Eva Gertrude Block

In San Francisco on Aug. 5, 2011 at age 94. Beloved wife of the late Samuel Block; loving mother of Michael Block (Ellen Moilanen); adoring grandmother of Alison Kanshaw and Danielle Springett; dear sister of Ben Lapin.

Eva was born in Bellville, Illinois, and moved to San Francisco at age 10. She attended Commerce High School in San Francisco and became a medical transcriber for the San Francisco Naval Hospital. Eva was a member of the California Federation of the Blind and was active in the Rose Resnick Lighthouse. She served on the San Francisco Paratransit Coordination Council.

Graveside services were held Aug. 11, 2011 at Salem Memorial Park, Colma. Donations to the Rose Resnick Lighthouse, preferred.

Sinai Memorial Chapel


Rosefannie Newburgh Grabstein


Squeek Grabstein, beloved wife of Norman E. Grabstein, born May 12, 1923 to Henry and Miriam Newburgh, fourth generation of two pioneer Bay Area families, passed away on Aug. 5, 2011 after a long illness.

She was a graduate of Galileo High School, Stanford University and San Francisco State University. Married to Norman July 28, 1945. They celebrated 66 wonderful years together. Mother of Gail Laghi, Richard Grabstein (Harriette Unger) and Kenneth Grabstein (Teresa). Grandmother of Tori Laghi Starks (Gail), Anna and Michael Grabstein (Richard and Harriette), and Naomi, Daniel and Benjamin Grabstein (Kenneth and Teresa). Great-Grandmother of Sarah and Isaiah Starks.

Squeek was devoted to Norm and together they traveled the world, exploring 39 countries together. Squeek worked as a bacteriologist at Walter Reed Hospital during World War II, returning home to marry Norm. She was active in many local organizations including National Council of Jewish Women, the Sisterhood Guild of Congregation Emanu-El and its Floral Committee and the Elizabeth and Alvin Fine Museum Committee, to which she and Norm devoted themselves for many years. She was active in the Stanford Womens’ Club, the Stanford Pace and Cornerstone programs, and a patron of the Symphony and the Ballet.

Squeek was a perpetual scholar, never giving up her thirst for knowledge of the classics, and worked as an archaeological consultant with the Frank V. de Bellis Collection at San Francisco State. Her travels were often focused on her love of classics and also on her curiosity for new and exotic places.

Memorial service on Aug. 12, 2011 at Home of Peace Cemetery, Colma, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Elizabeth and Alvin Fine Museum at Congregation Emanu-El, the Asian Art Museum or Camp Tawonga ( or a charity of your choice, preferred.

Sinai Memorial Chapel


Harriette E. Hart

Harriette passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family at the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville. She is survived by her two children, Joyce Bronow (Ron) and Barry Hart (Marcia), her seven grandchildren and her nine great-grandchildren.

She was a lifetime member of Temple Sinai in Oakland and served both on the Board and as President of the Sisterhood. She was also a lifetime member of ORT and Hadassah. She lived at Rossmoor for almost 30 years and traveled the world, played golf and bridge, and took many field trips with her husband Herbert, who predeceased her in 1995.

At the age of 90 she met Eddie Grunbaum and they were inseparable for over five years. She was intelligent, well-read and kept current with not only her family events but also with the world. She showed us how to live a life. She will be missed by all who knew her. Donations may be sent to the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living, 4000 Camino Tassajara, Danville, CA 94506.


Dr. Reuven Martin Jaffe

In San Francisco on Aug. 6, 2011 at age 74. He was predeceased by his parents, Burton and Zella Jaffe, and his sister, Marlene. Reuven is survived by his beloved wife, Ruth, his daughters Adina (Leslie) Lipson and Naomi (Jeremy) Ives, 8 grandchildren and cousins and friends.

Reuven graduated from George Washington High School and went on to study in 11 institutions of higher learning in the U.S. and Jerusalem. He received a doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1983 and continued to be a life-long learner.

Reuven spent many years as an educator with the SFUSD as well as being a Jewish educator. He was an inspiring teacher and very dedicated to his students. He was a member of the Northern California Board of Rabbis and the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. Reuven was a theater manager and an actor, as well as being an avid S.F. Giants fan.

Reuven received the Bar Ilan University Founders Award and the I.L. Kenen Society Award. He was a member of Hebrew Free Loan Association, Sinai Memorial Chapel and many other institutions. The Concordia-Argonaut Club was an important part of Reuven’s life.

Funeral services were held Aug. 8, 2011 at Sinai Memorial Chapel, San Francisco, followed by interment at Eternal Home Cemetery, Colma. Donations to Hebrew University or Congregation Beth Sholom, preferred.

Sinai Memorial Chapel


Dr. George Karonsky

Dr. George Karonsky, native San Franciscan, died at age 88 from pneumonia. He is predeceased by wife Marie Isaacson Karonsky, son Samuel Karonsky and brother Harry Karonsky. George is survived by son Rabbi Glenn Karonsky, daughter Sheri Karonsky Taman, son-in-law Larry Taman and grandson Jake Taman. Interment was at Home of Peace in Colma.

A career educator, Dr. K served San Francisco schools as teacher and Head Counselor at Horace Mann, Vice-Principal at Herbert Hoover, Principal of Portola and various executive positions at the Board of Education before taking charge of his own region as an area superintendent. A talented administrator and known for his people skills, George was designated by the Superintendent to play a prominent role in the desegregation of San Francisco schools.

Following his formal retirement, he began a second career as Chief Administrator of the American–Israel Friendship League with such distinction that he was saluted by then–Mayor Willie Brown for outstanding leadership in building a unique relationship between San Francisco and Israel student leaders.

George loved this city, its institutions, and its ball teams. He was a prominent leader at Congregation Beth Sholom, where he served for 20 years as the Principal of the religious school followed by continuous terms of Board leadership and ultimately President. The Beth Sholom years were especially happy ones for George and Marie and their children largely due to their affiliation with the Young Married Guild, a social organization sponsored by the synagogue. Many of the families of the Young Married Guild became life-long friends of George and Marie, and they built a special bonding that made them as close as family.

George grew up on McAllister Street in the heart of Jewish San Francisco, the son of Morris and Sonia Karonsky, immigrants escaping the persecution of Czarist Russia. George demonstrated a vigorous interest in Judaism and was a distinguished student at the Central Hebrew School under the inspirational leadership of Rabbi David Stoper, a man who remained a fixture in George’s life throughout. A proud alumnus of Lowell High School, George volunteered to serve his country in WWII, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant before his honorable discharge in 1945.

George was a Cal Bear and earned a doctorate of education in 1960. George believed that public education is vital to living the American dream and excelled in developing relationships with a diverse range of community members. He was truly a cherished figure in the lives of his many students and colleagues.

George loved sports not only for the fun but for the opportunity it provided to further his human relationship–building skills. He played basketball for Benny Neff at Lowell as well as on the Cal freshman team and could be seen frequently at sporting events across the Bay after retirement.

George was a beloved personality who supported many with acts of charity and loving-kindness. He was a learned Jew and fully understood the moral imperative of living a religiously inspired life. He was generous both with his time and resources and lived the day-to-day with the attitude that he would treat others as he himself wished to be treated. All who were hungry and in need of help knew that they were in George’s heart.

May his life serve as an inspiration to us all and may his memory be for a blessing.

The family encourages donations to the Samuel Karonsky Fund for the Developmentally Disabled at the Jewish Community Foundation, 300 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94610.

Sinai Memorial Chapel


Harold Meshel

Harold Meshel passed away peacefully July 28, 2011 in San Mateo, CA after a brief illness. Harold is survived by his daughters, Marilynn and Lauren Meshel, and his loving companion Dinah Haken. He is survived by his sister Eileen, sister-in-law Phyllis, granddaughter Blake, great-grandson Chase, nieces and nephews as well as the Neary and Wolff families.

He was the devoted husband of the late Gloria Meshel. He was a WWII-decorated veteran of the Army Aircorp, active in the Masonic Starr King Lodge #136 and the Scottish Rite Shriners. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Scottish Rite Center, 2850 19th Ave., San Francisco.

Donations can be made in Harold’s name to the Palo Alto Health Care System, 3801 Miranda Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94304, attn: General Fund #2202; or the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorder Center, 2850 19th Ave., SF, CA 94132.


M. Kenneth Oshman

Beloved husband, father and grandfather died peacefully Aug. 6 surrounded by his family. Ken was the Executive Chairman of Echelon Corporation in San Jose, CA since 1989. He also served as CEO of Echelon from 1988 to 2009 and President from 1988 to 2001. Echelon is a pioneer in energy control networking for smart electric grids, smart buildings and smart devices. He was a current board member of the Rice University Board of Governors and Just Answer.

Ken grew up in Rosenberg, Texas. He attended Rice University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, receiving a B.A. and B.S. in Engineering. In 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Daily. They moved to the Bay Area in 1963, where he was a member of the technical staff at Sylvania and was involved in the development of nonlinear optical techniques and systems. While at Sylvania, Ken attended Stanford University, where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in 1966.

Ken, with three associates, founded ROLM Corporation, a telecommunications equipment company, in 1969. He was CEO, President and a director at ROLM from its founding until its merger with IBM in 1984. Following the merger, he became a Vice President of IBM and a member of its Corporate Management Board. He remained in that role until 1986.

He was a past President of the Board of Stanford Alumni Association and a past member of the Advisory Council of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford Associates, and the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Santa Clara County. He was an American Electronics Association director for five years, serving as the chairman in 1977, a former director and chairman of the Santa Clara County Manufacturing Group, and a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Planning Committee and the Committee to Advise the President on High Temperature Superconductivity. Ken was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Rice University and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, Sigma Tau and IEEE.

Ken was an incredibly gifted businessman and lent his expertise on the boards of Sun Microsystems, Knight Ridder, ASK Computer Systems, StrataCom, Inc., and Charles Schwab Corporation, among others.

Ken enjoyed playing golf with friends, opera and spending time in Hawaii. Even with all of his professional accomplishments, Ken felt the most important thing in life was his family whom he loved dearly. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Barbara, his sons Peter and David and their wives Stephanie and Joanna, his four grandchildren Kate, Michael, Elizabeth and Jonathan, along with his brother and sister-in-law Rick and Tania Oshman of Houston, TX, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

A memorial service was held Aug. 9, 2011 at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA. Donations on behalf of Mr. Oshman can be made to an organization of your choice.

Sinai Memorial Chapel


Carolyn K. Spiegel

After valiantly battling a rare and aggressive type of uterine cancer for over a year, Carolyn Kommel Spiegel died peacefully at home in Menlo Park on Aug. 5, 2011.

Born Sept. 22, 1942 at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland where her father, Sanford Kommel, was stationed as an officer in the Chemical Warfare Service of the 3rd Army, Carolyn and her brother Bob grew up in New York City with their mother, Charlotte Daniels Kommel. She graduated from Flushing High School and received a B.A. in French from the University of Wisconsin. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and attended the Sorbonne University of Paris. Her next accomplishment was a four-year National Defense Education Act Doctoral Fellowship at Stanford University.

Carolyn had a highly successful 40-year career teaching French at various levels to thousands of students, many of whom called her “the best teacher I’ve ever had.” She began by teaching at the City University of New York but returned to California and taught at several schools before settling in at Foothill College. One of her greatest achievements was the creation of a live and interactive French conversation class, which she led over television for Stanford University.

Active in the local Jewish community, Carolyn served as president of the South Peninsula Hebrew Day School PTA and on the Boards of Directors of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews and the Sequoia Chapter of Hadassah. She was a frequent volunteer in various capacities at Congregations Beth Jacob and Kol Emeth. As an activist in the struggle for freedom for Soviet Jews, she and husband Phil traveled to the former Soviet Union in 1985 and 1987 to meet with refuseniks and bring them material and spiritual support in their struggles to emigrate.

Carolyn’s first bout with cancer occurred in 1990 when she developed throat cancer and required daily radiation therapy for two years. She inspired the medical staff and other patients by riding her bicycle from her home in Los Altos to El Camino Hospital. She became an active participant in rides with the Western Wheelers Bicycle Club and completed many 100-kilometer rides, as well as bicycle tours through France and around Hawaii. Combining her loves of French and bicycling, she gave classes in French conversation especially “geared” for cyclists who were going to ride in France.

Madamevelo (Mrs. Bicycle) became her nickname and email address and also the name of her Care Page for blogging about her cancer treatment and condition when she began chemotherapy for uterine cancer last year. Over 120 friends and family members read her updates, and in their nearly 2,000 messages of support they frequently admired her joie de vivre and remarked how courageous and inspiring Carolyn was. While in chemotherapy last July, Carolyn served as a cycling course marshal for the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Livestrong Challenge in San Jose. She rode 30 miles that day!

Carolyn loved being a grandmother to Sylvia (3 years old) and Ari (17 months), the children of her daughter, Deborah, and son-in-law Matthew Glenn, who live in Portland, Oregon. She is also survived by her loving and devoted husband of 31 years, Philip Spiegel, and his sons, Ralph Spiegel and wife, Laura Marsh, of Philadelphia, and Michael Spiegel and wife, Amity Spiegel, and grandson Cole Spiegel of Brooklyn. Other survivors are her brother, Robert Kommel of New York, and her sisters Jane Stoval of Sacramento, Laura Farmer of Crystal Lake, Illinois, and Helene Kommel of Kingston, Ontario, as well as many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins in North America and Israel.

A service held Aug. 7 at Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto preceded burial at the Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made to Congregation Kol Emeth,, or the Sequoia Chapter of Hadassah,

Sinai Memorial Chapel