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

Death announcements for the week of Feb. 3, 2023

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

Ellen Baer

May 31, 1929–Jan. 11, 2023

Ellen Baer
Ellen Baer

Ellen Baer, 93 years old and a 70-year resident of Contra Costa County, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. She was born in Cologne, Germany and was a Holocaust survivor who immigrated as an orphan to this amazing country in 1947. She attended City College San Francisco and Cal Berkeley prior to marrying her late husband Al in 1950 and moving to Orinda in 1952. They owned and operated Village Shoe Shop in Orinda, Griffin Scuffers in Oakland and All About Uniforms in Walnut Creek.

In 1952 Ellen and Al became founding members of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, and she was extremely active there until her passing.

Ellen’s positive attitude and strong independent ways will be missed. Ellen enjoyed traveling the world, shopping and educating her mind.

Ellen is survived by daughters Leana Baer and Denise Silicani and son-in-law Edward Silicani, four grandchildren — Paul Munowitch, Monica Klemann (Mike), Brad Silicani (Karly) and Matthew Munowitch (Jennifer) — and seven great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by Albert Baer (1987) and granddaughter Kari Baer Munowitch (1986).

Donations in her memory can be made to Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, CA, to the Torah and Prayer Book Fund.

Marvin Daniel Jones

Jan. 15, 1925–Jan. 3, 2023

Marvin Daniel Jones
Marvin Daniel Jones

Marvin Daniel Jones passed away on Jan. 3, 2023 in Menlo Park, CA, just less than 2 weeks short of his 98th birthday. Marvin was the patriarch of the Jones clan. He was born on Jan. 15, 1925 in Newark, NJ, to Joseph and Esther Jones (nee Lieberman). His dad emigrated from Odessa, Russia, and his mother was born in New Jersey. While still children, his father moved the family, which included his little brother Harold, to Cleveland, Ohio. Marvin and Harold were extremely close and became ardent fans of the Cleveland Indians and Browns.

Marvin taught his left-handed little brother how to bat righty and even got their Russian dad interested in baseball games. Marvin attended Western Reserve University until serving his country in the U.S. Navy. After the service, both he and Harold joined their father’s scrap metal business and eventually formed the Globe Metal Company.

On July 11, 1948, Marvin married Jeane Elias and had two children, Frosty and Gary. While his children were in high school, he took in a foreign exchange student named Shirley Braverman who became like a second daughter.

The brothers grew their business into a very successful operation that allowed Marvin to follow his dream of moving to the sunny climate of California. In 1973, he and Jeane moved to Menlo Park, where Marvin started several businesses including Sightseers, Globe Business Credit, Globe Marketing, and then eventually became a salesman at Lutz Ford before finally retiring.

Marvin was quite health conscious. He played tennis and jogged and also enjoyed listening to music, especially “old blue eyes” Frank Sinatra, reading, watching movies, avidly following his adopted team the 49ers, spending time with family, and traveling around the world.

He was known by family, friends and strangers as being a master storyteller with a photographic memory who met such celebrities as Joe Louis and Joe Montana and even stayed at the same hotel in Miami as the Beatles. He spoke to his brother Harold every single day until Harold’s passing.

In 1991, his beloved Jeane passed away, and in 1993, he married Irene Britton who survives him. Marvin is also survived by his daughter, Frosty Gross (Rick) of Palo Alto, his son, Gary (Jann Sternberg) of Seattle, grandchildren Zachary, Andrew (Georgie Conaghan), Jacob (deceased), and Ryan Gross, as well as great-grandchildren Arthur and Charlie, nephews Jeff Holden, Scott Holden, Mark Jones and Richard Jones, nieces Andie Oster and Ellen Widen, and their numerous children and grandchildren.

Donations can be made to stanfordbloodcenter.org; mazon.org (800-813-0557); and betham.org (DONATE: Named – Special Funds: Rabbi Sarah Weissman’s Discretionary Fund).

Misia Nudler


Misia Nudler
Misia Nudler

Misia Nudler, a longtime resident of Oakland, and more recently of Danville, passed away peacefully on Oct. 13, 2022, just shy of her 95th birthday. She was predeceased by her husband Harold and son Harry.

Misia was born in a small town in Poland about an hour from Warsaw, and was one of seven sisters. She described her parents as very loving and caring, who instilled those traits to all seven daughters. Sabbath dinners were shared with those less fortunate.

Misia recalled that on June 24, 1941 at 4 in the morning, Germany attacked Russian forces. Misia escaped and fled with her sister Jeanette (Sheindle) and together survived years of hiding. With the help of strangers and Righteous Gentiles, as they are known today, they were alive and were able to survive the war through the Holocaust.

After the war, the Joint Distribution Committee arranged for Misia, Jeanette and her husband Jack to be transported to a Displaced Persons (DP) camp in Germany, which was run by the United Nations Rehabilitation Association (UNRA). There, Misia met Harold Nudler; they were married in the camp and had a son, Harry. After almost four years in the camp, a relative sponsored them to come to the United States, where they lived in a small cottage in Oakland.

Harold and Jack later became partners in the scrap metal business. Daughter Judy was born in Berkeley in 1950, and life in America became the true American

Dream for Misia, where she became involved in the activities of her children. Misia began volunteering for various organizations, including Meals on Wheels delivering food to those less fortunate, and at Temple Beth Abraham (TBA) where she and Harold became active on the board. She also became president of TBA Sisterhood, president of Oakland’s Hadassah chapter, was involved with B’nai B’rith, Brandeis, ORT, National Jewish Women, volunteered at the Jewish Home for the Aged, worked feeding the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul, and planned successful fundraiser dinners for TBA and Hadassah. She always said she loved volunteering and they were happy times in her life.

Misia was well loved by so many. We will miss her kind, considerate, compassionate,

thoughtful and caring nature, who made every person she met feel special. She appreciated all the freedoms and opportunities life had to offer in the United States and always wanted to give back to the community. She showed strength in adverse situations throughout her life and loved life to the fullest. She loved her family more than anything.

She leaves behind daughter Judy (Brett), granddaughter Alanna, who gave her such joy, many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces and -nephews, and sisters-in-law.

Thank you to her loving caregivers who took wonderful care of her during her last weeks at the Reutlinger Community. You are special people.

Misia will be forever missed, but we were so fortunate to have known and been surrounded by her love and kindness. We will also miss her delicious apple strudel, stuffed cabbage, and floater matzah balls at wonderful family gatherings she prepared.

Misia was buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland next to her husband Harold and son Harry on Oct. 19, 2022. The best way to honor Misia is to do a kind deed to further her hopes of a more caring world. May her memory be a blessing.

Debora Sessler

March 6, 1926–Aug. 30, 2022

Debora Sessler
Debora Sessler

With great sadness we announce the passing of our beloved mother Debora Sessler (nee van Praag) on Aug. 30, 2022. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Kurt and son Edward (Jackie). She is survived by her sister Beppy Leaver, daughter Elizabeth (Tom Benner), son Jeffrey (Natalie) and her grandchildren Julia, Joshua, Michael and Courtney. Debora also dearly loved her extended Coen family.

Debora was born in Amsterdam. After her mother passed away, she and her sister were raised in a Jewish boarding school that was raided by the Germans in 1942. They were sent to numerous concentration camps and were liberated from Auschwitz in 1945. Debora came to America in 1954 and met her husband in San Francisco. They had a very happy albeit short 13-year marriage before Kurt passed away. After Kurt’s passing, Debora was finally able to discuss the Holocaust. She always said that one tragedy transcended another.

In 1971, Debora began speaking to students about her experiences during the Holocaust. After moving to Vallejo to be near her daughter and family, she began speaking again regularly in 2000 to middle-school students, along with numerous community organizations. Debora became a local celebrity in Benicia, as so many of the children and their parents heard her amazing survival story. In 2020, Debora and Beppy became Jefferson Award winners for their extraordinary contribution to their community.

Debora loved to entertain, cook, travel and experience all life had to offer. She was adored by everyone and always had a smile to share. She will be dearly missed to all those whose life she touched.

The world has lost a true hero.

Elliot Saul Steinberg

Aug. 4, 1940–Jan. 31, 2023

Elliot Saul Steinberg
Elliot Saul Steinberg

Elliot Saul Steinberg, 82, of Tiburon, California, passed away in peace the morning of Jan. 31, 2023, at MarinHealth Medical Center in Marin County. The day before he passed, Elliot read numerous Psalms together with Rabbi Levi Mintz of Chabad of Tiburon, reading from his personal prayer book, which meant so much to him.

He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Aug. 4, 1940 to Israel Steinberg and Anne Steinberg (Segal) where he spent his formative childhood years. Elliot moved with his family to San Francisco in 1949 with the relocation of his father’s lifetime career in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Elliot was always so proud of his father’s civil and hydrology engineering legacy in the San Francisco Bay Area, such as being one of the lead engineers to build the Bay Model in Sausalito. His loving mother, Anne Steinberg, was a renowned pianist and piano teacher in the Bay Area (including being a piano accompanist to a young Cantor Martin Feldman) and was a prolific painter in her later years.

Elliot married his loving wife Carolyn Steinberg (Bell) in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1968. Carolyn, the love of his life and his rock throughout a life filled with so much blessing. Elliot is survived by his wife, his daughter Aviva Rosenthal and son-in-law Dan Rosenthal of Chevy Chase, Maryland, and his grandchildren Sadie Rosenthal (20) and Stella Rosenthal (11). He is also survived by his son Adam Steinberg, his daughter-in-law Maggie Bao Steinberg of Foster City, California, and granddaughter Dorothy Anne Steinberg (3). He is also survived by his sister Sherna Kisilevitz and brother-in-law Jonny Kisilevitz of Jerusalem, Israel, sister Judi Fleitman and brother-in-law Bernie Fleitman of Princeton, New Jersey, and sister Linda Steinberg of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Ruth Bell of Overland Park, Kansas, sister-in-law Beverly Alport and brother-in-law Barnett Alport of Overland Park, Kansas, brother-in-law Michael Bell and sister-in-law Phyllis Bell of New York City. He is also survived by many loving cousins and extended family members.

Elliot graduated from San Francisco’s George Washington High School in 1958 where he was an Eagle Society member and served as Editor-in-Chief of The Eagle newspaper. Elliot graduated with a degree in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 1963, where he was deeply honored to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Californian newspaper. As part of his duties as Editor-in-Chief, Elliot was a student representative to greet Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, during his visit to UC Berkeley in 1962. Elliot was also a member of The Order of the Golden Bear honor society. Elliot loved the Cal Golden Bears and was often seen wearing Cal-themed clothing and attending football games with his treasured Sigma Alpha Mu (SAM) lifelong fraternity brothers and close friends. Elliot lived in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1965, an experience which began a lifetime of love for Israel, charitable donations to Jewish organizations and extensive travel to Israel, including his cherished memories of scuba diving in Eilat on the Red Sea and helping to launch Mr. T’s t-shirt store in Jerusalem with Israeli friends.

In San Francisco in the late 1960s, Elliot worked for an advertising agency where he led the campaign for Hills Brothers Coffee and created an innovative advertising campaign featuring Snoopy and the Red Baron. This led Elliot to form Aviva Enterprises in 1968, a company synonymous with Snoopy, Snoopy trophies, toys and many other licensed gifts; the company, which was globally successful for nearly two decades, was a recognized pioneer in the nascent licensing industry and was eventually sold to Hasbro.

A successful entrepreneur and world traveler, Elliot was for many years a member of YPO (NorCal and Golden Gate Chapters), the Marin Tennis Club and Concordia-Argonaut Club, and was active in the Democratic Party. He started numerous other businesses in the product and licensing space and was a partner in the licensing business of American icon Norman Lear’s Act III Licensing for many years. He had a lifelong history of Jewish philanthropy, including serving on the Boards of the San Francisco Jewish Federation, the AJC and The J. (formerly known as The Jewish Bulletin), where he served as the President of the Board of Directors. He was also President of the Board of The Hebrew Academy in San Francisco and was a Founding Board member of Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco.

More recently, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends both in-person and virtually. He was an avid Scrabble player and enjoyed watching his favorite classic movies as well as reading numerous books a month on his Kindle. In 2020, his 80th birthday was virtually attended by all the family and friends throughout different decades of his life that meant so much to him and brought joy and the many blessings he was grateful for.

As Elliot has said so many times including in recent days, he felt “so blessed.” May his memory be a blessing.