Seena P. Elfant

May 23, 1929 to Jan. 28, 2015

On May 23, 1929 a wonderful woman was born, Seena Ruby Praag, to Rachel and Morris. Born in London, Seena grew to love the medical field, global travel, philanthropy and hot dogs on toasted buns.

Seena passed the examination with the Society of Radiographers in April 1952, becoming a full member that July. Her work as a radiographer was regarded as excellent, as referenced in a 1953 letter from the Meyerstein Institute of Radiotherapy of Middlesex Hospital in London, and again in 1956, this time by the X-ray department of Kupat-Holim in Tel Aviv, Israel. Also in the 1950s on an ulpan in Israel, she made lifelong friends with Heinz and Gertie Berrys. They may have encouraged Seena’s move to Montreal around 1960, much to the chagrin of the Royal Northern Hospital of London, which wrote “…we shall be sorry to lose her.” Seena didn’t stop there, and other adventures ensued: On returning from Peru, she brought her nephews fascinating hats to wear and an ancient Inca brain surgery tool, which the boys used on each other regularly.

While in Montreal, Seena heard about an opportunity to work at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. In 1964, Seena became one of the first female therapeutic radiographers at Stanford. In Palo Alto, Seena found her true home and settled permanently in the San Francisco Bay Area. When asked later why she moved to California, she responded, “Why not move to California? It’s California.”

In the late 1960s, Seena’s wits saved her from arrest in Egypt. We all know she’s got loads of wits. In 1969, she gave her nephews a radio to listen to the original moon landing.

In the late 1970s she met the love of her life, Jack Elfant, a retired optometrist. These two were devoted to each other while living in the Bay Area and traveling the globe. On Feb. 5, 1978, Jack and Seena said their vows, which they would hold true to for over 36 years.

These two went everywhere conceivable: India, South Africa, South America, Russia and Scandinavia. The couple volunteered on many trips to Israel, helping the Optometry Department at Hadassah College, serving food at the Meir Panim soup kitchen and washing dishes in the Army kitchen. Later, Jack and Seena would move to Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, where Seena would become addicted to bridge, mah-jongg and Scrabble, excelling at all three. Also, Seena was able to overcome her husband’s two left feet during folk and square dance lessons. On birthdays later in life, her relatives would serve her hot dogs on toasted buns, which was an all-time favorite food.

On March 6, 2002, Hadassah College would dedicate the Dr. Jack and Seena P. Elfant Department of Optometry. Seena had a lifelong passion for helping Hadassah College. Her last influence toward the medical field may have been her granddaughter, who is now a sonographer in Los Angeles. Sadly, her beloved Jack passed on July 25, 2014. Brokenhearted, Seena would manage on until Jan. 28, 2015, when she would join Jack in the afterlife.

Her memorial service will be at Reutlinger Home for Jewish Living in Danville, California at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.


Lillian Hamberger

Lillian Hamberger passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, one day short of her 93rd birthday. Born in New York, she came to San Diego at the age of 12. She married and raised two children in San Francisco, and eventually settled in Foster City.

Lillian is predeceased by her husband, Maurice, as well as by her beloved daughter, Tina, parents Sam and Gussie Kraft and brother, Phillip. She is survived by her son, Terry Hamberger Allan, daughter-in-law Rosemary and granddaughter Hilary.

 Lillian remained independent and active for most of her life. She had a strong passion for people, dogs and ducks and made sure they were always all well fed. She will be fondly remembered by her friends at the Foster City Doggy Park, as well as the many folks she helped and cared about through her years at HFLA and Hillsdale Atria. It will be impossible to forget her warm-hearted, tender and thoughtful nature.

 Funeral services were held. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Peninsula Humane Society in Burlingame.

Sinai Memorial Chapel

(415) 921-3636


Vera Jenny Frank Meibergen

Vera Jenny Frank Meibergen entered into rest on Feb. 15, 2015, at the age of 104. A week shy of turning 105, Vera returned to her husband Fred Meibergen, as well as parents, Ottilie and Arthur Frank, along with her brothers Edgar and Herbert. Vera will be greatly missed by her only child, Evelyn Levin, and son-in-law Daniel Levin. Her grandson Marc, granddaughter Cindy and husband Michael  Penbera, and great-grandchildren Carter and Presley will miss their ever-loving Oma.

Vera moved to the United States from Hamburg, Germany in 1939. She lived most of her life in San Francisco, co-owning Fred’s Handbags and Leather Goods, volunteering for over 30 years at the Jewish Home for the Aged, and excelling at playing Scrabble. In 2003 she moved to Byron Park in Walnut Creek, California. She had a way of letting you know that you were important, and that you mattered. A light went out when she left us Sunday night, but a spark was lit in heaven and will live on in all that knew her.

Sinai Memorial Chapel

(925) 962-3636


Eva Herzberg Schwartz

Eva Herzberg Schwartz passed away on Feb. 8, 2015, at the age of 93, in Long Beach, California. She was born on May 10, 1921 in Trier, Germany and immigrated to San Francisco in 1937 with her parents, Gustav and Charlotte Herzberg. She graduated from Girls High School in San Francisco and earned a B.S. and M.S. in chemistry at U.C. Berkeley. She worked in labs at FE Booth, Mt. Zion Hospital and Langendorf Bakeries, where her father had worked as a chemist. In 1946, she married Isador Henry Schwartz at Congregation Beth Sholom and moved to San Diego, her husband’s hometown. There she raised four daughters and helped in her husband’s business, Federal Printing Company. She taught chemistry at San Diego State, Mesa, and City Colleges and the University of San Diego. She lost her husband to cancer in 1991. Survivors include her daughters: Joan Schwartz, Ph.D. of Berkeley; Deborah Schwartz of Signal Hill, California; Amy Schwartz (Leonard Marcus) of Brooklyn, New York; and Rebecca Schwartz, M.D. (Fernando Martinez, M.D.) of Long Beach, California; and her grandchildren: Joshua Cataldo, Jacob Marcus, and Dylan, Jenna, and Bryce Martinez. Eva was buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cypress, California on Feb. 13, 2015.