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Death announcements for the week of Jan. 6, 2023

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

Robert Frank Jacobs

Nov. 8, 1966–Dec. 26, 2022

Robert Frank Jacobs
Robert Frank Jacobs

Robert Frank Jacobs was born on Nov. 8, 1966. He was a premature baby and spent his first six weeks in an incubator at Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame. He passed away on Dec. 26, 2022, from several strokes.

Rob was a devoted son, brother and uncle with much love in his heart. He was generous to a fault, often planting 20- or 50-dollar bills on homeless people and telling them to “Live long and prosper.” His restaurant tips undoubtedly made many servers tremendously happy.

Rob loved animals and besides his two beloved dogs, Ingrid and Tara, he raised a slew of hamsters and guinea pigs. In school, Rob received several merit-based scholarships and became fluent in Spanish. Rob earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University at Hayward.

Rob is survived by parents Milton and Myrna (deceased), brother Michael Jacobs (Fhani) and their daughters Yasmin and Maya Jacobs, and brother Steven Jacobs (Cheryl) and their son Daniel.

Donations in his memory to the Valley Humane Society, 3670 Nevada St., Pleasanton, CA 94566. May Rob’s name and memory be a blessing and a comfort to all.

Frank Gold

Dec. 4, 1925–Dec. 5, 2022

Frank Gold
Frank Gold

Known to family and friends as Shloime, this San Francisco native passed away a day after celebrating his 97th birthday, surrounded by his family and close friend, Pola Abram.

Born during the Depression, Frank took care of his younger brother while both of his parents worked full time. A highly regarded and longtime biology teacher at Galileo and Raoul Wallenberg High Schools, Frank was himself a product of the state’s excellent public school system and was a proud alumnus of UC Berkeley.

After graduating from Cal, he went into the Army, where he served during World War II in the United States Medical Corp. After the Army, Frank earned a master’s degree in education. He also wrote articles about the plight of public school teachers, which were published in education journals.

Frank had many interests and passions which enriched his life. He was a world traveler and made several family trips to Europe and Israel. He appreciated nature and being outdoors, and enjoyed playing golf and tennis. He led the extended family to the Lair of the Bear UC Alumni family camp every summer for years. Frank loved classical music, opera, klezmer bands and theater. He also enjoyed cooking, eating good food, talking about food, and, late in life, watching cooking shows on TV.

Frank had close relationships with his devoted daughters and his four grandchildren who were a particular source of pride. He derived great joy from Zooming with them every Sunday, sharing stories about his life and keeping up with their many interests.

Frank is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years, Fredy; their two daughters, Debbie (Michael) and Cheryl (Shmuel); four grandchildren (Daniel, Aaron, Rachel and Eitan); and his brother, Donald. Donations in memory of Frank may be made to Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

Hilda Namm

Feb. 22,1926–Dec. 30, 2022

Hilda Namm
Hilda Namm

Hilda Namm z”l died peacefully at home surrounded by family and loved ones on Dec. 30, 2022. Hilda was born in Berlin, Germany on Feb. 22,1926 to Sinai and Marjen Polkowski. She remembered Kristallnacht and the Germans taking her parents’ fabric store in 1938. She escaped Germany with her parents and brother, Paul, to Shanghai by boat from Italy later that year. Most of her parent’s siblings were killed during the war.

“The Chinese” she said, “were the only people to open their gates for all people.” During her nine-year stay there, she lived in the Jewish ghetto in the British section. Her parents operated a store and they lived behind it in one room. Hilda attended a Jewish school where she learned English, often studying in the bathroom (the only quiet space available), and attended a synagogue in Shanghai. After the war, she applied to many jobs at American firms and finally landed a job at an American Army post office, sorting mail.

As a 22-year-old, she traveled solo across the ocean to San Francisco. She was met by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, who gave her money to last a week and directed her to a residence hotel on Post Street. She scoured the newspapers looking for a job and was hired as a stenographer, a skill she had learned from ORT in Shanghai. Once settled in San Francisco, she met Manfred Namm who lived across the street. He too was born in Berlin and escaped to the Jewish ghetto in Shanghai. They married in 1949.

Hilda and Manfred embodied the values of hard work and perseverance, which allowed them to realize the American dream. Together they created a new life for themselves in America, first by getting up at the crack of dawn to operate a wholesale sandwich cart, A1 Box Lunch, for construction workers and then parlaying that business into two snack shops on Montgomery and Bush Streets in the San Francisco Financial District. Hilda’s and Manfred’s parents eventually joined them in San Francisco and Manfred’s parents helped to run the business while Hilda’s parents opened a clothing store. Along the way, Manfred invested in real estate, which he and Hilda managed.

Hilda and Manfred had two children, Evelyn and David, and raised them in the Sunset District of San Francisco. Hilda was active in the Jewish community through Congregation Ner Tamid, B’nai B’rith and Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

In the 1980s, Hilda and Manfred moved from San Francisco to Larkspur, California so that Hilda could swim and Manfred could row in the lagoon. They joined Congregation Rodef Sholom where they made many friends, attended services regularly and Hilda joined Sisterhood.

Manfred and Hilda believed strongly in the value of tikkun olam and made significant donations to many Jewish organizations. After Manfred’s death, Hilda used her strong business acumen admired by so many in the community to continue to run their businesses and philanthropy. Hilda was a generous and unassuming donor in the Jewish community. Congregation Rodef Sholom, the Osher Marin JCC, Ben-Gurion University, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, B’nai B’rith and Chabad of Novato are among the many grateful recipients of her largess.

In her free time well into her 90s, her happiest days were spent swimming at the JCC and attending concerts, movies, plays and Shabbat services. Everyone knew Hilda when she walked through the door. Her indefatigable energy and her impeccable appearance were a hallmark wherever she went. She always had perfectly coiffed blond curls, gold earrings, pink lipstick and nails and wore smart jackets. Later in life, she turned heads with her leopard print walker. She loved to travel, including multiple trips to Israel, and visited much of the world with her daughter, Evelyn.

Most remarkably, Hilda became a bat mitzvah at the age of 94 with Rodef Sholom, studying with adults half her age. Her Torah portion about the Exodus from Egypt reflected her own exodus and her bravery. As her daughter, Evelyn says, “my mom is the bravest person I know.“ And one of Hilda’s greatest joys was watching her daughter Evelyn become a bat mitzvah two years later at Rodef Sholom.

Hilda remained a fighter and survivor. Whether it was speech therapy or occupational therapy after a stroke, Hilda was determined to complete her assignments, up until the days before her death. Her strong will to survive was evident throughout her life.

Hilda is preceded in death by her husband Manfred z”l, mother Marjen z”l, father Sinai z”l, and brother Paul z”l whose memories she kept alive every yahrzeit. She is survived by her daughter Evelyn (Luis and son Aaron) and son David.

Donations in her memory can be made to Congregation Rodef Sholom.

Hilda was an inspiration to all who knew her. May Hilda’s commitment to life and to the continuation of the Jewish people be a shining example for us all.

Irene Epstein

May 23, 1920–Dec. 26, 2022

At rest at the age 102! Irene was the beloved wife of the late Irving Epstein and the late Martin Goldenthal; loving sister-in-law of Esther Carro of New York. Irene had many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Irene was a graduate of University of California at Berkeley and was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority. She was a longtime member of Congregation Sherith Israel. Irene worked for Joseph Magnin Co. for over 27 years.

Irene will be greatly missed by her family, friends and all those who came to know her over the years. A special thank you to Edna Mandocote and Lydia Lucas for their devoted care to Irene.

Irene’s funeral service was held on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, at Salem Memorial Park, 1171 El Camino Real, Colma. In lieu of flowers, Irene requested that donations be made to the Jewish Home, 302 Silver Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112 or the Sequoias Tomorrow Fund, 1400 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94109.

Poppy Helena Finston

July 6, 1924–Dec. 21, 2022

Poppy Finston
Poppy Finston

Poppy Helena Finston, the last surviving daughter of Mary and Louis Posnet, passed away peacefully at the age of 98 on the third day of Hanukkah, Dec. 21, 2022. She is survived by her three children, Steve, Yael and Bob, and their spouses, eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a fourth on the way, and dozens of nieces, nephews and extended family whose legacy is shaped by her love of Jewish tradition steeped in tikkun olam, making the world a better place for all. The funeral was held Dec. 30, 2022 at Mount Tamalpais Cemetery and Mortuary at the Rodef Sholom/ Sha’rei Shalom Cemetery spot. Donations in her memory can be made to Hadassah in her honor (hadassah.org).

Trude Meyer

Aug. 15, 1924–Dec. 22, 2022

Trude Meyer, a woman of small stature but with towering resilience, optimism, energy and spirit, passed away in her 98th year. Trude was known for her humor, intellect, sweet charm and strong Jewish beliefs, always keeping a kosher home and marking every Shabbat and Jewish holiday with a beautiful tray of cakes and cookies baked from scratch.

Trude was devoted to her husband of 61 years, Hermann Meyer and their two sons, Fred (Terry) and Harry. She lived in San Francisco’s Richmond district for 76 years and attended both Congregation Chevra Thilim and Congregation Beth Sholom. Trude and her sister, Jenni, came to the United States in 1946 and were taken in by their cousin, Ilse Bernstein and her husband, Marcus. She was proud of her three grandchildren, David (Luzia), Alisa (Ken) and Michael, and was especially thrilled to be a great-grandmother to Sydney. Trude was very close with her extended family and an inspiration to them.

Trude was a Holocaust survivor, along with her dear sister Jenni Thompson (Walter) in the truest sense of the word. Trude and Jenni spent several years working under impossible conditions in Nazi factories and survived a frozen death march at the end of the war. Trude was born and raised in Fronhausen, Germany.  Her two brothers and mother were killed in the Holocaust. Trude shared her Holocaust experiences and vivid memories with the Arbeitskreis group of non-Jewish German community members who have preserved the synagogues, graveyards and other Jewish remnants of the Fronhausen Jewish community. She spoke to many groups about her war experiences.

Trude enjoyed cooking and baking using her German recipes. She and Hermann loved the opera. In later years she tackled difficult puzzles and was proud to display them. Her living room was filled with family photos and she kept many files of memorabilia and news clippings as a family historian. She had friends all over the world who would shower her with birthday wishes. She loved to talk on the phone with friends and family and was nicknamed the “butterfly” for her sociability and as a symbol of Holocaust survival. She surrounded herself with the many varieties of butterflies she received as gifts and loved to show them to visitors.

Trude will be sorely missed by her family, friends and community.

The Meyer family is eternally grateful to Trude’s wonderful caretakers for their excellent care and support.

Donations may be made to Congregations Chevra Thilim and Beth Sholom in her memory.

The funeral was held at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma, California.

Sinai Memorial
(415) 921-3636

Judith “Judy” Ann Siegel

Judith “Judy” Ann Siegel
Judith “Judy” Ann Siegel

Judith “Judy” Ann Siegel, died on Dec. 25, 2022 from Alzheimer’s.

Judy was born in San Francisco to Allen and Mary Stoll in 1940 and raised there. The younger sister of Sheila Wills, Judy attended Lowell High School and was a graduate of San Francisco State University. She lived in San Jose for the past 60 years.

Judy was preceded in death by her loving husband Allen (Al Siegel) of blessed memory.

She is survived by her children Grant Michels (Debbie), Gary Michels (Simone) and her beloved grandchildren Noah, Leo and Mackenzie. She is also survived by her stepchildren David Siegel (Kathy), Michael Siegel (Hellena), Tammy Siegel and her stepgrandchildren Bryan, Erika, Laura, Adrian and Nicole.

A memorial service was to be held for Judy on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023 at Temple Emanu-El, 1010 University Ave., San Jose. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Temple Emanu-El’s general fund or the Alzheimer’s Association.