Friday, March 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Hannah Biberstein

By
May 5, 2011 |

On April 26, longtime Davis resident and social activist Hannah Biberstein, 82, died at her home in Davis, surrounded by her family.

Born in Essen, Germany, the daughter of a rabbi, she fled with her family from Nazi persecution to New York, where her father founded a new congregation. One of its member families included Ernie Biberstein, whom she met while still a teenager and eventually took as her husband for a marriage that lasted over 61 years. A brilliant student, graduating with top honors in political science from Hunter College, New York, she nonetheless was a housewife and mother during the first years of her marriage while her four children grew to school age, before she resumed her studies for a master’s degree in political philosophy at UC Davis.

Her subsequent careers included teaching at community college, working for University Extension and, finally, working as university employee relations manager, before retiring in 1991.

From her experience as member of an oppressed minority in Nazi Germany, she acquired an unquenchable passion for confronting and relieving injustice, whether political, economic, social, national or religious, and without regard for the flag it sailed under. It was this passion that motivated most of her volunteer and civic activities in town. She was a founding member of Davis Community Meals, Care for God’s Creation, Celebration of Abraham, Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network and Community Mediation Services in Davis and Yolo County. She served for well over a decade on the City of Davis Social Services Commission as member and chair, and chaired its Affordable Housing Task Force. Housing the poor, the disabled and the aged was her major concern. For her broad volunteer engagements Hannah shared in a number of prestigious civic awards.

Hannah was one of the founders of the organized Jewish community in Davis, which evolved from the Jewish Fellowship of Davis of the late 1950s to the present Congregation Bet Haverim. Her religious commitment was one and inseparable from her uncompromising dedication to justice and care for the poor, the marginalized and the neglected. She was a charter member of the congregation’s social action committee and a co-founder of Israel Peace Alternatives, and served on the committee that painstakingly worked out a system establishing that group’s legitimate place within the congregation.

Yet notwithstanding her fervent interest in public issues, Hannah’s most passionate cause was her family, starting with her own four children and eventually their spouses, and finally her grandchildren and their spouses. With each grandchild she took the time and effort to develop a special relationship, doing what they enjoyed, whether it was Legos, cooking stone soup or attending a Kings’ game. Her family was her source of pride and joy, and she believed that there was no family anywhere as firmly cohesive and mutually supportive as hers.

Hannah is survived by her loving husband, Ernie; her son Michael Biberstein of San Diego; daughters Helen Swanagon of San Luis Obispo, Anne Gieseke of Benicia and Julie Biberstein of San Francisco; and eight grandchildren. Donations in her memory can be made to the Biberstein Social Action Fund, Congregation Bet Haverim, 1715 Anderson Road, Davis, or Yolo Hospice, 1909 Galileo Court, Suite A, Davis.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Anti-gay initiative puts AG in a bind

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    County supervisors consider options for historic courthouse

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Two found dead of apparent shooting in West Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    New Paso Fino design trims lots

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Senate’s Harry Reid announces he won’t seek re-election

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Woodland police warn of kidnapping phone scam

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Co-pilot may have hidden illness, German prosecutors say

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Lawyer disputes police’s hoax claim in California kidnapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Sign up for Camp Shakespeare

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Empower Yolo offers peer counselor training

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    State loosens sex offender residency restrictions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Neighbors invited to adopt Willow Creek Park

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Sing along on April Fool’s Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Three nabbed in counterfeiting probe

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Forum

    Can he get life back on track?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Blame Reid for impasse

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Practice cancer prevention each day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Turnabout is fair play

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Be aware and be afraid

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    UCD men edge Hawaii on the court

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD’s Hawkins, Harris to shoot at Final Four

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Home sweet home: Aggie women win a tennis match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Devil boys grind out a net win at Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    DHS baseballers fall to Vintage in eight innings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Recent youth softball games feature big hitting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sacramento get its second straight win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Sharks get a key win over Detroit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    UCD Student Fashion Association presents charity fashion show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    ‘Get Hard’ comes across as rather limp

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Smokey Brights to perform at Sophia’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Deserted Destinations’ is April exhibit at Gallery 625

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Monticello announces April live-music shows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Leonardo Tuchman’s work shows at UC Davis Craft Center Gallery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    Sacramento Youth Symphony holding open auditions

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Preview Art Studio Tour participants’ work at The Artery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Camry Hybrid takes a step forward

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Celebrate Rusty Jordan’s Life

    By Creator | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, March 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B4