Jewish Journal


May 30, 2012

Florence Zeldin, Rebbetzin of Stephen S. Wise Temple dies at 92


Florence Zeldin, teacher, writer and wife of Stephen S. Wise Temple’s founding rabbi, Isaiah Zeldin, died May 20 at 92.

Zelden, born to immigrant parents on Aug. 13, 1919, in Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from New York University. She met her husband at Camp Achvah, where she was the head counselor and he was the athletic director. They married in 1943 and moved to California 10 years later.

She taught at the College of Jewish Studies and wrote several books for children, including the frequently reprinted “Shabbat Shalom Book” for preschoolers, “What’s the Big Idea,” “The Importance of One” and a series of booklets, also for preschoolers, including “A Mouse in Our Jewish House.” She was also the author of numerous textbooks, prayerbooks and a haggadah.
Along with her husband, Florence Zeldin was instrumental in visioning and creating Stephen S. Wise Temple and its schools since their founding.

She was honored by the Ida Mayer Cummings Auxiliary of the Jewish Homes for the Aging in 1995. Zeldin was an avid reader, skilled at drawing, and also known for her quiet wit. She had many community involvements, yet her family was her proudest accomplishment.

Zeldin is survived by her husband, Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin; sons Joel (Karen) and Michael (Terry Gock); grandchildren Sivan (Igor Zakai), Sasha (Dustin Clark), Oren (Noga Firstenberg) Kroll-Zeldin, Gabriel, Noam Kroll-Zeldin; and great-grandchildren Eytan and Ilan Zakai.

Services were held May 29 at Stephen S. Wise Temple. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Metuka Benjamin Scholarship Fund at Stephen S. Wise Temple.

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