Yizkor Memorial – 2020

May their memories be for a blessing . . .

Robert Agus
November 29, 2019   

Rob was one of the creators of Fabrangen, a constant source of pride for him. He had a love of davening and encouraged others in that love. He liked to push people in the right direction. He was a disciple of his father, Rabbi Jacob Agus, zichron tzadik livracha and was totally dedicated to his family.

Norman Shore

Helène Aylon          April 6, 2020  
Florence Howe       September 12, 2020

Helène, who died at 89. and Florence, at 91, were my older sisters, colleagues and comrades in the feminist movement. I want to acknowledge this loss, to me and many others, while saluting the marks they made that will continue to inspire. I recommend both their memoirs, published by the Feminist Press, and longer obits that can be found online.

Elaine Reuben

Beatrice Max Bluestein
July 20, 2020

My beloved aunt. Child of the Depression in Cincinnati, went to work in hospital laboratory age 14 to support her widowed mother. Privileged to participate in path breaking research to prove the efficacy of Salk and Sabin polio vaccines. A concerned and well- informed citizen, and long-time political activist. Doted on her descendants.

Martin Weil

Dr. Donald L. Bornstein (91)
April 22, 2020  

Distinguished Professor (Infectious Disease) at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, superb comedian, fervent Democrat, loving and proud husband, father, and grandfather, and a terrific uncle and great uncle. Anna Leah and I remember many wonderful visits we enjoyed with my mother Dorothy’s younger brother in the U.S., Belgium, (and Israel!)

Rose Sue Berstein, Anna Leah Berstein Simpson

Ariel Bourke 
April 14, 2020 

Beloved niece, cousin, queer transgender woman, student of theater lighting design at Purchase College, Ariel dreamed of directing light on Broadway. She was courageous, deep, passionate, dedicated. A cousin’s lasting memory: “Ariel playing her guitar, drawing us into her music-making; the clean and pure experience of her eagerness to share  . . . ”

Kalb Bourke family—Sarinah, Jaron, Leo, Susannah and Bella

Bertram S. Brown, MD
May 14, 2020

Bertram S. Brown MD led the effort to replace inhumane state institutions for mentally ill people with smaller community facilities. He mentored hundreds of people. Towards the end of his life, he decided to learn Yiddish and we started a Yiddish Club at his assisted living facility. He was a great Dad who modeled Jewish values.

Dale S. Brown

Selma Eisenberg
August 2, 2020

My mother, Selma Eisenberg, was born in Romania in 1923 and came to the US in 1935 at age 12. Tzedakah was a special value to her, and she taught my brother and me to always put any unreturnable money we found into one of our family’s many tzedakah boxes.

Rachel Braun  

Eric Fred Erbe
January 20, 2020

The smartest lab tech I ever knew. So skilled an electron microscopist that even without a PhD the USDA eventually made him a lab chief. It was an honor to publish with him that I shared with many other scientists. An amazing outdoorsman, he would walk me through the woods to his house from the lab so he could show me where the wild orchids grew.

Allen Hirsh

Tep Falcon
August 16, 2020

Tep was unique, quirky, compassionate, and devout. She spent her life fighting for the rights of farmworkers and Latinos. Everyone Tep met was touched by her humor and her love for all. I was lucky to have had 32 years of her friendship, and will miss her.

Susan Hoechstetter

Ruth Bader Ginsberg
September 18, 2020

Legal pioneer. Crusader for women’s and men’s equality.  LGBTQ rights.  Protector of affirmative action and immigrant rights.  Defender of the little people.  Minority voting rights.  Mentor.  Opera and theater lover.  Weightlifter. Fashionista.  Marty.  Bubbie.  Diminutive.  Soft spoken.  Collegial.  Courageous.  Grit.  Icon.  Source of Jewish pride. 

Even in her passing, she broke still one more glass ceiling.

Kay Flick Elfant

Barbara Goldstein
May 4, 2020


Barbara Goldstein, daughter of Ben and Hilda Goldstein, died on May 4, 2020 in Miami Florida at the age of 87 from the coronavirus. Barbara graduated from Cornell University and worked in the medical field as a hearing technician most of her life. Barbara’s surviving sister is Marsha Ribon. Barbara was a beloved first cousin of Jacob Frank.

Jacob Frank

Carol Ann Drenkow Gray
December 19, 2019

Carol was a dear friend. For many years she thrived as a landscape designer. Despite being a devoted mother, one son ran afoul of the law and one became schizophrenic. Then beloved husband Joe died of cancer. After that she struggled to care for the schizophrenic. In a final twist of terrible fate he murdered her and was subsequently killed assaulting the police.

Allen Hirsh

Gene Noel Hirsh
December 30, 2019

My brother Gene was born on August 6th, 1950, Hiroshima day. He graduated art school with honors and became an early digital artist and pioneering advocate for digital art in Northern California. Defeated by pesticide induced Parkinson’s disease, he was an intense man, my dear friend and my sharpest critic. 

Allen Hirsh

Shulamith Nebenzahl Levine
May 20, 2020

My mother was an artist, a scholar, and a great asker of questions. She entered the world in a war and a snowstorm, left it in a pandemic, and never let any crisis stop her from laughing. She left behind three children, three children-in-law, seven grandchildren, dozens of nieces and nephews, and a basement full of masterpieces. I miss her.

Haninah Levine

Sam Levinson
April 14, 2020

My father, a retired engineer, a widower and father of three daughters, was a complex man with a dry sense of humor that endeared him to many. He died at 93, in Bronx, NY, of covid-19. Blessedly, the final chapter of his life until the last day, he was cared for with love.

Arlene Levinson 

Shoshana Lis 1927-2020
May 18, 2020

My mother, Shoshana, was a plain-spoken, courageous member of the post-depression, WWII generation. In 1947, she chose to act on her belief in the “Zionist Dream” by making Aliyah to the new, independent State of Israel. As a loving parent and devoted friend, her pluck and courage inspired many who loved and admired her.

Ruth Lis 

Mathilde Masri Malamud     June 28, 2020
Oscar Malamud                   August 24, 2020 

Aleppo and Satanov family roots, Mathilde and Oscar left Buenos Aires and married in Israel in 1953.  Oscar,  academic, world potato expert, and Mathilde made a home for 5 children in Peru, Colombia, the D.R. and the U.S. Mathilde knitted and gifted everywhere.  Making 2nd Aliyah, Mathilde died in June, Oscar weeks later, both buried in Jerusalem.   We adored them.

Kay Flick Elfant 

Joel Packer
January 25 2020

Joel introduced me to Fabrangen High Holy Day Services and we attended together consistently for well over 30 years. He was a loyal friend, much adored husband to his wife Carolyn, wonderful father to his 2 daughters and then proud grandfather. He is missed immeasurably by all who knew him, including the whole education policy community.

 Barbara Stein 

Bob Rovinsky
October 24, 2020

Bob leaves gaping holes everywhere.

At our Men’s group, an integral presence in Fabrangen, the Jewish Study Center, the synagogues he supported, his devotion to his family, his stories.

May his blessed memory drown out the negativity, ugliness and sorrow we are surrounded by in this challenging time.

Mike Tabor 

Robert Rovinsky                                                                                                
October 24, 2020

Robert was a true mensch. He was a beloved; partner, father, teacher, friend and boss. He loved his causes and interests with an uplifting passion and boundless energy. He taught us what true love and caring was and is. He made us feel that our lives and struggles matter.
Perhaps he was one of the righteous people upholding the world.

Renana Brooks and  Neilah Rovinsky 

Robert Benyamin Rovinsky                                                                            
October 24, 2020

Bob was a goof and a mensch, donating his money, time, energy and his heart to anyone in crisis. His activism, storytelling, teaching, dancing, and zest for life inspired all those around him. He was truly under-appreciated (mea culpa), truly happy and truly in love with his wife.

“Men don’t care about shoes, Neshama!”

“Man Plans, God Laughs.”

Neshama Rovinsky 

Roberta “Bobbi” Sacks (Rachel bat Avram Shlomo v’ Shulamit) (1939-2020)
January 14, 2020


Mom was a force of nature, creative and intelligent, a brilliant soprano, an adventurous and loving woman who knew love in her lifetime.  She created environments of warmth and support for all whom she cared for, and cultivated a connection to Judaism, music, theatre and art in her children and grandchildren.

Judybeth Greene 

Lora Weiner                                                                                                        
December 5, 2019  

My mother was born 1920 in southwest Germany. Arrived in NY 1937 and stayed with relatives almost a year until her parents arrived. Quickly became a proud American.  

Ellen Abraham 

Robert L. Weiner                                                                                                     
April 13, 2020

Inspired by his large extended family and close Jewish community on Denver’s West Side, Robert Weiner practiced medicine for 30 years. He loved his 3 daughters and their mother, and his second wife, with whom he grew old. He loved a good story, the magic of a trout stream, and, even in old age, the joy of pursuing new creative passions.  

Debbie Weiner 

Henrietta Wexler                                                                                            
November 13, 2019

My dear friend for over three decades, intensely curious kind and supportive, caring and generous, always polite, she freely shared strong opinions. She loved young children, including mine, who called her Grandma Honey. Her idea of a good night was to settle in with the New Yorker.

Rhonda Weiss 

Richard (Dick) Wissoker                                                                                
February 18, 2020

 A warm, kind, welcoming, and really decent man who enjoyed life. Had a second career as a Jewish professional, including founding a pre-school for his synagogue and being a leader of Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. Devoted to my mom (married 68 years), his family, his religious community, and Israel. He is missed.

Doug Wissoker


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