jewish community, Jackie joined the Jewish Community Relations Council in 1982, first as South Bay regional director, then education specialist. Through her work, she became aware of biased and inaccurate portrayals of Judaism and the Arab-Israeli conflict in textbooks adopted by public schools. Jackie decided to challenge this national issue by helping develop the Institute of Curriculum Services (ICS) at JCRC, to promote accurate instruction and instructional materials by working with textbook publishers, developing scholarly curricular resources, and training teachers. Jackie said that alongside her family, ICS was her proudest accomplishment and represented her commitment to “a just civic society, a strong Jewish community and the well-being of the State of Israel.” She continued working for JCRC in some capacity until 2010 and remained an adviser to ICS until the very end.
Jackie had a unique interest in and dedication to helping others. For decades she let diverse students and people with modest incomes live for reduced or free rent in her basement apartment. She actively gave time and funds to diverse charities, including taking a special interest in supporting and visiting a small Jewish community in eastern Ukraine. Even as she got older, she visited friends less able to care for themselves, taking them shopping and helping them feel less alone. She would quote her father, who said: “If you can help someone, you should.”
Jackie was deeply proud of her Jewish heritage and passed this on to family through holiday traditions. Each Passover she would make the same dishes from the same recipes her mother used, serve them to family and friends on a table carved by her grandfather — a woodworker from London’s East End — and read from the same haggadah she and her husband Uri received on their wedding day. She rejoiced in seeing her grandchildren grow up with Jewish identities, attending Hebrew school and summer camp, and most recently watching her granddaughter Karina’s bat mitzvah over live telecast from Bethesda this past May.
Until Jackie passed, she retained her wit, her enthusiasm for Judaism and her passion for family. In addition to her family, she wanted to express special gratitude to Rabbi Janet Marder, doctor Irene Wu and caregiver Sia Kava for their help in her final weeks. She is survived by her children David, Celine, Daniel and Reiko, her grandchildren Charlie, Melanie and Karina, and extended family around the world.
Services were held at Hills of Eternity Cemetery Chapel on Sept. 1. Donations can be made in Jackie’s honor to the national initiative she helped found, the Institute for Curriculum Services: https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/JCRCSanFrancisco/ICSdonate.html
Clyde Morton Fox
Oct. 17, 1927–Aug. 24, 2016
Adored husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and uncle.
Clyde passed away surrounded by his loving family. He was born in San Francisco to Helen and Sheldon Fox. After graduating from George Washington High School class of 1945, he joined the Army Air Corps. Upon his discharge he attended U.C. Berkeley. In 1949 he married Sondra Fleschler and had twin girls, Deborah Fox Fitch (Alan) and Denise Fox Needleman (Stephen). After Sondra’s untimely death in 1967, he rekindled his friendship with Muriel Charlip Berger and they were married in 1974. He embraced her children David Berger (Helle) and Lynda Berger Levinson (Carl) as his own.
He leaves behind his adoring granddaughters on whom he doted, Rachel Levinson Krich (Daniel), Sheralise Fox Fitch Burnett (Bryan), Anna-Petrine Berger Smith (Kevin), Hilary Sondra Fitch and Katarina Vistisen Berger, and three great-grandchildren, Ariella, Carl and Lila Krich, as well as cherished nieces and nephews. He acquired Ferrari’s Office Supply in Marin County and built it into a thriving, respected enterprise, supplying some of the largest institutions in the county, retiring at the age of 70. He was a respected member of the office products industry and was recognized as a man of high ethical standards, presiding as governor of the National Office Products Association of Northern California. While doing so, he developed lasting relationships and friendships with all his business associates.
He dedicated much of his life to community service, participating as a docent for the Guide Dogs for the Blind and as a senior companion for Jewish Family and Children’s Services, as well as receiving numerous local and national awards and certificates for his volunteer work.
He loved everybody and everybody loved him, not only for his broad smile and sense of humor, but for his wit, generosity, kindness and his unending encouragement and inspiration. He had the ability to take anyone who would listen on a journey through his stories.
We have all been blessed to have had him all these years. He will be dearly missed by all of those who loved him most and we will always carry with us his love of life and family.
Services and interment was held on Aug. 28 at Hills of Eternity Memorial Park, Colma. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to Guide Dogs for the Blind, Jewish Home of San Francisco, Jewish Family and Children’s Services or to a charity of your choice.
Sinai Memorial Chapel (415) 921-3636
Judge Henry Brand Lasky
April 30, 1935–Aug. 4, 2016
Memorial celebration will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 18, 2016, at Congregation Shir Shalom, 252 W. Spain St., Sonoma. Reception to follow. Henry will be honored at the 2017 Jewish Family and Children’s Services Fammy Awards Gala. http://tinyurl.com/henry-lasky-obit
Harvey “Hans” Lowhurst
At rest in Palo Alto, Aug. 28, 2016, at the age of 94. Formerly married to Madeleine Lowhurst; significant other of Isabelle Zablocki; father of Daven (and Karen) Lowhurst and Steven (and Lisa) Lowhurst; grandfather of Joshua, Nathaniel, Emily and Zachary Lowhurst.
Hans was born in Hamburg, Germany, on Sept. 11, 1921. As a teenager, he became a partisan fighter in Germany and later escaped the Nazi persecution of Jews by fleeing to England. In 1940, the English authorities interned him as a civilian prisoner in Canada, but Hans used this opportunity to study and learn from other educated prisoners. Released in 1943, he entered McGill University in Montreal and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1947. Hans immigrated to the U.S. to attend Columbia University in New York, earning a master’s degree in nuclear physics in 1949.
Accepting employment with Hughes Aircraft, he moved to Los Angeles and spent evenings pursuing a doctor of law degree at USC. Hans met Madeleine in Los Angeles and they were married in 1953. After graduating USC, he accepted a patent lawyer position in the Bay Area, where his two sons, Daven and Steven, were born. Hans then founded his own law firm specializing in the protection of intellectual property in 1961.
Hans went on to take up flying small aircraft, scuba diving, skiing and sailing, and always enjoyed throwing parties at his home in Woodside.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate Han’s life. Services will be held on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Hills of Eternity Memorial Park, 1301 El Camino Real, Colma. Contributions to the American Red Cross are appreciated in lieu of flowers.
Sinai Memorial Chapel (650) 369-3636
Edgar Schoen, M.D., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 23 at his home, surrounded by family. Ed was 91 years old and lived a long and fulfilling life. He considered himself lucky with love, career, family and friends.
Ed was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1925, and grew up during the Great Depression. His early life was shaken by the loss of his mother, Mathilda, who died of breast cancer when Ed was 10 years old and his sister Ruth was 6. Ed’s mother was a highly intelligent, caring and stimulating individual who guided his future life even in her absence, having provided him with a special start. His father, Irving, was a warm and affectionate man who played the role of both caregiver and provider, often working two jobs to ensure that Ed and his sister had a good education and the love and attention that they needed. Ed was an excellent student, attending Tilden High School in Brooklyn and entering the University of Illinois at age 16. Two years later, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy’s V-12 training program.
In 1944, Ed completed his undergraduate pre-med degree and was sent by the Navy to New York University’s School of Medicine. In 1948, Ed received his M.D. at the age of 22. Following his internship, he began pediatric training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In 1950, at the start of the Korean War, Ed was called up by the Navy and served two years as a flight surgeon on aircraft carriers. Following the Korean War, Ed returned to Mass General where he completed his pediatric training with a focus on pediatric endocrinology.
Ed’s professor at the time suggested that Ed look into joining an organization in the San Francisco Bay Area that he described as “the future of American medicine.” In 1954, Ed joined the Kaiser Permanente Healthcare Program in Oakland, California, where he practiced pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology for 49 years before retiring in 2003. At Kaiser, Ed served as chief of pediatrics for 24 years and later joined the Department of Genetics as a senior consultant. He loved the practice of medicine and the care of children. Ed was a founding member of the Pediatric Endocrine Society and the author of over 100 articles in leading medical journals. He was elected to the Society of Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society, and was a clinical professor of pediatrics, emeritus, at the University of California San Francisco.
In 1960, Ed married the love of his life, Fritzi Puhringer from Vienna, and they remained happily married for the last 56 years, raising two children, Melissa and Eric. Ed is survived by Melissa and her husband, Andy Huntington, Eric and his wife, Stephanie, and four grandchildren, Gabe Loza, Benjamin Huntington, Sarah Schoen and Allison Schoen. The family spent much time together and had wonderful friends. Ed had many interests, including jogging, tennis, skiing, music, theater and writing. He could not have asked for a more fulfilling life!
Ed’s family would like to thank all of his wonderful caretakers and Kaiser Oakland Hospice. A memorial service was held at Temple Sinai in Oakland on Aug. 30. Ed’s family requests that any donations be made to the charity of your choice or Temple Sinai’s Camp Newman Fund.
Sinai Memorial Chapel (925) 962-3636