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Deaths for the week of Oct. 18, 2019

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


Victor Horwitz

Nov. 11, 1918–Oct. 3, 2019

Victor Horwitz died of natural causes on Oct. 3, 2019, just shy of his 101st birthday. He was born in Springfield, Illinois, on Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918. His mother, Bessie (Ressin) Hurwitz, was a benevolent, observant woman from Dobranke, Belarus. His father, Benjamin Hurwitz, from Trashkune, Lithuania, was a Hebrew scholar and composer of traditional Jewish music, schochet, chazan and ba’al koreh. His musical compositions and his commentaries, both in Yiddish and Hebrew, are now in the library archives of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Victor Horwitz
Victor Horwitz

Victor was also a ba’al koreh, who read Torah with emphasis, precision and understanding at many conventions of the United Synagogue of America (now the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism), at Congregation Beth Sholom, San Francisco, and at Congregation Beth Jacob, Redwood City. He was a regional president of three different regions and a national vice president of the United Synagogue, and a director of the World Council of Synagogues.

Victor was associated with Levi Strauss & Co. for 30 years, retiring in 1985. He had an acerbic sense of humor, both secular and religious, and attended services at festival times with Eric Apayim, Ralph Chesed and Emmet. He relished Jewish music and humor, was religious until he lost the sight in one eye and became less observant.

He was bothered by obituaries of individuals who were lauded for their educations, traits and achievements but without a single fault or misdeed. Victor was smart, funny, astute, intelligent and entertaining. He even thought he had a great sense of humor — but, in his own estimation — he could also be smug, abusive, obtuse, stubborn and arrogant.

Victor grew up and was educated in Kansas and Missouri, was a veteran of World War II and resided in California after 1945. He was preceded in death by his late wife Rebecca (Rickie) Lillian Britt, his sister Dorothy Wasserman (Sam), his brother Albert (Marilene), his brother Harry (Rose), and his sister Naomi.

He is survived by his faithful wife of 46 years, Donna, and her sons Sheldon Greenberg (Romina Ronquillo) and Michael Greenberg (Julie). He is also survived by his devoted family: his daughter Barbara Foreman, son Robert (Libby Brydolf), daughter Andrea Warthen (Dan), daughter Marci; his 10 grandchildren: Danielle Foreman (Jon Brandon), Brett Foreman (Bekka Rabison), Lindsay Foreman, Marc Brydolf-Horwitz, Rachel Brydolf-Horwitz, Britt Warthen, Olivia Greenberg, Gavin Greenberg, Cole Greenberg and Ezra Hurst; his two great-grandsons, Zachary Brandon and Noah Brandon; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. His sons-in-law, Stewart Foreman and Tom Detavernier, preceded him in death.

Victor was the oldest ball dude in the history of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, through the courtesy of Larry Baer and Sue Petersen.

Contributions in his name may be sent to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital for Children, via the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, 400 Hamilton Ave., Suite 340, Palo Alto, CA 94301 or to the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027.

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Raquel H. Newman

Aug. 20, 1928–Oct. 6, 2019

Raquel H. Newman passed away at her home in Palm Springs, CA at the age of 91, surrounded by friends and family. Racky, as she was known to her friends, was born and raised in Chicago, IL, where she and her late brother, David Heller, attended Francis W. Parker School.

Raquel H. Newman
Raquel H. Newman

Community and democratic ideals became important to Racky early in childhood. She was involved in promoting the Marshall Plan during her time at Radcliffe College, and worked one summer for the National Labor Relations Board. Just before earning her B.A. in political science, Racky met her future husband and the love of her life, C.M. “Nick” Newman, in Chicago in the spring of 1949. He proposed to her at a New Year’s party that year. Married in 1950, they established their home in Nick’s native Omaha, NE, where he worked for Hinky Dinky, the family’s chain of grocery stores. Racky started and for several years managed a magazine, which she dubbed The Noodleer, for the Skinner pasta company. Racky and Nick raised four children.

In the early 1960s, Racky, in her own euphemistic words, began her career as a “tire kicker,” becoming an active proponent of civil rights. She served on the interracial and interfaith Panel of American Women, brought black children to Camp Esther K. Newman (founded in honor of her late mother-in-law) outside of Omaha, and filed a successful suit against Omaha’s Westside School District for illegal political practices.

In 1972, Racky served on the credentials committee and as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention. She was also active with Planned Parenthood, working directly with clients. After losing her beloved husband, Nick, in 1973, Racky earned an M.S. in public affairs and social planning from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She volunteered for a legal aid society that worked to desegregate Omaha schools and housing. Evidence that Racky discovered of real-estate agents refusing to show or sell homes to black families helped to force desegregation in the school system.

Her idea of paradise awaited her in California, where she moved in 1975, first to Los Altos Hills and later to a second home in San Francisco. There, she began a long involvement with Jewish and other educational institutions, a list too exhaustive to print in full. Her activities included serving multiple terms as a board member or president of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, the Bureau of Jewish Education, Rhoda Goldman Plaza, the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, Congregation Beth Am, Congregation Sherith Israel (where she sponsored Newman Hall), Congregation Emanu-El, Camp Swig, the Jewish Bulletin, Fromm Institute of Lifelong Learning (where she took classes for over a decade), the Graduate Theological Union, Achenbach Graphic Arts Council of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Jewish LearningWorks and the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (now Palo Alto University).

When not attending board meetings, Racky indulged in her love of art, symphony, figure skating and tennis. Racky traveled all over the world with family and friends into her final decade. She visited refuseniks in the USSR, and made many visits to Israel, beginning in 1963. Among her efforts to improve life and education in Israel, she funded and dedicated two kindergartens and a high school there, and encouraged others to do the same. Racky was also an early funder of the first Reform kibbutz, Yahel, helping to build the community swimming pool. Years later, after providing the seed money to purchase the Santa Rosa site for URJ Camp Newman in 1995, she enjoyed her frequent visits to the camp and was greatly loved and appreciated by generations of campers and staff.

Racky became involved with the New Israel Fund shortly after its founding in 1979. She served on the NIF International Board, International Council and as president of the San Francisco Regional Board. In 1995 and 2005, the NIF honored Racky for her work and philanthropic support with their Guardian of Democracy Award, noting her special commitment to pluralism and women’s rights.

In 1993, at an age when most people would retire, the indefatigable Racky earned her Ed.D. in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco. In subsequent years, she worked as an independent nonprofit consultant (RHN Associates) and published her book “Giving Away Your Money: A Personal Guide to Philanthropy.” In 2002, she received an honorary Ph.D. in humane letters from the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. After four decades of active involvement with Bay Area nonprofits, Racky was able to enjoy the last part of her life in the quiet and warmth of Palm Springs, living near her son Tom and accompanied by her two wonderful caregivers.

Racky is survived by her children Peter (Carla), Tom (Ron), Ted and Sara, and her granddaughters Vianna (Alec) and Cassandra. She was a devoted and loving friend, mentor, wife, aunt, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother who made the world a better place far beyond her immediate circle. Racky will be remembered as a leader in her community and for her passionate dedication to philanthropy, social justice, Jewish organizations and education.

In honor of Racky’s memory, please make a donation to the organization of your choice or to URJ Camp Newman in Sonoma County (campnewman.org), which especially needs nurturing after the wildfires of 2017.


Leonard A. Rosenberg

Oct. 11 1946–Sept. 26, 2019

Leonard A. Rosenberg, a distinguished attorney, multi-talented musician, tai chi enthusiast and inspirational man dedicated to family, friends and faith, died peacefully Sept. 26, 2019, in Greenbrae, California, after complications from prostate cancer. He was 72.
Born in San Francisco, Len was the son of Ralph Rosenberg, a doctor, and Jeannette Rosenberg, a teacher. A Lowell High School graduate, he followed in his parents’ footsteps, attending UC Berkeley. He dropped out to become a musician, but his band broke up and, after marrying Sandra Kurlon, he returned to graduate from Cal with a major in psychology and minor in music.

Leonard A. Rosenberg
Leonard A. Rosenberg

He earned a law degree from Golden Gate University and practiced divorce law before finding his calling in immigration law. He worked 32 years for the federal government, including the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, retiring as deputy chief counsel. An asylum law expert, he mentored many attorneys and was honored for his extraordinary performance.

A member of Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco, Len remained very active after retiring in 2007, visiting with family and friends; attending concerts, lectures and services; volunteering for the JFCS Holocaust Center; and playing with his beloved Netivot Shalom JazzKleztet band. Len and his wife shared a love of music, food, family, spirituality, kindness, conversation and each other. He took immense pride in his two sons, their spouses and three grandchildren, and enjoyed finding connections through genealogy.

He had an amazing attitude during his bout with cancer, staying positive through treatments, showing gratitude to his compassionate caregivers and continuing to play guitar. He found great pleasure playing and arranging music and discussing each song’s meaning. The last song he played: “I Shall Be Released.”

Len was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Sandra (Kurlon) Rosenberg; son Alec Rosenberg and his wife, Marilo Aceves; son Ivan Rosenberg and his wife, Kristin Cavoukian; and grandchildren Matthew, Charlie and Lucie. A private graveside service was held at Home of Peace Cemetery in Colma.

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Dorothy “Dotty” Wanetick Weber

June 15, 1936–Oct. 5, 2019

Dorothy “Dotty” Wanetick Weber, 83, of Sunnyvale, CA, passed away peacefully after an unexpected stroke on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.

Dorothy Weber
Dorothy Weber

Dorothy was born in McKeesport, PA on June 15, 1936. She lived in Los Angeles from 1966 to 1971, and then moved to San Jose in 1971. Dorothy got her bachelor of science degree in interior design with a minor in marketing from San Jose State in the 1980s, while she raised four daughters. She lived life fully and was fiercely independent until the end, passionately involved with her family, her friends, her community, and her bridge and mahjong groups. Dorothy lived in Sunnyvale since 2002.

Dorothy is survived by her four daughters, Nancy Weber of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Linda Merry (and husband Nir Merry) of Mountain View, CA; Donna Weber (and husband Ed Roseboom) of Palo Alto, CA; and Janet Weber of Half Moon Bay, CA; and her three grandchildren Elan Merry, Oren Merry, and Noa Merry.

Dorothy will be missed greatly by all who loved her. We are heartbroken.

Please do not send flowers, per Dorothy’s request; in lieu of flowers, please donate to the Israeli Defense Forces via Friends of the IDF (fidf.org/donate) on her behalf, if you like.

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Raymond L. Weisberg

March 30, 1929–Oct. 3, 2019

Beloved husband of the late Marilyn; father of Dvora Weisberg (Neal Scheindlin) and Adam Weisberg (Rachel Brodie); grandfather of Micah (Elana), Noah, Sophia and Ariella. Raised in Sacramento.

Following medical training in Chicago and Boston, Ray spent most of his adult life in San Francisco, where he was active in civic and cultural life. During many years of practicing medicine, he was devoted to and deeply appreciated by his patients. Ray was an avid volunteer, serving on the board of the American Cancer Society, on the San Francisco Retirement Board and on numerous Jewish community boards. He received many honors, including a lifetime achievement award from the American Cancer Society for his work to reduce smoking and the presence of secondhand smoke in public spaces. Ray had a dry sense of humor, a love of beautiful things, and a deep love for his family.

Funeral services were Oct. 6 at Hills of Eternity in Colma. Contributions in Ray’s memory may be made to the New Israel Fund or the American Cancer Society.