Sadie Scheiner, 102, matriarch of a family of pioneer Orthodox Jewish community leaders and ardent Zionists in her native St. Louis and later in Los Angeles, died peacefully on Oct. 22. She was the last surviving child of the Talmudist HaRav Levi Friedberg (nee Melamud), an early arbiter ("posik") of Jewish law in the Midwest at a time when Torah scholarship was limited primarily to the Northeast and Chicago. In Los Angeles, her children and grandchildren were among the founders and leaders of Young Israel of Northridge, Young Israel of Beverly Hills and B'nei Akiva. She and her husband, Sam Scheiner, were primarily responsible for the growth of a then-small Orthodox congregation in the fledgling Pico-Robertson area -- Anshe Emet (where her husband served as president for 15 years). Under their dynamic leadership, membership swelled in the 1950s and '60s and scores of Jews were attracted to the neighborhood.
Born on May 15, 1899 in St. Louis, Mo., Scheiner was one of seven children. Her parents' home, first in Omaha and later in East St. Louis, Ill., became a gathering place for rabbis and Torah scholars throughout the Midwest who sought her father out to make important Jewish legal ("Halachic") decisions. Friedberg never led a congregation and never formally taught. He owned a grocery store but left the day-to-day operation to Mrs. Scheiner's mother, Fannie Friedberg, so he could fully immerse himself in Torah study.
In later years Scheiner lived in the Fairfax area.
She is survived by her daughter Patricia Ann Macales of Northridge; son, Julian, of Los Angeles; grandchildren Jack Macales of Rehovot, Israel, Richard Macales of Ginot Shomron, Israel, Jeffery Macales of Granada Hills; Ze'ev, Danny and Yosef Scheiner of New York; and Ruth Scheiner of Los Angeles; and 17 great-grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha Mortuary. Mt. Carmel Cemetery.