Cliff's MusicThank you for donating to the Cliff Kaminsky Foundation



Donors of $100 or more will receive a CD of "The Best of Cliff Kaminsky"



Click here for Cliff's Music Page

In addition to a rich personal life, Cliff was a dedicated engineer, working for Vibro-Acoustic Sciences, which was  acquired by ESI of France. He loved his work and all he met through work loved him.  An example of some of his technical expertise can be seen by clicking here.




Please see the beautiful Poem and Painting by Cliff's sister-in-law.

Cliff's oldest  passion was music, with which he brought cheer and joy to friends and family.  Please click here to see and hear more.

Cliff loved to travel. Whether traveling on business such as to India, or just for fun such as to Croatia, Cliff always made friends and found the best a place had to offer...usually with guitar in hand.  Sometimes he wrote travel journals which were funny, insightful and just great reading.  Here are a few of them for your reading enjoyment...

Brazil (Carnaval) Journal (March 2003)
Italy Journal (May, 2003)
India Journal (September, 2003)


CLIFF  KAMINSKY    1969 - 2004

(By Cliff's mother, Marion Balsam.)

With great sadness, I share with you that my son, Cliff Kaminsky, tragically died in a mountain climbing accident, on May 29, 2004, in the Sierra Mountains, near Lake Tahoe, California. Cliff graduated from Walt Whitman High School (Bethesda, Maryland) in 1987. He then attended Boston University, from which he graduated Cum Laude in 1992 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, following which he obtained a Master’s Degree, also in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Michigan in 1994. At the time of his death, he was living in Manhattan Beach, California, and worked as a vibration and acoustics engineer for Engineering Systems International (‘ESI’), consulting to automotive and aerospace companies worldwide. He loved his work and his customers and colleagues loved him.

While at Walt Whitman High School, Cliff was a leader of the Vikatrons, supporting the audio-visual technology for school productions. Another key interest at Walt Whitman was the advanced art program. While at the University of Michigan, Cliff was in a band, ‘Ape7’, which recorded two CDs and performed locally. Cliff continued his love for music, writing lyrics, singing beautifully, and playing several instruments, most notably guitar, bass guitar and piano/keyboard. Enormously talented, Cliff was optimistic about a future in music. Additionally, he volunteered and taught guitar to troubled and orphaned teenagers, selflessly sharing his love for music with those less fortunate.

Cliff’s other passion was animal rights. About four years before his death, Cliff became acquainted with people committed to the welfare of animals, and he decided to become vegan and to volunteer for a broad range of animal rights organizations. His articulate yet gentle manner enabled him to be an effective spokesperson for the animal rights community, expressing his views strongly and sensitively but not offensively. He devoted enormous time and effort to this commitment and was considered an inspiration to many.

While Cliff loved his work, he was not defined by it. He is recalled to have said, ‘I think I’m the happiest guy I know’, and ‘I think I’m the luckiest guy I know’. If Cliff hadn’t yet done something, then it was certainly on his ‘to do’ list. Thriving on new experiences, Cliff had learned rock climbing and, at the time of his accident, was training to climb Mount Whitney. A year before, he learned the samba so as to be able to dance in Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He loved to ponder the great questions of life. He believed that every small effort at making the world a better place for all creatures was worthwhile, as a step in the right direction. A dear and devoted friend to many, Cliff was a soft-spoken, gentle, generous, charming and handsome young man with a profound intellect and sense of wonder about the world.

Cliff’s burial site is at Judean Memorial Gardens in Olney, Maryland (near Washington, D.C.)  

Friends of Cliff, please feel free to contact us if you so desire.


Cliff, almost 2 years old, and his dad



Cliff and his best friend Jordan

A drawing Cliff did when he was 9 years old.


Cliff and his Mom going to a Black Tie event

In Loving Memory of Cliff Kaminsky

 Cliff was a very special friend of mine. Someone who, to me, exemplified dedication, passion, and commitment to his beliefs. He will be dearly missed by myself, my husband, and our daughter whom I regret never got a chance to meet him.

I became close to Cliff through animal rights. He was, as you know, and have heard, I'm sure over and over, an awesome volunteer and a great activist. I asked him to work on a committee that I was chairing for In Defense of Animals for the Guardian awards gala we put on last year. In typical Cliff fashion he said yes, and was one of our most valuable volunteers. But his compassion was beyond one cause. I introduced Cliff to a charity that I have been involved with for years, Penny Lane, a foster home.

He came to a toy-drive fundraiser I did at my home for them. Like many people, he brought toys to the party and then later that night said he would help any way possible. I usually take that with levity because many people want to help but in foster care, unfortunately, there are little things people can or want to do to. That wouldn't work for Cliff. He asked me again and again. Reminded me through e-mail, IM, called. I finally took him for a tour. For I think a year that followed that party, Cliff drove all the way to North Hills every week to teach a group of foster teens how to play the guitar. I have never seen such dedication. Last October, Penny Lane recognized me with an award, they also recognized Cliff on stage because he had prepared the kids to perform a musical number that night. They were terrific, he was incredible! Talented, gracious, humble, and committed.

My feeling is that God had bigger plans for him. He will be very missed. If there is anything that I can do to help you with this tremendous loss please let me know. If you'd like to send this e-mail to his family, or to anyone else, please feel free. I would like everyone to know about the enormous range of commitment that I witnessed by this wonderful soul. He will always be an inspiration to me to follow my beliefs with unwavering dedication.

With my deepest sympathy and love,

Natasha Allas-Croxall


Cliff and his nephews Nick (right) and Mike (center)


All the kids, Carlsbad, CA  1977


Cliff and his little sister Marissa in Las Vegas


Cliff and Mom with one of Marissa's cats


Cliff's Friends and Colleagues at a memorial service they put together in his honor.  Cliff had great friends....