Sylvia June

(Grossman) Bleiweiss

Sylvia June (Grossman) Bleiweiss born June 25, 1921 and died 90 years to the day on her birthday June 25, 2011. A proud native of San Francisco, she graduated from George Washington High School and insisted on residing, working and raising her family in the city she loved. Preceded in death by her adoring and loving husband Harry, and her sisters, Pauline, Rose, and Esther, whom she cherished. A devoted mother to daughters Roberta, Nancy and Lorraine and favorite aunt to Mario Rossi, Allen and Elaine Rosenbaum and their children Sharon, Bob and Judy.

Sylvia was proud to have worked with the USO during WWII and continued to support our war veterans. She was a mosaic artist, an avid reader and loved a good martini (prepared with her special instructions), the 49ers, Sonoma, conversation (she did like to talk), hearing and telling jokes and was still discussing current events, books and telling a good joke up until her final days. Sylvia was a loyal Bank of America branch manager (retired after 25 years) with many coworkers and customers who respected her work ethics and who remained her close friends.

Slib (as she was nicknamed) was an “Auntie Mame”-like character, who enjoyed entertaining, having and attending parties and events (even when she was “not invited”). Harry and Slib were the greatest of parents. They had the most pleasure when the family and their children’s friends were all together. Holidays, birthdays and celebrations were a time that Harry and Slib were in their glory because their house would be filled with friends and relatives (occurring often). “The more the merrier” was their motto and anyone who attended a family function or party always felt so special and wanted to be part of the family circle.

Sylvia inspired the lives of many and will be so missed by family and friends. However, anyone’s life that was remotely touched by Sylvia (and Harry) will have many great stories and memories to keep them alive in their hearts. A special tribute — “Martinis & Memories” — is planned for late July. A future celebration will also take place in Yosemite (her favorite and most memorable place) as per her wishes. Please contact Roberta Bleiweiss at [email protected] for details and plans.

Walter J. Grenn, of San Mateo, CA, died Sunday, June 26.

He was born July 31, 1913 in Berlin, Germany. With Hitler’s rise to power he had to leave university, and found his way to Bogota, Colombia. Walter then came to the United States and was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served in the South Pacific as a translator during World War II.

Upon his return he worked in the import-export business in New York where he met his wife Rita Kolb. In 1963 they moved to San Mateo with their daughters; Rita passed away in 1981. Among Walter’s many passions were teaching and traveling. He taught German for more than 40 years. In 1992 he married Verena Lamar, with whom he shared a love of travel, opera and the symphony.

Those who knew and loved him will greatly miss his warmth, loyalty, quick wit and joie de vivre. He is survived by daughters, D’vorah J. Grenn and Anne Grenn Saldinger; son-in-law, Erez Saldinger and grandchildren, Adva Saldinger, Ari Saldinger and Greg Scott. In lieu of flowers, donations to Blue Card or Doctors without Borders are welcome.

Konigsberg, Sidney, Ph.D.

In San Rafael on June 29, 2011 at age 93. Devoted and beloved husband of the late Vivian Gardner Konigsberg for 71 years; loving father of the late Joanne Helene Konigsberg; uncle of Marilee K. Gardner, Joyce M. Konigsberg (Philip Cecchettini), Michael J. Smith (Lynn), Edward P. Smith, Jr. (Nancy) and Roger A. (Lynne Oberlander) Smith; and great uncle, great-great uncle and cousin to many.

Sidney was born in Berkeley. He graduated as valedictorian of Polytechnic College of Engineering in Oakland with degrees in Electrical and Radio Engineering and obtained a doctor of science from Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Israel. During World War II he designed life-saving equipment for the military and later founded three electronics firms. Sidney loved classical music and opera, and supported numerous arts and charitable organizations. He was a member of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco for over 60 years and the Masonic Lodge for over 60 years and served as an executive secretary of the National Marine Electronics Association and President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of American Technion Society. Dr. Konigsberg was an active contributor and guardian of the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, where he championed the work of outstanding faculty members through the Vivian Konigsberg Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Konigsberg was a licensed amateur radio operator for over 60 years.

Sidney was a person of generous spirit and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and his devoted companion, Marie Whitney.

Funeral services were held Friday, July 1, 2011 at Home of Peace Cemetery, Colma. Donations to your favorite charity preferred.

Sydney Levin

April 20, 1914–June 30, 2011

In San Mateo, June 30, 2011, at age 97. Dearly beloved husband of 74 years to Zelda Levin. Father of Carol Ann (Robert) Roudman, Ken (Darlene) Levin, and the late Linda (Jerry) Lebovitz. Grandfather of Allan Lebovitz, Debbie Lebovitz, Rachel Roudman Thurow, Rebecca Roudman, Matthew Levin and Melanie Levin. Loving Great-grandfather of Jared and Keira Lebovitz, and Genevieve and Lillian Selsor. Founding member of Peninsula Temple Beth El, San Mateo. Past president of the Optimist Club of San Carlos, past president of the Fidelis Club of San Carlos, and was also bestowed the highest honor in the Rotary Club in San Carlos, that of a Paul Harris. Member of the Elks Club (San Mateo), Press Club (San Francisco) and B’nai B’rith. He was also active in the Shriners. Services were held at Peninsula Temple Beth El in San Mateo under the direction of Sinai Memorial Chapel. Interment followed at Skylawn Memorial Park, San Mateo. Donations to Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation, Peninsula Temple Beth El or charity of your choice.

It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of Robert G. Rosenberg on June 18, 2011, at home with his family by his side. A man of great honesty, integrity and kindness, he was born in New York City on June 24, 1920. He moved with his family to California following high school and attended U.C. Berkeley, where he graduated from the optometry school.

After serving three and a half years in the Pacific during World War II, he married his college sweetheart, Shirley. They settled on the Peninsula, where they raised their children and became involved in community activities. He practiced optometry before switching careers, becoming a partner of Grow & Doughty Real Estate and Insurance. Subsequently he started his own insurance firm.

He was a man of diverse interests, who loved his family, world travel, the Sierras, solving problems and helping others. In retirement he was able to find fulfillment traveling with Shirley, volunteering, spending time with his family and friends and using his varied and diverse skills creatively.

He was a delightful and entertaining writer who shared his life experiences and philosophical musings in short stories, and later emails. He was an innovative craftsman and skilled photographer. Many organizations and individuals benefited from his services, skills and wise counsel. He was a volunteer throughout his life, serving on the San Mateo library board, participating in Temple Beth El activities and assisting Habitat for Humanity, KQED and other groups.

For over 25 years he was a devoted volunteer with the de Young Museum, where he worked on many restoration projects, mentored interns and solved problems. He was recognized for his significant service by the museum with the McNeil Volunteer Recognition Award in 1999 and in 2005, when he received the Bay Area Volunteer in the Arts award from Bernard Osher.

Bob is survived by Shirley, his wife of 66 years; his three children, sons Chuck and John and daughter Nancy Bott and their spouses; his sister Joan Friedman; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Donations can be made to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco at De Young Golden Gate Park, Attn: Emily Proud, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118 or to Pathways Hospice at

Meeda Elias Sherbanee

Died on June 15, 2011 in the arms of her loving son Maurice after 104 years of an amazing life.

Born in British Singapore of Iraqi Jewish parents, she enjoyed a privileged life until she found herself married and taken to Baghdad at 16. It was a trauma she never recovered from.

“Granny” was one of a kind — a feminist and a fighter, she never accepted being oppressed. She refused to accept anti-Semitism, sexism or anything and anyone who refused her equal rights. Never afraid to speak up, whether on the streets of Baghdad or on Muni, she put freedom first.

Granny loved to gamble, be it poker, slot machines or bingo. She lived long enough to teach her great-great-grandchild Rebecca to knit. Her creativity was unbounded, be it in the kitchen or in the garden, at her piano or sewing machine, or with her knitting needles. She loved living and never lost that “inner child.”

Most of all, she loved her family — there was nothing she would not do for her loved ones. Granny remained sharp in her mind although her body could no longer house her fierce spirit.

Survived by her son and daughter, Maurice Sherbanee and Elaine Bakhash; grandchildren Rachel Wahba (Judy Dlugacz), Elliot Wahba (Karen Douek); great-grandchildren Tiffany Wagner, Arielle, Avital and Benjamin Wahba, and great great-grandchild Rebecca Wahba Cook.

Funeral services were held on Friday, June 17, 2011 at Eternal Home Cemetery, Colma. Donations to a charity of your choice.

Benjamin L. Sieradzki, 84, died on July 1, 2011, at his home in Berkeley. He is survived by his wife, Gloria; his sons, David Sieradzki of Bethesda, MD., and Michael Sarid of Santa Monica, CA; and three granddaughters.

Ben was born in 1927 in Zgierz, near Lodz, Poland. He was the youngest of five children in a Chassidic Jewish family. During his teenage years, Ben survived the horrible brutality of the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz and Ahlem, a labor camp in Germany, from which he was liberated by the U.S. Army.

After the war, Ben lived in Sweden. In 1953, he immigrated to Los Angeles, where he met and married Gloria in 1955. They settled in Berkeley. Ben worked as a mechanical engineer in the food processing industry. In the late 1990s, his research enabled him to connect with Vernon Tott, an American soldier who had photographed the liberation of Ahlem. A proud father and grandfather, he was deeply involved in the Berkeley Jewish and Holocaust survivor communities.

Contributions in Ben’s memory may be made to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Western Regional Office, 9911 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035; Young Judaea; or the Berkeley chapter of Hadassah.

Edith Claire Stevens, born in Germany in 1923, escaped on the last Kindertransport to England in 1939.

Immigrating to the U.S., Edith graduated Phi Beta Kappa from U.C. Berkeley in 1946. Two years later she met and married the love of her life, Kurt Stevens, to whom she was married for 52 years. Edith and Kurt, who raised three sons, loved the opera, symphony and theater, socializing with their large circle of friends and family, and traveling the world together.

Edith was one of those rare people who always gave much more than she was willing to receive. She was very active at Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame, including running the gift shop that is named after her. She is survived by her loving family: sons Michael Stevens, wife Theresa and grandchildren Marina and Lilah; Craig Stevens and granddaughter Mayana; and Gary Stevens, wife Patti and grandchildren Claire and Henry.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame at 1655 Sebastian Drive Burlingame, CA 94010-5899.