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

Deaths for the week of Feb. 21, 2020

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


Gloria Cherin

Jan. 22, 1922–Feb. 9, 2020

Gloria Cherin passed away on Sunday, Feb. 9. She was born in Chicago on Jan. 22, 1922. Her parents, both immigrants from Russia, soon moved to Los Angeles. Following graduation from Hollywood High, she attended community college and moved to San Francisco. She worked as a bookkeeper for Pacific Far East Lines until she married Leo Ross. They were together until his death in 1979. In 1987, she married Louis Cherin and, until his passing, they enjoyed a wonderful marriage for 22 years.

She was an avid reader her whole life, emphasizing education for her children. She was an impeccable homemaker and a fabulous cook and baker. She volunteered in the physician’s dining room at Mount Zion Hospital for many years. She was a lifelong learner taking a variety of classes and attending lectures throughout her life. Her hobbies included golf, bridge, and politics — and she referred to herself proudly, at times defiantly, as a lifelong liberal Democrat.

She was devoted to her children, wanting them to have in life what she lacked as she grew up. She is survived by her three children, Judy Dobbs and her husband Raoul, Dennis Ross and his wife Deborah, and Jeffrey Ross and his wife Minh, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


Bernard DeHovitz

March 6, 1924–Feb. 11, 2020

Bernard DeHovitz
Bernard DeHovitz

Bernard DeHovitz passed away on Feb. 11, 2019, at the age of 95. He died after a brief illness.

Bernard was born in Flat River, Missouri, on March 6, 1924. Flat River was a small lead-mining town 60 miles south of St. Louis, and his parents, Jack and Jeannette DeHovitz, owned a small clothing store on Main Street. Bernard was the middle child of three. He was predeceased by his brother, Melvin, and his sister, Doris Page. He was a child of the Depression, yet he learned about generosity from his parents as they would offer extended credit to customers in their small-town store. He graduated from Flat River High School in 1942 and started college at the University of Missouri.

In the midst of World War II, the Navy promoted a program to speed through the education of future physicians. Bernard passed the exam and enrolled in the Navy’s V-12 program and soon finished his pre-med education. In 1944 he started medical school at LSU in New Orleans and graduated in 1948. He then started his residency at Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. During this period, he met Ruth Senturia and over a nine-month period in 1950, they dated, became engaged and then married on Sept. 2, 1950. Their marriage would last just shy of 70 years, and Ruth was his constant partner, companion and adviser.

Bernard was called up to Camp Pendleton in Southern California to serve out his obligation to the Navy as the Korean conflict was heating up. For two years, he worked at medical clinics in Camp Pendleton and Port Hueneme. Upon discharge in late 1952, he returned to St. Louis to start practicing medicine. Over the next 17 years he ran his own private practice in internal medicine at multiple locations in the St. Louis County area. But he kept wondering and hoping he could see a way to return to California. By the late 1960s, Bernie gave up his practice and he moved with Ruth and their four children to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he found temporary medical work for the County of San Mateo and Pan American Airlines.

Eventually, he became Medical Director at the Kaiser Center in Oakland, where he ran a medical office for the executives and employees at Kaiser Industries. There he could practice medicine with a much more predictable schedule, and he stayed on there for the next 15 years. He retired in the mid-1980s and in his retirement stayed active in medicine by doing health evaluations at the VA Hospital in San Francisco. He was very proud that his three sons followed him into medicine.

He also had many varied interests outside of medicine. He was passionate about modern art and he directed the art gallery at the Kaiser Center for many years. In his retirement, he cultivated his appreciation of art deco design in art and mid-century modern furniture. He also directed the creation of the Lead Belt Jewish Oral History Project; a book of remembrances of former members of the now long-gone Jewish community in the Flat River (now Park Hills), Missouri area. The book has been welcomed by the libraries and historical societies of the area.

Bernard will be remembered by his children as the essence of support and affection. He was always eager to know how they are doing and would always offer advice and wisdom laced with experience of his almost 96 years. He derived great joy from the achievements of his 11 grandchildren. He also was a loving and devoted husband to Ruth and a caring friend to all who knew him.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, and his four children, Jack (Lisa Goldfarb), Dan (Vivian Kim), Ross (Ann) and Joan (Aaron Braun). He is also survived by his 11 grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Congregation Emanu-El or to the DeHovitz-Senturia Campership fund of Jewish Family and Children’s Services. The funeral took place at Congregation Emanu-El on Friday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m.


Lucille Eichengreen

Feb. 1, 1925–Feb. 7, 2020

Lucille Eichengreen
Lucille Eichengreen

Loving wife and mother, Holocaust survivor and, late in life, author and lecturer, Lucille Eichengreen passed away in Oakland, California on Feb. 7, 2020, at the age of 95. Born Cecilia Landau on Feb. 1, 1925 in Hamburg, Germany, Lucille was the daughter of Benjamin Landau and Sala Landau née Baumwollspinner, Polish citizens. One of two daughters, she grew up in Hamburg attending Jewish schools.

Her father, a Polish national, was deported from Germany in 1939 and sent to the Dachau concentration camp, where he died in 1940. Lucille, her mother and sister were deported to the Lodz Ghetto in 1941. After losing her mother and being separated from her sister, Lucille was transferred to Auschwitz in 1943, to the Dessauer Ufer satellite work camp of Neuengamme in 1944, and to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. She was the only member of her family to survive.

When Bergen-Belsen was liberated by the British, Lucille worked as a translator for the British Army. She helped to identify 40 members of the SS who had worked in Neuengamme, who were subsequently arrested, tried and convicted. After receiving death threats of reprisal as a result of this work, she was given identity letters by the British and spirited across the Belgian border, from where she made her way to France and then the United States.
In New York in 1946, Lucille met and married Dan Eichengreen, the son, by miraculous coincidence, of a couple she had befriended in Lodz. Dan and Lucille moved to California in 1949 and settled in Berkeley in 1952, where they raised two sons.

Once her sons were grown, Lucille began speaking about her experiences to high school and college students, and writing poems, vignettes and essays. This led to the publication of “From Ashes to Life: My Memories of the Holocaust” (Mercury House, 1994). An uncompromising book, “From Ashes to Life” was translated into German and assigned in German schools. Chapters were read by Stefanie Kloss of the popular German band Silbermond on “Laut Gegen Nazis” (“Loud Against Nazis”), a CD recorded to raise awareness among young people of the dangers of right-wing extremism.

Lucille’s second book, “Rumkowski and the Orphans of Lodz” (Mercury House, 1998), described her experience in the Lodz Ghetto. This led to her work with the University of Giessen on “The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto,” a multi-volume compilation of archival records, testimonials and analyses, and to her receipt of an honorary doctorate. Her third book, “Haunted Memories: Portraits of Women in the Holocaust” (Publishing Works, 2011) was translated into Italian as well as German and became the basis for a theatrical production mounted in Genoa.

Lucille refused to return to Germany until 1993, on the occasion of her husband’s 60th high-school reunion and on the condition that one of her sons accompany her. Subsequently, she lectured about her experiences to high schools, colleges and other audiences and at Holocaust commemoration events in Germany as well as the United States. She recorded her recollections for the USC Shoah Foundation and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and sat for interviews and public events with Der Spiegel and other German publications. (The typical exchange would go, “With the passage of time, are you more inclined to forgive?” To which she would flatly respond, “No.”)

In 1995, with the support of Frauen im Museum der Arbeit (Women in the Museum of Work), a mural depicting Lucille, together with one of her poems was unveiled at Lawaetz House in Hamburg as part of a memorial to women forced to work clearing Hamburg’s city center and port in 1945. In 2009, in recognition of her educational work, she was awarded the Hamburg Gold Medal of Honor by the city’s mayor. In 2015, on the occasion of her 90th birthday, Konkret Literatur Verlag of Hamburg presented Lucille with a festschrift, “Ich kann nicht vergessen und nicht vergeben” (I Cannot Forget and I Cannot Forgive). In 2017, on her last international trip, Lucille spoke, characteristically uncompromisingly, to an event marking the inauguration of a memorial at Hannoverscher Station in Hamburg, from which some 17,000 Jews of Polish descent were deported.
Lucille is survived by her sons, Barry and Martin, and her daughter-in-law, Michelle Bricker.


Betty Halpern

April 26, 1924–Oct. 30, 2019

On Oct. 30, 2019 our amazing mother Betty Halpern died in Bodega, California. She had been taken care of by her son Jackie for 16 years. She was 95 years old and died peacefully at home. Betty was born Brana in 1924 in Romania, where the Danube and the Black Sea meet. When Betty was 5, Pearl and Dave Weintein, her parents and younger sister, the late Tanya Bove, fled on a ship to New York at the height of the Depression. From Brooklyn, she moved to Berkeley in 1945 and enrolled in UC Berkeley, where she met her husband, Raymond. In 1952, she took over the directorship of Berkwood School. She is remembered as a thoughtful educator who directed the first integrated private school in Alameda County. The school continues, now called the Berkwood Hedge School.

Betty Halpern
Betty Halpern

In 1968, she was hired by Sonoma State College, now University, to head up its early childhood education department. The state used this model for their Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, with an emphasis in early childhood education. She retired from SSU in 1994. In retirement, Betty swam and played tennis daily, worked with homeless advocacy groups, volunteered in her daughter’s classroom and helped organize the Berkeley Arts Festival. She also acted in George Coates’ long running production, “Better Bad News.”

She is survived by her son Jackie, her daughter Tova and son-in-law Nels Bruseth, her brother Neil Weinstein, brother-in-law Leonard and nephews Howard and Richard Bove of San Jose and her grandchildren, Elijah, Kaya and Ma’ayan.

The family wishes to invite friends and relatives to Betty’s Celebration of Life on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the BFUU Fellowship Hall in Berkeley, 1924 Cedar Street, from roughly 2 to 5 p.m. Please confirm your attendance and email any questions to tov2u@comcast.et


Leonard Irving Hurwitt

June 1, 1927–Feb. 10, 2020

Leonard Irving Hurwitt
Leonard Irving Hurwitt

Leonard was born and raised in San Francisco. After graduating from Balboa High School, he enlisted in the Navy during WWII. Shortly after he was discharged from the Navy, he met his wife-to-be Yvonne Ehrenberg. They were married for 65 years until Yvonne’s passing. Leonard was 92 years old.

Leonard worked at several companies before he found his true calling in residential real estate. He was a real-estate broker and held his license for over 50 years.

Leonard will be remembered as a world traveler, a long-standing member of Lake Merced Golf Club and an avid Giants fan. To his friends and family, he will be remembered as someone who was quick to smile and young at heart.

Leonard was the devoted father of Sharon (Alan) Levins, Nancy (Matthew) Browar, and Joan (Mitchel) Berger. He was the grandfather of Emily (Jason) Goldstein, Amy Levins, Joshua Browar, Lauren Browar, Lindsay (Michael) Paisner and Alex (Nicole) Berger. He was the great-grandfather of Samuel and Jacob Goldstein, Leo and Vivienne Browar, Georgia Gainer, Annie Berger and Isaac Paisner. He is the brother of Dorothy Tietze and the late Stanley Hurwitt. He is the brother-in-law of Bernard Monetta.

We want to give special thanks to Marlene Garibay and Vicki Quiogue, who were his caregivers at the SF Towers.

Private funeral services were held.

Donations in Leonard’s memory to UCSF BTC Foundation 505 Parnassus Ave., Room M779, San Francisco, CA, 94143.


Marc Steven Schwartz

Dec. 28, 1961–Jan. 31, 2020

Marc Steven Schwarz loved to learn and enjoyed challenging mental tasks from a young age. He worked on complex puzzles and models as a boy and later in life shifted these interests and skills into computer problem-solving. From a young age, he was interested in history, particularly the events of World War II. Marc was very well read in several fields spanning the humanities and the sciences.

Marc was an avid collector of unusual items, some vintage and valuable, some new and interesting. He had an expert eye for good finds and loved to take a chance on a product that may “make it big.” His collections ranged from sports cards, guitars, strategy games, books and vintage computers.

Marc was a son, a brother, an uncle, a nephew and a friend. He was a kind and generous person who loved to make us laugh. Marc passed away suddenly on Jan. 31, 2020. His valiant spirit and kindness will remain forever.

He is survived by his mother, Linda Schwarz; father, Alvin Schwarz; sister, Julie Reisz; brother, Ken Schwarz; brother-in-law, Fred Reisz; sister-in-law, Cheryl Schwarz; nieces and nephews, Rosie, David and Jamie Schwarz; Raquel and Eli Reisz; uncles, Carl and Allen Friedlander; aunt, Elaine Pollack; cousins, Lisa, Matthew and Beth Pollack; and extended family and friends who loved him dearly.

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Dec. 28, 1961. Marc moved with his family to California in 1969 and grew up on the Peninsula. Marc was a member of the first graduating class from the Uplands School in Hillsborough, California in 1980.

Marc received a B.A. degree from Claremont McKenna College, majoring in literature and political science; studied computer science at Yale University, earned an M.S. degree from the Ohio State University in computer science; an M.S. degree in computer science and artificial intelligence from New York University, and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and systems design from New York University. He also enjoyed teaching and journalism during his years at university.

Professionally, Marc was an accomplished researcher and user-interface analyst for advanced technologies. Marc’s intelligence, problem-solving skills and strategic thinking provided him the opportunity to work for many technology companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Intel, Google and Facebook.

He was a thoughtful person who loved to give gifts and never forgot a birthday or holiday. Marc was very honest and curious and had a unique sense of humor. He was able to share his incredible knowledge about almost any topic.

He was sweet, sensitive and helpful. Marc’s smart and caring nature will be greatly missed.

If considering memorial contributions, please donate to a charity of your choice.