Deaths

Laura DeNola

Our Beloved Laura, Wife, Mother, Sister & generous community member, has passed after a long battle with M.S. Both here and in Israel, she lived her life with tenacity, grace, humor and loving courage in the face of great challenges. Survived by her husband, David, daughters, Maya and Sheli, sister Debra and numerous loving relatives and friends.

Sinai Memorial Chapel (650) 369-3636

 

Sheva Shansky Eisenberger

In San Francisco on Sept. 20, 2013 at age 99. Beloved daughter of the late Samuel and Bessie Shainsky; loving wife of the late Jack Leon Eisenberger; adored mother of Allen Curtis Eisenberger and Dr. Carol Lynn Eisenberger; cherished grandmother of Dr. Naomi Eisenberger, Aaron Eisenberger and Miriam Eisenberger; treasured great-grandmother of Ian Leiberman and Raine Eisenberger; dear sister of the late Ida Heskes and Albert Shansky; lifelong friend of Edith Kurtz; loved and respected by all who knew her.

Sheva was a successful businesswoman, a philanthropist who contributed to numerous Jewish and Israeli charities, and an active member of Hadassah Women, Congregation Ner Tamid and AIPAC. Most of all, she was a devoted wife and mother and will be greatly missed by all surviving family and friends.

Funeral services were held at Sinai Memorial Chapel followed by burial at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601-76331, phone (800) 272-3900; or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1131, Fairfax, VA 22038-1131, phone (800) 342-2383.

Sinai Memorial Chapel (415) 921-3636

 

Joseph Ezra Safdie

Jan. 15, 1922–Sept. 14, 2013

With sadness, we announce the passing of Joseph Safdie on Yom Kippur, 10th of Tishrei 5774. The deaths of his wife Rachel (Ritchie) and son Eddie preceded his. He is survived by his two daughters, Regina Safdie (David Handleman) of Los Angeles and Miriam Safdie Butrimovitz (Jerry Butrimovitz) of San Francisco. He leaves his adoring grandchildren Ilana and Matthew Butrimovitz.

Joe was the son of Ezra and Regina Safdie. He was the last survivor of six siblings, Abraham, Jack, Ralph and Morris Safdie and Mary Ades and Esther Cohen.

Joe was born in Antab, Turkey, at the Syrian border. His family fled in 1923 and made their way to Mexico City, where they lived for eight years among the Syrian Jewish community. The family then arrived in Brooklyn, where Joe completed high school and began college at CCNY. He had extensive Jewish education at Syrian/Sephardic institutions in Brooklyn.

Joseph’s family moved to San Francisco in the ’40s. During World War II, Joe served in the Army, stationed in France. Upon his return, he worked with his siblings in retail businesses in San Francisco. Joe continued to work in retail and wholesale businesses up until his passing at age 91. In particular, he mentored, worked and traveled extensively with Antonio Kuri of Mexicali, Mexico, and treasured that friendship. In his later years, he enjoyed a daily afternoon visit with Miriam and Jerry where he had a good cup of coffee and lively exchanges on the state of worldly affairs. He was forever “young,” and if one would ask him how old he was, he would respond by saying “39” (a la Jack Benny).

He met his wife Rachel (Jacob) at Magen David Sephardic Synagogue on her first day in America from Shanghai. They were married short of 60 years. Joe and Ritchie were pillars of the Modern Orthodox community in San Francisco.

Joe was known for his sense of humor, warmth, hospitality and Jewish scholarship. He was very active in his shul, Torat Emet, attending the daily minyan and reading the Torah every Shabbat in his Sephardic tradition. Along with his dear friend Abe Zeif, the focus and goal of his day was “to make sure there was a minyan.”

Joe will be remembered by his many Safdie and Jacob nieces and nephews, as well as his brother-in-law Jack Jacob of Baltimore and sisters-in-law Leah Jacob Garrick and Fortune Safdie. He will be remembered as “Grandpa Joe” to all of Ilana’s and Matthew’s friends, being their “local San Francisco grandfather.” He would always inquire of them if they “did their homework” and forever kibitz with them.

Joe would do most anything for anybody in need at any time of the day. He will be remembered for giving unconditional love and for his generous heart. He will be missed by all.

Funeral was held at Eternal Home. Donations can be made to Torat Emet, 768-27th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94121; Adath Israel, 1851 Noriega St., San Francisco, CA 94122; or charity of your choice.

 

David M. Schoenfeld

 

David, age 83, was born and lived his entire life in San Francisco. He wouldn’t have had it any other way.

He came into the world on Aug. 4, 1930, 15 months before his beloved sister Nancy, who predeceased him. He graduated from Lowell High School, where he met Rose Beckman, and they were sweethearts through their studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and then married in July of 1953 when David was on leave from his Army service at Fort Lewis, Washington. They settled back in San Francisco, where he began a successful and fulfilling career as a residential real estate broker, a career that spanned nearly 60 years.

Rose and David were the proud parents of three sons — Michael (1956), Jeffrey (1958) and Gary (1962), and their partners Betsy, Scott and Sandy. David lost Rose after 32 years of marriage in 1985, and through mutual friends, met Claire Nathan, whose open heart, generous spirit and enduring love so enriched his life during their 27 years of marriage, as well as the entire Schoenfeld family, along with her sons David and Gordie. David and Claire have been adoring grandparents of Allison, Julio, Rachel, Gary Jr., Emily, Kevin, Micah and Emmika.

David’s foundation was one of enduring optimism and positive outlook on life. He looked for the good in people and saw every interaction as an opportunity to find friendship and love. He always understood the importance of balance in life. Family and friends were the center of his existence (along with the S.F. Giants and 49ers), and this is a legacy his family shares today. He was much loved and, importantly, he knew it. He will be deeply missed.

A memorial service to celebrate his life is planned for Friday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. at Temple Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., San Francisco, CA 94115 (www.sherithisrael.org), with a reception to follow at Lake Merced Golf and Country Club, 2300 Junipero Serra Blvd., Daly City, CA 94105 (www.lmgc.org). In lieu of flowers, donations to a charity of one’s choice are much appreciated by the family.

Sinai Memorial Chapel (415) 921-3636

 

Jean Wildberg

 

Nov. 4, 1930–Sept. 18, 2013

Jean Wildberg died peacefully in her San Francisco home at age 82. Depending on who’s counting, Jean was either a third- or fourth-generation San Franciscan. Her maternal grandfather, Israel Kahn, came to the West Coast from Germany and established Kahn’s Department Store in Oakland in 1879. What is now known as the Rotunda building is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Jean enthusiastically conveyed a sense of history and culture to her children and grandchildren, and was a lifelong learner. A graduate of San Francisco’s Washington High School and Stanford University, she married (and later divorced) attorney Marvin Morgenstein, with whom she had three children: Richard, David and Susie. She went back to school when the children were in their teens, obtaining graduate degrees from San Francisco State University and the California School of Professional Psychology. She practiced as a psychologist specializing in Employee Assistance Programs before retiring in 1998.

Jean was a warm and generous hostess with a wide and eclectic group of friends. She had a flair for bringing people together, for seamlessly instigating great conversations, and for providing delicious and plentiful food. A worldwide traveler, Jean especially loved the Sierras, as had her father before her. In addition to many intellectual passions, including art and opera, she was a devoted bridge player. Jean was an attentive and caring friend. When circumstances called for it, she took a gentle parental role with younger people, with whom she had a special bond.

Among the many ways she modeled an excellent life, perhaps paramount was her ability to withstand adversity, to learn from it and to soldier on. By far her biggest loss was the untimely death of her daughter Susie at age 21. While the experience crushed her, over the years she accommodated her grief and remembrance in a widened world view. She took great and persistent joy in the unfolding lives of her sons, Richard Morgenstein and David Morgenstein, both of San Francisco. Richard’s children, Eva and Nick, and David’s children, Nina and Orly, were a source of inspiration and pleasure for Jean until the moment she died.

Jean is additionally survived by her nieces, Janet Macks and Katie Macks, as well as her daughters-in-law, Mary Ellen Hannibal and Lida Morgenstein. In addition to Susie, she is predeceased by her sister, Ruth Wildberg Macks, Ruth’s husband, Morton Macks, and their daughter, Judy Macks.

Friends and family are invited to her memorial service on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 10:30 a.m. at Congregation Sherith Israel. Donations in Jean’s honor came be made to Jewish Family and Children’s Services.