Rebecca Smith, Foundation Inspiration, Dies at 27
Rebecca Smith, whose diagnosis at age of 5 of the rare genetic disease affecting the nervous and immune systems known as Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T), spurred her parents, George and Pam Smith of Hidden Hills, to establish the Ataxia-telangiectasi Medical Research Foundation (A-TMRF), died on Jan. 22 from complications of leukemia caused by A-T. She was 27.
Through their efforts on behalf of the A-TMRF, the Smiths helped raise more than $10 million. In October of 2004, the Smith family endowed the Rebecca Smith Chair in A-T Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Richard Gatti holds the Rebecca Smith Distinguished Professorship at UCLA.
Although Smith's condition affected her speech and gait, it did not stop her from pursuing an active lifestyle. She attended Sinai-Akiba Academy, Stephen S. Wise High School (now Milken Community High School) and Calabasas High School and was close to completing an Associate of Arts degree at Moorpark College.
For several years, she helped run Becca's Chic Boutique, a clothing resale store which generated funds for A-T research. Her favorite activities included riding horses, attending concerts and taking an annual trip to Broadway.
When Gatti first met the Smiths, soon after Becca was diagnosed, he was one of very few researchers studying the rare disease. A-T has since become recognized as a potential key to understanding neuro-degenerative diseases, immune system disorders, cancer and aging, and now is studied worldwide. The A-T gene was identified in 1995 by the lab of Tel Aviv University researcher Dr. Yossi Shiloh, who also received early and ongoing support from the A-TRMF.
Becca's father, George, a leader in Southern California's real estate finance industry, died in November of last year.
"Although neither Becca nor George lived to witness their goal of seeing a cure for A-T, their efforts guarantee that it will arrive years earlier than it otherwise would have," Gatti said.
Becca is survived by her mother, Pam; brothers, James and Matthew; sister, Jill Oaks; and nieces, Samantha and Hannah.
Donations in her memory may be sent to the A-T Medical Research Foundation, 5241 Round Meadow Road, Hidden Hills, CA 91302. -- Nancy Sokoler Steiner, Contributing Writer
Robert Newmyer, Film Producer, Dies at 49
Hollywood film producer Robert Newmyer died Dec. 12 of a heart attack at age 49, just as his film work was expanding into helping Sudanese refugees via the University of Judaism (UJ).
Newmyer produced more than two-dozen films including, the acclaimed "Sex, Lies and Videotapes," "The Santa Clause" movies and the Academy Award-winning "Training Day." He died while working in Toronto on the spy drama, "Breach," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Newmyer's Outlaw Productions company was also in the process of developing a film, possibly for Paramount, about the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, a group of 3,900 displaced young Africans whose lives in refugee camps resembled postwar Europe's Displaced Persons Camps.
Last Memorial Day weekend, the UJ's MBA nonprofit program began helping the Sudanese refugees create a nonprofit instigated by Newmyer.
"This ['Lost Boys' film] project has dominated my life for three years now," Newmyer told The Journal.
The Bel Air resident said he contacted the UJ to help him help the Sudanese because the UJ was, "right down the street from me."
Born in Washington, D.C., Newmyer was a graduate of Swathmore College and Harvard Business School, according to The Washington Post, and came to Los Angeles in the early 1980s. He was a production/acquisitions vice-president at Columbia Pictures before creating Outlaw Productions in 1988.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah; daughters, Sofi and Billi; sons, Teddy and James; parents, James and Virginia; and sisters, Elsa (Larry Forester) and Lory (Stephen Cooper).
Donations may be sent to Bobby Newmyer Memorial Fund to help the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, care of Outlaw Productions, 3599 Beverly Glen Terrace, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423. -- David Finnigan, Contributing Writer
Bradley Jacobs, Dedicated Israel Activist, Dies at 47
Bradley Jacobs, tireless lover of and worker for the State of Israel and citizens of the Yesha communities and publisher and editor of the Israel News, died Jan. 14. He was 47.
Jacobs worked tirelessly in the Chicago community and around the country on behalf of maintaining Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Gaza. For years, Jacobs compiled and widely distributed a weekly newsletter with highlights of Israel national news.
He was the devoted son of Doris (nee Freedkin) and Ben; loving brother of Cheryl Jacobs Lewin; adoring uncle of Shoshana Maryam Lewin; wonderful nephew of Irwin (and the late Paula) Freedkin; and outstanding friend to David Abell, Norman Abell, Joel Jacobson and many others.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be made to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y., 11230.
Shirley Ashe died Dec. 23 at 83. She is survived by her husband, Harry; son, Allan; one grandchild; sister, Hortley Weinstock. Groman
BERTHA BARLAZ died Dec. 26 at 90. She is survived by her daughters, Frederica and Hinda. Sholom Chapels
Manya Berestetsky died Dec. 13 at 86. She is survived by her daughter, Stella. Chevra Kadisha
Barry Breslow died Dec. 23 at 59. He is survived by his wife, Wendy; son, Eric; one grandchild; and mother, Hilda. Groman
Rose Blumberg died Dec. 24 at 101; she is survived by her son, Donald; and four grandchildren. Groman
CHARLOTTE SYDNEY BROWN died Dec. 25 at 74. She is survived by her husband, Maynard; son, Jeff; and nephews Reid Brown and Rob Curtiss. Hillside
ROLF BURK died Dec. 26 at 87. He is survived by his son, Michael (Roxane); and one grandchild. Hillside
BERTHA COOPER died Dec. 23 at 89. She is survived by her sons, Harvey and Charles; and grandchildren. Sholom Chapels
Ayzik Davidovich died Dec. 24 at 76. He is survived by his daughters, Sophia Garfinkel and Elena Barash; and four grandchildren. Groman
Stephen DuBow died Dec. 23 at 60. He is survived by his wife, Ardeen; sons, Matt (Tina) and Nicholas (Leah); two grandchildren; mother, Nettie; brother, Norman (Laura); sisters, Natalie (Greg) Davidson and Michele (Gary) Reynolds. Malinow and Silverman
EDNA EINSTOSS died Dec. 22 at 97. She is survived by her son, Charles; daughte.r Sharon Hall; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Hillside
Joseph Ellenbogen died Dec. 26 at 88. He is survived by his wife, Ethel; daughters, Barbara Rose and Susan; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai
Charlotte Freiberg died Dec. 25 at 90. She is survived by her son, Gary. Malinow and Silverman
Zvi Reuven Galibov died Dec. 24 at 96. He is survived by his brother, Ze'ev Benjamin; and friends, Larry Frazin and Nickie Rothwell. Chevra Kadisha
Miriam Garian died Dec. 26 at 77. She is survived by her husband, Issac; and son, Ron. Chevra Kadisha
Hyman Getoff died Dec 21 at 88. He is survived by his son, Peter; daughter, Tova; and grandchild, Emily.
Arthur Glanz died Dec. 22 at 87. He is survived by his wife, Muriel; son, Brian; daughter, Nanci Fisher-Levin; and four grandchildren. Groman
Phyllis Goldklang died Dec. 22 at 73. She is survived by her husband, Stanley; daughter Lori (Simon) Furie; one granddaughter; and brother, Richard (Helen) Wendlinger. Malinow and Silverman
David Gorokhovskiy died Dec. 12 at 83. He is survived by his wife, Anna Gorokhovskaya; and daughter, Ella (Peter) Skibinsky. Chevra Kadisha
Eleanor Gottlieb died Dec. 22 at 79. She is survived by her husband, Kenneth; daughter, Jean; and brothers, Bernard and Donald Gordon. Groman
Albert Greer died Dec. 26 at 93. He is survived by his wife, Bessie; sons, Robert (Eding) and John (Guila); daughter, Dahlia; one grandchild; and two great-grandchildren. Groman
Leslie Hyde died Dec. 23 at 59. She is survived by her daughter, Lisa; and parents, Sy and Lucille Fuhrman. Malinow and Silverman
Joseph Karmen died Dec. 17 at 84. He is survived by his niece, Ilona Sherman. Chevra Kadisha
Rozalyn Leybovich died Dec. 25 at 79. She is survived by her husband, Zinoviy Rubenshteyn; daughter, Marina Gurevich; nephew, Leon Belous; and niece, Bella Ratushnyak. Chevra Kadisha
Florence Mozelle Meyer died Dec. 16 at 100. She is survived by her cousin, David (Louise) Ellias. Chevra Kadisha
Miriam Moskowitz died Dec. 23 at 84. She is survived by her son, Marc Forman; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Groman
Youssef Nourafshan died Dec. 9 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Parvin; and son, Jack. Chevra Kadisha
Betty Orland died Dec. 26 at 87. She is survived by her sons, Jerry, Eugene and Phillip; nine grandchildren; nine great- grandchildren; and brother, Irving Kooba. Groman
Issac Ovsiowitz died Dec. 16 at 85. He is survived by his wife, Emily; son, Leonard (Sharon); daughter, Elaine (Norman) Blieden; sister, Sally Garlick; sister-in-law, Joyce Kron; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson. Chevra Kadisha
Donald Harry Pessell died Dec. 25 at 77. He is survived by his wife, Beverly; son, Robert; daughter, Lori York; four grandchildren; and brother, Sheldon. Groman
Selma Peters died Dec. 22 at 83. She is survived by her son, Laurence (Caren); daughters, Margo (Marc) Weinberg, Berdie (Leonard) Stein and Cheryl (Michael) Glynn; six grandchildren; and sister, Rosa (Harry) Leafe. Mount Sinai
Maryam Pourat died Dec. 18 at 88. She is survived by her brother, Mansour. Chevra Kadisha
Hanna Reif died Nov. 24 at 56. She is survived by her husband, Willy. Chevra Kadisha
Adeline Ritz died Dec. 23 at 90. She is survived by her son, Herbert Klein; and two grandchildren. Groman
Harvey Gerald Rose died Dec. 26 at 81. He is survived by his wife, Esther; sons, Lloyd and Brian Sharaga; four grandchildren; and brother, Merle. Groman
JEAN SACKS died Dec. 24 at 88. She is survived by her son, Calvin (Marilinn); daughter, Sandra (Irwin) Cohn; and granddaughter Lauren Sarabia. Hillside
Barbara Florence Scherr died Dec. 23 at 73. She is survived by her sons, Mitchell, Scott and Mark; five grandchildren; and brother, Stephen Katz. Groman
Morris Sherman died Dec. 13 at 82. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; daughters, Marcia Fellner, Alyse (David Kirschen) and Susan (Pack Warfield); nine grandchildren; brother, Bernard; and sister, Brynie Curtis. Chevra Kadisha
Joyce Solarz died Dec. 22 at 76. She is survived by her husband, Hal; sons, Neil (Barbara) and Barry (Melissa Holland); and four grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman
Richard Kraus Spero died Dec. 23 at 81. He is survived by his wife, Lorelei; daughters, Melinda and Susan; two grandchildren; and brothers, Robert and William. Groman
MARK STAWISKY died Dec. 25 at 87. He is survived by his daughters, Linda Wolfson and Susan Konheim; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and sister, Hannah Rome. Hillside
J.C. Strauss died Dec. 21 at 85. He is survived by his great nephew, Jason Cane. Malinow and Silverman
Roy Stuart died Dec. 25 at 78. He is survived by two nieces, and many friends. Chevra Kadisha
Esther Stella Suissa died Dec. 17 at 80. She is survived by her son, Youssef; and daughter, Mazal Nadia Adida. Chevra Kadisha
Shokat Yazgel Tehrani died Dec. 23 at 97. She is survived by her son, Yousef; daughter, Mahin; 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and brother, Rohollah Adel Ar Jomand. Groman
Riva Velednitskaya died Dec. 17 at 74. She is survived by her husband, Dimitriy Velednitskiy; and daughter, Irina Vishnevsky. Chevra Kadisha
Sadie Welner died Dec. 24 at 98. She is survived by her daughter, Estelle (Bernie) Case; son, Jerry (Sylvia) Welner; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai
Shirley Annette Wolfson died Dec. 25 at 82. She is survived by her son, Steven; daughter, Shari Allen; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Groman
Nettie Vickter died Dec. 22 at 90. She is survived by her sons, Sheldon and Marvin; and daughter, Beverlee. Mount Sinai
Candy Weinroth died Dec. 22 at 62. She is survived by her sons, Richard and Joshua; one grandchild; sister, Susan Leifer. Groman
Menasheh Yaghoubzadeh died Dec. 20 at 85. He is survived by his wife, Shoshan; and son, Shahram. Chevra Kadisha
Belle Esther Yarmish died Oct. 28 at 82. She is survived by her daughter, Marcie (Levi) Meier; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha