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Death announcements for the week of June 28, 2024

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


Philip Bernstein

Jan. 27, 1940–June 16, 2024

Philip Bernstein

Dr. Philip Bernstein passed away peacefully at his home on June 16, 2024. Phil was born in Hartford, Connecticut, to Abe and Mollie Bernstein. He graduated cum laude from the Loomis School in Windsor, Connecticut, where he was captain of three varsity teams. In 1962 he graduated cum laude from Harvard where he majored in Social Psychology — his advisor was Richard Alpert (of Alpert and Leary aka Baba Ram Das).

His varsity baseball career (cleanup batter and first baseman) led to a 1962 offer to try out for the New York Mets. He told them he had already been accepted at medical school and his mother would be very disappointed. He went to Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut, and graduated cum laude in 1966.

He then interned at Stanford and met Arlene Upright, who was teaching school in San Francisco. They married during his year of General Surgery at Stanford, then moved to Boston where he did his orthopedic surgery residency at Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital. During his residency, hip replacement surgery was introduced in Boston. After two years in the U.S. Air Force, Phil joined Drs. Scott Smyth, Thomas Lewis and Stanford Pollack in San Mateo. When his partners retired, he recruited Drs. Todd Kim and Paul Abeyta to join him in the new Mills Peninsula Clinic at 1501 Trousdale, Burlingame. Phil taught Stanford Orthopedic residents at the Palo Alto VA hospital for 19 years and was promoted to Assistant Clinical Professor. His main interest was arthritis surgery and especially joint replacement surgery. Phil served as Chief of Orthopedics at Mills Hospital, director of San Mateo County Medical Society and member of the San Mateo Advisory Board of the Arthritis Foundation. He co-chaired the Mills-Peninsula campaign for the arthritis and rehab center.

Phil enjoyed reading, fishing — especially fly fishing — traveling, eating out, fine wine and spending time with his family. His favorite trips included Africa, Galapagos, Nepal, Asia, Europe (often) — especially Paris.

He leaves his wife of 57 years, Arlene; daughter Dana Bernstein Stiskin (Howard); son Alex Bernstein; grandson Ryan Stiskin and nephews and cousins. He is already missed.

Donations: Mills Peninsula Hospital Foundation, Jewish Family Services, Pets in Need or your choice.

Sinai Memorial | (415) 921-3636


Laurence Jay Blickman

Laurence Jay Blickman

Laurence Jay Blickman, fondly remembered as the CEO of BT Commercial Real Estate, passed away peacefully at his home in Atherton on Monday, June 17, 2024, at the age of 71.

Laurence worked his way through Cal Berkeley as a cook and car salesman, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business. This led him to start his own company, BT Commercial Real Estate, at a young age.
His proudest professional achievements include being named Investment Broker of the Year from the Association of Silicon Valley Brokers (ASVB) in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2001. He was awarded entry into their Hall of Fame in 1992.

Laurence loved to cook, play golf with his son Christopher, watch Cal football and basketball, travel, embark on new adventures, and spend time with his two dogs, Prince Harry and Prince William.
He had the good fortune of meeting his incredible wife, Victoria, in 2003, and they have been married for 22 years.

Laurence is survived by his wife, Victoria; his four children, Jason, Alisa, Jordan, and Chris; and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his two sisters, Debra and Jayne, and his many loving nieces and nephews.

Services were held at Los Gatos Memorial Park, Reflections Chapel, on June 26. In his memory, Laurence’s family would appreciate donations to the Second Harvest of Silicon Valley Food Bank.


Rosalie Lefkowitz


April 4, 1929–June 24, 2024

Rosalie Lefkowitz

Rosalie Lefkowitz, née Coblentz, 95, of Palo Alto died June 24, 2024, at home of natural causes with her family beside her.

Born on April 4, 1929, to Lambert and Dorothy Coblentz, Rosalie grew up in San Francisco with her sister Elizabeth. As a child, Rosalie enjoyed playing tennis, riding horses in Golden Gate Park and spending time with cousins and friends.

She attended Madison School and Lowell High School, graduating from Lowell in 1946. She also attended Sunday School at Congregation Emanu-El.

Rosalie attended Stanford University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1949. She received a medical technology credential from UC Berkeley and worked as a medical technologist and phlebotomist in hospitals in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Rosalie enjoyed singing in choirs and learning the piano. She also took classes in advanced mathematics at UC Berkeley.

Rosalie met her future husband, Benjamin Lefkowitz, on a blind date. They were married at her mother’s house in San Francisco in December 1957. The wedding was delayed as Ben forgot the marriage license at his apartment across town. Fortunately, the guests were kept entertained by watching the Forty-Niners play the Detroit Lions in the Western Conference playoff at Kezar Stadium below the wedding near Twin Peaks.

In 1959, Rosalie and Ben moved to Menlo Park, California, to be near Ben’s job at Stanford Research Institute (SRI.) After the birth of their daughter Debbie in 1959, Rosalie and Ben purchased a home in South Palo Alto near the families of Rosalie’s sister Elizabeth Mallory and Ben’s sister Ann Blachman. Their son Matthew was born on Valentine’s Day 1961. The Lefkowitz, Blachman and Mallory families were very close, celebrating Thanksgiving and other holidays together for the next 30 years.

Ben’s job took the family to Sweden for four months in 1964 and to France for a year in 1965.
Rosalie was active in the League of Women Voters, working on a variety of state and local policy initiatives. She also volunteered with several environmental organizations and was a member at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. She and Ben also had season tickets to the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) for many years.

Rosalie returned to school and received a master’s in computer mathematics in 1977 from San Jose State University. After graduation, she worked for over ten years as a Fortran programmer for several programming firms at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

After the children left home, Rosalie and Ben enjoyed traveling — taking trips to Europe, the Southwest and the East Coast. They also loved attending plays in Ashland every year with Palo Alto friends.

After Ben was diagnosed with ALS in 1988, Rosalie retired from her programming career to care for him. After Ben’s death in 1990, Rosalie volunteered as a bird counter, bander and research statistician at The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. She also traveled with friends throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Costa Rica, South America and Antarctica in search of new and exotic bird discoveries.

Rosalie was an active member of the South Bay Mac User Group (SMUG), attending monthly meetings to get the early word on new software and hardware.

She was a tutor at Avenidas, teaching seniors how to use word processing and email programs. She celebrated her lifelong love of music by attending concerts and lectures at the Music at Menlo Festival each summer.

She also enjoyed spending time with her grandsons, Benjamin and Jacob Lefkowitz.

Rosalie is survived by daughter Debbie Lefkowitz, son Matthew Lefkowitz and daughter-in-law Ann Comoglio of San Francisco, by grandsons Benjamin Lefkowitz of Washington, D.C., and Jacob Lefkowitz of San Francisco, and by nephews Seth and Tracy Mallory, and nieces Susan and Nancy Blachman.

Matt and Debbie are grateful to Rosalie’s caregivers Ofa Tuita and Gertrudes “Gigi” Bascal for their years of devoted service to our mother.

In lieu of flowers or other gifts of condolence, please donate to any of the following causes: The Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO), The League of Women Voters of Palo Alto (LWV), Save the Bay, or Music at Menlo.


Joseph Zadik

Joseph (Yossi) Zadik (Yoseph ben Shimon and Tova) passed away peacefully in his home on the morning of Monday, June 3, 2024, at the age of 77.

Yossi is survived by his beloved wife of 27 years Anne Bakar, his five children Amnon (Sharon), Benzi, Jacqui, Morty, and Eli, his six grandchildren Josh, Jonah, Jeremy, Jacob, Danielle, and Joey, and his siblings Shlomo (Sima), Ayala, and Liora.

Born in Isfahan, Iran, and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, Yossi’s early life was imbued with rich Jewish traditions. While attending high school, Yossi worked multiple jobs to help support his family. He served in the Six-Day War and was deeply impacted by the loss of his brother, Benzion, in the Yom Kippur War. In 1969, he immigrated to the U.S. to attend university and fulfill his aspirations for greater prosperity.

Yossi’s first marriage took him to Calgary, Canada, where he raised his eldest three children and built a prosperous hotel business. After his divorce, he moved to the Bay Area, where he nurtured his second family. His tireless work ethic, interpersonal sensibilities, and love for the art of negotiation fueled his entrepreneurial success over the ensuing three decades, primarily by starting energy businesses and investing in real estate.

Yossi always maintained his humility and sense of humor. He also relished the opportunity to mentor others, whether the immigrant contractor from Mexico or the small grocery store operator from Iran.

Yossi ardently passed down Jewish values to his children, especially the value of charity (tzedakah). He made significant and frequently anonymous contributions to Chabad of Oakland, Beth Jacob Congregation, AIPAC, and other community organizations.

Yossi touched countless lives beyond his family through his warmth, charisma, and spiritual mentorship.

Yossi was a righteous man — a true tzadik. May his memory be a blessing.

Donations in memory of Joseph Zadik can be made to Chabad Jewish Center of Oakland, Beth Jacob Congregation, or AIPAC.


Harold Bertram “Hal” Auerbach

Oct. 7, 1931–June 15, 2024

Harold Auerbach died on Saturday, June 15, at home, after a short illness. He was 92 years old.

Hal was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Jacob and Zelda (Korobov) Auerbach, on Oct. 7, 1931. His parents had moved from San Francisco to St. Paul at the outset of the Depression, to be closer to Zelda’s family. When he was six years old, the family returned to San Francisco, where he lived the remainder of his life. Hal attended Emerson Elementary School, Roosevelt Junior High School, and Lowell High School, where he graduated in 1950.

It was at Lowell that Hal met his future bride, Dorothy Ann Greenfeld. He joined her briefly at the University of California, Berkeley, before enrolling at the University of San Francisco, where he completed his education, obtaining his law degree in 1957, while working part-time for the Social Security Administration.

Hal and Dorothy married on June 22, 1952. They had five children, three of whom were born while Hal was still in school. On graduation, Hal found work with a two-man law firm, Mueller and McLeod, specializing in commercial collections and bankruptcy. When the last of the partners died in 1973, Hal inherited the firm, which he then called Mueller, McLeod and Auerbach, and, later, Auerbach and Associates. He formed a partnership with his friend Robert Dauphin, which carried on for about twenty years. Finally, tired of the administrative headaches involved in running a firm, he and Dauphin dissolved their partnership and Hal joined Glassberg and Pollak, happily assuming the role he described as “the world’s oldest associate,” until after his 80th birthday, when he finally retired. Throughout his career, Hal was active in the Commercial Law League of America and taught courses at Lincoln Law School and Golden Gate University Law School.

Hal was a loving husband and an engaged father, finding ways to entertain his bushel of children on a limited budget, by taking the family on long car trips, to Golden Gate Park, or to track meets at Stanford University (remember when the “Soviet Union” used to sponsor “goodwill missions” of athletes to the United States?), and other low-cost forms of entertainment. He and Dorothy enrolled the children in the Sherith Israel religious school and became active members of the congregation. He served Sherith Israel as the President of the Men’s Club and on the Board of Directors, and for many years as an usher at High Holiday Services.

Hal was known and loved by all for his keen wit and humor. He was a master punster. He was warm and affable like no other; he could walk into a room and within 5 minutes make 50 friends. His friends spanned a wide spectrum, including the chums of his children who all found him a delight. Hal was also dapper and a man-about-the-city (especially its bars), and he walked — even into his 90s — all over his beloved San Francisco.

Hal lived the last ten years of his life with Dorothy at Rhoda Goldman Plaza, where he was a vibrant and treasured member of the community. The family wishes to thank the staff and residents of Rhoda Goldman Plaza for providing him with a loving community and a much more rewarding experience than he had any expectation of having when he moved in. Their care and compassion in his final days we will treasure always. We also would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and other staff members at CPMC Buena Vista and CPMC Van Ness for their loving care during his last illness, and the hospice team at Pathways for their assistance during the last phase of his illness.

Hal is survived by his wife of 72 years, Dorothy; by his children, Ruth Auerbach Levin (David), Harry (Geri), Judith (Mark Abrahamson); by his grandchildren, Cullen Auerbach (Arlana Burk), Thomas Auerbach (Grace), Seth Auerbach (Rebecca Rich), Ryan Auerbach, and Matthew Levin (Brenda Juarez-Castro); and by his great-granddaughter, Arie Kaimana Auerbach. He was predeceased by his sons Robert (1960-1993) and Matthew (1964-1991).

Hal was, above all, a rationalist, who appreciated writers like Marcus Aurelius. So it seems fitting to end with the last of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations:

“Man, you have been a citizen in this great State: what difference does it make to you whether for five years or a hundred? … Depart then satisfied, for He who also releases you is satisfied.”

A funeral was celebrated at Sinai Memorial Chapel, on Thursday, June 20.

In lieu of flowers, Hal would have loved to know that you’ve honored his memory through contributions to Congregation Sherith Israel, to the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning, to the ACLU, or to the charity of your choice.

Sinai Memorial | (415) 921-3636