Kol Hadash, Northern California Community for Humanistic Judaism


January 2019...

Our newsletter was ready to go out when we received the sad news of the death of former member Bert Steinberg, of Washington, D.C. at the age of 98. Bert had lived in San Francisco when in the 1990's he discovered Humanistic Judaism and became an enthusiastic early member of Kol Hadash, serving as our president from 1992 to 1994, as well as president of the national Society for Humanistic Judaism in 2003. Having become Bar Mitzvah at the age of 72 under the direction of Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, the founder of our movement, his closeness and respect for Sherwin prompted him to establish for S.H.J. the Sherwin T Wine Lifetime Achievement Award, presented annually to individuals who have "...exemplified extraordinary dedication, devotion, adherence to, and activity in the Secular Humanistic Judaism Movement..." Bert established the Pooled Income Fund for the SHJ, and was also the past president of both the International Federation of Secular Humanistic Jews and the Leadership Conference for Secular and Humanistic Jews.

Like Sherwin, Bert was a larger-than-life figure himself. In his working life, Bert was an attorney, and until the last few years, produced a monthly newsletter of helpful legal and financial tips for seniors. He was an avid theater patron and donor, supporting both A.C.T. and the Magic Theater, as well as the San Francisco Ballet with his first wife Sophie, and after her death, with his loving partner Lucia Brandon. Years later at the young age of 92, he met the last love of his life, Le Anne, and the pair cruised all over the world as long as health would allow. That same year, Bert rekindled another old passion, that of baseball. In 2003, he and Le Anne attended every Giants game, whether on the road or at home that season, and achieved some notoriety for same-see a delightful article about the two of them appearing in a Major League Baseball website. Le Anne cared for Bert through several bouts of cancer, no doubt extending his life with her loving care and nursing skills. His was a life well-lived, and we at Kol Hadash are glad to have been a part of it.









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