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Life Stories, in brief: Our readers remember the loved ones they lost in 5783

(JTA) — The 10-day period that begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and extends through Yom Kippur is a time for serious introspection, and also a time to remember relatives and friends who have passed away. Mourners recite the Yizkor prayers on Yom Kippur and light memorial candles, and many will use this time to visit the graves of their loved ones. 

Inspired by these rituals of remembrance and community, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, in partnership with My Jewish Learning, asked readers to tell us about the loved ones they lost in the Jewish year just past, 5783. Below are their tributes, memories and celebrations.

Read about newsmakers who died over the last year. And sign up here to get our weekly Life Stories newsletter.

Allan Gary Abrams, 80, Saint Petersburg, Florida, was “a gifted artist. Loved by all who knew him. A Gitta Neshuma.” Barbara Abrams Confino, sister

Alan Ades, 92, Dedham, Massachusetts, was “a distinguished and proud man who showed by example how family and Judaism were his utmost priorities. His 67-year marriage, four children, 15 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren were a testament to this as were his many volunteer leadership roles over his long and successful life.” — Sara Ades Goodwin, daughter

Athena Lauryl Albanese, 15 days, Richmond, Virginia, “Identical twin granddaughters born at just 26 weeks. Into NICU immediately after birth. Veronica survived, Athena did not. We never even got to hold [her].” Laurie Simmonds, grandmother

Carola Sherman Allen, 86, Los Angeles, California. “Losing her 30-year-old son to cancer and her husband to a drunk driver, my mom exemplified resilience in the face of the deepest challenge. She helped my young adult son grow into an amazing human. She died on her terms as an example for us to live on ours.” — Jamie Allen Black, daughter

Elise Alloy-Relihan (Chaiya bat Ruth v’ Yaakov), 67, Massachusetts, was “a brilliant, witty woman who was determined to love the world and everyone in it. She created a huge, loving family of children she bore and children she chose. She was deeply devoted to her husband of 40 years, she had a terrier she adored and she had a smile that was legendary. She judged no one, listened to everyone, and made everyone she spoke to feel special and cherished. She was an Eshet Chayil in every sense of the term.” — Grace Relihan, daughter

Menachem Amiram, 77, Kibbutz Lavi, Israel. “Menachem came to Israel as a founding son of Kibbutz Lavi in 1952. Menachem served as a shaliach, an emissary for the B’nai Akiva movement, in California where he successfully recruited American Jews to make aliyah. Married and father of six, grandfather of more than 20, Menachem lived a fulfilling life, full of meaning.” Rita Plaut, first cousin

June Appel, 79, Boynton Beach, Florida. “She was my everything.” — Herb Appel, husband

Marilyn Pasarew Aronson, 78, Maryland, was “loved by all who knew her.” Sue M, sister-in-law

 Marion Baras, 102, Silver Spring, Maryland, “loved teaching music. Her piano students followed her to the nursing home for lessons. She survived Kristallnacht with her optimism and faith intact.  She was beautiful inside and out.  Her last words to me were, ‘You were a wonderful daughter.’ What a gift.” — Barbara Baras Kessel, daughter

Marc Becker, 37, Los Angeles, California, “was a truly special person who brought unconditional love, acceptance and fun into the lives of everyone he encountered. He was our North Star, guiding us safely home with his warmth and light. He had limitless energy, good humor, and positivity. He never complained; he only expressed gratitude.” —Jonah Platt, lifelong friend

Rosalee Bender, 83, San Rafael, California, “was a client who became a friend, and then I became the child she never had. She outlived two husbands and most of her friends. Classy, kind, and sweet.” Avi Zalman, friend 

Barry Michael Benjamin, 72, Cleveland, Ohio, was “the most generous, giving, big brother who always looked out for me and took care of me as well as giving to so many charities. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He unselfishly saw to the needs of our parents in their elderly years. I looked up to him and he looked out for me. I trusted him more than I trusted myself.” — Jack Benjamin, younger brother

Harvey Bernhardt, 95, New York. “My father was an amazing man who never lost his sense of humor. He loved his family, travel, and simple yet yummy food. He performed a thousand little kindnesses throughout his life and showed, by example, what it was to be a good man.” Pamela Lebedda, daughter 

Boris Abramovitch Bernshtein, 81, Tver, Russia. “A civil engineer, he rose to the top in the profession. Was active and popular in the synagogue. Was a loving father and a devoted family man. Will be missed by all those who knew him.” Smarajit P. Chakrabarty, son-in-law

Edward Israel Birnbaum, 85, Weston, Florida, was “a survivor, in business, with natural disasters and with health issues, but he was unconditionally devoted to my Mom, his wife of 64 years, his six kids and 18 grand and great-grandchildren. He was adored by all he met for his good humor and kindness.” Scott Birnbaum, son 

Moira Bisset, 58, London. She “used her humor and bravery to battle cancer. Unique and inspirational, wife and mother of four, devoted daughter and sister. She truly loved her family and friends. She is missed every day by all those who knew her.“ Jacqueline Kaye, dearest friend 

Norman Bleckner, 90, New York City, New York. “My uncle. A very special man. Loved life. Loved his family. So creative and artistically talented. Happy. Kind. A special man. He is survived by his wife, my Aunt Sheila. His two children and his three grandchildren. In addition to his extended family. May his memory be a blessing to us all.” Ina Kushner-Rentzer, niece

Teddye Bournstine Felix Bliwas, 96, Northbrook, Illinois. “A third-generation Chicagoan, Teddye was a proud Reform Jew. She graduated from George Williams College and did social work. While raising children, she was a volunteer, returning as a geriatric activities’ director. She was an award-winning artist; a constant knitter; passionate about bridge, reading, progressive politics, and her grandchildren.” Rabbi Cathy L. Felix, daughter 

Eduardo Bradman, 51, Israel, “made aliyah from Havana in 1998 to an absorption center. He married Haya at City Hall, NYC, just a few days before 9/11/2001. He studied computer science in Cuba, and established a business in Israel. Eduardo, Haya and their 3 daughters lived on a kibbutz near Sderot, where he was buried.” Miriam Bradman Abrahams, first cousin

Dorothy A. Brett, 98, Woodbury, New York, was “a forward-looking, progressive woman with a unique capacity for change and a flair for fashion and decorating. Beloved by family and friends.” Laurel Brett, daughter

Michael Brown, 51, Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Michael was handicapped with cerebral palsy. He developed a UTI with sepsis and passed away at home.” — Jay F. Brown, father

Betty Ann Buckley, 74, Athens, Alabama, was “a wonderful woman, mother of three children, grandmother of four and great grandmother of six. She loved nature, reading, music and was a very talented crafter and quilter. Thoughtful, kind and generous Betty lit up the world with her sweet smile. She was loved and is greatly missed.” Candace Russell, daughter 

Yulia Michry Bukai, 58, Tuxedo, New York was “a kind, loving woman. She was a mother, a wife, a sister, and a dear friend. She was an artist, a watercolorist and a gardener. Her artwork, like her garden, is exquisite. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, she suffered antisemitism and when she could, she left to make a new life. She knew hardship, but always found joy. She was a bright light that glowed.” — Zeeva Bukai, sister-in-law

Malcolm R. Busch, 88, Highland Park, New Jersey. “A loving family man, life-long learner, attorney who never retired, and funniest man on ‘Old Jews Telling Jokes.’ Known for laughing at his own jokes, retelling stories in ways that made them feel new, making genuine connections with every person he met, and a deep dedication to his community.” Melissa Anolick, granddaughter

Carol R. Cohen, 83, Sarasota, Florida, was “a classy, beautiful, insightful, honest, genuine and extraordinary person with a golden heart. She loved the color blue, root beer floats with vanilla ice cream, dancing, hosting parties, gardens, trying new recipes, tootsie rolls, traveling, fashion, and adventuring with her children and grandchildren.” Marjie Hadad, daughter

Toba Coren, 87, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, was “a wonderful older sister throughout my life. We considered one another best friends. We were always there for one another in bad times and good times.” — David Segal, brother

Lucinda Crohn, 88, Worcester, Massachusetts, was “motivated by kindness and truth, was a teacher to her core, courageous, and was often described as someone who would ‘tell it like it is.’ We love and miss her beyond measure.” Rachael Missall, daughter

Natalie Iris Herman Cure, 77, Staten Island, New York, was a “wife to her beloved Norman for over 52 years” and “a talented artist with a mouth like no other.” — Andrea Cure, daughter

Carol David, 60, Israel, “I loved her like a sister, proud of her achievements as a scientist seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s. She raised 3 kids and was the caretaker of Dorothy, 92, her mother and my late dad’s sister. Way too soon and tragic.” Cindy Chazan, first cousin

Leane Werner Dicker, 75, Rockville, Maryland, was “good to all she knew, always learning, beloved.” — Madelyn Schloss, old friend

Marilyn Dobrin, 85, Brooklyn, New York, was “one of the most kind people you would ever meet. She would give endlessly, it made her happy. Her family and friends meant the world to her. So did her Jewish faith. I only wish she lived longer to enjoy more of her grandchildren. That’s all she ever wanted.” Ellen Dobrin Schier, daughter

Sandra Ehrlich, 89, Silver Spring, Maryland, was “an extremely loving, caring woman. She had a wonderful sense of humor, telling silly jokes at family gatherings. Mom hosted all the Jewish holidays for our extended family and friends while my brother and I were growing up. She was an excellent cook and loved to entertain. Her generosity and love had no bounds. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, and during her last years a great-grandmother. With all our hearts we miss her every day.” — Terri Katzen, daughter

Paul Eisenman, 72, Queens, New York. “My beloved husband was special to me … married 38 years.” — Francine Eisenman, wife

Susan Farber, 79, Woodbridge, New Jersey, “was tenacious. She became a widow at age 33 and raised me by herself. She worked seven days a week and made sure I got a college degree. Her greatest loves were her grandchildren. They could do no wrong. I miss her every day.” Jessica, daughter 

Carol Ann Faintich, 78, St. Louis, Missouri. “‘Family first’ was her motto, unconditional love her way of living that motto every day; literacy and education her passion. ‘Go Read’ was her ever-present tagline. She was sassy, spirited, strong and stubborn. Being a MeMe to Evan and Jack was her greatest joy in life.” — Robyn Faintich, daughter

Andrea Holly Fellows, 73, Playa del Rey, California, was “a teen model, a singer blessed with a beautiful voice, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA, a gifted writer and editor who lived for art, her family, and her cats.” — Joel Gardner, brother

Janice Fenster, 77, Richmond Hill, New York, was “a retired NYC teacher. Jan was a loved and respected leader in both the Jewish and secular communities as well as an ardent Zionist. Despite long-standing health issues, she generously gave of her time, energy and financial resources. She will be sorely missed, especially by her surviving siblings, Israela and Simon.” — Simon Fenster, brother

Ruth Fiden, 97, Palm Desert, California. Patty Fiden, daughter. 

Eugene Fine, 90, Bronx, New York. “My dad was the most intelligent, creative, passionate, loving person. He loved to tell long, creative stories, especially about meeting my mom. He remembered every meal he ever had. He loved his wife, children, grandchildren, relatives, friends, Rachel Maddow and raw onions! Every day, he said, ‘Life owes me nothing; I am the luckiest man in the world.’” Judy Fine-Edelstein, daughter

Sharyn Fradin, 83, Deerfield, Illinois. “Married 63 years, best friend to Larry for 70 years. Mother of three, grandmother of 8. Medical librarian at Chicago Medical School until retirement and volunteer librarian at the Chicago Botanic Garden. She loved her current events group, her movie group, her Mah Jongg group but most of all she loved her friends both current and from her past. She had an ear and shoulder for everyone and never a judgment nor criticism made.” Larry Fradin, spouse

Nel Zalm Fresco, 75, Zuiddorpe Zeeland, the Netherlands, was known for saying “the best is yet to come.” — Detlef van Zeggelen, friend

Malka Maroko Freund, 96, Stockholm, Sweden. A Holocaust survivor and “wonderful loving soul!” Yvonne Freund, daughter

Louis Frey, 92, Tampa, Florida, We were high school sweethearts. We always felt we were meant to meet and be together for the 72 years we were lucky enough to celebrate our anniversary — the last time, Feb. 10, 2022. He passed away this past November. Lou was a devoted, loving husband and father to our three children and a fun grandfather to our seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.” Yollette Frey, wife

Robert Frimtzis, 92, San Diego, California. “Robert Frimtzis’ memoir takes you from surviving bombs of the Nazi blitzkrieg, to imminent starvation and deprivation in a mud hut in Tajikistan, to contributing to America’s lunar exploration and spacecraft development.” Laurie Solnick, daughter

Lillian Gabriel, 92, Los Angeles, California, was “my sister while we were far apart in age, we were always together. Whether as a big sister, or later a good friend, she was always there for me and everyone in our family. She was a teacher, art dealer, Jewish communal leader and incredible mother, grandmother and great grandmother, and of course sister.” — Miriam Hearn, sister

Roberta Galex, 84, Dripping Springs, Texas. “Just a special woman. Caring and loving, and would do anything for those in her life. She just died, but we’ve been missing her for years because of her health issues. We will always miss her.” Michael Galex, son

Ralph Gelper, 91, Boynton Beach, Florida, was “born to a boisterous family of new immigrants in Brooklyn. He went to Stuyvesant High School, then studied pharmacy, married and had two daughters, one of whom gave him two grandsons. He loved reading news, history and politics. Ralph outlived his wife, with whom he retired to Florida.” Cynthia Gelper and Alyssa Gelper, daughters 

Aaron Gerstman, 80, New Jersey, was a “wonderful man who served as a father, husband and grandfather to the privileged few in his family. He met his wife Arlene at camp and married soon after. They were inseparable and he would do anything to make his family happy.” Matthew Labkovski, grandson

Sharyn Gertz, 82, Los Angeles, California, was a “smart, funny and an amazing person. She was the definition of a supportive and loving mother, wife, grandmother and friend. She was a tentpole in our family. Her existence and impact she made on her family and friends was profound.” Michael Gertz, son

Jay Gettinger, 79, Boca Raton, Florida. “Beloved husband, father and poppy. Life dealt many sad moments but he never complained or was bitter.” Melissa Gettinger Weiner, daughter 

Eshraghieh Setareh Ghodsian, 93, Los Angeles, California, was “a beautiful woman inside and out. She was born in Iran and died in Los Angeles, leaving four children behind. She was charitable, generous and had much compassion for all human beings. her loss has left a huge empty space in my life.” — Minoo Sueke, eldest surviving daughter

Betty (Bayla) Gibbs, 94, Leeds, England, was “my best friend. May her dear soul rest in peace.Gina Bowyer, daughter

Corinne Ellis Gilbert, 100 and 3/4 (as my grandkids say), Boston, Massachusetts. “Corinne Gilbert passed last March as she lived her life, quietly, but in charge. She told me she would die that night, and she did, but of course she waited til I left the room. She loved cooking for family, the Saturday Met Opera, crossword puzzles. She read nonstop, often multiple books per week. But most of all she loved to tell people what to do and when to do it!” Paula Rosenstock, daughter 

Jay B. Ginsburg, 82, Keene, New Hampshire, “loved to read, both for the content and the look and feel of special books. He wanted to know, especially in Jewish thought, history and experience. For more beauty he collected art, especially Japanese prints, and for delight, sandwiches and condiments. We met at St. John’s College (Annapolis), married in 1966, and spent almost 60 years together.” Susan M. Ginsburg, wife

Paula Goddard, 71, Cleveland, Ohio, was “an extremely close friend, actually we always called her family. She was a travel partner with us all over the world. We miss her dearly.” — Ray Klein, friend 

Susan J. Goldman, 78, Scottsdale, Arizona, “A mentor. A teacher. A friend. An inspiration. My mom.” Jami Goldman, daughter

Marsha Gordon, 76, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, “lived life on her own terms. Beloved grandmother, mother, sister, aunt.” Tamara Tulloch, daughter

Joan S. Gudelsky, 94, Rockville, Maryland, was “one of the great ones! Always upbeat, loving and fun to be around! She was a wonderful role model and friend!” Linda G. Dagen, daughter

Diane Haber, 75, Milltown, New Jersey, was “my best friend for over 60 years. She loved deeply and she laughed deeply. She worked with children and the elderly in her job as a social worker. She did so with compassion. She adored her husband, children and grandchildren. She gave off herself freely to family and friends. I will carry her in my heart forever.” Cheryl Grossman, a close friend

Jonathan A. Harpman, 60, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was “my son, a special brother to Louise, father to Taylor and Chaz, nephew to Josh. Jon died from complications of younger onset Alzheimer’s. He was a loving, giving, warm and outgoing young man. He loved anything to do with a ball and a club, racquet, hoop, even a foot.” — Helene Harpman, mother

Honey Halter, 90, Santa Maria, California. “Loved dearly by family and friends and missed everyday. Honey loved a glass of chardonnay, playing tennis and ice cream (oh how she loved ice cream!). Your three great-grandchildren named in your honor will know how very much you love them.” Jessica, granddaughter

Robert Hersh, 82, Long Island, New York. “Wonderful husband, father, brother , and friend. Passionate about grammar and music. Most passionate about track and field.” Louise Sobin, spouse

Susie Hirschfeld, 76, London, England, was a “ball of fire, larger than life and with a heart as colossal as her humor.” Carol Silverstein, friend

Pearl Hirshfield (neé Belly), 100, Evanston, Illinois. “Revered mother of four daughters, adored wife of Hyman J, artist/activist, marched with Dr. King, studied with Leon Golub, raised funds for the Chicago 7, beloved by her family and friends.” Deborah, Leslie, Laura Hirshfield, daughters

Zak Hirshman, 52, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. “In 1993, Zak competed in the World Maccabiah Games in Israel representing Canada in basketball, which was a very proud accomplishment for him. It is an understatement to say that Zak was larger than life, with a stature of 6’4”, 280 lbs., but it was his personality, humor and care for others that really made you notice him and want to be next to him.” Lynn Hirshman, mother

Morris Hodkin, 83, New York. “When we were young, he watched out for me. He made sure that our parents were taken care of in their senior years when they needed help. He was a son who always called home and he sent our mother flowers on HIS birthday to thank her. Morris was generous and helpful to many people.” Carol Hodkin, little sister

Howard Israel, 62, South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, was “a sweet caring person! He made everyone laugh in such a good way! He was so smart and always helped me when I needed it!” — Chase, son

Maria Abramovna Ivaikina, 84, Tver, Russia. “With my Granny we shared laughs and sorrows; we shared life. She was a teacher, an educator and inspiration for us, her loved ones, her friends, and all her students. May her soul shine forever in God’s light!” Ludmilla Chakrabarty (née Bernshtein), granddaughter

Stanley Jacobs, 74, Delray Beach, Florida, was “the first child born into our family after the Holocaust. All of my cousins looked up to him. He was an inspiration to all. He loved his family above all else.” — Miriam Sulfaro, sister

Ruth Kaplan, 98, Rego Park, New York. “As a Jewish teen in Eastern Europe her family fled their town when the Nazis invaded Poland. They hid in rural Russia for the duration of the war, eventually ending up in a displaced persons camp in Germany. There she married my grandfather, started a family and emigrated to the U.S. through HIAS in the ’50s. Bubby left us with many gifts, including wonderful family relationships across the world and a connection to Jewish culture.” Sally Frank, granddaughter

Mark Barry Kauffman, 71, Port Jefferson, New York, was “a generous, loving man with a creative spirit and a creative eye, always ready to have fun.” Laurel Brett, wife

Marsha Spencer Kamins, 79, Hartford, Connecticut. “My older sister, my best friend, forever the missing piece to the puzzle, oldest of four sisters.” — Elaine Spencer Dombroff, sister

Linda Kern, 84, Boise, Idaho. “She was a talented writer and became a teacher in elementary school. She occasionally wrote articles for a local newspaper in California She loved children and cats.” Norma Hescheles, sister

William S. Kirschner, 73, Las Cruces, New Mexico. “My husband was perfectly imperfect. He was generous, humble and kind. He defended civil rights, and worked to promote diversity and tolerance. He was affectionate, loved to laugh and had a song for every situation. He was in recovery for many years and helped many others to find recovery. He was loved by so many and would often say, ‘I have a wonderful family and a great life, I”m a lucky man.’” Laurie Miller Kirschner, wife and best friend

Tedd Klein, 67, Middletown, New York, was “adored by all. He was the kind of person who lent a hand wherever needed. He was a devoted husband, loving father and endearing grandfather, PaPa. He was very active in his local synagogue, president of the men’s club, and community service. He is missed by all who knew him.” Marie Morey, sister

Avi Klempner, 83, Kfar Saba, Israel, was “a respected and appreciated veterinarian from 1970 on. He taught clinical medicine at Araneta University in Manila, Philippines, for a year and a half. He became interested in small animal orthopedics and practiced small animal medicine up until 2022.” Phyllis Anne Klempner, wife

Adira Rose Koffsky, 18, Jerusalem. “Adira was a unique and special person. Many knew her to be a smart, eloquent, and big-ideas thinker. She was as interested in questions as she was in the answers. Her love and kindness for family and friends will always be remembered.” Ann Koffsky, mother

Lou Kulekofsky, 78, was “an extraordinarily generous and humble man. It was pure joy to sit with him over a cup of coffee and talk and laugh with him.  He was a dedicated friend, and truly wished the best for everyone, without any jealousy. I will miss him a great deal.” — Michael Cohen, good friend

Eric Kushner, 70, East Moriches, New, York, was “my brother. He was kind and caring. He had an unusual sense of humor. Loved his family. Didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He is survived by his wife Ellen, his three children and three grandchildren, and his three sisters and their families.” Ina Kushner-Rentzer, sister

Robert Kushner, 97, East Meadow, New York. “My Dad was a beautiful human being. He was kind. Caring. Generous. Smart. Educated. Just an all around gentleman. He and Mom were married for 79 years. He is survived by Mom, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We miss him every day.” Ina Kushner-Rentzer, daughter 

Stanley Kushner (Shimon ben Yaakov Halevi), 87, London, England, was “a gentle, genuine and profoundly beautiful neshama. A husband, father to six of us, Zeida to 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. We miss him every day.” — Jill Baker, daughter

Irina Lagoviyer, 93, New York, New York. “We lived together for 72 years. Loved each other from start to end.” — Vladimir Lagoviyer, husband

Robbie Leinwand, 72, Dallas, Texas, was “a warm, loving husband, father, brother and grandfather. Never said a mean word and kept friends forever. Loved to read and listen to music. Most polite ba’al tfiloh ever.” — Sheba Mandel, wife

Richard King Levinsky, 69, Fort Collins, Colorado, was “a man who taught me to always seek the divine in everything. Taught me to slow down, how to love, and be patient. Showed me how the world works, no matter how big or small scale. He inspired me every day to wake up, striving to make the world a better place. I love you, Papa.” Kiiva Inari Levinsky, granddaughter/best friend 

Evelyne Calvo Levy, 93, Lima, Peru. “After her children’s graduation from college (Bryn Mawr, Cornell, Oberlin) Evelyne went to college in Peru where she excelled and was beloved by her younger classmates. Of Turkish-born Sephardic parents, Evelyne married at 18 in France and died in her birthplace, Lima, a few days before her 93rd birthday.” Fortuna Calvo-Roth, sister

Helen Lipkowitz, 97, Tampa, Florida. “Great balabusta!” Marcia and Laurie, her daughters 

Michael Losover, 63, Baltimore, Maryland. “My brother was kind, giving and very funny. He loved being around people, had so many old friends and especially loved his family. His sons and daughter-in-law were a shining light in his life. I know he’s looking down and so proud of his boys and the new baby coming soon. We miss him so much every day and pray that he’s met up with our dad, Sonny, and they are sharing many memories together.” Diane, sister

Jack Lewin Madison, 20, Columbus, Ohio, was “kind, funny, friendly, full of personality and loved by many. Jack loved spending time being with family and friends (old and new), playing tennis, listening and writing reviews on music, painting artwork, and studying history as well as any topic that sparked interest in him. We are keeping his memory alive with different ways to support Jewish and non-Jewish youth in need.The hole in our heart will never go away, but we try to focus on what we did have with our beloved Jack the years he was with us” — Carrie Madison, mother

Gerald Laurence Matis, 79, Long Island, New York. “My dad was a self-proclaimed perfectionist but I like to think that he saw the perfect in each of us. He knew our best parts and tried to gently urge us to become the best versions of ourselves. Though he was small in stature, he had a big, hope-filled heart.” — Tanya Singer, daughter

Amos and Raphael MacDarragh, 8 weeks, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. “Amos and Raphael were two of our three identical triplets. They were dearly loved in the short time we were blessed with having them.” Cian MacDarragh, mother

Jane McMaster, 63, Sonoma County. “Jane and I have been friends since our sons were little. Her son is one of Eli’s best friends and now roommate. They were an unusually close mother and son. Jane got the shocking news in August that she had lung cancer with a few days to two weeks to live. She died two weeks later. An avid cyclist, hiker, educator, well-loved friend, wife, mother. She will be missed by so many.” Amy Rosenbaum, friend

Phillip Metzger, 70, Baltimore, Maryland. “Phillip and his family made me an extended member of their extended family almost 30 years ago. Although long separated by geography, I’ve remembered his wit, compassion, and passion for the earth all these years. And I have watched in agony over his five-year decline from a rare form of lymphoma as documented by his wife in their family Facebook photos. He fought that battle with the same vigor as he fought for clean water. He was a kind and generous man.” Susan Kaplan, friend

Joyce Deborah Meyer, 65, Champaign, Illinois, was a “social action activist, artist, devoted wife, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunt and friend. Joyce Deborah Meyer was devoted to Tikkun Olam. She worked hard to make the world a better place for all. She is deeply missed.” Faye Louise Lesht, wife

Ronald Meyerowitz, 82, Neptune Township, New Jersey. Anna Eskenazi Bush, niece

Esther Miller, 97, Stuart, Florida was a “wife, mother of two and grandmother of three.” — Jeffrey Miller, son

Perel Morgenstern, 28, Monsey, New York. “Perel was one of the most beautiful souls I ever met in my lifetime. She was funny, caring, compassionate and far smarter than she knew. She loved her family deeply, especially her younger sisters who she cherished immeasurably. Perel was universally liked by anyone she encountered. Blessed with a positive and bright outlook she radiated love to all. All the many people whose lives she touched feel an immense void at her unfathomable departure.” Kenneth Michael McCarthy, beloved friend

Michael Patinkin, 33, Oakland, California, was “my son’s best friend for 33 years and a chosen extra son for me. He was bright as the stars, kind beyond measure and beloved by family and many friends. He always rose to the occasion for everyone. Too young to be gone now. Many hearts broken.” Ellen Jarrett, close friend

Orlando “Coco” Paz, 71, Arlington, Virginia, was a “well-known retired social butterfly better known by his nickname Coco, passed earlier this year. He is greatly missed by family and friends.” — Neil Paz-Cruzat, nephew

Bonnie Barshay Podell, 79, California, was “one of the best friends anyone could want. To know her was to love her.” Barbara Dundee, friend since seventh grade

Alan Reiman, 70, Bronx, New York, “was a mensch. He was friendly and vivacious. He was a proud Jew from Brooklyn. He loved the Yankees, Beatles, live music, the beach and his friends. In his lifetime, he donated over 38 gallons of blood. He was an amazing human who would give you the shirt off of his back. Our world will never be the same.” Robin Reiman, daughter

Robert Rizk, 78, Ventura, California. “My husband was the nicest, sweetest man G-d made. He taught me how to live life to the fullest. I miss him so much.” Sandy Rizk, wife

Debi Romano, 62, New York City, was “a fierce advocate for neighborhood cats. She was a major rescuer and well known in the New York rescue community. She thought nothing of donning a hazmat suit to crawl under housing projects to rescue a cat or kitten. She is greatly missed.” Linda Creash, friend and admirer

Martin Root (Moshe ben Zev v’ Chana), 93 years, 5 months and a day, Delray Beach, Florida. ”My father was a good man with a kind heart. He spent the latter part of his life making up for past mistakes and managed to live a good life with good companions who were able to show him the world. Looking at old photos shows us the good life that he lived. He always told me that he loves me!” Meryl Root, daughter

Audrey Stein Rosen, 64, Boca Raton, Florida was “a tortured soul with a heart of gold. She will be missed.” — Linda Kales, first cousin

Zelda Rosenthal, 84, Baltimore, Maryland, was “a most persevering and highly energetic woman who enjoyed every opportunity to learn and travel and explore the deeper reaches of spirituality. She was an amazing cook, whose signature dishes of poached salmon and gravlax, along with her special talent at the sewing machine, made her an elegant style-setter fashionista and a welcomed guest at any party. Lynn Leighz, dearest friend

Jonathan David Roth, 71, Forest Hills, New York. “Jonny made friends easily, from his college days in England to when he learned and became an active member at his yeshiva. He was kind-hearted, always helping people in the community, from making sure there was a minyan or driving someone to visit in a hospital. Jonny also enjoyed making children laugh with his ways.” Amy Reena Roth, little sister

Joan Royal (née Falbaum), 85, San Juan Capistrano, California, was “born in NYC in 1936. At an early age, Joan moved with her family to Los Angeles. In 1956, Joan married her brother’s close friend, Herbert Royal. They went on to have three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Beautiful, classy, warm, generous and funny, Joan was beloved by all who crossed her path.” Lauren Royal-Gordon, daughter

Stanley Shapiro, 95, Utica, New York. “My father, a lifelong Yankee fan and bridge player, loved his family and his temple and was a good man and a good father.” James Shapiro, son

Andrew Schenkel, 68, New York. “I just miss him every day. He was very special to me.” Maxine Schwartz, sister-in-law

Steve Schwalb, 71, Delaware, was “a dedicated volunteer, bicycling enthusiast, baseball fan  and Jack Daniel’s collector. Always willing to help out and never gave less than his all. Beloved and devoted husband, parent, grandparent (Pops), brother, uncle, and friend.” — Lindsey Neary, daughter

Gerald Schwartz, 81, Hartford, Connecticut, was “the most loved husband, father, son, and grandfather.” — Carolyn Schwartz, wife

Varda Shepherd, 67, New South Wales, Australia. “Mother, daughter, sister, friend. Artist, musician, composer. A brilliant mind, intense spirit, healer of self and others. I was honored by her everlasting friendship. Beloved friend, gone too soon.” Helaine Costello, friend

Larry Siegel, 75. “We were very close friends for over 60 years. If I called him at 3 in the morning and told him we needed to be in Cleveland, he would only respond ‘Give me the flight number.’” — Michael Cohen, very close friend.

Shelby David Silverman, 77, Tucson, Arizona. “Our kind and gentle Husband, Father and Sava left us in June. We were blessed and will miss him forever.” — Linda Silverman, wife

Stanley Smith, 91, South Carolina, was a “loved and beloved person. He was always a very hard working, blue collar man. He worked into his mid 70s until he could not work anymore. He will definitely be missed. Always love you, Dad, always and forever.” — Kenneth Smith, son

Albert Stein, 90, Los Angeles, Califofrnia, was “always kind. He was brilliant, quiet, modest, funny. We will always miss him for being our perfect father, grandfather,father in law.” Laura Olson, daughter

Binnie Dale Stein, 82, Long Island, New York. “A gentle and loving soul who reached out to everybody. She donated to many Jewish organizations both in money and her time. Loved by the Woodmere community and her affiliation with Congregation Sons of Israel.” Ruth (Stein) Sack, sister

Samantha (Sam) Stern, 32, Durham, North Carolina was “best known for her many passions, advocacy, generous spirit, and love of children. Her too short life was a gift to us all.” — Gail Stern, mother

Howard Stiller, 73, Albany, Georgia, was “my big brother, protector, family comedian, a righteous man and my last immediate family member. Losing him left me broken. May his memory live on forever.” Ellen Jarrett, sister

Carol Zelizer Stoff, 72, Columbus, Ohio. “Carol loved and cared so much and so well. She was there for everyone, but she was humble. We learned so much about her from friends and colleagues after she died. Her mantra — work hard, be kind, use good judgment, have fun! She did! She was a wonderful sister to us as well as a wonderful wife, mother, bubble, aunt, and cousin.” Sandy Ferko, sister

Kenny Storch, 79, New York, New York was “my beloved cousin. An artist, a deep thinker, an iconoclast.  He was a fixture on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he could be seen riding his bicycle around Central Park with his long flowing hair and style. My world has less color without him in it.” —Janice Fried, cousin

Joshua Taylor, 23, Holliston, Massachusetts, was “the light of our lives and was so special to so many others. He connected with people of all ages with his smile and genuine kindness to make others feel better and special. He is missed dearly by family and friends near and far.” Michelle Weiner Taylor, mother

Evelyn Toch (nee Zuckermann), 92, Chicago, Illinois. “A refugee from Vienna. Fled in 1938 with parents to Switzerland, where she spent the war. Came to Chicago in 1948 and was devoted to Jewish causes, particularly Israel, where she spent over 20 years teaching at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and working with children of alcoholics in Ashdod. Mother of three; safta to three, safta rabah to two.” Uri Toch, son

Michael Walters, 81, Bronx, New York, was “a brilliant writer, a scholar and professor. He was a religious man with friends in the Hasidic community, and was proud of being in Israel for the Six-Day War. He taught Martin Buber to me and I miss my dearest cousin and friend.” Sheila Weissman-Danish, first cousin

Scott Wasserman, 70, Baltimore, Maryland, had “a wonderful sense of humor. He loved to perform magic for the enjoyment of entertaining others. He had an incredible love for his family since they were most important to him.” Bonnie Goldberg, daughter

Elane Kanengiser Weiss, 97, Hamden, Connecticut, was a “mother of three, grandmother of six, great-grandmother of 6 (with one more due momentarily). Wife of the late Alexander, would have been married 77 years this month. Friendly, talented, interested in lots of things and people. Much missed.” — Sandy Haber, oldest daughter

Irving Weiss, 97, Fort Myers, Florida. “My father is a great man. A loving father, A loving husband. An all around good man! He loved to sing the prayers.” Billy Weiss, son

Jadyn Weiss, 21, Denver, Colorado, was “a beautiful person. She was quiet but so kind hearted, a nurse, loved helping others. She passed too early at 21, falling to her death while hiking. She will always hold a place in my heart, her soul lives on through her compassion. Love you, Jadyn.” Kiiva Inari Levinsky, friend

Miriam Wellikson, 95, Mission Viejo, California, was “clever with a great sense of humor. A devoted daughter, loyal wife (of 75 years), supportive, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, she enjoyed travel, reading, Mah Jongg, bridge, the symphony and golf and was active in Jewish community. She worked as a pharmacist, science teacher and truant officer.  Wendy Lupul, daughter 

Linda Weiner, 82, New Jersey. — Susan, sister

Edward Daniel Wirkman, 90, Maryland. “As a big music lover, Ed enjoyed attending live musical performances, adored musical theater and Broadway shows,  and loved to dance. He always had music playing in his home. He also loved living by the ocean, traveling, and playing poker. Most of all he loved spending time with family and friends. Ed lived his very full life ‘One Day at a Time’ and was always available, at the right time, to help those who needed him. He was a chivalrous gentleman — caring, loving, and a true mensch.” — Lori R. Stone, daughter

The post Life Stories, in brief: Our readers remember the loved ones they lost in 5783 appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Here’s every Jewish athlete competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics

And who has the best chance of medalling in Paris.

The post Here’s every Jewish athlete competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Kamala Harris’s Record on Israel Raises Questions About Support for Jewish State if Elected US President

US Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo: Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS

Following US President Joe Biden’s stunning exit from the 2024 presidential race, allies of Israel are looking for clues as to how Vice President Kamala Harris, the new presumptive Democratic nominee, could approach issues affecting the Jewish state if she were to win the White House in November.

Harris’s previous statements reveal a mixed record on Israel, offering signs of both optimism and pessimism to pro-Israel advocates.

Though Harris has voiced support for the Jewish state’s right to existence and self defense, she has also expressed sympathy for far-left narratives that brand Israel as “genocidal.” The vice president has additionally often criticized Israel’s war effort against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

In 2017, while giving a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), then-Senator Harris delivered a 19-minute speech in which she showered praise on Israel, stating that she supports “the United States’ commitment to provide Israel with $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade.” Harris stated that America has “shared values” with Israel and that the bond between the two nations is “unbreakable.”

In 2020, while giving another speech to AIPAC, Harris emphasized that US support for Israel must remain “rock solid” and noted that Hamas “maintains its control of Gaza and fires rockets.”

Despite such statements of support, however, Harris has previously exhibited a degree of patience for those who make baseless smears against Israel. 

In October 2021, when confronted by a George Mason University student who angrily accused Israel of committing “ethnic genocide” against Palestinians, Harris quietly nodded along and then praised the student. 

“And again, this is about the fact that your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth cannot be suppressed, and it must be heard,” Harris told the student. 

Following Hamas’ slaughter of 1,200 people and kidnapping of 250 others across southern Israel on Oct. 7, Harris has shown inconsistent support for the Jewish state. Although she initially backed Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas’ terrorism, she has also levied sharp criticism against the Jewish state’s ensuing war effort in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

During a call with then-Israeli war cabinet leader Benny Gantz earlier this year, Harris suggested that the Jewish state has recklessly imperiled the lives of Palestinian civilians while targeting Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

“Far too many Palestinian civilians, innocent civilians have been killed,” Harris said. 

The same month, while delivering a speech commemorating the 59th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama, Harris called the conditions in Gaza “devastating.”

“And given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks,” Harris said.

While speaking with Israeli President Isaac Herzog to mark the Jewish holiday of Passover in April, Harris shared “deep concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and discussed steps to increase the flow of life-saving humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians and ensure its safe distribution.”

Harris also pushed the unsubstantiated narrative that Israel has intentionally withheld aid from the people of Gaza, triggering a famine. 

“People in Gaza are starving. The conditions are inhumane. And our common humanity compels us to act,” Harris said. “The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid.”

The United Nations Famine Review Committee (FRC), a panel of experts in international food security and nutrition, released a report in June arguing that there is not enough “supporting evidence” to suggest that a famine has occurred in Gaza.

Harris has also expressed sympathy for anti-Israel protesters on US university campuses. In an interview published earlier this month, Harris said that college students protesting Israel’s defensive military efforts against Hamas are “showing exactly what the human emotion should be.”

“There are things some of the protesters are saying that I absolutely reject, so I don’t mean to wholesale endorse their points,” she added. “But we have to navigate it. I understand the emotion behind it.”

Some indicators suggest that Harris could adopt a more antagonistic approach to the Jewish state than Biden. For example, Harris urged the White House to be more “sympathetic” toward Palestinians and take a “tougher” stance against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a Politico report in December. In March, White House aides forced Harris to tone down a speech that was too tough on Israel, according to NBC News.

Later, she did not rule out “consequences” for Israel if it launched a large-scale military offensive to root out Hamas battalions in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, citing humanitarian concerns for the civilian population.

Harris initially called for an “immediate ceasefire” before Biden and has often used more pointed language when discussing the war, Israel, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. However, her advisers have sought to downplay the notion that she may be tougher on the Jewish state.

“The difference is not in substance but probably in tone,” one of Harris’s advisers told The Nation.

Meanwhile, Halie Soifer, who served as national security adviser to Harris during the then-senator’s first two years in Congress, said the current vice president’s support for Israel has been just as strong as Biden’s. “There really has been no daylight to be found” between the two, she told Reuters.

Still, Biden, 81, has a decades-long history of maintaining relationships with Israeli leaders and recently called himself a “Zionist.” Harris, 59, does not have such a connection to the Jewish state and maintains closer ties to Democratic progressives, many of whom have increasingly called for the US to turn away — or at least adopt a tougher approach toward — Israel

Former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman suggested that Harris would be a far less reliable ally than Biden, pointing to her ideological alignment with the most progressive lawmakers in Congress. 

“Biden made many mistakes regarding Israel, but he is miles ahead of Harris in terms of support for Israel,” Friedman told The Jerusalem Post. “She is on the fringe of the progressive wing of the party, which sympathizes more with the Palestinian cause.”

“This will move Jewish voters to the Republican side,” the former ambassador argued. “Harris lacks any affinity for Israel, and the Democratic Convention will highlight this contrast. This could lead to a historic shift of Jewish voters to the Republican side.”

Meanwhile, J Street, a progressive Zionist organization, eagerly endorsed Harris the day after Biden dropped out of the presidential race, citing her “nuanced, balanced approach” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflictt.

“Kamala Harris has been a powerful advocate for J Street’s values in the White House, from the fight against antisemitism to the need for a nuanced, balanced approach on Israel-Palestine,” J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement. “She’s been a steadfast supporter of hostage families and Israel’s security, while also being a leading voice for the protection of Palestinian civilians and the need to secure an urgent ceasefire.”

The post Kamala Harris’s Record on Israel Raises Questions About Support for Jewish State if Elected US President first appeared on

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US House Speaker Mike Johnson Blasts Kamala Harris for Skipping Netanyahu Address

US House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks to members of the media at the Capitol building, April 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Ken Cedeno

US House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) on Tuesday slammed Vice President Kamala Harris over her decision not to attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to a joint session of the US Congress.

“It has never been more important than it is right now for us to stand with our closest ally in the Middle East,” Johnson told reporters at the US Capitol, arguing it is “inexcusable” and “outrageous” that Harris is “boycotting” Netanyahu’s speech.

“This is a historic moment,” Johnson continued. “It is an important moment for the country, for all the reasons we’ve said. The gravity of this situation cannot be overstated, and yet Kamala Harris will abandon her seat. As you all know, as the vice president and serving as the president of the Senate, she is supposed to be seated next to me in the rostrum. She will not be there, because she refuses to attend.”

Johnson stated Harris needs to be “held accountable” for skipping Netanyahu’s address and that “she needs to be asked very searing questions” about her absence. 

The top-ranking House Republican lamented that several high-profile Democrats have declined the opportunity to preside over Netanyahu’s upcoming address, accusing the party of making “political calculations when our ally [Israel] is in such dire straits, fighting for its very survival and fighting back against the horrific attack in October.”

The White House announced that Harris would not attend Netanyahu’s speech, citing a prior commitment. Instead of presiding over the address, the vice president will attend a convention honoring the Zeta Phi Beta sorority in Indianapolis.

However, Harris will reportedly meet with Netanyahu at the White House this week. The vice president is expected to have a “frank” conversation with Netanyahu in which she will demand that Israel finish its ongoing war against the Islamist terrorist group Hamas in Gaza and improve conditions for Palestinians, according to Politico

The Jewish state has insisted that it will not stop its military operations until Hamas, which launched the war in Gaza with its Oct. 7 invasion of and massacre across southern Israel,  has been dismantled and the hostages kidnapped by the terrorist group during its onslaught are freed. Israeli officials have insisted that they have allowed a significant amount of humanitarian aid into Gaza during its military campaign. Last month, a UN panel of experts cast doubt on the notion that Hamas-ruled Gaza is suffering through a famine, despite many critics of Israel arguing the opposite.

US Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will preside over Netanyahu’s address in place of Harris. Notably, Cardin is retiring from the Senate, suggesting that the senator faces little political consequence from attending Netanyahu’s address at a time when progressives within the Democratic Party have become increasingly outspoken against the Jewish state.

US President Joe Biden will meet with Netanyahu on Thursday separate from the Israeli premier’s meeting with Harris. The two leaders were initially scheduled to meet on Tuesday, but Biden was still recovering from COVID-19. In a statement, Netanyahu said that he plans on thanking Biden for his assistance to Israel during his term in office. 

Netanyahu will reportedly also meet with former US President Donald Trump on Friday. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, is the current favorite to win the White House in November. 

“Looking forward to welcoming Bibi Netanyahu at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “During my first term, we had Peace and Stability in the Region, even signing the historic Abraham Accords — And we will have it again.”

Republicans featured the issues of the Israel-Hamas war and surging antisemitism on college campuses during last week’s Republican National Convention. During his speech, Trump promised that he would resolve the war in Gaza upon his return to the Oval Office. The Republican nominee and former president chided Biden during their most recent debate for supposedly being too sympathetic to Palestinians. 

During Trump’s single term in office, he and Netanyahu enjoyed a productive working relationship. Trump moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; cut aid to UNRWA, the controversial United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees; and helped facilitate the signing of the Abraham Accords, which normalized Israel’s relations with several Arab countries. He also recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a strategic region on Israel’s northern border previously controlled by Syria.

However, Trump and Netanyahu’s relationship soured after the Israeli prime minister congratulated Biden and Harris for winning the US 2020 presidential race, refusing to indulge the former president’s unsubstantiated assertions that the election was “stolen” from him. Trump also criticized Netanyahu and Israel’s intelligence agencies for not preventing the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on the Jewish state.

This week’s meeting could allow Netanyahu a chance to give his relationship with Trump a fresh reboot.

The post US House Speaker Mike Johnson Blasts Kamala Harris for Skipping Netanyahu Address first appeared on

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