Philanthropist memorialized in sanctuary named for her family
By Donald H. Harrison
POWAY, California –Jeanne Feldman, 96, was memorialized Thursday, June 14 in the Ner Tamid Synagogue sanctuary that bears her name and that of her husband, Morey.
Noting that the couple lived unassumingly while giving generously to philanthropies, Rabbi Nadav Caine said the Feldmans personified a Talmudic teaching that what people truly own is not their possessions which at best are only temporary, but rather the gifts with which they endow their community.
Born March 16, 1916, Jeanne Fogel Feldman met her husband of 57 years at a social gathering. According to her niece, Nancy Wolman, Morey approached Jeanne saying that there was a friend of his who wanted to dance with her. Jeanne, always one to know her mind, responded that she didn’t want to dance with the other fellow, she wanted to dance with Morey.
Although that typified the fact that Jeanne could be assertive, it was a departure from her generally shy personality. According to daughter Dena Feldman-Scarr, Jeanne tended to say little when meeting people for the first time, depending instead “on my dad’s gregarious and engaging personality to make friends.” Yet, once she became comfortable with someone, Jeanne had a powerhouse personality.
Dena recalled her mother as a woman who constantly clipped newspaper articles that she felt members of her family–particularly Dina’s husband Marshall and herself — might find useful. She loved to have the family gather for Jewish holidays, American holidays and family anniversaries and birthday, and never failed to urge her guests to “enjoy!” when serving meals.
One of Dena’s favorite memories was watching her younger brother Jeff, as a pre-schooler, sitting next to Jean and reading to her the children’s book, Go Dog Go. As her mother proudly listened to Jeff, she was urging him then–as she continued to urge her family throughout her life–to use their God-given potential.
Another niece, Elaine Fogel Schneider, author of Massaging Your Baby: The Joy of Touch Time, recalled that Jeanne insisted that she use both her maiden and married names when publishing the book. It was wonderful advice, because there are numerous Elaine Schneiders to be found on the Internet, but not so many Elaine Fogel Schneiders.
Jeanne’s grandson, Shane Feldman-Scarr, who spoke as his sister, Anna, stood beside him, recalled that when he would make a mistake, Jeanne would query him, “What were you thinking!” But no matter what he did, he knew that she would always be there for him.
Morey Feldman also spoke briefly about his wife, telling friends from throughout the San Diego Jewish community, that when he and Jeanne moved to San Diego 37 years ago, it was another blessing in a life time of blessings, including those of “being a family, being of service to my country and being together.”
“God bless you all,” he added.
Jeanne had suffered a fall that hospitalized her, and she did not recover from complications that set in. Although her family thought she would rally, Jeanne knew better and with clear mind to the end, made it a point to settle her affairs. She died Tuesday, June 12.
After the traditional chanting of the memorial prayer El Moleh Rachamim, Rabbi Caine had the family gather on the bima around the gurney on which Jeanne’s casket had been placed. They recited kaddish together, then escorted the casket to a hearse while the congregation remained behind, softly singing “Oseh Shalom.”
The Conservative rabbi asked the congregants not to follow the family out of the sanctuary but to allow them some private time before they would return to a small reception on the patio , which he said was Jeanne’s favorite place in the synagogue. Following the synagogue service, Jeanne Feldman was buried at the Miramar National Cemetery, her husband having been a U.S. serviceman.
Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World. He may be contacted at email@example.com
Short URL: http://www.sdjewishworld.com/?p=28981