David Shneer

David Shneer

1972 - 2020

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Obituary of David Shneer

David Shneer, Denver; Husband of Gregg Drinkwater; Father of Sasha Drinkwater and bio-dad of Yannai Kashtan; Son of Diane and Jim Shneer; Brother of Rob (Lani) Shneer; Son-in-law of Margaret (Dennis Holman) McBride Holman and Mike (ConnaLu) Drinkwater; Brother-in-law of Michelle (Wayne) Trader; Co-parent with Caryn (Dawn Weber) Aviv; Uncle of Emi Shneer, Kyle Shneer, and Ben Trader;

Private service Friday, 1:00pm; Public Livestream on Feldman Mortuary's YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7CQNliXtxRvoOGVZvmH-kg

Burial in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

Donations in David’s Memory:

As a memorial for David, his family would like to raise funds to install a plaque at the Denver Botanic Gardens. David loved to be at the Gardens - it was his favorite place in Denver and is just a few blocks from his home. David and his family often used their special member key to enter the Gardens via the secret back gate. David would go alone or with Gregg and Sasha to read, walk, or get some work done on his laptop. Even with Covid restrictions and his declining health, they had been going there regularly these past few months. A memorial there will be a place for those in Colorado to visit regularly and remember him and his love of being outside in the beauty of the Gardens.


His family also invites those who loved David to donate to increase the endowment for the James and Diane Shneer Endowed Fellowship Fund to support research in the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Archive at the University of Colorado, Boulder. David helped found the archive and the fund was originally created in honor of David’s parents on the occasion of Diane Shneer's 70th birthday. The family plans to rename the fund in David’s honor. More info on the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Archive is here:



David’s family also encourages people to make donations to organizations or projects that are meaningful for them. Some that David felt a deep connection to include:

- Yiddishkayt (https://yiddishkayt.org/)

- Keshet : https://www.keshetonline.org/

- The CU Boulder History Department (https://www.colorado.edu/history/)

- The CU Boulder Jewish Studies Program (https://www.colorado.edu/jewishstudies/)


To donate to the Endowed Fellowship Fund at CU, go here:



To donate to the Denver Botanic Gardens memorial, follow these instructions:

David’s family will pay tribute to David by dedicating a stone, tree, or bench at the Gardens in his name. The specific plan will be driven by the total amount of contributions made in David’s name, and his family will be sure to let everyone know when the tribute is completed and where the tribute will be within the Gardens for all to visit.


To contribute, please use this link: https://www.botanicgardens.org/tribute-memorial-gifts


Click on “donate” and then select the third blank option under “donation information” and enter your desired amount. Under “additional information,” no need to put anything in the “engraved message” field - we’ll take care of that once all donations are in. Be sure to put David’s name under “tribute information” so that all funds collected in David’s memory will be tracked by the Gardens. 


You can also call or email Rob Price, manager of annual giving, to donate: 720-865-3528, or robert.price@botanicgardens.org.


David’s Research, Scholarship and Public Life:

For those who might not know the full extent of David’s public work as a scholar, teacher, writer and community leader, please visit his personal web site:



To see and hear David’s beautiful voice as a singer, here he is with his music collaborator and dear friend, Jewlia Eisenberg, singing Dem Milner's Trern (“The Miller’s Tears”) in Yiddish (lyrics in comments). This is part of Jewlia and David's "Art Is My Weapon" project, about the radical musical life of Lin Jaldati, a Dutch Jewish cabaret performer and Holocaust survivor who migrated to East Berlin after WWII and became the "Yiddish diva” of the Communist world.



More on the "Art Is My Weapon" project can be found here: