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8 Warren Lefort: 1 Mindful of the Importance of Helping Others

8 Join Us in the Family Matters Endowment Campaign


8 In Memoriam 2 8 Marvin Siegel: 4 A Pioneering Spirit in the World and at Home

8 Because of Their 6 Bequests, Future Generations Will Benefit

8 Estate Planning 8 Advice from Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Ellen Raskin

Warren Lefort’s early experiences, including the death of his mother when he was just a child, cemented in him the belief that communities need to help those in need.

Warren Lefort: Mindful of the Importance of Helping Others Approaching 90, Warren Lefort has traveled the world, observed history in the making, and experienced monumental pleasure and pain. With a mind for detail—after all, he was one of the Bay Area’s most successful certified public accountants—he can recall with CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Join Us in the Family Matters Endowment Campaign Rainy day fund, savings account, back-up plan: all good names for what is needed when government and other funding decreases while the needs for services rise. The JFCS Family Matters Endowment has become more important as we reach out to help those in our own community. A strong endowment makes it possible to provide greatly needed homecare for seniors, services for children and adults with special needs, emergency assistance, and many other services. As co-chairs of the JFCS Family Matters Campaign, we are striving to reach our $100 million goal to ensure that JFCS is not only strong for those who seek help today, but for future generations as well. We all work toward sharing our values with our children, family, and friends while we are alive. By leaving a bequest to JFCS, we also have an opportunity to share once more by supporting the causes that have been important in our lifetime and to continue making a difference for those who need our help. All families face difficult challenges at some point. We want to make sure that JFCS is a strong organization that is there to help for generations to come. We hope that you enjoy the stories in Generations of those who have chosen to make a difference for future generations. In this issue, we honor and celebrate those who demonstrate their enduring commitment to the well-being of our community through their legacy. They come from all walks of life and from all kinds of circumstances. But they share one common intention: to provide for those who follow. Thank you for your support and caring,

In Memoriam We remember those Endowment donors who have died since spring 2013. Their names will live on through their generous gifts to JFCS. Doris Blum Martin Eber Bernard Greer Morris Krantz Eva Lokey Paul May Joyce Remak Milton Rosenberg Ray Rosenman Alvin Schwarzbach Greta Stuehler Dinah and George Tuma Marvin Weinberger

Lynn Ganz

Co-Chair, JFCS Endowment Committee


Nancy Goldberg

Co-Chair, JFCS Endowment Committee

George Wertheim Jean Wildberg


Mindful of the Importance of Helping Others CONTINUED FROM COVER razor-sharp precision significant dates in his own life: the day he and his family fled Germany (August 1, 1934), the day his mother died (March 11, 1935), and the day his family arrived in the United States (June 5, 1939). As important as facts and figures have been to him, Warren always returns to those intangibles so central to human existence: the need to love and be loved, to care and be cared for, and to be a part of a family. Looking back on his colorful, circuitous history and forward to the next decade, Warren explains why he has decided to leave a part of his own history at JFCS in the form of a generous bequest: “The word ‘family’ in Jewish Family and Children’s Services says it all,” he says. “It caters to people like me, who came here with very little. JFCS acts like a family.” Warren well understands the struggles of families and the help they sometimes need to sustain themselves. He vividly recalls his own father, a lonely, heartbroken young widower caring for two small children and trying to eke out a living in Amsterdam as the threat of Nazism loomed large. He recounts his family’s early days in Cleveland, Ohio, where they settled upon immigrating to the States. His father, once

a successful furniture store owner in Germany, boarded the city’s public buses daily with two heavy valises of tools, going from home to home to repair customers’ furniture. Warren had his own burdens. He juggled his studies with three before- and after-school jobs: paperboy; pageboy at the library, where he shelved books and threw coals in the furnace; and movie theater usher. Despite xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and other hardships, Warren’s family managed, relying on their wits and industry. They were also helped by Cleveland’s Jewish community and the kindness of random individuals, such as a caring professor at Case Western Reserve University— where Warren was a scholarship student—who opened professional doors for him. Ambitious, smart, and fluent in several languages, Warren excelled in his studies and finished Case Western Reserve in two years and 11 months (by his own accounting). After working briefly as a certified public accountant at one of the largest Jewish-owned firms in New York, he took a job with the international humanitarian organization CARE and trotted the globe as its head auditor. Back in the States in the

1950s, he ventured out to San Francisco, where he ultimately started his own accounting firm. Many of his first clients were members of the Jewish community, who relied on him for his sage counsel and advice. Warren flourished as a businessperson and sold his firm in 1977—at 52. “I made money because of people in my own community,” he says, as a way of elaborating why it’s so important to give back to the community that gave him a leg up. Through one of his clients, Warren became acquainted with JFCS many decades ago and has been a donor to the agency for as many years. He and his late wife, Edith, who escaped Nazi Germany through the Kindertransport, raised two children who are also giving back to their communities. His son, Steven Lefort, a psychologist in San Diego, heads a nonprofit organization he established that offers day and residential programs for adults with developmental disabilities. His daughter, Yvonne Lefort, is an intercultural trainer and career counselor in the Bay Area who enjoys helping expats and immigrants create new lives here. Helping others is a family tradition. “That’s the most important thing in life,” says Warren. H



Marvin Siegel: A Pioneering Spirit in the World People who knew Marvin Siegel recall him as a gadget guy, constantly modifying tools and instruments to make things simpler or sleeker in his daily life. “He was an engineer at heart,” says his son, Dan. When Marvin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in his mid-sixties, he continued to approach life with a pragmatic, cando attitude, setting up special devices to make his decreasing mobility more manageable. Bicycling, an activity he took up midlife, was something he continued to do passionately until his final days. When Marvin came to California as a young man to study at Stanford Law School, it was at the recommendation of his cousin, Bernard Siegel, who was a professor at the university. Marvin hailed from the far reaches of the exotic Midwest—Fargo, North Dakota—where he had enjoyed the benefits of a vital Reform Jewish community. Marvin quickly became enamored of California and settled in Menlo Park, building his life and his law practice there as a founding partner of Jorgenson, Siegel, McClure & Flegel. His area of expertise was estate planning, trust administration, and gift and estate tax law. “Marvin had enormous skills as a lawyer,” says

long-time friend and former JFCS Board President Harvey Schloss. “He was a great listener, great at distilling facts from a conversation. When he gave an opinion, people knew it was something they should listen to.” Cousin Bernard and his wife, Charlotte, could also take credit for introducing Marvin to the woman he would marry, Jerrell Jacobs. She was a fourth-generation San Franciscan and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and had also grown up in a tight-knit community in which a number of family members were leaders in the Reform movement. The Siegel children, Dan and Larissa, grew up in a household in which civic participation was a given. Over the years, Marvin held the office of President of the San Mateo County Legal Aid Society and served on the boards of JFCS, Congregation Beth Am, and Sinai Memorial Chapel. Jerrell was a Girl Scout leader, literacy volunteer, and, most notably, the first female president of Congregation Beth Am. Her appointment came at a time when it was still a rarity for women to hold such high offices. In 1974, everything changed abruptly for the thriving Siegel family with two young children. Jerrell was diagnosed with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis that resembled ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The family struggled balancing her needs with the children’s. “My father never complained or asked ‘why me?’” said Larissa. “He took wonderful care of my mother, of all of us.” Sadly, Jerrell died at 58. Marvin was given a new chance for happiness when he met Barbara “Bonnie” Scholes, a fellow Beth Am Board member. It would be a second marriage for both. Together, they enjoyed world travel and each other’s children from their first marriages. Marvin first came to JFCS through his involvement with his synagogue’s social action Jerrell and Marvin Siegel in the 1960s



and at Home

Seniors At Home clients can remain healthy and independent in their own homes, thanks, in part, to the Marvin and Jerrell Siegel Family Homecare Fund at JFCS. committee. Serving many years as a JFCS lay leader and trusted advisor, Marvin was an early proponent and supporter of JFCS’ expansion of services on the Peninsula. He was also an active donor to JFCS and to other organizations through his donor advised fund, which he established at JFCS in 2000. During Jerrell’s illness, Marvin engaged live-in help to ease the pressures on the family. The woman he hired would become a beloved presence in the household, especially to Jerrell. When Marvin considered how he wanted to give back to the community, he thought about those who might not have the means to bring in outside help under similar circumstances. That led Marvin to create the Jerrell Siegel Family Homecare Fund at JFCS, which provides essential services to those

who are confined to their homes by age, illness, or disability. After his death in 2012, the remaining balance of the Siegel donor advised fund was added to the homecare fund, and the fund name was amended to include Marvin’s name. Larissa and Dan both recall their father’s pride in their accomplishments as active members of the Bay Area community through their work and volunteer efforts on behalf of Jewish organizations and social justice causes. JFCS Executive Director Dr. Anita Friedman notes, “Our community is strong and compassionate because of fine people like the Siegels, never giving up, always caring. It’s an honor to have known and worked with Marvin and to know that JFCS is a place he considered worthy of his volunteer time and his philanthropy.” H



Bequest Commitments

Left to right: Anita Keyak z’’l and Janet and Marvin Schwab.


NOURISHING THE COMMUNITY FOR YEARS TO COME A former administrator with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services, at which he oversaw western states’ implementation of the National School Lunch Program and other programs to help families and children, Jim took an early interest in JFCS’ Food Programs to help clients at risk of hunger. This led to his creation of a JFCS named endowment fund, Let Them Eat Bread Fund. “My main charitable activities have involved feeding people,” he said. Over time, though, Jim’s philanthropic interests and involvement with JFCS have broadened. He recently redid his will and notified the agency that he is leaving a bequest to his named fund. He is doing so, in part, because of the outstanding care that JFCS’ senior care division, Seniors At Home, provided to his late wife, Jean, and, in part, to his involvement in JFCS’ Chicken Soupers program, which serves adult clients with disabilities. He also wants to deepen his ties to the Jewish community, which has always been important to him. “The personal connection with the staff at JFCS,” he says, has been instrumental in strengthening his ties.



HEEDING THE LESSONS OF HER PARENTS Janet Schwab is a registered nurse who now lives in New Mexico, but her heart still belongs to San Francisco, where she was born and raised and where her late parents, Anita and Victor Keyak, native San Franciscans, instilled in her and her brothers a strong Jewish identity and commitment to their community. She recently demonstrated her stillstrong connection to the Bay Area when she informed JFCS that it is a beneficiary in her will. In so doing, she was following the example of her parents, who years ago established at JFCS the Anita and Victor Keyak Endowment Fund for use where most needed. “My parents were wonderful people who were involved in many causes and organizations, both Jewish and secular,” Janet said. “They believed that if you had the resources to help others, you should do so. They set up their endowment so that they could ensure that people received help long after they were gone.” Victor died in early 2009; Anita, at the end of 2012. Their legacy lives on in their generosity and caring, as well as in their children. In addition to notifying JFCS of her future bequest, Janet, along with one of her brothers, Jeffrey Keyak, made significant gifts to the Keyak Endowment Fund.


Norman Schlossberg attributes his success in the insurance industry to his empathetic ear for people in crisis. He was no stranger to the devastating effects of illness on a family. “I have seen a lot of life people shouldn’t see,” says Norm of his Brooklyn childhood. His older sister developed diabetes at 12 and died prematurely—at 47. Norm’s mother died of a stroke at 38, six months after his bar mitzvah. One of the bright spots for Norm during these times of loss was summer camp. When Norm and his wife, Adrienne, decided to create a named fund at JFCS, they embraced the idea of supporting campership funds for at-risk youth who might not otherwise have the opportunity for a carefree childhood experience. Established in 2005, the Norman and Adrienne Schlossberg Fund for camperships for at-risk youth has been a personally meaningful vehicle for giving for the Schlossbergs, who will further endow their fund by including JFCS in their estate plans. From his vantage point as a nowretired insurance professional, Norm draws similarities between the support he offered clients through insurance policies and the relief JFCS provides: “JFCS has done a tremendous job of responding to the needs of the community on a day-to-day basis,” he says. “You provide actual services to people who need them.”


Bequests That Honor Their Memories




She survived cancer three times. She outlived her daughter, who died at 21. Despite these hardships and others, Jean Wildberg had an unflagging spirit. Descended from an old German-Jewish Bay Area family—her grandfather founded Kahn’s Department Store in Oakland in 1879—Jean expressed, in both words and deeds, an abiding concern for others. “She didn’t hesitate to get involved in changing society if she saw an injustice,” said one of her sons, David Morgenstein. “She wanted to help those who did not have a voice.” A Stanford University alumna who later became a psychologist, Jean counseled workers in employee assistance programs. She was also a generous philanthropist who contributed to JFCS for many decades, and served on its Board of Directors. Proud of her Jewish heritage and supportive of the agency’s mission to assist those in need, Jean chose to leave her legacy at JFCS through a charitable remainder trust, a gift that allowed her to earn income during her lifetime. When she died this past September at 82, the remaining funds in the trust went to JFCS, which is using them to provide essential services to clients. “My mother was a strong person who followed through on her convictions,” said Richard Morgenstein, Jean’s other son. “She worked hard to belong and contribute to the community.”

A French and linguistics scholar, Dr. Marvin Weinberger was an esteemed professor at San Francisco State University for many years. In addition to instilling a love of language in generations of students, he spent many summers in Washington, DC, where he taught Hebrew to diplomats going abroad. “He was brilliant and could pick up every language,” said his sister, Miriam Hoffman, who noted that Marvin finished his undergraduate degree at Case Western Reserve University in three years before earning his doctorate at Cornell. A quiet, studious man who did not make a big splash, Marvin had a heart that matched his mind. “He cared deeply about his family and friends and celebrated their successes,” said Renee Resnik, his niece, “and he connected strongly to his Jewish heritage.” It was no surprise, then, that when Marvin needed help later in life, he turned to JFCS’ Seniors At Home for home care and its meals program. “Our family is very appreciative of all of the services that JFCS provided,” said Renee. So was her uncle. When Marvin died this past year at the age of 83, he left a very generous bequest to JFCS—a statement of gratitude that will speak volumes for years to come.

Cleveland’s loss was the Bay Area’s gain. For many years, Jewish leaders Irving and Jeanne Tapper were board members of Cleveland’s JFCS and the Fairmount Temple and passionately supported the city’s arts and Jewish causes. But after 53 years of a successful career as a practitioner, innovator, and academician in the field of pediatric dentistry, Irv, along with Jeanne, decided to retire to Florida. Then they visited their son, Dr. Edward Tapper, who lives in the Bay Area. “It was love at first sight,” says Ed. “They promptly decided to settle here instead.” Their close friends from Ohio, Janet and Al Schultz, longtime JFCS friends, also were living in San Francisco, another factor in a seamless transition. The Tappers generously supported their newly adopted local JFCS with their time and financial resources, ultimately designating it as a beneficiary of their estate. JFCS is grateful to them for their commitment to live spiritually and actively in the service of improving the world.






Estate Planning Advice from Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Ellen Raskin A number of classic literary works impart valuable lessons in estate planning: how NOT to do it. All of these books make for great reading. However, when you make your own estate plans, be sure to leave out the drama. Put your intentions in writing, share them with family members, and always consult a tax advisor and/or attorney about the best methods of legacy giving to suit your particular situation. JFCS has been helping to dispel the drama in estate planning for our donors for many years. Remember, JFCS was already here when Bleak House was published! We have the expertise to support your estate planning needs with a wide array of financial vehicles to ensure that your endowment bequests and trusts endure for generations. Through a healthy endowment, funded and tended by our community, we expect to be here when your great-grandchildren are having grandchildren, too.



When the deathbed promise to a dying father is broken by his eldest son, the sisters Dashwood must drastically reduce their standard of living. The sisters’ lives will eventually turn out fine, but Elinor and Marianne’s father could have saved them a great deal of anxiety and tsooris if he had put his intentions—to make ample provisions for their comfort—in writing, rather than relying on an unenforceable oral agreement known only to himself and his son.



This novel provides perhaps the most famous example of estate planning gone terribly awry: the case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, or “the family curse,” as John Jarndyce refers to the dispute over conflicting wills that has been going on for generations. The hope of resolution and eventual inheritance colors the lives of the remaining members of the Jarndyce family until they learn that the entire estate in question has been consumed by legal costs.



Secret wills and their oft-disastrous fallout are a theme employed to great dramatic effect by Dickens. In Nicholas Nickelby, the lovely Madeline Bray falls victim to the miserly and much-older Arthur Gride, who has illegally gained possession of Madeline’s grandfather’s will, which stipulates she is to inherit his fortune when she marries. Unaware of the will, Madeline is pressured to marry Gride to rescue her father from his money problems. It isn’t until the will is stolen by a vengeful servant that the truth of Madeline’s inheritance is uncovered and Gride’s plan revealed.



A modern classic for young adult readers offers insight into the power of wills. The Newbery Medal-winning novel follows the adventures of the 16 heirs of Sam W. Westing, an eccentric, game-loving millionaire, who challenges his handpicked heir-participants to unravel the mystery surrounding his death, with the winner receiving the grand prize: his vast $200 million fortune.

PRESIDENT Susan Kolb VICE PRESIDENTS Ian H. Altman Michael J. Kaplan Marina Tikhman TREASURER Richard Segal ASSISTANT TREASURER Douglas A. Winthrop SECRETARY Claire M. Solot DIRECTORS Joseph Alouf Tammy Crown David Dossetter Lynn Ganz Nancy Goldberg Marsha W. Jacobs, MFT Michael Janis Ronald N. Kahn Scott C. Kay Kerri Lehmann Sharon L. Litsky Jan Maisel, MD Joyce Newstat Karen Pell Lela Sarnat, PhD Zoe Schwartz James Shapiro Candice Stark Ronna Stone Stephen Swire Ingrid D. Tauber, PhD Luba Troyanovsky EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Dr. Anita Friedman


CO-CHAIRS Lynn Ganz Nancy Goldberg Carole Breen Harry Cohn Paul Crane Dorfman Nancy Epstein Judy Huret Michael J. Kaplan Susan Kolb Siesel Maibach Daryl Messinger Dr. Raquel Newman Cindy Gilman Redburn Joyce Rifkind Alison Ross Lela Sarnat, PhD Harvey Schloss Stephen J. Schwartz Vera Stein Bonnie Tenenbaum, PhD Luba Troyanovsky


Barbara Farber, Director DESIGN: SF Art Department

JEWISH FAMILY AND CHILDREN’S SERVICES of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties


2150 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94115 415-449-1200

Generations Spring 2014  
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