a lit memorial candle with a Sinai Memorial Chapel logo on it

Deaths for the week of Nov. 2, 2018


Obituaries are supported by a generous grant from Sinai Memorial Chapel.


Hagar M. Holan

Hagar M. Holan, daughter of Ashkim and Gretel Kohn, passed away peacefully on October 22, 2018 at home in Sunnyvale, CA with her family by her side. Hagar was a devoted and beloved kindergarten teacher at SPHDS in Sunnyvale for 18 years and a member of Congregation Beth David in Saratoga. She is survived by her loving husband, Peter; her son Doron (Dina) and grandchildren Nathan and Brandon; her son Michael; her sister Lea; and her brother Benjamin (Irit).

Throughout her life, Hagar was a loyal friend and formed deep friendships. Hagar’s creativity and practicality shone in the classroom, her garden that she loved to tend, and the art she created throughout her life. She expressed herself in many media, including jewelry-making, wood and bronze sculptures, and painting.

Born in Nahariya, Palestine, Hagar grew up by the beach. She enjoyed sitting by the ocean and in her garden, two of her favorite places. During her retirement, she enjoyed spending time with her family, especially with her grandchildren; creating art; and traveling to faraway places. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

(Sinai Redwood City)


Dr. Irving L. Katz

Dr. Irving L. Katz passed away peacefully at home on Oct. 18, 2018 after a long, heroic battle with Parkinson’s disease and other ailments. He was 84.

Dr. Irving L. Katz
Dr. Irving L. Katz

Dr. Katz, a 50-year resident of San Mateo County, was a practicing urologist in Burlingame beloved by his patients. He served as both chief of urology and chief of staff at Mills-Peninsula Hospital and was a member of the San Mateo County Medical Association.

Born in El Paso, Texas, to Russian Jewish immigrants, he was the eldest of five children. Inspired by his mother, Sonia, a trailblazing physician, he attended medical school at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He trained at Bellevue Hospital in New York and UC San Francisco, where he also taught. He received many medical honors throughout his career, including the Christian de Guigne award.

He had a contagious zest for life, engaging in all forms of athletic activity, with a special passion for golf and long bike rides along Sawyer Camp Trail. He collected Western art and appreciated country music, opera, symphony and theater. He planted a vibrant, beautiful garden full of flowers every season and traveled the world with his wife, Janice, his high school sweetheart.

Dr. Katz is survived by Janice, his wife of 58 years, and his loving son Andrew and adoring daughters Leslie (Jonathan) and Rachel (Andy). He is also survived by brothers Bernard and Bruce and sister Shirley. Another brother, Herbert, predeceased him. In addition, he is survived by his sister-in-law Molly Rosen, many nieces and nephews who viewed him as a role model, and countless loyal friends and colleagues.

A memorial service was held on Oct. 22 at Peninsula Temple Sholom, where Dr. Katz was a longtime member. The family asks that those who wish to send a donation consider Peninsula Temple Sholom; American Friends of Magen David Adom; the Jewish Healing Center of San Francisco; or HandUp, which aids the homeless.


Genia Kerbel

In loving memory, May 29, 1924–October 9, 2018. Born in Warsaw, Poland. Holocaust survivor. Spent war years in many concentration camps. Met and married Jake Kerbel, the love of her life, in the DP camp of Landsberg, Germany. He preceded her in death in 1998, as did her sister Helen Bromberg.

Loving mother to Anna Mandel and Harold Kerbel; grandmother to Michelle Ross, Mark Mandel, and Adam Kerbel; great-grandmother to Dylan and Jesse Ross. Special gratitude to Lucy and Lyn for extraordinary care for the past many years. Graveside services were held in Oakland Jewish Peace Home on Oct. 14, 2018. She will be missed by all who knew her, especially her loving family.