Carmen Schneider Drabkin

Nov. 10, 1938-Sept. 8, 2014

Born at Children’s Hospital in San Francisco to Emily and Delbert Schneider. Her first two years were spent in Oakland and then she resided in Piedmont, attending Piedmont High, U.C. Berkeley and Cal State Hayward graduate school. Carmen was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and was a violinist with the U.C. Symphony and the Oakland Symphony. While with the U.C. Symphony, Carmen was assistant concert master.

Having earned a teaching credential, Carmen worked as an elementary school teacher.  In 1960 she married Joe Drabkin and in 1964 retired to raise a family, after which she worked for Sabre Controls, an engineering firm, for 27 years.

Carmen and Joe resided in Sonora, Piedmont, Los Angeles, Lafayette, and for the last 42 years in Moraga.

She was a life member and regional vice president of ORT and life member of Hadassah.

She is survived by her husband, Joe; her children Mark (Alma), Lori (Boris), and the late Steven Jay; and grandchildren Benjamin, Jeremy, Hannah, Lyla, and Samuel. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother John and her sister Nanette.

Graveside services were held at Oakmont Memorial Park on Thursday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. Donations may be made to the Steven Drabkin Fund at Congregation B’nai Shalom or charity of your choice.

Sinai Memorial Chapel (925) 962 – 3636


Erin Williams Hyman

Erin Williams Hyman, beloved wife, daughter, mother, sister, and friend, died Sept. 18 at home, surrounded by her family.

Erin lived and loved fully and will always be in our hearts. She is survived by her husband, Rabbi Micah Hyman; her beautiful sons, Nathan and Theo; her parents, Sidney and Erik Williams of Palm Springs; and her brother, Brian Williams (and his wife Kelly). Erin was 42.

Born and raised in Palm Springs, Erin attended U.C. Berkeley for her undergraduate studies, earned a doctorate degree in comparative literature at UCLA and was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University.

Erin Hyman was a writer and editor. Her cultural commentary on subjects from wine to Oscar Wilde can be found in journals, essay collections and blogs. She edited several books including “Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982,” and “An Eloquent Modernist: E. Stewart Williams, Architect,” and contributed to a forthcoming book on the history of architectural installations.

In 2012, after being diagnosed with cancer, Erin created B’Matzav (, a blog for “reflection on healing, thriving, and parenting with breast cancer, from a Jewish perspective.”  She was president of the Bay Area Young Survivors group and edited “The Day My Nipple Fell Off – A BAYS Anthology,” chronicling the experiences of young women with breast cancer.

Erin was living in Los Angeles when she met and married Micah in 2002. In 2003, they moved to Paris for her studies, and in 2004 they moved to Santa Monica where their first son, Nathan, was born. From there, they went to Ithaca, N.Y., where Erin held a post doctorate position at Cornell, and in 2004 they moved to San Francisco where Theo was born. Erin was blessed to be surrounded by family and many old and new friends, as well as the loving community of San Francisco’s Congregation Beth Sholom, where Micah was the rabbi for the past seven years.

Erin was truly able to enjoy her last months in Morro Bay, slowing down time, spending it with her family and a steady flow of visitors, seeing the beach from her window, and, on good days, focusing on food and farmers’ markets. Above all, she understood the value of a life well lived.

Funeral services will be held at the Liberman Chapel, Temple Isaiah, 332 W. Alejo Rd in Palm Springs, on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 11 a.m. Shivah services will be held Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the home of Milton and Sheila Hyman, 216 S. Linden Dr. in Beverly Hills. There will be a memorial service at the end of the mourning period on Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. at Congregation Beth Sholom, 301 14th Ave. in San Francisco. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to: BAYS, San Francisco or the Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture and Design Center. May her memory be a blessing.


Inbal Kashtan

May 16, 1965-Sept. 6, 2014

14 Iyyar 5725-11 Elul 5774

Surrounded by her son, Yannai Kashtan, sisters Arnina Kashtan and Miki Kashtan, several dear friends, and in the arms of her wife, Kathy Simon, Inbal Kashtan died at home in Oakland, after living with ovarian cancer for seven years.  

Inbal was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is the daughter of Rivka Kashtan, of Ramat Gan, who survives her, and Mordechai Kashtan, of blessed memory. She immigrated to New York at the age of 15, studied at the High School for Music and Art and then at SUNY Purchase. She moved to San Francisco at age 19, on her own, finished her B.A. at New College, and began work aimed at healing and repairing the world, focusing primarily on diversity training and coalition building.

In 1995, she met her beloved, Kathy Simon, whom she married in 1996. Inbal wrote about the wedding in “Breaking Ground: A Traditional Jewish Lesbian Wedding,” published in the collection “Queer Jews.” She went on to get a master’s degree in Jewish Studies at GTU in 1998, which is also the year Kathy’s and her son Yannai was born. 

Also in 1995, Inbal was introduced to Marshall Rosenberg’s “Nonviolent Communication” (NVC). Inbal saw the potential in NVC to transform relationships and society.  Quickly, Inbal was teaching NVC and training others, and in 2002 she cofounded Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) with her sister, Miki Kashtan.

One of Inbal’s greatest contributions to NVC emerged from her interest in it as a tool for social change.  Inspired by her joy in parenting Yannai and her dedication to children, she created and developed the field of NVC parenting. Inbal longed for a world in which parents and children see themselves as partners, where children are honored in their full personhood and are welcomed as full participants in decision-making.

Inbal created numerous vehicles for implementing this vision, including a booklet called “Parenting from Your Heart: Sharing the Gifts of Compassion, Connection, and Choice,” a CD called “Connected Parenting: Nonviolent Communication in Family Life,” the NVC Parent Peer Leadership Program, and NVC family camps, which have been replicated around the world. Today, because of Inbal’s work, NVC parenting is a global practice.

During the years of Inbal’s illness, she focused primarily on spending close, connected time with her family.  She loved nature, cherishing daily walks and whenever possible went camping with family, including particularly memorable trips to the Grand Tetons and Kings Canyon.  During the last few years of her life, again inspired by Yannai, Inbal took up story-telling and writing plays.  She completed a full-length play and had several shorter works produced in short-play festivals around the country.

Inbal touched an astonishing number of people with her way of being. Even in the most difficult circumstances of her illness, she was able to extend her unforgettable sweet, glowing smile toward everyone, and she graced her family, friends and students with an abundant, sharp and gentle love that inspired them to become, like her, fully present and open-hearted. As she wrote three days before she died, “I am dying fully in touch with loving life, and yet, also, fully accepting death.”

Inbal was buried at Gan Yarok in the Fernwood Cemetery in Mill Valley.

Donations in Inbal’s memory may be made to:

• The Clearity Foundation — dedicated to improving treatment options for ovarian cancer patients.

• Bend the Arc: a Jewish Partnership for Justice.

• BayNVC. A special fund will be designated to bring some of Inbal’s unpublished writings on NVC to completion and publication. Additional funds will be used for scholarships for the BayNVC Social Justice Program.

Sinai Memorial Chapel (415) 921-3636


Sara Foerder

Sara Foerder, 88, died Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 in San Francisco. Sara was born in Druskiniki, Poland, to Rabbi Israel and Vita Ana Berzon on Sept. 15, 1925.

Unfortunately, Sara’s mother died in 1937, but the chain of events that followed would set the path for her life in America. Upon the death of his sister, Sara’s Uncle Morris who lived in Salinas, California, made arrangements in 1938 for Sara, her father and sister to take the last slated passenger ship to New York just months before Hitler attacked Poland. From there, Sara and her sister made the long journey by bus to Salinas to join their uncle. There she completed high school and junior college while handling the accounting at her uncle’s business. In 1944 she joined her sister and father living in San Francisco. She arrived on a Friday and by the end of the following Monday, she had a job. Then, almost immediately she met her future husband William (Bill) Foerder, whose parents sent him to the United States from Germany in 1939 to escape the Nazis. In 1945 they married. They raised their two children, Steven and Vivian, and resided together in San Francisco till Bill’s death in 1991.

Sara Foerder was a woman of valor. She had a very strong connection to Judaism. She was highly educated in the practices, history and traditions of the Jewish people. Much of what she learned was at an early age from the teachings of her father. She was very involved in the Jewish community. She was a longtime member of Congregation Chevra Thilim, serving on the board of directors and the sisterhood. She was a lifetime member of Hadassah and was charitable to her favorite organizations such as the Hebrew Free Loan Association and the Jewish Welfare Federation.

Sara had a keen business sense. She had been an active real estate agent and was financially savvy. She was an avid reader and an amazing storyteller. She was fluent in five languages.

Sara’s family meant the world to her and vice versa. She got the most pleasure from being around her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The death of her son Steven in 2008 seemed to take the light from her eyes and she was forever changed.

Sara is survived by her loving daughter Vivian, caring daughter-in-law Norma, wonderful grandchildren Jessica Laddon (Ben), Diane Aronson (Doron), and Andrew Foerder (Mijin), precious, great-grandchildren Joshua, Lev, and Benjamin, and most devoted nephew Sanford Weitzner (Judy). She was predeceased by her beloved husband Bill, her adored son Steven, and her dear sister Lea Weitzner.

She was one-of-a-kind and razor-sharp until the end. She will be truly missed by her family and friends. Graveside services were held at Eternal Home Cemetery on Sept. 5. Donations in her memory may be sent to Congregation Chevra Thilim, 751 25th Ave.,  San Francisco, CA, 94121.


Cecelia Sybil Michael

May 10, 1912-Sept. 14, 2014

Cecelia Michael lived a long and full life of 102 years.  She was born in San Francisco on May 10, 1912.  After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, she started her career as a banker. Cecelia was married for 34 years to her late husband, Roy Morris Michael. She loved to travel, taking trips all over the world until well into her 80s. Cecelia was a passionate artist who created hundreds of paintings, sketches, and her own unique jewelry. She also collected artwork and had a special love of glasswork. Cecelia enjoyed entertaining in both San Francisco and Marin. She was an avid golfer, played card games, especially bridge, and was quite the conversationalist.

Cecelia will be remembered by her loving family. She is survived by her three children: Philip (Jean) Michael, Marilee Breslin, and Maureen Michael (David Steinberg); eight grandchildren: Adam (Kathleen) Michael, Brian (Jennifer) Michael, Jennifer Michael, Kelly (Jeffrey) Wright, Susan (Ofer) Caspi, Tracy Breslin (Alison Avera), Sasha (Yaniv) Illouz, and Julia Inobe; and thirteen great-grandchildren: Henry, Lucy, James, Charlie, Anna, Lila, MaryKate, Jacob, Ryan, Maximus, Alexander, Maya, and Mikayla.  She was predeceased by her parents, Maurice and Leta Rhine, and two younger sisters, Leona Greendorfer and Marjorie Morris. A private memorial service will be held.

Sinai Memorial Chapel (415) 921-3636