2022-07-04

Alvin Baum Obituary (1930 – 2021) – San Francisco, CA

8 min read
Alvin H. Baum, Jr.
September 7. 1930 – March 28, 2021
Alvin H. Baum, Jr. handed absent on March 28, 2021. He was 90 decades previous, and died of pure causes in his slumber.

Alvin (Al) was born September 7, 1930 in Chicago’s Hyde Park, but grew up in Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, with his young brother, David. Precocious at a younger age, he was explained to he could establish car products at the age of two. Al struggled with a intense speech incapacity as a younger boy or girl, but was constantly completed in college, ranking in the major 3 of his class at Highland Park Higher College. In advanced English, he wrote papers for his friend (which invariably acquired A’s, larger grades than even his possess essays). He also commenced a lifelong enthusiasm for record and the humanities.

Al attended Harvard University from 1948-1952. During his undergraduate years Al turned fluent in French and went on the first of what were being to be numerous global outings to London, Amsterdam and Paris. Just after graduating magna cum laude, he remained in Cambridge, attending Harvard Law College, graduating cum laude in 1955.

Al was drafted into the U.S. military in 1955 and stationed in Berlin, with obligations for stability documents. Al resolved to find out German after his German exchange close friend from Harvard informed him that German center-aged housewives had been insulting them. In Berlin, he found out symphony, opera, museums, and–even though not but brazenly gay–the plaza where “the boys dangle out.”

Honorably discharged in January 1958, he moved to San Francisco. He was hired by Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe, in which he put in 5 yrs as a young affiliate attorney. Al always most popular maps and architecture around legislation and made the decision in 1963 to go away legislation observe and go to UC Berkeley to receive a master’s degree in Town & Regional Setting up. On graduating, he joined the newly-developed SF Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC) and in his 6½ several years there turned its deputy director and wrote the laws that to this day secure the Bay. From 1962-64, he was a member of the San Francisco Organizing Commission and hosted a communicate display about the Bay, just one of his proudest accomplishments offered his challenges stuttering as a young boy.

Al inadvertently came “out of the closet” in the mid-1970s when, effectively into his 40s, he was prominently showcased in a San Francisco Chronicle short article about a quick-lived LGBT undertaking identified as Lavender College, a continuing training institute. Though he realized that getting an overtly homosexual guy 45 decades back experienced repercussions, Al experienced the bravery to expose his true identification and focused his daily life to LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

He still left BCDC in 1972 for the following 12 yrs Al led a modest personal company practising town arranging. Someway, he managed to also spend 4 months as a Peace Corps trainer in Botswana, and formulated a sideline true estate financial investment and renovation business enterprise. Right after two profitable occupations as law firm and metropolis planner, Al retired, invested 4 months in France perfecting his French, and travelled with a group to Israel that would later on turn into the founders of the New Israel Fund.

But Al stepped again into perform in 1984. In the midst of the AIDS epidemic, Al felt his calling was to turn out to be a psychotherapist. A pure-born listener, Al was generally the a single to whom friends turned to for a compassionate ear. He returned to UC Berkeley and acquired a master’s degree in Social Welfare. As a Licensed Clinical Social Employee, Al designed a thriving non-public practice, looking at shoppers until finally he was perfectly into his 80s. Al also lifted major funds to aid offer extended-phrase outpatient psychotherapy and was a founding Board member of the Obtain Institute for Psychological Solutions (2002-04).

Al will be most remembered as a fantastic and strategic philanthropist. While for yrs he resisted the label of philanthropist, and fondly recalled getting shamed into the earth of philanthropy by a Catholic gay good friend, he emerged as a pillar in the Jewish, civil legal rights, and gay communities. Presented his history in legislation, Al’s initiation into advocating for the legal rights and liberties of other folks started with becoming a member of the board of the ACLU of Northern California in 1976.

Al brought his illimitable vitality, compassionate heart, sage guidance, and charitable contributions to every single endeavor. Appreciative of his heritage, Al worked tirelessly in the Jewish neighborhood for about 50 many years, and encouraged quite a few others to be generous in spirit and pocketbook. He was the founding board member of the New Israel Fund, advocating for equality and democracy in Israel, and traveled to Israel fourteen instances. In 1984, while serving as the only out homosexual board member of Jewish Family members & Kid’s Assistance of San Francisco, Al established an endowment dedicated to educational and therapeutic outreach to little ones, the alienated, and the aged. Deepening his roots in the Jewish local community, he grew to become director of the Jewish Neighborhood Federation and Endowment Fund, and was a longtime member of San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ Congregation Shamar Zahav.

Al emphasised his twin id as both of those a homosexual and Jewish gentleman and broke boundaries in both worlds. “When I made a decision to occur to San Francisco immediately after the Military, I experienced no strategy that I would at any time have any function as a homosexual man or woman, or as a gay Jewish human being. I sense so blessed that I’ve been equipped to categorical those features of my identity, and to help bridge those two communities.”

Self-explained “Gay Jew in Chief,” Al fought passionately for inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the Jewish neighborhood and in the broader culture. His history in law encouraged him to develop into director of Lambda Legal (1994-2000), focused to obtaining entire equality for lesbian and homosexual people. Having personally lived by way of the weather of prejudice towards gay people, Al actively championed those combating discrimination, and was the founding chair of the LGBT Alliance in 1975. Importantly, Al nurtured many grassroots and progressive LGBTQ+ organizations, giving assistance to its leaders and regular philanthropic support. Activist, lawful, and services companies, community and national, all benefitted from Al’s wisdom and generosity, which includes benchmark teams this sort of as the Nationwide Middle for Lesbian Legal rights (NCLR), and San Francisco’s Openhouse, offering LGBTQ+ seniors housing and other group services. In 2013, at the age of 82, Al was presented the Life span Accomplishment Award and served as Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Pleasure Parade, one of the highlights of his daily life. Continuously droll, he remarked to buddies he acquired the award simply for getting all over so lengthy, but deeply cherished the honor.

For his activism, local community company, and philanthropy, Al has been the recipient of numerous awards acknowledging his priceless contributions, together with the Silver SPUR (San Francisco Bay Space Setting up and City Study Association) Award (1996) the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Community Services Award (2006) the Human Rights Campaign’s James C. Hormel Neighborhood Company Award (1996) and Charles M. Holmes Award (2006) the Adelman-Gurevitch Founders Award offered by Openhouse (2012) and the Jewish Community Federation’s Robert Sinton Award For Distinguished Management (2019).

In addition to his function in the community, Al experienced a lifelong passion for artwork. Whilst he eschewed the title “collector,” he crammed his household with artifacts from all over the planet and perfectly-renowned paintings, photos, and sculpture. One particular of his most beloved items, a 10-foot sculptural piece by Viola Frey he affectionately named “Doris,” greeted website visitors as they entered his house. As an ardent supporter of the arts, he served as Director of the Good Arts Museums of San Francisco and a member of its Government Committee (1996-2006). Al was also passionate about theatre and contributed to the New Conservatory Theatre Middle and Berkeley Rep.

For a lot of years, starting in the 1960s till the early 2000s, Al had a house on Eco-friendly Road and was a acquainted sight zipping about city on his legendary crimson scooter. It is in these several years that Al, gregarious, sharp-witted, and affable, entertained at his residence and designed his quite a few lifestyle-very long friendships. A bachelor for a lot of a long time, in 1977 he wrote to the associates of the Harvard class of 1952, “‘I have develop into more open, much more accepting, significantly less ‘uptight,’ in equally my professional and my personalized life… if I had been ever to have what I would assumed I wanted — the household ‘with the white picket fence’ — the spouse there would be a person alternatively than a lady.”

In May perhaps 2004, in relationship with going from the Environmentally friendly Street property wherever he experienced lived for 40 decades, Al satisfied that person, his true really like Robert Holgate, an inside designer, who was aiding Al on his challenge. Al loved to recount that after five minutes he determined he required to get the job done with Robert soon after five weeks he understood he was in enjoy with him and just after five months Robert succumbed to his entreaties. Their relationship endured and grew in the seventeen yrs because that 1st come across. They have been lawfully married on their tenth anniversary in 2014, and enjoyed around the globe traveling, accumulating art, and doing the job facet-by-aspect on philanthropic endeavors in the LGBTQ+ community.

In a 2017 job interview, when Al was 86, he said, “It would be incredibly good if 100 yrs from now, my identify just isn’t going to be on a building, it could be, but I’ve made the decision not to do that. So, it would be very nice if someone experienced one thing that would remind them of me, of my existence.” His numerous beloved types will cherish fantastic memories of this amazing gentleman and dearly miss him. He is survived by his husband, Robert.

A virtual Celebration of Al’s Lifetime will be held on April 13th at 4p Pacific Time followed by a digital Faux Shiva the following afternoon, April 14th at 4p Pacific Time. Extra details relating to both expert services can be observed on his memorial page at GatheringUs.com. Al beloved a excellent party so all are welcome to attend just one or both occasions.

Charitable donations can be created in Al’s honor to any of the next corporations: New Israel Fund, ACLU, Openhouse and/or New Conservatory Theatre Heart.

Revealed in San Francisco Chronicle from Apr. 2 to Apr. 11, 2021.

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