Jewish Life Stories: A tech couple killed in a private plane crash, a Holocaust survivor who arrested a top Nazi


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Liron, 57, and Naomi Petrushka, 58, husband-and-wife tech entrepreneurs killed in a private plane crash

Tech entrepreneurs Liron and Naomi Petrushka, husband-and-wife co-founders of CommerceOne, an e-commerce site, died March 30 in a private plane crash near their home in Incline Village, Nevada. Liron was flying the couple’s single-engine plane on a trip home after visiting one of their sons in Denver.

Before becoming a tech investor and founder, Liron, 57, from Ramat Gan, Israel, was a professional soccer player for Hapoel Ramat Gan Givatayim. Naomi, 58, of Illinois, was an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and also headed Petrushka Investments. They were both well-known to the Israeli community in Silicon Valley, where they lived for more than 20 years, J., the Jewish weekly of Northern California, reported.

“They were so approachable. Some people — they say money changes them. They stayed humble,” Ron Petel, a Silicon Valley Israeli tech investor, told J. “Anytime I needed advice on a company, we would meet for coffee. If I had issues with my kids that I needed help with, he would advise.”

They are survived by their three sons, including Jordan, who has played on Israel’s national baseball team.

Norman A. Miller, 99, survivor who arrested a high-ranking Nazi

Norman Miller enlisted in the British Army and identified a Nazi minister who played a role in deporting Dutch Jews to labor camps. (Screenshot courtesy US Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Norman A. Miller’s family knew that he was a German-Jewish refugee who lost his parents and sister in the Holocaust, and that after the war he made his way to New York City where he became a tool and die maker, mostly in the Bronx. What they didn’t know until 1999 was that as a member of an infantry unit in the British army he captured Arthur Seyss-Inquart, a high-ranking Nazi who shared responsibility for the deportation of Dutch Jews.

“I told you I arrested him, didn’t I?” Miller told his sons on a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He later shared the story in an oral history interview with the museum in 2013 and in a 2023 segment on NBC New York.

“I mean, I wasn’t overjoyed,” he said of his capture of Seyss-Inquart, who was executed for his crimes. “It didn’t help bring my parents back, my family back.”

Miller died Feb. 24 in a hospital in Manhattan. He was 99.

Frederick Golomb, 99, pioneering physician who waged war on cancer

Dr. Frederick Golomb.

Dr. Frederick Golomb was a trailblazer in chemoimmunotherapy, and an avid mountaineer. (Courtesy NYU Grossman School of Medicine,)

Frederick Golomb’s father founded the Everlast sporting goods company, best known for its boxing equipment. But after serving in the 10th Mountain Division in World War II (and earning a Purple Heart for battlefield surgery in Korea), Golomb took up a different kind of fight: As professor of surgery at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine, he became a trailblazer in chemoimmunotherapy and developed numerous surgical techniques in the battle against cancer.

He was also a pioneer of day surgery, performing safe, cost-efficient procedures at NYU based on the methods he learned while operating on wounded soldiers.

Outside the operating room, Golomb was an accomplished mountaineer, swimmer and, starting in his 80s, paraglider. To celebrate his 90th birthday, he swam across the Hudson River beneath the George Washington Bridge.

Golomb died March 25 at age 99. His survivors include his daughter, the literary agent Susan Golomb, and his son James, a neurologist at NYU.

Stanley L. Blumenstein, 77, former principal of famed Bronx High School of Science

Stanley Blumenstein.

A physics teacher at Bronx Science, Stanley Blumenstein was its principal from 1994 until 2000. (Courtesy Bronx Science Alumni Foundation)

Stanley L. Blumenstein of Hewlett, New York, who served as principal of the Bronx High School of Science from 1994 to 2001, died March 29. He was 77.

A 1963 alumnus of the prestigious public high school, where for the first 40 years after its founding in 1938 a majority of its students were Jewish, he returned to teach physics. He was known for monthly “Lunch with the Principal” sessions, encouraging students to discuss things they hoped to fix.

After stepping down, he remained a champion of the school and a writer of letters to the New York Times, where he defended merit-based admissions at a time when the school was under pressure to expand its acceptance of disadvantaged students. “Don’t attack the entrance exam that has successfully produced a prodigious cadre of graduates for decades — Nobel laureates; Pulitzer Prize winners; distinguished leaders in the arts, sciences, business and government,” he wrote in 2021. “Rather, it’s the root cause that must be addressed, namely, the lack of preparation students receive in grades K-8.”

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