Theo “Teddy” Berlin passed away September 9, 2015, in San Francisco after a courageous battle with illness, at the age of 93. He is survived by his devoted wife of 38 years, Ruth A. Berlin (nee Wright).

Teddy was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1922. He was 16 years old when the Nazis shut down his family’s business and forced him to leave school. He was able to escape Frankfurt with his mother and father; the balance of family perished in the Holocaust.

He came to the U.S., arriving in New York City, where he returned to school. At age 18 he joined the U.S. Army and was trained as a German-speaking interrogator. Teddy landed on Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion and also participated in the Battle of the Bulge. His unit eventually made its way into his homeland Germany.

After the war he moved to San Francisco and married Ruth Berlin. For over 30 years he was the Director of Guest Relations at the Fairmont Hotel where he personally arranged service to Frank Sinatra, President Clinton, and countless other VIPs. His charming manner and charisma created countless friendships during his lifetime.

Memorial contributions may be made to Jewish and Family and Children’s Services, Holocaust Survivor Services, 2150 Post St., San Francisco.

Sinai Memorial Chapel


Virginia Platt Friedman, nee Hamerslag, of Hillsborough, California, died at her home on September 8, 2015 at the age of 97, surrounded by loved ones. A proud native San Franciscan, Virginia was born in 1918 to Jay Platt and Nancy Levy Hamerslag. Virginia was a 1935 graduate of Galileo High School in San Francisco and a 1939 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where she majored in history and met her future husband, Nathan Jay Friedman, at a dance at her beloved college residence, International House.

After graduation from college, Virginia married Nathan Jay, a graduate of City College and a New Yorker. They raised three children, Robert Friedman, John Friedman and Diane Brett, and lived together joyfully until Nathan Jay’s death in 2000.

Virginia was a lifelong supporter of U.C. Berkeley, and loved taking her family to Cal Camp, where this otherwise elegant woman roughed it in order to instill the Cal spirit in her offspring. A homemaker while her children were growing up, Virginia subsequently worked as a teacher and a travel agent. She volunteered as a host for international visitors to San Francisco as well as a helper to new readers in the public schools. She loved to dance, was an avid and faithful pen-pal to friends around the world, played golf and tennis into her 80s, and was a fierce ping-pong and bridge player into her 90s. She was also an adventurer and intrepid traveler, visiting every continent except for Antarctica. In order to share her love of travel, Virginia started the tradition of “grandmother” trips, in which she took one or two of her grandchildren at a time on an adventure somewhere in the world. She also arranged trips for her entire extended family. Virginia was a superb party hostess and was well known for her stylish celebrations.

Virginia was known for her love of family, her zest for new experiences, and for the beauty she created around her. Her enthusiastic embrace of the world has touched everyone who knew her. She is survived by her children, 11 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, a large and loving extended family, her long-term caretakers and many friends.

Services were held on September 11, 2015 at Home of Peace Cemetery, Colma. Contributions in her memory may be made to the S.F. Jewish Community Federation-Nathan Jay and Virginia H. Friedman College Fund or to the International House at U.C. Berkeley or a charity of your choice.

Sinai Memorial Chapel

(650) 369-3636

Abraham Goldbaum

Al died peacefully on September 10, 2015 after a brief illness and nearly 103 years of an extraordinary and meaningful life. He will be most remembered for his welcoming smile and for his dedication to making the world a better place for all.

Al was born at home on the Lower East Side of New York City on November 29, 1912, and lived most of his life in the Bronx with his beloved wife, Etta.

For the last five years of his life, Al lived at The Redwoods, a Community of Seniors, in Mill Valley, Calif., where he participated enthusiastically at the weekly roadside peace vigils and sing-alongs sponsored by Mill Valley Seniors for Peace. He was also a member of the Redwood’s “Rock the Ages Senior Chorus,” where his favorite song and credo was “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Al was a dedicated teacher of physics and chemistry at the renowned High School of Music & Art in Manhattan. He was an ardent member of the progressive New York City Teachers Union and was chairman and co-founder in 1944 of the first interracial labor canteen in Washington, D.C., which was sponsored by the Federal Workers of America, Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and memorialized in the iconic photo with Eleanor Roosevelt and Pete Seeger.

He was predeceased by his wife, Etta Stock Goldbaum, and leaves an adoring family including daughters Ruthie of West Hartford, Conn., and Laura of San Francisco; Ruthie’s sons Noah Epstein, Daniel Stock, David Shortell; Laura’s son Amos Goldbaum; devoted nephew Neal Friedman and his family; and countless friends and former students.

A memorial gathering was held at the New York Botanical Garden on September 13. Future memorials will be held in West Hartford, Conn., and Mill Valley, Calif., at dates to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to your favorite charity.

Frances Zolotar Makower

Feb. 13, 1922-Sept. 11, 2015

A native of San Francisco and graduate of Commerce High, Frances was a lifelong resident of the Bay Area. She served as a WAVE in WWII, doing intelligence work that helped win the Battle of the Coral Sea. She was a real estate professional who ran her own firm in Oakland for more than 20 years. Along with her husband, Ted, who predeceased her in 1992, she traveled extensively to six continents beginning in the late ’50s, including to China, Peru, Australia, Madagascar, Kenya, Israel, Turkey, and throughout Europe. She was an accomplished photographer, documenting her travels as well as producing and exhibiting innovative digital art pieces.

Frances leaves behind a wealth of friends as well as her two children, Diana Warshawsky and Joel Makower, four grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

To watch a short video of her life, written and narrated by Frances, visit

David Novogrodsky passed away peacefully at home in Berkeley on Rosh Hashanah morning September 14, 2015. He was 82. He is survived by his beloved wife, Karen Sherr, his children Ellen Novogrodsky (Stephanie Godt) and Seth Novogrodsky and his grandchildren Avidan and Chava Novogrodsky-Godt. David spent his life and career fighting for workers’ rights. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Donations in David’s memory can be made to the Cantor’s Discretionary Fund at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St., San Francisco, CA 94103.