June 19, 1920 - January 16, 2014
The Sages say when one righteous person leaves a congregation, it takes two to replace him/her.
This month we lost one of our esteemed Elders, Phil Edelman. In this case, Phil is irreplaceable. At Sabbath services he usually sat in the third row, center aisle seat. Now, whenever I look at that spot, I will think of Phil.
At Friday night services he would come to the Bima and, with a cup of wine in
his hand, lead the Kiddush blessing. At the Saturday morning service, when I would ask for volunteers to do an Aliyah, Phil was the first to raise his hand. He would say, "I'm there for you if you need me, Fred." I was honored to have Phil come up for an Aliyah at my grandson's Bar Mitzvah.
Years ago, the Edelman family donated a new American flag to Congregation B'nai Israel. Phil's grandson, wearing his Boy Scout uniform, marched down the aisle of the Sanctuary and placed the flag on the Bima. It is there today, opposite the Israeli flag. Another reminder of the impact the Edelman family has had on Congregation B'nai Israel.
After Services, at the Oneg, Phil loved to talk about his family. We got weekly updates on the children and grandchildren. He was so proud of their accomplishments.
Phil used to say he had three families; his family, his Military family and his B'nai Israel family. We miss him.