In Memoriam 2015

Abe Weinrib
(December 11, 1912 – January 4, 2015)
After five years in the Camps, he was ordered to drag corpses to a pit.  He fell in, emaciated and weak with typhus. The soldiers mistook him for dead, and when he staggered back to the Bergen-Belsen barracks, the camp was being liberated.  He rarely turned down a request to speak to students about the Shoah, telling them, “You have to be nice to one another. You have to be a mensch.”
Muriel Gundersheimer 
(December 11, 1922 – January 13, 2015)
Her father grew up with Jack Benny. She came from Waukegan, Illinois, where she took up the harp.  She never stopped making music.  The Columbus Dispatch named her Woman of the Year.  She and husband Allen set up endowments for the Foundation, Jewish Family Services, and Temple Israel.
Alberto Nisman
(December 5, 1963 – January 18, 2015)
Special prosecutor Nisman was found dead on the very morning he was scheduled to reveal the details behind the 1994 Buenos Aires JCC bombing that killed 85 and injured hundreds.   If you believe that Nisman really committed suicide, maybe the Chanukah fairy will bring you some saychel.
Martin H. Kopp
(May 22, 1916 - January 28, 2015)
A Merchant Marine, he graduated from the City of New York’s Baruch College School of Business while living at the 92nd Street Y.  A CPA and well-traveled business leader, he got his humor from his grandmother, who told him, “A drinking woman I am not.  One or two at the most.  One, I’m under the table.  Two, I’m under the host.”  A great number cruncher, he established numerous charitable gift annuities, planning to beat the actuarial life expectancies.  He did.
Dr. Gloria Freimer
(October 18, 1927 – February 6, 2015)
Foundation fund holder, musician (Julliard School of Music), Ph.D. in education, Planned Parenthood volunteer, University of Toledo faculty, elementary school tutor, English as a Second Language instructor at the JCC.
Bob Simon
(May 29, 1941 – February 11, 2015)
American television correspondent for more than 60 Minutes, covering crisis, war, and unrest in 67 countries, including the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, the Yom Kippur War, and the student protests in China’s Tiananmen Square. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, he and four of his TV crew were captured and imprisoned by Iraq for 40 days.
Robert Goldenberg
(June 22, 1934 – February 12, 2015)
Physical therapist, Children’s Hospital administrator and development officer, financial planner, board member at the League Against Child Abuse, Ballet Met, Wellness Community, the Bar Association’s Fee Arbitration Committee — and a Foundation fund holder.
Leonard Nimoy
(March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015)
“Live long and prosper,” said this half-Vulcan alien with an iconic hand signal lifted from his Orthodox upbringing.  He was a highly popular television character, sustained a successful Broadway theater career, and directed two “Star Trek” films.
Naomi Schottenstein
(November 18, 1928 – March 24, 2015)
She and husband Bernie were among the Foundation’s earliest Founders Fund donors.  She was active with Hadassah, Agudas Achim, and a terrific interviewer for the Columbus Jewish Historical Society. Also a Columbus Art Museum docent, Heritage House Auxiliary and Columbus Symphony volunteer, who found the time to become a Bat Mitzvah while in her 80′s.
Helen Nutis
(April 27, 1916 – April 8, 2015)
An accomplished business woman (Art Lithograph Printing Company), she retired at 61 and became a volunteer par excellence. The JCC named its Volunteer of the Year Award in her honor.  In her estate plan she named organizations favoring the arts, Jewish education, the Federation, and the Foundation.
Joseph Borish
Upon his passing on May 17, this Philadelphia businessman’s family named the Foundation’s Bikur Cholim Fund as the beneficiary of memorial gifts.  Daughter Lindsay Schottenstein is deeply involved in Bikur Cholim. One of the supreme acts of kindness in the Jewish tradition, Bikur Cholim offers comfort and support for those who are ill, home bound, or isolated.
Miriam Rose Linsey
(June 1, 1936 – May 18, 2015)
Martin Linsey
(September 5, 1935 – July 9, 2015)
Miriam and Marty served on the Foundation’s Jewish Needs and Social Justice Committees, where they conceptualized and implemented the Foundation’s celebrated SCRIP program that provides local Jews with vouchers for emergency financial needs.  An inseparable couple, the Linseys never publicly disclosed that they were the source of hundreds of charitable gifts made through the ROLIN Fund (an abbreviation of their surnames).
Gregory Axelrud
(March 4, 1943 – May 22, 2015)
Survived by wife Mira, brother-in- law violinist Arkadiy and his wife Marina Gips, many relatives and friends. The New American Jewish-Russian community in particular lost one of its favorite sons.  Mourners were asked to honor the memory of Axelrud, a former property manager and travel agent, with donations to the Foundation.
Jack Carter
(June 24, 1922 – June 28, 2015)
Comedian Jack Carter, born Jack Chakrin, began his professional career after serving in the Army in World War II, appearing on Broadway in “Call Me Mister.”  He later appeared on Milton Berle’s “Texaco Star Theatre” shows. He was also an actor, emcee, singer, mimic, dancer, and director in a career that spanned over seven decades.
Sir Nicholas Winton
(May 19, 1909 -July 1, 2015)
Britain’s Schindler, this baptized son of Jewish parents almost single-handedly saved more than 650 Jewish children from the Holocaust.  Britain’s Royal Mail will issue a commemorative postage stamp featuring Sir Nicholas in March.
Saul Sokol
(March 27, 1920 – July 6, 2015)
Insurance professional and raconteur whose scholarship fund helps outstanding BBYO members.  A syndicated columnist, his weekly insurance column, Your Insurance Advisor, appeared in The Columbus Dispatch for 30 years.  Sadly, his jokes were unprintable.
Theodore Bikel
(May 2, 1924 – July 21, 2015)
Played Tevye in the stage production of “Fiddler on the Roof” more often than any other actor. He was also the first to play Capt. Georg von Trapp in the original Broadway cast of “The Sound of Music,” and a prolific folk singer.   Bikel championed various causes during his life – including the Soviet Jewry movement and progressive Zionism.
Gertrude Odenheimer
(June 15, 1922 – July 29, 2015)
An OSU graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Mrs. Odenheimer, a legal secretary, was  preceded in death by German-born husband Kurt, whose Bar Mitzvah was the last one held in his family’s Shul before the Nazis ransacked it on Kristallnacht.  Their bequests support the Foundation’s operations and community-wide grants program.
Leonore Zusman
(March 8, 1927 - August 20, 2015)
After the Foundation funded a successful Wexner Heritage Village pilot program to provide hospice services under Jewish auspices, Leonore and her husband Larry took it to the next level.  They built the Zusman Hospice, a crown jewel in the local Jewish community’s host of agencies.  It is but one of numerous major programs throughout the world that the Zusmans underwrote.
Oliver Sacks
(July 9, 1933 – August 30, 2015)
The British-born Sacks, a neurologist and author of the best-seller, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.”  The New York Times called him the “poet laureate of contemporary medicine,” and his 1973 book “Awakenings” was turned into a 1990 film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.
Gordon Schiffman
(November 22, 1929 - October 29, 2015)
His company, White’s Furniture, influenced retailers around the country. He was President of the National Home Furnishings Association and was heavily involved in the Columbus charitable community.  He established a Founders Fund to support the Foundation’s community-wide grants program.
Roselee Weyl
(April 27, 1930 – November 3, 2015)
Roselee Weyl wrote in the Foundation’s Endowment Book of Life that she was influenced to leave a community legacy by many others who have endowed their favorite Jewish causes.  An accomplished artist specializing in water color media, and a member of the Central Ohio Water Color Society and the Philadelphia Water Color Society, she noted her desire to perpetuate Jewish heritage and culture through the Foundation’s Rosalee & Herbert Weyl Endowment.
Murray Ebner
(September 20, 1928 – November 8, 2015)
Murray Ebner planned to erect a Holocaust Memorial on property he owned across from the JCC. But when Jewish Family Services told him in 2003 of their urgent need for new quarters, he helped the agency in its time of need, building the agency a $2 million home with a state of the art Holocaust exhibit.
Irving Baker
(January 27, 1938 – November 15, 2015)
“If not enough funds exist to build both synagogues and schools,” said Irving Baker, the son of a Rabbi, “we must build the schools. Without education, there will be no need for synagogues.” Irving founded and subsidized the Columbus Torah Academy high school during its first five formative years, claiming this to have been his most significant charitable accomplishment.  But there were countless others.  He was a Columbus Jewish Foundation trustee, fund holder, member of the Jewish Education and Literacy and Overseas Needs Committees, and the chair of our VISION 2000 unified community development committee.
Rose Broidy
(November 11, 1913 – November 16, 2015)
The Foundation’s most senior fund holder, centenarian Rose Broidy, overcame financial and social obstacles (including anti-Semitism) to become one of the two first females (and first Jewish woman) to graduate from The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy.
Lillian Strouss
(April 7, 1926 – November 29, 2015)
Lil devoted herself to Gallery Players and the JCC. A terrific director and stage performer, she had major roles in eight Gallery Players productions and directed 22 shows. Her Foundation endowments will benefit Gallery Players, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Arthur B. James Cancer Hospital.
Sam Schwartz
(May 28, 1924 – November 30, 2015)
Sam was already born when the Bureau of Internal Revenue began using the name “Internal Revenue Service.” He grew up to become one of Columbus’ favorite CPA’s. Rare was the Foundation Legal and Tax Advisory Committee meeting that Sam did not attend.
Marcia Friedman
(May 24, 1942 – December 1, 2015)
Fund holder Marcia Friedman was Regional President and on the National Board of Directors of a women’s organization that is now part of American ORT. She was a vocal proponent of breast cancer awareness, the disease that took her life.
Ralph Rothschild
(September 17, 1929 - December 13, 2015)
A Holocaust survivor, Ralph worked at IBM for three decades until retiring, and then worked another 17 years at the JCC, running its scholarship program.   He distributed over two million dollars with kindness, discretion, and a Jewish heart.
Ezra Schwartz, 18
A recent high school graduate from Sharon, Massachusetts, Ezra was among three people murdered in a terrorist attack in Israel.  He graduated from a Jewish day school in Brookline, Mass., and was spending a gap year studying in Israel.  He was on his way back from delivering food to Israeli soldiers when he was killed.

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