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

Deaths for the week of July 5-11, 2020

Obituaries are supported by a generous grant from Sinai Memorial Chapel. This page will be updated throughout the week. Submit an obituary here.

Alan James Sternberg

April 20, 1944-July 5, 2020

On Sunday, July 5 in Walnut Creek, Alan Sternberg succumbed to his many health challenges, passing away from a heart event at age 76. His wife Sandra was at his side.

headshot of Alan James Sternberg
Alan James Sternberg

A resident of Contra Costa County since 1969, Alan was born to Dorothy and T. George Sternberg in Bay City, Michigan, in 1944. The town was home to 100 Jewish families, and Alan, his parents and two sisters were at the center of Jewish life. Alan was active in AZA (now part of BBYO) and served as Aleph Godol of the Michigan region while in high school.

Alan received his undergraduate (1966) and law degrees (1969) from the University of Michigan. He proudly wore a Michigan T-shirt whenever he could, always ready to greet and acknowledge fellow Michiganders with a hearty “Go Blue!” He practiced law in the Bay Area from 1969 and later built a large real estate syndication business. He was active in the formation of several East Bay Jewish community institutions. He was a founding member of the Contra Costa JCC and served on the board of The Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay, organizing early missions to Israel from the area. He was also a member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal and was a longtime member of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Walnut Creek. Later in life, he served on the board of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Northern California and helped to organize its annual fundraising dinner in support of scholarships for Jewish student-athletes.

Alan is survived by his wife, Sandra; his sons David (Julie) of Westport, CT, and Benjamin (Zulma) of Sherman Oaks, CA, daughter Jackie Margolese of Oakland, CA, his sisters Adele Shudofsky (Chanoch) of Jerusalem, Israel, and Marilyn Ladin (Sarahlynn) of Houston, TX, his former wife Amy Rothschild Friedkin of San Francisco, and five adored grandchildren, Sarah, Brian, Nikki, Sam and Rachel. He was a loving and caring son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend, and he will be deeply missed by his loved ones and the wider community.

Donations in Alan’s memory may be made to Congregation B’nai Shalom or a charity of your choice.