The High Holidays are traditionally a time of reflection and a time to recall loved ones that have passed away.
A memorial service will take place Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 3:30 p.m., at the Jewish Community Services Building, 2100 Arch St. in Philadelphia, to honor more than 40 individuals who died during 5766 and remembered the community in their estate plan with an endowment gift.
The annual service, to be followed by a reception, is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Rabbi David Gutterman, director of the Vaad: Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia, will lead the service, where family and friends will share personal reflections and memories of the honorees.
"We deeply appreciate what these individuals have done for our Jewish community," stated Howard H. Silverman, president of Federation Endowments Corporation. "Those being honored represent varied interests and passions, yet all shared a commitment to Jewish continuity and understood the importance and multiple benefits of perpetuating their gift."
One such leader was Bernard Fishman, who passed away in February, just shy of his 83rd birthday. Survived by wife, Annabelle, son Mark Fishman and daughter Susan Kohen, Mark reflected on his dad's lifelong passion: "The Jewish community and Federation were an integral part of my father's life — he viewed Federation as a vehicle to help the Jewish community here, in Israel and around the world. My dad looked at things from a long-term perspective and felt strongly that by building up an endowment, it would make an impact on future generations."
Another revered leader to be honored is Cis Golder, who passed away on May 25 at age 75. Survived by husband, Robert Golder, daughter Ellyn Golder Saft, and grandchildren Lauren and Jonathan, Golder's daughter recalled her mother's legacy: "My mother was the first chair of LOJE (the 'Lion of Judah Endowment'), and was truly in the forefront of teaching women about endowments at Federation. A constant theme throughout her life — communally and through her family — was that of generation to generation."
Active with Federation and multiple Jewish organizations for more than 45 years, Saft added: "My mother had a lot of grace, charm and diplomacy. She was a fundraiser extraordinaire, and a mentor and role model to many women in the community."
Mitchell E. Panzer, who passed away on Jan. 4 at age 88, was recalled by his wife, Edith, and daughters Marcy C. Panzer and Leslie P. Katz: "He was a Hebrew scholar with a lifelong commitment to the Jewish community and Jewish education. He wanted to ensure the strength and continuity of the community. By endowing a gift to Federation, this goal is furthered, as future generations will benefit from outstanding services and programs."
Ida Shugarman, who passed away in April at 92, was recalled by Marcia Bergman, a friend who met Shugarman in 1978, and later discovered they were distant cousins through marriage. Bergman described Ida as an active, community-minded woman who cared about perpetuating Jewish education: "She spent much of her life volunteering with various organizations, Jewish and non-Jewish." Her numerous efforts included work on behalf of an organization supporting widowed seniors, as well as programs that fostered reading, especially to young children.
To learn more about the memorial service or to include Federation in an estate plan, call Stanley L. Fagan, senior endowment officer, at 215-832-0528.