Memorial for man found dead in elevator shaft

December 11, 2008 2:09:59 PM PST
Friends of an Oakland man who died after an apparent accidental fall down an elevator shaft at a San Francisco building late last month will hold a memorial Sunday at the synagogue where he was a member.

Dr. Daniel Kliman, 38, was buried this past weekend in New York, where his family lives, according to Jonathan Bernstein of the San Francisco chapter of the Anti-Defamation League.

Kliman's body was found Dec. 1 in the elevator shaft of the historic Sharon Building at 55 New Montgomery St., where he had been taking a language course. He had apparently not known the class had been cancelled on the day the fall occurred, Bernstein said.

Bernstein said he had known Kliman for about six years, and that Kliman had been politically active in the community and in responding to anti-Israel demonstrations in the Bay Area.

"He and I didn't always agree on strategy, but I know he felt very strongly about the Jewish community and worked very hard on these issues," Bernstein said.

Bernstein said Kliman's political stances might have triggered speculation by some in the community that Kliman's death involved foul play, but that his own numerous conversations with police have convinced him otherwise.

"They've given me every indication that they don't believe foul play was involved," Bernstein said. "We'll probably see that it was a very unfortunate accident."

Kliman's public memorial service begins Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Beth Jacob Congregation at 3778 Park Blvd. in Oakland.

Berstein said Kliman had many friends in the community and that he was expecting the synagogue to be "very, very full" on Sunday night.


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