Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dan Kliman, R.I.P.

Those of us who knew Dan Kliman are devastated by the news of his death this past week, apparently from a fall down an elevator shaft in a building in San Francisco on Tuesday, November 25. His body was discovered by workers in that building on December 1.

Dan was, simply put, a pretty special guy, someone I am richer for having known.

I was one of the first people, if not the first, that Dan met when he first moved here several years ago. He communicated on the "frumgays" listserv that he was moving to the Bay Area and was interested in meeting with other gay Jews. Since Dan told us up front that he was a vegetarian, a bunch of friends and I from the "frumgays" listserv met him at Herbivore on Divisadero Street in SF. We were impressed by seeing him ride up on his collapsible bike, which we eventually came to realize was all but surgically attached to his body. We were also impressed by how outgoing, friendly and intelligent he was; the fact that he was so darn cute was an extra added plus. :)

I introduced Dan to some friends of mine in Oakland, and they ended up being very good friends. I feel good about having been the initial conduit for that friendship.

Dan and I even went on a date once. It was on a Sunday afternoon, November 16, 2003. I remember the date so well because it was the same day I learned that my mother had broken her hip. My mother subsequently died in surgery a few days after that. Who knows? Perhaps if I hadn't spent the week and a half after our first date tending to my family and then sitting Shiva, there might have been a second date. :)

Dan and I shared a lot of the same passion and excitement about being both Jewishly observant and 100% unapologetic about being openly gay, and that those two characteristics did not ever need to be mutually exclusive of each other but that rather, in fact, they complemented each other.

Dan was also the founder of the organization SF Voice for Israel and a fervent, intelligently well-spoken Israel supporter.

And he was so much more. Just Google his name and you will see how far and wide his circle reached, and just how much ground he covered in only 38 years.

Anyone who knew Dan is devastated by this news. Zichrono l'vracha - may his memory always be for a blessing.

Kenny Altman
San Francisco, CA
December 3, 2008


rutka said...

I'm very sorry to hear about Dan. I didn't know of him before your note.This is a very shocking and tragic accident.
Ruth Caprow

rutka said...

Hi Kenny,
I'm very sorry to hear about Dan. This is the first I've heard of him and his tragic end.