Eva Bluestein

Eva Bluestein, 90, Holocaust survivor, teacher, social activist, loving mother and grandmother, died peacefully in her home on June 12, 2014.

Born on April 21, 1924, in Berlin, Germany, Eva relocated to France shortly after the Nazis gained power in 1933 and lived in Paris until the Germans conquered the north of France. The family obtained false identification papers and fled south to Lyon in Vichy France where they lived as fugitives until the end of the war.

Eva immigrated to the United States in 1946 and earned a degree in sociology from UCLA. She married Charles Bluestein in 1950 and raised her family in Beverly Hills, California, where she was a French teacher. After the death of her husband in 1998, she moved to El Cerrito to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

The war left Eva with a strong sense of responsibility to help society, which she did through her involvement in numerous social, cultural, and civil causes. Eva was dedicated to ORT, a Jewish non-profit that provides vocational training to students all over the world, serving in many leadership roles including president of the Western Region. As a senior, she was an active member of the Gray Panthers and key leader of their Peace and Justice Commission, sat on the board of Café Europa (a Holocaust survivors’ group), volunteered at Jewish Family Services, and served as health chair for El Cerrito’s Committee on Aging.

Eva participated regularly in the Berkeley Elders Guild, classes at the Berkeley JCC, and the Raging Grannies. In 2007 she received a Senior Leaders Award from UC Berkeley.

Eva is survived by her children, Mark Bluestein and Claudia Cohan, and her two grandchildren. Members of the community are invited to a memorial for her to be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 17 at Congregation Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., in Berkeley.

Feel free to leave your memories of Eva Bluestein in the Comments.

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