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

Deaths for the week of May 3, 2019


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


Maxwell Keith

Maxwell Keith, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and defender of the little guy, has passed away at age 92. Born in 1926 in New Mexico, he moved to San Francisco as a child. At 15, Max graduated Washington High School and went to Stanford. His education was interrupted by a stint in the US Navy during World War II.

Maxwell Keith
Maxwell Keith

At Stanford he met his future wife, Terry Boran. After graduation they left to attend the University of Chicago, he in law and she in social work, starting a marriage that lasted until this week — 70 years of love and companionship!

In San Francisco Max commenced a brilliant career in plaintiff’s antitrust law, beginning with Radovich v. National Football League, in which he persuaded the Supreme Court to bring football under the antitrust laws. Max’s other notable cases before the Supreme Court were Continental Ore v. Union Carbide, which changed the way markets were defined in antitrust law; Simpson v. Union Oil, which allowed service station owners to set their own prices; and Klor’s v. Broadway-Hale Stores, which made big box stores possible by prohibiting suppliers from boycotting them.

These multiple appearances before the Supreme Court, all victories, made for a remarkable legal career.

Max and Terry’s family includes son Sidney Keith, his wife Carolyn Glaser, and their children Noah and Rivka; son Harold, who died young; and daughter Miriam Keith of New York.

Donations may be made to the Jewish Community Library and the SFJCC.


Judith Rabbie

We are heartbroken to share that our mother, grandmother and dear friend, Judith Rabbie, died at her home on April 26 after an eight-year battle with lung cancer. She was a loving, supportive, fiercely opinionated and equally welcoming person who contributed to her community and cherished her family and friends.

Judith Rabbie
Judith Rabbie

Judith was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1941 to Lazlo and Madga Hermann (née Berger). At the age of 2, after the Nazis invaded Hungary, her parents left her in the care of the Miernitzkis, a non-Jewish family. The Miernitzkis hid her — in plain sight, calling her a cousin — during the tumult of the war, and she remained in contact with them throughout her life. Her mother survived the war, but her father died on a forced march from Hungary to Mauthausen.

Her mother raised her in Hungary until 1957, when they fled to Switzerland after the Hungarian revolution. They joined Madga’s sister, Piri, who had moved to Basel and was their only living close relative following the war. Judith was very close to her aunt and her mother their whole lives.

Judith studied biochemistry in Switzerland and then moved to Israel in 1967 in order to study at the Weizmann Institute. There, she met Harold Rabbie, and they were married in 1968. In 1977, they moved to California with their two daughters, Daniela and Naomi. Judith worked as a biochemist at Syva, transitioning from research and development to regulatory work later in her career. She also worked at Hoffman-LaRoche, following its acquisition of Syva, and Novacea.

Judith was always active in her community. After her daughters went to college and she divorced, she became more involved at her synagogue, Temple Beth Jacob. She also helped plan and lead the Yom HaShoah commemorations in the South Bay for many years. Later, she attended Congregation Beth Am, where she volunteered for the Israel committee, leading Israel cultural programs. Judith was involved with the Bay Area Hidden Children group, sharing her story of how she survived the Holocaust with schools and communities throughout the Bay Area. She was also a longtime member of a Chavura, a group of families who became an integral part of her community.

Her family was her joy. She loved spending time with her grandchildren — Caledonia and Hadassah in San Rafael and Naveh and Neri in Givatayim, Israel. On Friday nights, she would stay up late to Skype with her grandchildren in Israel. Her California granddaughters got “Grummy days,” when she picked them up from school and cooked them whatever they ordered.

And while her immediate family was small, Judith created a large extended family of friends. These friends were “aunts and uncles” to her daughters, and she became a surrogate grandmother to her friends’ grandkids. They celebrated holidays together, commemorated life events, and to the end were her closest friends.

She was a great cook and was known, in particular, for her chocolate desserts. She loved reading and discussing books, spending time listening and talking with her friends, supporting Israel, and throwing big Hanukkah parties. Though she battled lung cancer for eight years, she didn’t let it stop her from taking trips with her family to Alaska, Switzerland, and Hungary, and traveling with her synagogue to Spain and Cuba. Even in the last few months, when she couldn’t go out into the world, Judith brought the world to her home by inviting friends and connecting with her grandkids long-distance.

Judith is survived by her daughters, Daniela and Naomi, and Daniela’s partner, Jeff. She also leaves behind four grandchildren whose lives were so influenced by their “Grummy.” She will be missed by many close and good friends whom she loved very much, and who supported her in her life and through her illness. She was also appreciative of her caregivers, especially Luisa, who helped her in these last months.

Donations in her memory can be made to the Congregation Beth Am Israel Awareness Fund or to a charity of your choice.

(Sinai Redwood City)


Janet Barbara Raznick

Janet Barbara Raznick, age 83, passed away in San Francisco, surrounded by her family, on Friday, April 26.

She was born on December 1, 1935 in Detroit, Michigan to Isadore and Sarah Wuntner and was the younger sister of Diane. Janet grew up in Detroit, Chicago, and Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Mumford High School and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. As a young woman she loved teaching swimming at Camp Tanuga in Northern Michigan. After graduating college she became a social worker for the City of Detroit. She was active in the growing civil rights movement. Janet married in 1958 and had two sons, Leonard and Eric. In 1965, she and her family moved to San Francisco, where she spent the rest of her life.

Janet Barbara Raznick
Janet Barbara Raznick

Janet received her teaching credential from San Francisco State University in 1969 and taught for the SFUSD, first as an elementary school teacher at McKinley Elementary and then as a middle school science teacher at Herbert Hoover Middle School, retiring after a 30-year career.

Judy Dong, her colleague at Hoover, shared with us: “Janet taught a rigorous class and held students to a high standard of behavior and learning. Her knowledge and strength enabled her to take on science department leadership as department chair.” During her career Janet was active in the San Francisco American Federation of Teachers chapter, serving as a board member.

Janet was a dedicated student of San Francisco history, always eager to learn about the Gold Rush, Great ‘06 Earthquake, architecture, local politics, restaurants and all that makes San Francisco so special.

She participated in Democratic Party politics and was a founding member of the Raoul Wallenberg Jewish Democratic club.

Janet was a longtime member of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, where both her sons became bar mitzvah.

An avid world traveler in her retirement, Janet toured with many friends and family members over the years. She journeyed to England, France, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Morocco, China, Peru, the Fiji Islands and numerous other destinations and ports of call. She especially loved London, returning many times to enjoy the theater, museums, and afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel. She returned home with travel tales and intriguing souvenirs, especially for her grandchildren.

Janet’s later life also included more than a decade of stimulating classes and new friendships at the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning. She was excited for each new semester to begin and impatiently awaited the arrival of the class catalogue.

Janet raised two wonderful sons, Leonard and Eric. Leonard predeceased her in 2014. She is survived by her son Eric; his wife Tracey; daughter-in-law Laura; and grandchildren Nathan, Peter, Jules, Joshua and Alexander. Janet, or Bubbe to her grandchildren, was a very involved grandparent. She enriched her grandchildren’s lives with love, unwavering support, and holiday dinners, not to mention numerous outings to the Exploratorium, the California Academy of Sciences and other Bay Area attractions.

Throughout her life Janet was blessed with many loving friends whose companionship and support she treasured. She lived her life in an uncompromising manner, possessed a strong will, laughed easily, loved fiercely and couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. She enjoyed her Sunset district home and lived there independently to the end of her life.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, May 5, at 3:00 p.m. at Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco CA. Donations in Janet’s name may be made to Friends of the Fromm Institute, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco CA 94117-1080.

(Sinai SF)

J. Readers

J. welcomes letters and comments from our readers. To submit a letter, email it to letters@jweekly.com.