Jewish Journal


Posted on Oct. 10, 2008 at 1:04 am

Helen Daniels, Barrier Breaker, Dies at 85

Dedicated volunteer and former social worker Helen Daniels died Sept. 28 at age 85 of metastatic cancer.

She was born in Brookline, Mass., and was the only child of Joseph Ettinger and Eva Frutman. After her mother's death when she was 6 years old, she was raised by her father, aunt and grandparents.

She remained in the Boston area through college at Wellesley and her marriage to her late husband, Everett, 63 years ago. In 1952, the couple moved across the country to Los Angeles, had two children and built a home in Brentwood, where they lived for more than 20 years. Helen and Everett eventually moved to Laurel Canyon, where she lived for the next 30 years.

After Everett died 11 years ago, Helen continued all her good works. In 2001 she met Jack Atkins, who died in February 2007.

During her funeral, Rabbi John Rosove of Temple Israel of Hollywood made the following observations about Daniels' life:

"Helen was a gutsy lady. As a young girl and woman Helen never allowed convention to stand in her way. She got a paying job as a Los Angeles County social worker, and because of her affability, intelligence and work ethic she quickly moved up the ranks, applied for a promotion to an administrative position and was told flatly by the interviewer, 'No woman has ever had this position before.' But you guessed it, Helen got the job anyway.

"She went wherever she wanted to go, whether anyone had been there before or not. At graduation from college, Helen interviewed for a job as a stockbroker, even knowing that brokerage firms weren't hiring women professionals, and still women are in the minority.

"She was active from an early age in the League of Women Voters and eventually rose to become the vice president. In that role she professionalized the organization's activities and she convinced local utilities to include league literature in their billing notices, urging people to register to vote.

"After Everett's death, Helen endowed [Temple Israel of Hollywood's] Everett Daniels Back to Basics Jewish education course because she and Everett so believed in the importance of education. She got personally involved in all the classes over the years and made many new friends of the teachers and students alike.

"In a word, Helen's was a full, engaged, exciting, interesting and, most importantly, a significant life. She is one of those people who I sense had much less t'shuvah to perform each year than most of us, for she was one of those remarkable women whose heart, ethics, will, kindness, generosity, humility and gratitude for all the gifts of which she was blessed defined her."

She is survived by her son, Stephen (Maygene); daughter, Eve (Jerry) Lerman; four grandchildren; and stepsister, Judy. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for contributions to be made to Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046.

Sidney Baskin died Sept. 24 at 88.He is survived by his wife, Ruth; son, James; and friend, June Shabsis. Mount Sinai

Ida Finn Berger died Oct. 2 at 86. She is survived by her husband, Addy; daughters, Marsha and Leslie; brother, Sam Finn; and sister, Lillian Bevski. Mount Sinai

Cynthia Bernath died Sept. 22 at 35. She is survived by her parents, Michael and Mary Ann; brother, Brett (Maite); grandparents James Brown and Ruth; and one nephew. Malinow and Silverman

Seymour Block died Sept. 26 at 79. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia; daughter, Linda (Jack Nadler); son, Joseph (Caron); sisters, Alice Siegel and Lenora (Jake) Spiegel; brother, Harold (Jeanette); and four grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Sol Davidow died Sept. 23 at 92. He is survived by his sons, Dr. Mark and Robert. Malinow and Silverman

Helen Dorn died Sept. 26 at 96. She is survived by her daughter, Joy (Malcolm) Brook; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and sister, Theresa Rubinson. Mount Sinai

Lorraine (Lorry) Dorn died Sept. 23 at age 73. She is survived by her son, Jory Weintraub; daughter, Allison Bainbridge; four grandchildren; and many friends.

Frances Marlene Kleinberg died Sept. 23 at 84. She is survived by her son, Lester (Nancy) Kleinberg; and grandchildren, Rachel and Sarah Kleinberg. Mount Sinai

Max Gerchik died Sept. 21 at 97. He is survived by his wife, Reca; son, Dan; and daughters, Lisa Baltazar and Julie. Mount Sinai

David Jay Harrison died Sept. 28 at 60. He is survived by his wife, Elaine; sons, Aaron and Jamie (Laura); granddaughter, Kayla; and brother, Stan (Jane). Mount Sinai

William Hymes died Sept. 28 at 94. He is survived by his wife, Caryle; daughter, Lynda (John) Egress; son, Gary (Laura Albert); and four grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Rayna Gabin died Sept. 29 at 53. She is survived by her son, Jarred (fiancee, Heidi); daughter, Katie; sister, Bene (Anthony) Kay; and former husband, Kenneth. Mount Sinai

Irving Isaacs died Sept. 25 at 92. He is survived by his son, David (Lesley); and three grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Jaacov Jaacovi died Sept. 24 at 63. He is survived by his daughter, Esther (Larry) Barajas; sons, Jourdan and Alexander; three grandchildren; and sister, Avigail. Mount Sinai

Frances Krasner died Sept. 27 at 91. She is survived by her daughters, Deedy (Dennis) Oberman and Iris (Pete) Sperling; by four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Morris Lehrer died Sept. 24 at 97. He is survived by his sons, Eban and Daniel. Mount Sinai

Cecile Levin died Sept. 25 at 77. She is survived by her daughter, Robyne (Mark) Savel; and grandchildren, Rachel and Brett. Mount Sinai

Lillian Levy died Sept. 24 at 86. She is survived by her daughter, Elsa (Mark) Gerard; and three grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Ida Marcus died Oct. 2 at 87. She is survived by her son, Paul (Joy); three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Elizabeth Anne (Gordon) Morgan died Sept. 2 at 40. She is survived by her husband, Jack; daughter, Tabitha; son, Brett; parents, Joni and Monte Gordon; and brother, John Gordon. Hillside

Israel Portney died Sept. 17 at 95. He is survived by his daughters, Janice (Carl) Osborne, Elaine (Bob) Steinberg and Marlene Fisher; eight grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren; brother, Bernard. Malinow and Silverman

Egan J. Rattin died Sept. 26 at 100. He is survived by his cousin, Kitty. Groman

Abram Singer died Sept. 20 at 50. He is survived by his sister, Mollie. Malinow and Silverman

Allen Herman Stein died Sept. 27 at 81. He is survived by his son, Leonard; daughter, Debra; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Groman

Ruth Brodsky Stein died Oct. 1 at 80. She is survived by her daughters, Andrea Silvey and Sheri (John) Campbell; three grandchildren; and brother, Jack (Sandra) Soll. Mount Sinai

Irma H. Strumpf died Oct. 3 at 97. She is survived by her sons, Fred and Kenneth (Sherry) Sherman; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Lee Swartz died Sept. 22 at 89. She is survived by her son, Howard (Lynn) Hellar; daughter, Linda Rosenthal; three grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; sisters, Pauline Levy and Ryna (Bob) Cardillo; and brother, Lester (Marlene) Morris. Mount Sinai

Julius Title died Sept. 21 at 93. He is survived by his wife, Rita; daughters, Barbara; Susan (Sol Meller); son, David (Sylvaine); and three grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Rachel Weiner died Sept. 23 at 91. She is survived by her daughter, Rosalie Young; and son, Nick Goff. Malinow and Silverman

Rose Wolf died Sept. 29 at 87. She is survived by her son, Perry; daughter, Beverly; and three grandchildren. Groman

Haskell Zuckman died Oct. 2 at 75. He is survived by his daughter, Nicki (David) Bianchi; sons, Scott ( Valerie) and Curtis (Shellie); seven grandchildren; brother, Jerry; and sister, Florrie Alpert. Mount Sinai

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