Sunday, April 19, 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

    Aggie Pride on parade at UC Davis Picnic Day

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City wants a study of sewer rates

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Hard-of-hearing student needs community’s help

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

     
    KDVS fund drive includes on-air pledging, plus parties and food

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Art helped sell California’s agriculture

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Students, families can get after-hours Internet access

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Lawyers seek resolution to Davis molest case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

     
    Sign up now for Celebrate Davis!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

    Garamendi hosts conference for women

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Invaluable public servant’ retires after 20 years

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Your brain’s aging and a new report urges ways to stay sharp

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Injury-proof yourself for effective exercise

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Understanding risks can help women prevent leading health threats

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Woodland bike rides set every Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Get some advice at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Eyewitness speaks about Israel’s election

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Free gardening advice offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Grad Night tickets on sale online

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Schenker speaks about ‘Magical Mexico’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Yolo County DA honors crime victims at annual tribute

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Holman offers Publishing 101 seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Radio-controlled airplanes will race April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Join the 10,000-vegetable challenge!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

    NAMI group offers family support

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Birding tour will benefit Putah Creek Council

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Watershed Wonders activities return to Putah Creek

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Yolo County Neighborhood Court seeks new volunteers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    ‘Vault’ highlights ‘Kathak’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Two drought-preparedness water bills pass out of Senate committees

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    UCD looks at building a better brain as we age

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Picnic Day favorites: dogs, bikes science

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    Strike up the band, and the bubbles!

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

     
    Ready for the parting glass

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Drink up, kids, but make your choice a healthy one

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Leash your dogs; it’s the law

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    John Cole cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    Yolo Crisis Nursery still needs help

    By Our View | From Page: B6

     
    Speak out

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B7

    Let’s not turn our backs on the Earth

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

     
    This Earth Day, make a pledge to cool your home

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

    .

    Sports

    Fast Aggie start negated by 14-0 USC lacrosse run

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Stagnant second-half offense sinks Devil girls

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Over the hump? DHS baseball team wins late

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lambdin, Marshall lead Aggies at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Republic FC gets another win at Bonney

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B2

     
    UCD roundup: Aggies sweep a water polo double dip

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Busy Clancy, Hall spark Devil tracksters at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Former DHS star Drexel returns to create havoc for Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Oakland blanks Kansas City

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

     
    Sports briefs: Blue Devils split a pair of tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B14 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Marrone Bio Innovations strengthens its sales team

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    New phase opens at Brookfield Cottages

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    Tucos closes; new Japanese, pizza, subs debut

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    WISH grant funds available to eligible homebuyers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

    .

    Obituaries

    Alice Catherine Micheltorena

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Jody Zewe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Herman Timm

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Robert Leigh Cordrey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 19, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8