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

Death announcements for the week of Nov. 25, 2022

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

Shoshana Levy

May 3, 1939-Nov. 16, 2022

Shoshana Levy
Shoshana Levy

Shoshana Levy passed away on Nov. 16, surrounded by her loving family, after a short bout with an aggressive form of metastatic cancer.

Born in 1939, she spent her childhood in Tel Aviv during the British Mandate, working in her parents’ home grocery while attending elementary school. She expected to continue in the family store, but a teacher saw her early academic promise and encouraged her to further her education. As a teen, she was active in Hashomer Hatzair, the Israeli youth movement. Inspired by her love of nature, she traveled throughout the country with a magnifying glass and a dog-eared field guide, determined to identify every plant indigenous to Israel, learning each of their Latin and common names.

She met her husband, Ronald Levy, in the laboratory when they were both students at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel in 1967. They fell in love quickly and married within a year. Their partnership in science and life endured for her remaining 55 years. They were known for spending all of their time together, running their side-by-side labs, hosting meals for family and colleagues, donning fabulous Halloween costumes, and always being the last ones on the dance floor.

Shoshana served in the Israeli Defense Forces from 1957-59. She earned her BS in Biology in 1963 from Tel Aviv University, an MS in 1965 in Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and a PhD in Biochemistry from Tufts University in 1970. She served as a Research Professor of Medicine in the Oncology Division at Stanford University from 1994-2022. She authored more than 130 scientific publications.

As a scientist, she is best known for her discovery of tetraspanins, a family of cell surface proteins that play an important role in cancer metastasis and the immune system. She founded an international scientific meeting on tetraspanins in 2000 and, in doing so, opened a new field of research. Ironically, she presented her latest findings on cancer metastasis at this very meeting in Prague last month, when, unbeknownst to her, cancer had already metastasized in her own body. Colleagues around the globe describe her as a generous collaborator, always willing to share reagents and cell lines. Throughout her career, she inspired many young scientists and was a strong advocate for women in science. A dedicated scientist to the end, she conducted her final lab meeting with her research team by Zoom just two days before she died.

Shoshana was passionate about her family. While working full time, she had three daughters, and believed in raising strong women. In addition to her own children, many of her daughters’ friends and trainees describe her as a maternal figure and an inspiration. She wrote poems for each of her daughters’ weddings. She put love into carefully crafted meals. Her insistence on eating dinner as a family every night brought her children together, and carries on in the next generation. She loved spending time with her six grandchildren, both at home and during family vacations. When observing her offspring, she would often marvel, “We did something right.”

She had a deep appreciation for nature and biology, and loved spending time outdoors. She and Ron were eco-travel enthusiasts. Just a few months before her death she stood on a sandbar alongside brown bears in the Katmai Peninsula of Alaska. She enjoyed opera and symphony, and held season tickets to both. She was an avid reader, with a particular love for modern Hebrew literature, and participated for decades in a book club, as well as a Hebrew poetry reading group. She walked or biked to work every day, and always insisted on taking the stairs.

Shoshana is survived by her husband Ronald Levy (Stanford); her daughter Tali Levy and son-in-law Lee Zimmerman (Oakland), her daughter Naomi Levy and son-in-law Ben Bowyer (Oakland), and her daughter Karen Levy and son-in-law Berry Brosi (Seattle); her six grandchildren Kiva and Ilana Zimmerman, Devon and Sophie Bowyer, and Aviva and Zuria Brosi; and her sisters Margalit Yosifon (Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel) and Hanna Granot (Kfar Saba, Israel).

A memorial service was held in the sanctuary at Congregation Beth Am on Sunday, Nov. 20, followed by a burial at Skylawn Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Shoshana Levy can be made to The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel or to the Association for Women in Science.

Hilda Owens

Aug. 17, 1922–Oct. 31, 2022

Hilda Owens
Hilda Owens

Mothers teach us to love, to bloom and to find our place in the world where we can positively impact the lives of others.

My mother, Hilda Owens, born on Aug. 17, 1922, died peacefully on Oct. 31, 2022, leaving our family a legacy of life lessons and memories which we will embrace as we move forward with her spirit in our hearts.

Hilda was born to Sarah and Morris Edelson in Brooklyn, New York, and then at 6 years old, along with her brother Danny, traveled across the country in a flatbed truck to settle in San Francisco, California.

At the Girls High School, Hilda’s classmates described her as a girl with an exquisite complexion and beguiling charm. She was someone who brought a warm and positive smile to anyone she met, making all feel welcome.

After graduation, Hilda attended beauty school, and began a career in many creative realms including interior decorating, jewelry design, and as a handbag and luggage saleswoman.

In 1943, Hilda danced her way into the arms of Bill Strauss at a naval event. Soon after, they eloped. Two years later, her daughter Sharon was born in the Coronado Naval Hospital in San Diego. Bill was discharged in 1945, and the family of three traveled back to the Bay Area to live with Hilda’s parents while they got established.

Hilda and Bill opened several cleaning stores in San Francisco, which eventually sold. Her son Barry was born on July 16, 1948, and their family was complete.

The success of Hilda’s next creative endeavor, Strauss Interiors, allowed Hilda to support her family and enabled them to purchase their own home, where the children were raised. Unfortunately, Hilda’s son, Barry, was inflicted with spinal meningitis at the age of 11, and at the age of 16, developed schizophrenia. Hilda gave her heart, soul and might to help Barry thrive; however, he perished at the age of 50.

Hilda’s life journey ultimately led her to divorce Bill and, with a quiet strength, she paved the way as a single mother. She persevered, keeping herself busy working in a jewelry store and surrounding herself with family and friends, while enjoying some new hobbies of mahjong, poker, and bowling.

In 1966, Hilda met Morten Owens, who swept her off her feet. When she said “I do” to Mort, it began a 52-year marriage spent with family, friends, traveling, socializing, entertaining and (of course) cooking. She loved to host Thanksgiving dinners, Passover seders, Rosh Hashanah gatherings and would regularly hold smaller dinner parties for close friends.

Hilda, or as she became known, Nana Hilda, was adored by her grandchildren Mindie Romanowsky (Jon), Matthew Barkoff (Britton), Kendra Lamy (Jonathan) and Lynsey Barkoff. She kvelled over her great-grandchildren Emma, Lexi, Ben, Jonah, Mia, Griffin and Quinn. Her daughter Sharon Barkoff and son-in-law Rodger kept her life filled with activity, travel and endless life celebrations.

Hilda Owens was a woman of quiet strength who always shared her positive attitude and drive to persevere with others. She will also be remembered for never refusing a box of chocolates. Hilda’s 100 years of life lessons will follow her as future generations blossom.

Ellen Rubinchik

July 1, 1939–Nov. 1, 2022

Ellen Rubinchik
Ellen Rubinchik

Ellen Rubinchik passed away on Nov. 1, 2022. She is survived by her husband Harry, her son Dale and her grandchildren: Jaclyn, Aaron and Amy. She was also a great-grandmother to Arielle and Lior.

She was the only child of Holocaust survivors Albert Levi and Paula Levi (Kaiser) and grew up in San Francisco. Ellen was happily married to her husband Harry for 64 years and they traveled the world together. She was a school secretary at Olympia Elementary and Fernando Rivera Middle School in Daly City. Ellen was loved by all and will be greatly missed by all her family and friends.

Gerald S. Friedkin

May 9, 1943–Oct. 24, 2022

Gerald S. Friedkin
Gerald S. Friedkin

Gerald S. Friedkin passed away peacefully from cancer at his home in Piedmont surrounded by his family. He was 79.

In addition to his wife of 51 years, Miriam, he is survived by his brothers Stephen (Terry) and Morton (Amy); his children Julie (Reuven Kahane), Ilana (Reed Bennett), Yael (Matthew Kovner) and David (Sarah Marder-Eppstein); and his grandchildren David, Gabriela and Annika Kahane, Aaron, Ariana and Abigail Bennett, Eve and Jacob Kovner, and Noam Friedkin.

Jerry grew up in Oakland and graduated from Oakland High School in 1960. From an early age, Jerry took on all sorts of odd jobs — delivering the Oakland Tribune, distributing Kosher meat, working the night shift at the main post office, restoring used cars — which gave him a lifelong appreciation for hard work. After graduating from San Francisco State, Jerry built a successful real estate investment company and became known for his honesty and integrity. He loved the art of negotiation and generously mentored many young professionals.

Jerry was a loyal and wise counselor to his family and friends. He nurtured lifelong relationships over many Shabbat dinners, rounds of golf, Sunday walks to Montclair, and scotch happy hours in his backyard. Always welcoming and inclusive, Jerry was a builder of community.

He served as president of Beth Jacob Congregation and the Jewish Foundation of the East Bay, co-founded the Oakland Hebrew Day School, and supported countless other organizations throughout the Bay Area and beyond. A quiet philanthropist and leader, he was a pillar of the East Bay Jewish community who lived his Jewish values of tzedakah (charity), gemilut hasadim (loving kindness), and tikkun olam (repairing the world).

But above all his many accomplishments, Jerry was a wonderful husband, father, brother and friend. As humble as he was generous, Jerry truly lived a life of meaning, purpose, and love. May his memory be a blessing.

The family has established the Gerald S. Friedkin Memorial Fund (JCF, 121 Steuart St, San Francisco, CA 94105) to receive charitable contributions you may wish to make in his memory. Grants from this fund will support the causes that mattered most to Jerry.

Julie Goodman

Aug. 19, 1946–Nov. 1, 2022

Julie Goodman
Julie Goodman

Julie Rachel Konijn Goodman, 76 years of age, passed away on Nov. 1, 2022.

Julie was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on Aug. 19, 1946. Her parents were Holocaust survivors and Julie moved with her brothers and sister to the United States when she was 8 years old. She attended Aragon High School, and especially enjoyed summer camp at the Mountain Home Junior Ranch where she loved caring for and riding her favorite horse, Raven. Julie became a licensed vocational nurse, graduating from the College of San Mateo in 1965, and attended Heald Business College for a certificate of office management. She married Ed Goodman in Aug. 1969 and worked as an office manager at a pediatric office in San Mateo from 1985-1993 and continued as a manager at an oncologist office in Burlingame until 1997.

When Julie retired with her husband, she realized stick figure drawings were not her only ability and she found a love for art and painting, attending art classes in the Roseville Sun City community, running a small art gallery, and painting beautiful oil paintings. Her art had plenty of “happy accidents” as there are never any mistakes! She loved a morning coffee, art classes, and visiting museums in New York while visiting family.

She loved to BBQ and always had a fridge stocked and ready, calling in her kids to assist to prep the salad or weekend Sunday meals, and often shrunk considerably as her two eldest sons consistently leaned on her shoulders on both sides and snagged choice bits of chicken and steak off the BBQ, while she fended them off with a slap of the hand. She did her best to keep her husband busy and went along with his early wake-up calls to get going “before the day was half over.” She was content after Ed’s passing to enjoy her own quiet time with friends in Rossmoor and was cared for by loving assistants. As her health declined, she moved again to the Kensington in Walnut Creek and finally the Frank Residences in San Francisco, where the staff were always a big help, including the “blue smurfs” at the JHSF who kept her in good spirits and were always a friendly face and assistance to the family!

Most important to Julie was her family and friends — including her marriage of 46 years to Edwin Paul Goodman and her four children. She always cherished and looked forward to “family excursions” that included visiting family in Amsterdam, kidnapping her husband Ed to San Diego, and getting the family together annually at various spots around the country, including NYC, Boston, Minneapolis, San Diego, and Lake Tahoe. Julie somehow always got all four kids, two inflatable rafts, a cooler, beach chairs for all, toys, crawdadding gear, towels, and changes of clothing, including remembering to bring her husband there and back in one piece – and get a prime location near the shore, a true master at the family beach excursion! She was always up to spend time with her seven grandchildren — spoiling them and teaching them about the best indulgences in life — from sushi to pizza, lobster, spinach dip in a bread bowl, scotchmallows, cotton candy, doughnuts, ice cream always with sprinkles, and how to build top-notch s’mores! Julie loved to laugh and have fun — she was a big fan of the 49ers and tailgating at Candlestick, she always played the slots and a good hand of blackjack, even with a three-foot margarita while driving a motorized scooter in Vegas!

Julie is survived by her children, Aaron, Brian, Laura and Roger, and their spouses Martina, Susy, Kevin, and Sheldon whom she loved, fed, and supported as much as her own kids, and her seven grandchildren: Hannah, Noah, Zoe, Emma, Simon, Gus, and Paige. Julie is also survived by her brother Peter Konijn and sister Jeannette Ringold and many other extended family and friends.

Julie was preceded in death by her brother, Louis Konijn, and her parents, Abraham Benjamin Konijn and Hanna Weijl Konijn.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Legion of Honor Museum at legionofhonor.famsf.org/give or Jewish Family and Children’s Services at donate.jfcs.org. Julie’s children wish to especially thank all those who have laughed with Julie, spent time with her during all the years, events, and memories. Thank you all not mentioned for being there and being an important part of Julie’s family.

Sinai Memorial
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