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A Garden at Tabas: Flower-Filled Thanks

May 24, 2007 By:
Ryan Teitman, JE Feature
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(From left) Robert Tabas, Evelyn Rome Tabas, Michele Naftulin, Rabbi Sandi Berliner, Lee Tabas and Eric Naftulin dedicate a newly planted garden at the Evelyn and Daniel Tabas House in Northeast Philadelphia in honor of longtime supporter Evelyn Rome Tabas.
The array of brightly colored flowers seemed to glow, despite the overcast skies on a recent weekday, as the residents at the Evelyn and Daniel Tabas House unveiled an appropriate Mother's Day gift for Evelyn Rome Tabas: a new garden dedicated to her on the grounds of the property.

Daniel and Evelyn Rome Tabas donated funds in 2002 to Federation Housing Inc. to build the complex in Northeast Philadelphia that bears their names. Evelyn Tabas has continued her generosity toward the residents since her husband passed away, said Eric Naftulin, executive vice president of Federation Housing, by providing funding for art projects and for trips.

She has also remained a presence in the residential community, attending the building's anniversary dinner each year, along with the Passover seder.

"We were trying to think of a way to give something back to her," said Michelle Naftulin, property manager at Tabas House, and also Eric's wife. "So this was just a Mother's Day gift to her from all the residents."

About 20 or so Tabas residents formed a flower committee, and prepared the variety of flora that would grace the new garden.

New residents Lillian Friedman and her husband, Martin, became involved with the project because of their love of gardening. Lillian noted that some residents don't get to spend a lot of time outdoors, and the garden will give them a new place to relax.

After it was unveiled, Tabas tearfully explained her ongoing efforts to follow her husband's example in caring for all people.

Seniors "should have dignity and security," affirmed the 82-year-old. "They have so much to contribute to life."

She also announced a strong desire that her family's involvement will not cease with her: "Hopefully, our grandchildren will continue this pattern of appreciation and concern."


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