Sylvia Adler, a 22-year resident of Rossmoor, died peacefully in Walnut Creek on January 4. She was 84.

Sylvia was born in Xenia, Ohio. She met her late husband, Jerry, at a B’nai Brith dance; they married in 1943 and had 42 wonderful years together. They raised their family in Philadelphia, Louisville, Burlingame and Los Angeles. Sylvia was an avid golfer, bridge player and artist. She loved to cook, and her famous matzah-ball soup will be sorely missed. She had a longtime commitment to the Jewish community, was an officer in several Jewish organizations and took particular pride in being a life member of the National Council of Jewish Women.

Her family was her greatest passion. She is survived by four children, Andy (and Jo Cohen), Steve (and Meg) Adler, Judy Adler (and Brian Aronstam), and Sue Adler-Bressler (and Dave Bressler); six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers, Chuck Rich and Don Rich, and a sister, Jane Katz.

Funeral services were held under the direction of Sinai Memorial Chapel-Lafayette. Donations may be made to Temple Isaiah or to Hospice of the East Bay, 3470 Buskirk Ave., Pleasant Hill 94523.

Lucille Anspach — “Lolly” — “Sylka”


A San Francisco native.

Beloved wife of the late Leo Anspach for 58 years.

Loving mother of Beverly and (Roman) Starno and Leonard and (Lucy) Anspach.

Adored grandmother of Erica and Elliott Starno, Samuel Anspach and Giovanni Squadrito.

Cherished aunt to Barbara McCarthy, and a loving great-aunt to Diana Sosnick and Sandy Navarro.

A friend to all including many of the staff and residents at the Jewish Home for the Aged where Lucille lived the last nine years of her life. Donations can be made to the Jewish Home for the Aged, 302 Silver Ave. S.F. CA. 94112

Eric Max Bergtraun 83, died peacefully December 27, 2008 of a stroke, in the presence of his devoted family.

Eric was born February 21, 1925 in Vienna, Austria. His life spanned three continents from the Kristallnacht to the Shanghai Ghetto then immigrating to San Francisco in 1948 to start his American life. Eric had a great love of Scouting his whole life and as a Scoutmaster for Troop 510 he began what would become a lifetime of mentoring, eventually being awarded the highest award in Scouting, the Silver Beaver.

Joining the “Worldlings” Club in 1956 he met the love of his life, Polly, who would become his wife for the next 51 years.

Starting as an electrician while going to night school to get his diploma he rose in the fledgling Silicon Valley, moving his family to Los Altos in 1963 to become a Plant Manager of Facilities first at Fairchild, then at National Semiconductor, managing the building of plants both in the U.S. and abroad. In his 35 years in the Industry, Eric became a mentor to many in the field. Eric helped establish the Association of Facilities Engineers (AFE), receiving the Institute’s highest honor of Fellow in 1977.

For the past 45 years Eric served as a volunteer at Congregation Beth Am as House Chair and Library Committee Chair as well as being involved in Shanghai “Rickshaw” Reunions and Hidden Children programs.

Eric was a lover of fine arts, opera, good food and jokes — good and bad — with an infectious laugh that spread to all around him. But above all, Eric was a great family man. He will be deeply missed by his wife Polly, his son Alex with Michelle and their sons Asher and Ruben, and by daughter Caroline Hayes with Bob and their children Santana, Lauren and Zachary.

A celebration of Eric’s life was held at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, Sunday, Jan. 4th, 2009.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: The Congregation Beth Am Library Fund ( or The Holocaust Center of Northern California (

Hirsch, Wallace B.

In Burlingame, Dec. 28, 2008. Beloved husband of the late Nancy Hirsch. Loving father of Lawrence Hirsch (Karen) and Barry Hirsch. Devoted grandfather of Jena, Casey and Steven Hirsch. Dear cousin of Audrey Karnal and Norman Landsberg. A native of San Francisco, age 81 years.

Funeral services have been held. Sinai Memorial Chapel, (650) 369-3636.

Arthur Kerdeman passed away at the Peninsula Regent on the 8th night of Chanukah, December 28, 2008, at the age of 97. He joins Esther, his beloved wife of 40 years, who died in 1991. Arthur was a devoted father to Deborah Kerdeman (David Tarshes) of Seattle, Washington and Nancy Kosro (Jeff Kosro) of West Bloomfield, Michigan. Funeral services were held on December 31 at Skylawn Memorial Park.

Born on August 17, 1911 in Kalaharowka, which was then in Poland, Arthur and two of his sisters were evacuated to Siberia at the start of World War 1. In 1918, Arthur and his family moved to Vienna, Austria. It was in Vienna that Arthur was arrested on Kristallnacht (November 9, 1938) and taken to Dachau. Arthur remained in Dachau until March 22, 1939. After his release, he made his way to Cleveland, Ohio by way of London.

Arthur was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1943, following his graduation from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in electrical engineering. He proudly served in Army Intelligence in North Africa and Europe until his discharge in 1945.

Arthur and Esther married in 1951. In 1956, they moved to Millbrae, where they raised their two daughters. Arthur worked for the Federal Power Commission (Department of Energy) as an electrical engineer, specializing in hydro-electric power.

Arthur was a gifted artist, an avid photographer, a lover of nature, and a dedicated hiker. Well into his 90s, Arthur walked up to three miles a day. He will be remembered for his keen intellect, his dry wit, his insatiable curiosity, and his engaging charm, which brought him many diverse friendships.

In an autobiographical essay, Arthur wrote: “I don’t mind having been a witness to the horrors of Dachau as long as I was able to survive and tell the world about it in defiance of the Nazi enemies who would prefer my silence.” Arthur closed the essay with the following Yiddish saying: “Ibergekumene tsores is gut tsu dertseylin — Troubles overcome are good to tell.”

Memorial donations may be made to Peninsula Temple Beth El and Mission Hospice.

Victor Keyak

Suddenly in San Francisco on January 3rd 2009.

Beloved husband of Anita Keyak; loving father of Jeffrey (Vicki) Keyak, Janet (Marvin) Schwab and Jonathan (Dvorah) Keyak; father-in-law of the late Howard Wisefield; loving grandfather of Aaron, Joshua and Jonah Keyak, Jennifer and Julie Wisefield, Brachie (Avraham Chaim) Berenstein, Shifra (Eliyahu) Shteiman, Rivka, Yosef, Yehuda and Dovid Keyak; dear brother of the late Michael and Sophie Keyak and the late Karl Keyak; brother-in-law of Sara Keyak, the late Elsie and Mel Franklin, William and Roschelle Weiman, Leslie (and the late Ann) Jacobs. A loving uncle and cousin. A professional engineer and a dedicated volunteer.

Funeral services were held on January 6, 2009 at Home of Peace Cemetery in Colma.

Contributions may be made to the Jewish Family and Children’s Services for the Anita and Victor Keyak Endowment Fund or a blood donation to the Blood Centers of the Pacific, or to a charity of your choice.

Mike Kuchinsky, passed away in Redwood City on December 31, 2008 at the age of 86. Husband of the late Edith Kuchinsky. Father of Dina (and Eddie) Alexander and Myra(and Ralph) Gruschka. Grandfather of Ricky and Rachel Alexander and Karen, Mark and Amy Gruschka. Gravesite services were held at Eternal Home in Colma.

Lucy Marx was born in Rheydt-Odenkirchen (Cologne), Germany, to Sigmund and Rika Oberlaender. After studying voice and piano at the Cologne Conservatory, Lucy became a Montessori teacher using her musical talents to enrich the learning of her young charges.

In 1933, a friend persuaded her to go to a student meeting in Berlin where Adolf Hitler spoke. She was carrying a rolled up newspaper, dropped it repeatedly under her seat and did not recover it until the cheering students sat down. When she got home, she told her parents that Hitler had a hypnotic effect, that they were in danger and must leave Germany. Her warnings were not taken seriously. In 1938 she met Willi Marx through a mutual relative and they were married as “Israel” and “Sarah” by a Nazi official in a policy to deny Jews their German identities.

Her husband knew about the requirements to leave Germany and having read “Mein Keimpf” shared her misgivings. They made plans to leave for the United States and while in Mannheim to say farewell to his parents, he was taken to the Dachau concentration camp on Kristallnacht when the Nazis destroyed Jewish property and took away the men.

Bravely, Lucy went twice to the Gestapo to plead for her husband’s release, showing them the low quota numbers, affidavit of sponsorship from America, and ship tickets. Ten days after being incarcerated, and after Lucy’s second trip to the Gestapo, Willi was released and they sailed to New York with a few personal items and nine dollars each.

In New York they worked as a butler and a cook in New Rochelle. Having never had to cook at home, Lucy slept with a cookbook under her pillow and improvised with some of her early disasters which her employers found to be very exotic dishes. After seven years, they saved their money and moved to Buffalo, N.Y thinking it would be lovely to live near Niagara Falls. They had one daughter and Lucy was busy helping out at school and being the Brownie and Campfire Girl leader.

In 1965 they moved to Berkeley and enjoyed the rich cultural life with a circle of fellow German Jews who shared a common background. During the Vietnam War, Lucy and Willi were volunteers for the Red Cross, teaching leather crafts to wounded sailors at Oak Knoll Hospital.

They enjoyed traveling, volunteer work and socializing with new friends until his death in 1987. Lucy made new friends through the Friendship Circle and stayed involved with her daughter and granddaughter. She spent her last years at Monarch Place, formerly the Claremont House in Oakland.

Lucy is survived by her daughter, Doris Marx, of San Leandro; granddaughter Tina Valkanoff of Oakland; sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Eric Lansing or Tonawanda, NY, nephew, Tom Lansing of Amherst, NY; niece, Diane Lansing, Syracuse, NY, and nephew Ernest Kallmann of Neuilly, France.

Private burial will be in Oakland.

Memorial services Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 3 p.m. at Temple Sinai, 2823 Webster St., Oakland, CA.

Bernice Wiener in Dublin on January 1, 2009 at 76 years of age. A native of Massachusetts moving to San Francisco while still in her teens. Retired Executive Director of Congregation Beth Israel-Judea in San Francisco for 37 years. Active member of B’nai Brith Women and BATA (Bay Area Temple Administrators). Avid bowler and card player, she loved cruising. The “matriarch” of the family.

Survived by her daughter Lora and son Greg (Deborah); grandchildren Leah, Josh, Rachel, Jared, Michael and Aaron; sister Susanne Shalit (Roy Elder); brother Sheldon (Patty) Shalit; sister-in-law Nancy Shalit and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her husband Robert Wiener in 2007.

Services were held under the direction of Sinai Memorial Chapel, (925) 962-2636. Donations in her memory may be made to Congregation Beth Israel-Judea, 625 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco, 94132.