a lit memorial candle with a Sinai Memorial Chapel logo on it

Deaths for the week of June 29, 2018

Obituaries are supported by a generous grant from Sinai Memorial Chapel.

David Carmine
June 20, 1944–May 2, 2018
29 Sivan 5704–17 Iyar 5778

David was born in Brooklyn to parents Louis and Nettie Carmine. He was the middle of two brothers, Alan and Marvin. His parents, his brothers, sister-in-law Janet, nephew Neal, and the love of his life Michael all died before him. He carried their memories close to his heart.

David came to San Francisco in 1988 from Brooklyn. He came west as many gay men did and still do to have a better life: to thrive in a place of welcome. After a life-changing stroke in 1998, he became more interested in finding a place in line with his worldview, to express his deep Jewish connection and to offer love and care to others. A lifelong friend suggested Kol Haneshama: A Jewish Hospice/End-of-Life Care Volunteer Program (a cooperative venture of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living).

David was one of its inaugural volunteers in 2005 and remained for 13 years, until he took his last breath. He offered remarkably loving, funny, and authentic care to countless Jewish elders as they died. He was cherished by fellow volunteers and clients alike.

He is mourned by a community of given and chosen family including his nieces and nephews Shelley, Robyn, Jeffery, Bradley and Louis and their children, including grand-nephews Ethan and Parker; his dearest friend Bruce; the clergy of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living; every fellow Kol Haneshama volunteer; and a cadre of lifelong and recent friends. Donations may be made to Bay Area Jewish Healing Center or San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living to support the Kol Haneshama program. Burial took place on May 5 at Eternal Home Cemetery, Colma.

Sam B. Cohen

In Moraga, CA on June 26, 2018 at age 96. Beloved father of Wendy Cohen (Daly City, CA), Mitchell Cohen and wife Sue Cohen (Orinda, CA); adoring grandfather of Matthew, Alyssa and Emily Cohen (Orinda, CA); dear brother of Lucille Grieff and husband Sam Grieff, and Annette Stein; also leaving many nieces, nephews, former colleagues (teachers) and students. Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Saad and Marie Cohen; sister Marcelle Baskin; and brothers Al Cohen and Sol Cohen.

Sam was born in San Francisco, CA and served in the US Navy during WWII. He received his BA from UC Berkeley, and his Master’s degree at San Francisco State University. He worked as an Elementary School Principal and was admired and loved by students and colleagues in that position at Sherman Elementary in San Francisco for 28 years.

Funeral services were held June 29 at Eternal Home in Colma.

(Sinai Lafayette)

Professor Herbert Feinstein, longtime Bay Area resident, passed away just weeks after his 91st birthday party, following an extended period of declining health, in Tiburon on June 20. Born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Eastern Europe, he was the youngest and last surviving of five siblings and early on distinguished himself as a very gifted student.

Herbert Feinstein

By the time he turned 20, Feinstein had completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia University, where he was mentored by noted cultural historian Jacques Barzun and literary critic Lionel Trilling, two of the 20th century’s foremost intellectual giants. He garnered top honors in both Sciences and Humanities at Columbia and continued his studies at Harvard Law School, graduating with a Doctor of Jurisprudence. Feinstein then served as an intelligence officer in the United States Navy.

He began practicing law at MCA in Los Angeles in the early ’50s, working for film studio boss Lew Wasserman, which is where Feinstein fostered interests and relationships which would span the course of his five decades of professional life. Perhaps it was the proximity of the mafia to the film business, perhaps his inner scholar calling, but Feinstein left Hollywood for the Bay Area in the mid-’50s, where he enrolled at UC Berkeley, earning a Ph.D. in English Literature for his dissertation on Mark Twain’s legal affairs, cleverly mingling interdisciplinary studies, a habit which he would practice throughout his academic career as Professor of English and Film Studies at San Francisco State University. He was a compelling and devoted teacher for more than four decades, and many of his students became lifelong friends.

During this period, Feinstein also attended film festivals all over the world, published film and literary criticism, and broadcast many interviews with film luminaries and cultural icons including Buster Keaton, Sophia Loren, Jeanne Moreau, Jerry Lewis and more. These interviews are now in the Pacifica Radio Archives and can be enjoyed by future generations of film and entertainment enthusiasts and historians.

Feinstein never married but enjoyed close family ties with his siblings, who spoke to each other by phone almost daily and visited each other often. He was especially close to his youngest sister, Claire Engelberg, also an attorney. Feinstein’s extended family of nieces and nephews are too numerous to mention, but all were inspired by their uncle’s unquestionable brilliance and tenderness of heart.

Herbert Feinstein said his final “I love yous,” wrapped up his affairs, and departed this earth with serenity, elegance and grace. He will be greatly missed. A memorial gathering and celebration of Herbert Feinstein’s long, full life is planned for July 1 at the Gelman home in San Rafael. [email protected]