Jewish Journal


March 15, 2007



Brooke Asher, educator and entrepreneur, 47 Brooke Asher Brooke Asher died in Santa Monica on June 2, 2006, at the age of 47. She grew up in New York and Holland and was educated at Hunter College, where she earned a degree in economics. She first found success as an innovative restaurateur, opening the critically acclaimed and highly successful Continental Divide at 24. This fun and lively dinosaur-themed hot spot drew both New York crowds and critics and spawned other themed restaurants.

In the early 1990s, Brooke headed to Los Angeles, was married, and became actively involved in a number of AIDS and sex education charities. As a speaker for Peer Education Program of Los Angeles, her straight talk and compelling words made her a popular speaker at high schools and colleges. Her work with Children of the Night helped educate and inspire homeless youth to be sage, stay clean and make positive changes in their lives.

In 2003, she launched a revolutionary concept in the detox and sobriety world with her company, Sober Coaching, which "brought the center to the client." She is the beloved daughter of Kenneth and Rachel Blumenstein; sister of Rodney Blumenstein; and wife of Glen Kessler. She leaves family and many friends who loved and respected this passionate woman.

-- Kenneth Blumenstein

Harvey Cohen, "Hanukkah Swings!" co-producer, 55 Harvey Cohen Emmy Award-winner Harvey Cohen died of a heart attack at the age of 55 on Jan. 14. He had worked on numerous television, film and animation projects. He was also the arranger, conductor and co-producer of "Hanukkah Swings!"

It all started 15 years ago in the shower, when I was singing "I Have a Little Dreidel," and in my head I heard the Count Basie Orchestra. All I needed to find was an arranger. After many years of searching, I was singing in Beverly Hills at a concert, and the piano player knew of a guy who might be perfect for the project. The only problem was that "he lived in the middle of nowhere."

I asked where that was, and he said Agoura. I told him that I lived in Agoura, and I met Harvey Cohen the next morning at the Agoura Deli for breakfast. It was an instant friendship. I felt like I knew him all my life. Harvey then wrote the entire idea out on a napkin, and we were in the studio recording a demo a few months later. It then took three years to get a label to sign me, and had it not been for Harvey's incredible arrangements, I don't think anyone would have listened to my big band Chanukah idea. None of this would have been possible without the genius of Harvey Cohen's arrangements.

I miss Harvey, who became a "soul mate" and great friend. He was in the Temple Beth Haverim High Holiday Choir for two years and played his klezmer-style clarinet at our first Friday Night Love service. He had me premiere "Swingin' Dreidel" and "Hanukkah Candles" at the 2005 Agoura High School Winter Concert and then put together and led an incredible 18-piece big band at the "Hanukkah Swings! Live" concert at the Canyon Club.

The last time I saw him was at the two concerts we did at the Jazz Bakery in December. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

-- Cantor Kenny Ellis, Temple Beth Haverim

Marshall Blair, civic and Jewish community leader, 85

Born in Chicago in 1921 to Harry and Kate Blair, Marshall Blair was a self-made businessman who moved his family to Northridge in 1957. He started Acme Bearing in Burbank and retired to Oceanside in 1995. Marshall attributed his success to his positive outlook on life -- his motto being, "Go, go, go" -- and to the support and encouragement of his wife, Shirley. Marshall was an ethical businessman who helped employees and strangers alike through the trials and tribulations of life.

He was president of Temple Judea in Tarzana; president of the San Fernando Valley Mental Health Center; president of Build Rehabilitation Industries (provides training and work skills to disabled people); president of the North American Federation of Temple Brotherhoods; vice president of the Jewish Chautauqua Society; president of the Jewish Men's Club of North County; president of the Burbank Rotary Club; president of the PTA; board member of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; board member of Tri-City Hospital; and board member of the Burbank YMCA.

His greatest achievement, however, and that for which he was proudest, was raising four wonderful and successful children -- two medical doctors, one doctor of psychology and one doctor of jurisprudence -- all of whom were very active growing up in the temple youth group.

He is survived by Shirley, his loving wife of 58 years; children, Steve, Joyce, Nancy and Gary; grandchildren, Molly, Sarah, Kaitlin and Emma; and brother, Sidney. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Marshall Blair Leadership Fund at Temple Judea.

-- Gary Blair

Max Lent, fighter and folkdancer, 88

Max Lent, who died Jan. 24 at 88, was a character, a hard-working man whose interests were many.

He was a Jewish carpenter ("like you-know-who" as Max would say), incomparable improvisor and self-taught worker-intellectual who sustained his family and many friends with his irreverent wit and generosity.

He had a lifelong passion for sailing. He fought fascism as a World War II Marine, built countless houses, fixed just about anything and, with his wife, Millie, folkdanced locally and around the world.

He stayed strong until the end, annually riding his bike from Venice to Hess Kramer, 35 miles, most recently at age 88. He began riding as a Western Union bike messenger in Manhattan during the Depression and never quit.

Max was a proud communist, a secularist with strong Jewish roots reaching back to his shtetl birthplace. Opinionated and involved, he worked for a better world but lived fully in the present. The Valley Cities Jewish Community Center crowd will miss his humor and his "goldineh hent." He is survived by Millie, his wife of 56 years; three daughters and their husbands; and five grandchildren.

His memorial will be held April 1 at 1 p.m. at the Valley Cities JCC, 13164 Burbank Blvd, Van Nuys.

-- Mildred Lent


Frieda Lee Auerbach died Feb. 12 at 79. She is survived by her son, Rick Auerbach. Malinow and Silverman

Clara Berkowitz died Feb. 14 at 79. She is survived by her daughter, Sue (Alan) Trock; sons Michael (Denise) and Robert (Lisa); and six grandchildren. Sholom Chapels

Irene Bistreich died Dec. 23 at 83. She is survived by her daughters, Rhea (Jeffrey) Arthur and Wendy; and grandsons, Jared and Joel Arthur. Malinow and Silverman

Douglas Caplan died Feb. 18 at 39. He is survived by his parents, Susan Klein and Harry; daughter, Stephanie; son, Daniel; grandfather, Sidney Caplan; two sisters; a brother; and uncle. Malinow and Silverman

Anita Gene Chaikin died Feb. 12, at 83. She is survived by her husband, William; children, James, Robert and Carol; three grandchildren; and sister, Patricia Reiner. Hillside

Genelle Altman died Feb. 21 at 84. She is survived by her son, Jeff. Malinow and Silverman

Alice Davis died Feb. 15 at 82. She is survived by her daughter, Gail Aspinwall; sister, Clara Rosenthal; and two grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Bobbette Diener died Feb. 11 at 89. She is survived by her daughters, Marilyn (Israel) Freeman and Helene; and granddaughter, Marissa Freeman. Mount Sinai

Ronald Feldman died Feb. 10 at 74. He is survived by his wife, Carol Magid-Feldman; sister-in-law, Phyllis (Stanley) Feldman-Schroeder; and nieces, Denise and Dawn. Mount Sinai

Gershon "Gerry" Fellman died Feb. 16 at 74. He is survived by his wife, Jane; brother, Gordon (Pamela Blau); niece, Talia; and nephew, Ezra. Mount Sinai

Rubin Fenster died Feb. 12 at 95. He is survived by his daughter, Claire (Jerry) Weissman; sons, Fred (Jennifer) and Marvin (Laura); seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Richard Fink died Feb. 16 at 75. He is survived by his stepsons, Randy (Sue), Richard (Carmen), Daryl (Carolyn) and William (Jodi) Smith; 13 grandchildren; and brother, Alvin (Phyllis) Fink. Malinow and Silverman

Ida Fisher died Feb. 14 at 95. She is survived by her sister, Anne Krum; and nephews, Joel Shrut and Ezra (Lisa) Tishman. Mount Sinai

Joseph Fradkin died Feb 10 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Doris; sons, Alan and Neil (Judi); daughter, Marla (Dale) Stuntz; and five grandchildren. Hillside

Laura Gitlin-Petlak died Feb. 12 at 49. She is survived by her husband, Steven Petlak; daughters, Alisa and Miriam; parents, Val and Joe Gitlin; and brother, Gunnar Johnson Gitlin. Sholom Chapels

Florence Glesser died Feb. 11. She is survived by her daughter, Marilyn (Walter) Horn; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Hillside

Frances (Frankie) Goldberger died Feb. 13 at age 92. She is survived by her sister-in-law Gloria Gilder; friends; and family. Hillside

Sarah Graber died Feb. 14 at 91. She is survived by her son, Jeffrey. Malinow and Silverman

Sally Ann Hagen died Feb. 10 at 75. She is survived by her husband, Earle; sons, David (Janet) and Jeffrey (Ronna); nine grandchildren; and brother, Ben (Jeanne) Sokol. Mount Sinai

Georgine Hammer died Feb. 17 at 80. She is survived by her son, Robert (Lynn); daughter, Linda (Mitchell) Krayton; granddaughters, Elyse and Sheryl; and sisters, Audrey Coleman, Roberta (Jim Bob) Hardin and Sandra (Morris) Leventhal. Mount Sinai

Moussa Haroonian died Feb. 12 at 43. He is survived by his mother, Pari; and brothers, George and Alexander. Malinow and Silverman

Eva Harris died Feb. 18 at 88. She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Kohn. Malinow and Silverman

Michael Steven Harris died Feb. 15 at 47. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; sons, Arielle and Ethan; father, Alan (Joann); mother, Lois; brother, Ron (Eileen); and half-brothers, Gary and Steven Perez (Maya). Mount Sinai

Raymonde Harter died Feb. 17 at 86. She is survived by her husband, Melvin; sons, Phillip and Paul (Lisa); and four grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Alan Michael Hoffman died Feb. 12 at 43. He is survived by his son, Tyler Harrison-Hoffman; mother, Allene; aunt, Audrey; and cousins, Andrea and Paul. Hillside

Florence Hoffman died Feb. 10 at 86. She is survived by her daughters, Judy (Bob) Hess, Linda (Jack) Kranz and Vicki; son, Michael (Jeanine); grandsons, Jeremy (Kyong) and Joshua (Marika) Krantz; brothers, David (Jean), Robert, Max and Samuel (Rita) Rotenberg; sister, Shirley Latts; and brother-in-law, Jerry Joseph. Mount Sinai

Sharon Kaplan died Feb. 15 at 56. She is survived by her husband, Robert Crane, parents, Mal and Bea; and sister, Patty. Hillside

Ita Kasza died Feb. 11 at 85. She is survived by her sisters, Shura Wyszogrodzki, Zlata Letz, Tamara Gruenbaum and Ida Magaril; and niece, Zahava Wyszogrodzki. Hillside

Aaron Lee Katz died Feb. 20 at 53. He is survived by his wife, Sandi; daughters, Beth and Lyndsay; father, Howard; brothers, Brad Hartstein and David; and sister, Lisa (Peter) Stern. Malinow and Silverman

Samuel Kaufman died Feb. 12 at 84. He us survived by his wife, Audrey; daughters, Fran Bakst and Jan (Glenn) Peterson; grandchild, Michael (Amy) Bakst; and one great-grandson. Hillside.

Kathryn Elyse Keane died Feb 13 at 57. She is survived by her husband, Howard Fishman; and son, Aaron Keane Fishman. Chevra Kadisha

Clara Kennedy died Feb. 16 at 79. She is survived by her husband, Louis; son Alan; daughter, Shirley Kennedy-Selkin; and four grandchildren. Hillside

Gloria Ann Kornhauser died Feb. 12 at 59. She is survived by her husband, William; daughter, Ilyse (Kevin) Klein; grandson; and brother, Marvin Almas. Malinow and Silverman

Marvin Kronowitz died Feb. 11 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Pearl; daughters, Bobbi (Elan) Rubinstein and Terri Brooks; and sister, Phyllis Kay. Mount Sinai Dorothy Kurtz died Feb. 13 at 95. She is survived by her daughters, Beverly (Ed) Wishner and Adrienne Solomon; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Norman Lapes died Feb. 18 at 86. He is survived by his son, Mark; and nephew, Barry Lapes. Hillside

Mort Linson died on Feb. 10 at 95. He is survived by his daughter, Donna (Mark) Isham; sons, Art (Fiona) and Lee; six grandchildren; and siblings, Shirley Leavitt, Edith (Jack) Latter, Max (Helen) and Bernice. Mount Sinai

Elizabeth Magrini died Feb. 9 at 96. She is survived by her friends. Malinow and Silverman

Howard Herman Manko died Feb. 10 at 78. He is survived by his daughter, Debbie (Stan) Simon; son, Jerry (Sharon); and five grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Clarence Merson died Feb. 10 at 87. He is survived by his wife, Karolyn; sons, Alan and Daryl (Shawntise); grandchildren, Bryce and Brynn; and sister-in-law, Lee (Amnon) Ben-Yehuda. Mount Sinai

Wolfgang Nathanson died Feb. 13 at 75. He is survived by his ex-wife, Silvia; sister; and brother. Mount Sinai

Ely Olshan died Feb. 8 at 89. He is survived by his wife, Regina; sons Danny (Maureen) and Steven (Wendy); and five grandchildren. Hillside

Bebe Puro died Feb. 14 at 90. She is survived by her daughter, Arline (Buddy); son, Neil (Karen); brother, Sam Klepper; 10 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Charles Rosen died Feb. 12 at 105. He is survived by his sons, Leonard (Adrienne) and Murray; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sister, Rhonda Dubins; and caregiver, Sandra. Mount Sinai

Tovah Bodek Rosenfeld died Dec. 9. She is survived by her husband, William; daughters, Sue-Rae (Frank), Peri (Stuart) and Freda (Howard); son, Ira (Cantor Beth); and eight grandchildren.

Rosalie Rosenthal died Feb. 20 at 85. She is survived by her son, Hal. Malinow and Silverman

Rose Rudoff died Feb. 12 at 95. She is survived by her son, Berton; and niece, Beverly Cohen. Malinow and Silverman

Diana Gail SACKS died Feb. 15 at 66 She is survived by her brother, David; aunt, Rose Batkin; cousins; and friends.

Leon Floyde Shannahoff died Feb. 13. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia; children; and grandchildren. Hillside

M. Morton Siegel died Feb. 13 at 93. He is survived by his sons, Henry and Charles (Rene); and granddaughter, Carolyn. Mount Sinai

Gail Miller Slater died Feb. 17 at 63. She is survived by her mother, Elsie Miller; and nephew, Stephan Paul Miller. Malinow and Silverman

Martin Slomovic died Feb. 9 at 93. He is survived by his wife, Frida. Sholom Chapels

Sheila Smalberg died Feb. 11 at 68. She is survived by her husband, Kurt; son, Ira (Dawn); and grandchildren, Fallon and Abby. Mount Sinai

Jerome Stone died Feb. 9 at 82. He is survived by his wife, Rita; son, Steve Melon; daughters, Diane Melon and Gillian Hanna; and five grandchildren. Groman

Marian Walder died Feb. 17 at 96. She is survived by her husband, Arnold; and daughter, Fran Cohn. Hillside

Walter Franklin Wissman. died Feb. 20 at 73. He is survived his daughters, Laurie Grant, Lindy Robbins, Sheri Weitz and Kathryn Brown; son, Michael; sister, Marcia Finder; and six grandchildren. Hillside

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