February 21, 2008
(Page 2 - Previous Page)He discovered that although Jewish communities were nearly wiped out, the Nazis had carefully preserved vital records. After tracing his family back to the late 1600s, he organized and served as first president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles (JGS-LA) in 1979. At present, that group has more than 800 members and many similar groups exist across the nation.
Flooded with requests, he gladly offered his expertise to hundreds free of charge. He gave David Ben-Gurion's son a copy of his father's birth certificate for use in a biography, documented a non-Jew's relationship to Jefferson Davis and helped a Native American prove he was related to Geronimo.
Hanberg devised the first translation worksheets, still in use, for words appearing on Polish-Jewish documents, including German words. Irreverently, he noted that Polish "zgon" refers to someone who had died, and the phrase "yes, he's z-gon" became one of his many colloquialisms.
A co-founder and first president of the Polish Genealogical Society of California starting in July 1989, he also spoke at numerous family-history conventions, conferences and seminars. For many years he was the staff "Jewish expert" and "Polish expert" at the Latter-Day Saints Family History Center in West Los Angeles. Widely viewed as the leading U.S. Jewish genealogist, he prided himself on almost never being "stumped" by a question on the subject.
In the early 1960s, Hanberg discovered that engineering was a boom-and-bust business, became a real estate broker instead and founded and ran Active Realty in Hawthorne for 40 years. A skilled dealmaker, Hanberg had a reputation for being able to argue real estate law as well as any attorney and had vast knowledge of home and neighborhood values.
The Hawthorne City Council adjourned its Aug. 14, 2007 meeting "in deepest sympathy, in memory and honor of Melvin Hanberg," stated a certificate signed by Mayor Larry Guidi and City Councilmembers Pablo Catano, Ginny McGinnis Lambert and Gary Parsons.
His survivors include his wife Alice, whom he married in 1950; daughter, son and brother.
The family welcomes donations to the Melvin Hanberg Memorial Scholarship Fund, Temple Akiba, 5249 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA, 90230; (310) 398-5783.
Anne Alexson died Jan. 6 at 83. She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Joyce; and son, Dr. Edward. Malinow and Silverman
David Mark Altshuler died Jan. 20 at 62. He is survived by his mother, Dorothy; brothers, Rabbi Stuart (Ella) and Bruce (Melinda); and companion, Cassie Alexander. Malinow and Silverman
Victor Samuel Cohen died Jan. 17 at 87. He is survived by his wife, Katherine; daughters, Sarah and Marie Altchech; son, Benjamin; and two grandsons. Malinow and Silverman
Dr. Arnold Howard Cooperman died Jan. 15 at 76. He is survived by his wife, Caroline; son, Chad; daughters Karen Hampshire and Deena; and seven grandchildren. Sholom Chapels
Toby Cukier died Jan. 17 at 84. He is survived by his wife, Bridget; daughters, Linda (Terry) Cohen and Rosie (Mark) Jackanich; and four grandchildren. Mount Sinai
Dr. Gordon Eckerling died Jan. 17 at 55. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl; daughters, Samantha, Rachel (Ralph) and Elizabeth (Ian) Crossley; son, Aaron (Kristina); stepdaughter, Nicole Smidt; stepson, David Smidt; mother, Selma; and sisters, Sheri (Bob) Simon and Sally (Neal) Cohen. Malinow and Silverman
Ida Greenbaum died Jan. 4 at 93. She is survived by her daughter, Harriet (Ted) Wolfson; six grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. Sholom Chapels
Faye Hassen died Jan. 13 at 88. She is survived by her son, Bruce Singman; and two grandchildren. Sholom Chapels
Anne Korman Horwitz died Jan. 18 at 96. She is survived by her son, Arlo (Sue) Mark. Malinow and Silverman
Lee Goldstein died Jan. 20 at 89. He is survived by his sister, Beverly Israel; companion, Doris Perry; sister-in-law, Eudice Shapiro; brother-in-law, Heschel (Shirley) Shapiro; nieces and nephews. Mount Sinai
Isidore Gabel died Jan. 18 at 90. He is survived by his wife, Esther Gabel; daughters, Natalie (Oscar) Elbaum, Geri (George) Bauer and Dr. Ellen; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai
Michael Heizler died Jan. 19 at 87. He is survived by his stepson, Sasa Neuman; sisters, Suri Danzinger and Pearl Gottfried. Mount Sinai
Lillian Ruth Kantor died Jan. 19 at 103. She is survived by her daughter, Beverly Bass. Malinow and Silverman
Cantor Samuel Kelemer died Jan. 8 at 90. He is survived by his wife, Linda; son, Dov (Sarah); stepson, David (Stacy); three step-grandchildren; nephews; and nieces.
Rose Krantz died Jan. 19 at 91. She is survived by her daughter, Muriel; and nephew, Joel (Ros) Linderman. Sholom Chapels
Michael Mandel died Jan. 18 at 59. He is survived by his wife, Galina; and son, Eugene. Sholom Chapels
Zipora Celina Manus died Jan. 20 at 77. She is survived by her husband, Stanley; daughters, Lee (Scott) Manus-McNutt and Donna Susskind; son, Michael; and four grandchildren. Mount Sinai
Selma Mitofsky died Jan. 19 at 88. She is survived by her husband Nathan; sons, Melvyn (Tracey) and Alan (Phyllis); daughters, Robyn (Brad) Halpern, and Suzan (Steven ) Lurie; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and brorther, Emanuel Kolton. Mount Sinai
Ann Secof died Jan 15 at 87. She is survived by her stepson, Sam (Susanne); daughter, Candie (Marc) Shwartz-Rogers; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and sisters, Leah Knopf, Shirley Rushnawitz and Rachel Ruchlemer. Chevra Kadisha
Omron Shaouli died Jan. 11 at 88. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; children, John and Lilian; and five grandchildren.
Constance Stone Shulman died Dec. 19 at 83. She is survived by her daughter, Stefanie (Tim) Masters; son, Larry (Janis Hirsch); five grandchildren; and sister, Donna Stone. Mount Sinai
Dorothy Rae Shulman died Jan. 18 at 85. She is survived by her daughters Lynn Trabert and Lori Tilkin; and son, Dan. Malinow and Silverman
Harry Weintraub died Jan. 19 at 89. He is survived by beloved wife, Rita; son, Bernard; and grandchildren. Hillside
1 | 2