Jojo Greenberg, Whitman High School sophomore, dies

2017-12-05 16:00:44 hjohnson

Jordana “Jojo” Greenberg (Photo from Facebook)

Remembered by friends and family as a vivacious and friendly young woman, Walt Whitman High School sophomore Jordana “Jojo” Greenberg, of Bethesda, died Nov. 27. She was 16 and had battled depression.

According to a death notice The Washington Post, she had a strong sense of adventure and “whacky” sense of humor. She would wear “intergalactic space kitten shirts” and wanted to be a paratrooper in the Air Force after graduation.

Greenberg had been battling depression for years, but “her heart was simply too big to hold the pain of life,” the death notice said. Services were held Dec. 1.

Greenberg was also a vegetarian and passionate about animal rights — she would have been heading up Whitman’s Animal Rights Club next year, according to an email to the school from Principal Alan Goodwin.

She had an artistic flair — painting and acting were her chosen methods of self-expression — and her favorite class was Arabic. She was also on the junior varsity volleyball team and a cheerleader.

“Just everyone in their own way was touched by Jojo,” Olivia Tello, a friend and classmate at Whitman, told Bethesda Magazine. “Everyone at school was just really devastated.”

A vigil for Greenberg was held Nov. 30 at the school. Students were asked to wear jeans to school the day before and pink to the vigil in her memory. A memorial with signs, balloons and flowers was created by her fellow students along the Capital Crescent Trail bridge.

Though few students used a locker at Whitman, according to Bethesda Magazine, Greenberg did and it is now decorated with letters, cards and signs of support and commemoration. Classmates describe her as a good student, and the school is making counselors and other mental health professionals available to students and staff to help them grieve the sudden loss.

“Her family would like to ask that we all reach out in a loving way every day to those who may be silently suffering, and help raise awareness for teen depression,” the death notice said.

Greenberg is survived by her parents, Sonya Spielberg and Jonathan Greenberg; and sister Carina.

Contributions can be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

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Washington theater critic Joel Markowitz dies at 60

2017-11-13 16:03:57 david-holzel

Joel Markowitz. Photo courtesy of Bruce Markowitz

Joel Markowitz, a connoisseur of and tastemaker for the Washington region’s theater scene who founded and edited the DC Metro Theater Arts website, died on Nov. 7 in Bethesda. He was 60. His brother Bruce Markowitz, said the cause of death was ALS — also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The theater writer was diagnosed in March.

Much of Markowitz’s professional life was dedicated to the promotion and criticism of the area’s performing arts, from the time he began freelancing after college in the 1980s to 2012, when he and his older brother Bruce founded DCMTA as a hub for theater news and reviews that ultimately expanded to cover New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

The fourth son of Cantor Morris and Faye Markowitz, Joel Markowitz grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., where he took to the arts at a young age with the encouragement of his father. He went on to attend Syracuse University, majoring in English and journalism, before moving to Washington in 1983 and making a name for himself initially as an interviewer of prominent theater personalities and the founder of Ushers Theater Group, which organized theatergoing trips up and down the East Coast.

But his interest wasn’t only in large productions. He was a champion of the entire form, promoting everything from high school productions to dinner theater, his brother said.

“He was a real champion of what he called the little guy,” Bruce Markowitz said. “He worked 18 hours a day, every day. And he kept working almost up until the last day of his life. He was totally dedicated to the site.”

Joel Markowitz’s passion for the performing arts was rivaled only by his love for his hometown Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills. He played goalie for his high school’s hockey team and remained a devotee of the sport through his adult life. And he and his brother attended the Super Bowl together in California in 1993, watching the Bills fall to the Dallas Cowboys, 52-17.

“We had a great time together, even though we wound up crying in our soup,” Bruce Markowitz said.
He described Joel Markowitz as a “loving and loyal brother” and a “tremendous uncle” to his nine nieces and nephews.

Joel Markowitz was an avid listener of cantorial music, and amassed a collection of cantorial recordings, according to Bruce.

Ari Roth, founding artistic director of Washington’s Mosaic Theater Company, described Joel Markowitz as a voracious student of Jewish culture and tradition.

“What I’ll always remember is Joel’s enthusiasm as a theater goer and in Jewish culture in general,” Roth said. “Joel was a very learned person, and his enthusiasm was completely non-elitist. There was no snobbishness and no hierarchy. He saw the theater as a pure value.”

Joel Markowitz also helped to launch the careers of numerous writers and performers, his brother said. DC Metro Theater Arts’ oldest writer is 90-year-old Richard Seff, a retired stage actor whom Markowitz had encouraged to write four years ago.

After Joel Markowitz’s diagnosis and was given DC Theatre Scene’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Seff wrote him a letter. “He said that Joel had given him a whole new career and made him feel young,” Bruce said.

The next day, a 23-year-old actor whom Joel Markowitz had pushed to move to Washington and pursue his career, came by to thank him for his encouragement.

“I said, ‘Joel, in 24 hours you’ve had a man who’s 90 thanking you for everything you’ve done for him and a young man who’s 23 doing the same,’” Bruce Markowitz said. “How many people can say that?”
Joel Markowitz is survived by his five brothers: Rabbi Chanan Markowitz, Bruce Markowitz, Stuart Markowitz, David Markowitz and Saul Markowitz.

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Obituaries for Oct. 19

2017-10-19 15:18:11 dschere

Marc Klionsky, master portrait painter, dies at 90

Marc Klionsky, a Soviet-Jewish émigré to New York who gained worldwide prominence painting portraits of such eminent figures as Golda Meir and Elie Wiesel, has died.

Klionsky, who died last month at 90, was the youngest artist to have his paintings exhibited in the renowned Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow. His works have been exhibited around the world, including throughout Europe and in Israel, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Along with Meir, the late Israeli prime minister, and Wiesel, the late Nobel laureate, Klionsky painted portraits of musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and B.B. King, and industry titans such as Armand Hammer, among many others.

Klionsky, a Russia native who was the son of a master printer, trained in Russia’s best art schools and began working as an artist in his early teens. His family escaped the Holocaust when his father convinced 200 people from their neighborhood to travel to Kazan in eastern Russia, away from the advancing Nazi army.

He later escaped from Russia in 1974 with his family, due to anti-Semitism and lack of artistic freedom, first to Rome and then to New York.

In the forward to a book on Klionsky’s work, Wiesel, for whom Klionsly sculpted his Nobel Prize medal, wrote: “A painter on the theme of return or of memory, or both, Marc Klionsky offers us multiple faces that have haunted his past and ours. One has only to see them to understand his journey from Leningrad to Manhattan. One has only to study them to recall the events which they incarnate. For Marc Klionsky, the mystery of endurance as well as transformation is in the human face.”

Klionsky is survived by his wife of 58 years, Irina; two daughters; four grandchildren; and a sister.

— JTA News and Features

Louise Gold

Louise Gold, of Silver Spring, died Oct. 1.

She was the beloved wife of the late Elliott Gold; mother of Gary (Sherry) Gold and Toni Goldin and the late Leslie Gold; daughter of the late Fred and Rose Sanderoff; granddaughter of the late Louis Jaffe and Bessie Abramowitz; and sister of the late Colbert Sanderoff. She is survived by grandchildren Jason Turner (Erica), Amanda Tart (Julia), Kevin Gold, Genna Gold, Leslie Goldin, Corey Goldin, Tyler Dow (Chelsea), Trevor Dow, Tara Dow, Kylie Lopez and Chase Brady; great-grandchildren Gavin Turner, Madison Goldin and Sheya Dow.

Contributions may be made to the Children’s National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Ave. NW Washington, DC 20010. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

Philip G. Levy

Philip G. Levy, of Washington, died unexpectedly Oct. 12. He attended Sidwell Friends School and graduated from the University of Wisconsin.

He was best known as the founder and owner of Bridge Street Books in Georgetown, referred to by George Will as “a small island of individuality” and by others as “the intellectual’s bookstore.” He was an active board member of The Play Company (New York) and the University of Wisconsin’s Department of History.

Levy was predeceased by his parents, Samuel and Gertrude Levy, and his brother, David. He is survived by his brother, Richard and wife, Lorraine Gallard; sister-in-law, Seena; nephew and nieces, Benjamin, Karena and Sarabinh; and other nephews, nieces and cousins.

Contributions may be made to The Play Company or the University of Wisconsin Foundation, directed to the Department of History. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

Joel Palmer

Joel Palmer, of Potomac, died Oct. 11.

He was the beloved husband of the late Ellen Palmer; devoted father of Andrea (Rob) Green and Kevin (Amanda) Palmer; beloved Papa to Jared and Lainey Green.

Contributions may be made to Ingleside at King Farm Employee Appreciation Fund, 701 King Farm Blvd., Rockville, MD 20850. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

Florence Trier

Florence Trier, of Washington, died Oct. 8. She was 96.

Born in New York City in 1921, she moved to Washington in 1940. She was a devoted, loving mother to Adrienne (Max) Chaikin and Jay Trier and a cherished grandmother and great-grandmother. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg. Funeral Care.

Keith Stephan Weber

Keith Stephan Weber, of Fairfax, died Oct. 8.

He was the beloved husband of Cheryl Weber; father of Cody and Zachary Weber; loving brother of Richard (Linda) Weber; cherished son-in-law of Irwin and Ellen Samet; and treasured brother-in-law of Stacy, Kenneth and Brian Samet. He is also survived by nieces and nephews Suzanne Weber, Michael Weber, Lauren Samet and Jordan Samet.

Contributions may be made to the charity of choice in memory of Keith Weber. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

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Obituaries for Oct. 12, 2017

2017-10-11 15:24:53 dschere

Martha Koenig Bindeman.
Photo provided

Martha Koenig Bindeman, founded event planning business

Martha (Koenig) Bindeman, of Chevy Chase, died Oct. 5. She was 69.

She was born in Washington to Rose and Nathan Koenig and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1965. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1969 and from The George Washington University law school in 1972. She clerked for Judge Joyce H. Green of the District of Columbia Superior Court and later worked for Federal Trade Commission.

She then founded Finishing Touches Events and became one of the city’s leading event planners. An active volunteer, she served as president of the Sisterhood at Washington Hebrew Congregation and held various positions in the congregation’s lay leadership. She also served as president of the Jewish Social Service Agency.

She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Stuart L. Bindeman; daughters Julie Bindeman Belgard (David Belgard) and Jennifer Bindeman; three grandchildren, Nate, Jordan and Ryan Belgard; and two sisters, Judy Wolfman of York, Pa., and Susan Freed (Fred) of Hollywood, Fla. She is also survived by four nieces and three nephews.

Contributions can be made to Washington Hebrew Congregation for the Rose E. Koenig Religious School Fund, 3935 Macomb St. NW, Washington, DC 20016 or the Jewish Social Service Agency, 6123 Montrose Rd., Rockville, MD 20852. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

Arthur Hart Blitz

Arthur Hart Blitz, of Bethesda, died Oct. 4.

He attended the University of Virginia and earned juris doctor and master’s degrees in law from The George Washington University. He was a captain in the Army JAG Corps.

Blitz was a partner at the law firm of Paley Rothman in Bethesda, and former president of the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, the Bethesda-Potomac Rotary Club, the Men’s Club of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, and the Parent-Teacher Association of the Stephen Knolls School.

He was the beloved husband of Mimi Blitz; devoted father of Leslie M. (Steven) Hertz, Robin H. Blitz and Mickey Blitz; loving brother of Audrienne Levene; cherished grandfather of Sammy Hertz. He is also survived by extended family Julia, Raul and Wendy Letim, and Rosa Torres.

Contributions can be made to CHI, Inc., 10501 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20903 or the Montgomery County Humane Society, 601 S. Stonestreet Ave., Rockville, MD 20850. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

Colin Kahn

Colin Kahn, of Rockville, died Sept. 22 of kidney disease. He was 48.

He attended Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I., where he helped found the Hillel house. He spent a career in sales that included stints at Washington Jewish Week and various car dealerships.

Kahn had four kidney transplants starting in 1983, and also developed pulmonary hypertension. In honor of his 48th birthday on Aug. 27, he raised $2,500 for the American Kidney Fund, which helps dialysis patients.

He is survived by his parents, Denise and Larry Kahn; sister Nicole Allentuck (Bruce); nieces Tara and Danielle Allentuck, and Heather Davis (Taylor); he was a nephew of Deetsie Chrapaty Boginnis (John), Clifton (Terry) Chrapaty and Sharon (Jack) Peters.

Ira N. Tublin

Ira N. Tublin of Silver Spring died Oct. 2. He was 88.

He was born in Baltimore and attended the University of Maryland Medical School. He practiced in the fields of internal medicine, nephrology and geriatrics for 41 years. He was the director of the adult day care center of Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring and the camp physician at Camp Airy in Thurmont from 1959 until 2005. He also taught in the medical school at The George Washington University.

Tublin won the clinician of the year award from the Montgomery County Medical Society in 1986.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Scherlis Tublin; children Marjorie, Robert, Gary and Eric; and grandchildren Lila, Jesse, Zoe and Emmy.

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Obituaries for Oct. 5, 2017

2017-10-04 18:43:58 dschere

Seymour Greene, 97, musician, entertained World War II troops

On Sept. 27, 97-year-old Seymour Greene of Potomac was buried; he died the previous day. He was an amazing musician, and a warm and wonderful mensch.

Seymour Greene
Photo by Sgt. Wally Reeves, 55th Signal Company-Combat Camera

I loved talking with him about his service during World War II as a trombone player in Irving Berlin’s band. He was a walking history lesson, and he relived those stories with such passion and humor that it was impossible not to be swept away and feel that you’re living in that historic time.

Born Seymour Goldfinger, he was drawn to music at an early age, and excelled in playing the trumpet and trombone. During World War II, he was drafted as a musician, and earned his corporal’s stripes six months into his Army service when he played first trombone in the 1942 Broadway hit “This is the Army.”

The show’s 50-piece orchestra was made up entirely of soldiers. The band’s purpose was to raise funds for the Army Emergency Relief and raise the GIs’ morale. Directed by Irving Berlin, the band toured internationally, performing before tens of thousands of soldiers who fought in the European and Pacific theaters.

Greene described vividly how the show attracted long lines and packed audiences. Though not a combat operation, the show carried its own risks. During one performance in Italy, a member of the cleaning crew discovered a bomb in the basement of the theater shortly before show time.

In another instance, Japanese snipers opened fire on band. After military police returned fire and the snipers were killed, Greene discovered that his trombone had been damaged. So he improvised by borrowing a piece from a local band, got his instrument to work, and the show resumed. The soldiers went wild, cheering and swaying to the music, and he couldn’t have been happier.

He was also a fighter for justice. During a time of segregation in America, he was proud to serve in a racially integrated unit in the Army.

He told me that everyone in the show felt strongly about this issue. If they arrived at a city or camp that was segregated, and the African-American cast members were told they would have to sleep and eat separately, the whole cast would join the African-American soldiers in the “colored” barracks. “If you’re going to separate us, then we are all black,” he told the hosts.

After his service, he became an accountant, and worked for the IRS for several decades. All the while, he continued playing the trombone in large and small ensembles, including orchestras and klezmer bands. He was proud that he had the chance to play in the inaugural balls of presidents from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Bill Clinton.

He was the beloved husband of the late Ann Eleanor “Ellie” Greene; loving father of Robin (David) Sacks, Laurie (Joel) Dorfman and the late Jacquelin “Jackie” Fischer; dear grandfather of Aaron (Melanie), Jacob and Deborah Sacks and William and Daniel Dorfman; great-grandfather of Ethan Sacks. Contributions may be made to Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim, 1840 University Blvd. W., Silver Spring, MD 20902

-Shamai Leibowitz

Shamai Leibowitz is a Hebrew teacher and the Torah reader at Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim

Monty Hall, original host of ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ dies at 96

Monty Hall, the friendly and engaging host of the long-running television game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” has died.

Monty Hall. Wikimedia Commons.

Hall died of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sept. 30 at the age of 96. He had a heart attack in June shortly after his wife of almost 70 years died, and had been ill ever since.

In addition to hosting, Hall was the co-creator of the game show, in which contestants vie to trade smaller prizes with the host for a chance at something bigger behind a curtain or in a box. At the end of the show, the two biggest winners of the day compete for prizes behind three doors.

Hall reportedly appeared in more than 4,500 episodes of the show, which remains on the air with Wayne Brady as host. He hosted the show for 23 years until 1986, and for a short time in 1991.

A probability brain teaser was named after the game-show host. The “Monty Hall Problem,” which ends with a counterintuitive solution, includes three doors, two goats, and a car.

Hall received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973. He received a lifetime achievement awards at the Daytime Emmys in 2013.

Hall reportedly was a philanthropist. His family told CNN that he helped to raise close to $1 billion for charity during his life and that he spent about 200 days a year in fundraisers and charitable work.

A dual American and Canadian citizen, Hall was born Monte Halparin in the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Orthodox Jewish parents.

—JTA News and Features

Billionaire media mogul S.I. Newhouse Jr.

.I. Newhouse Jr., the billionaire media mogul who ran dozens of magazines and newspapers, died at the age of 89.

Newhouse, the grandson of Russian immigrants who was known as “Si” but whose initials stand for Samuel Irving, died Sunday at his home in Manhattan.

Newhouse and his brother Donald owned Advance Publications, founded by their late father in 1922. Newhouse since 1975 ran the magazine division, known as Conde Nast, which publishes signature magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, Self, GQ, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker.

—JTA News and Features


Steven L. Eisenberg

Steven L. Eisenberg, of Olney, died Sept. 27. He was the beloved husband of Michele Eisenberg; loving brother of David Eisenberg. Contributions can be made to the Mayo Foundation for research of Lewy Body Disease, ASPCA, Alzheimer’s Disease Association or Women’s American ORT. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

Mildred Meltzer

Mildred Meltzer, of Rockville, died Sept. 29. She was the beloved wife of the late Solomon Meltzer. Contributions can be made to Alzheimer’s Association. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

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