Dr. Martin Sumner – May 2012

We are here today to mourn the passing of Dr. Martin L. Sumner, beloved father, husband and grandfather, respected doctor and surgeon, and cherished friend.

When we look at a person’s life, and try to evaluate it, what do we use for measurements? We ask questions like these:

Was the person good and moral and kind? (more…)


Diane Kaplan – Devorah bat Hanan Ha-Kohen ve-Ruth – May 2012

We are here today to mourn the passing of Diane Kaplan, beloved wife and mother, respected archivist, a leader of this community, and cherished friend.

Words are what we have to express our emotions. But all words seem inadequate right now. A “eulogy” means a speech of praise. There is no way we can praise Diane sufficiently. There is no way we can express the sorrow we feel that she has passed away way before her time.

So what I want to do, very simply, is tell you a little about Diane’s biography, and then I want to tell you what I think are four of her legacies. (more…)


Judy Goldstein – Yehudit bat Alexander ve-Yugenia – August 2010

We’re here today to mourn the passing but also to honor and celebrate the life of Judy Goldstein, beloved mother, sister, grandmother and cherished friend. There’s a lot to say about Judy, and we’re going to say quite a bit, but I’ve been searching for the word that describes how I think of her. If you come from my generation, there is an ultimate compliment, and this is what I want to say about Judy: She was cool. Cool, for those who are not in my generation, means that the person has something, some special, indefinable quality that makes you like and respect her. So what I want to do with my time during this service is not merely to repeat what you can read in her very beautiful obituary but to try to explain why I think Judy Goldstein, who has passed away at the age of 87, was so cool. (more…)


Martin Ira Glassner – August 28, 2010

We’re here today to mourn the loss but also to honor the life of Dr. Martin Ira Glassner. When I sat with the family at the hospital just a week and a half ago and the doctor told us the horrible news, it was clear that Marty had a terminal illness, but I never even feared that he would be gone this soon.

There is very little to say about the end of his life, except that he faced it with courage and even humor, and that his family rallied around him and was just beautiful in their devotion.

After I saw him Friday afternoon, I knew that he would pass away on Shabbos. The righteous are taken by G-d on Shabbos. (more…)


June Finkel – Yittel bat Avraham ve-Malka

When someone that you really knew for a long time passes away, there are many memories that fly around in your mind. Some of the memories are your own; some feel like they’re your own but they are really memories that others told you about or shared with you. And you try to select those memories that best represent who the person was.

So let me give you just two bits and pieces that are flying around in my head that I think are representative of June’s life.

The first is of a cold winter day. I’m walking out of June’s apartment building on Hard St. I’ve been talking with June and she’s in pain from a fall and she’s anxious about everything. And the wind is ripping through me. And I think, the wind blows cold on Hard St. (more…)


Ruth Alpert

    Of all of the books and movies in the world, do you know any stories that do not have bad or evil or problems in them?  There is one story that was entirely about nice people, and that is the Biblical Book of Ruth.  It’s a story about nice people, people who are good and loyal.  Ruth is loyal to her family and marries the man chosen by her family.  It’s a nice story about nice people. (more…)


Harold Alpert

Harold Alpert was a beloved father, grandfather, brother and friend.   Harold lived life filled with love, with honest hard work and with traditional values.

Harold was born in New Haven in 1919 to Mollie and Jacob Alpert. He was a good loyal son who was close to his beloved brother Bob who always meant so much to him.

One of our favorite stories is how Harold and Ruth met. There were these two girlfriends from Poland who remained close even after they came to America and lived in different states. One of those friends had a granddaughter named Ruth and the other had a grandson named Harold. Ruth asked Harold to a dance and they were married in April 1943. The Draft Board changed Harold’s status and all of a sudden he found himself in the Army. He served as a glider-trained Radio Operator in the China Burma India Theater.  Thanks G-d he returned home. (more…)


Doris Arotsky Katz – Devorah bat Layzer ve-Shayna – February 29, 2008

Doris Katz was a beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother and a cherished friend. Doris has fought for a long time and the last five weeks were just terrible. Doris was a certain kind of person who didn’t want to draw attention to herself and didn’t want to complain. It was her last act of kindness and love: She didn’t want her loved ones to be more upset than they already were and so she didn’t show how much pain she was in. Every person has the right to be herself. I think of this as a person’s integrity as a person. If I can find any comfort in these last weeks, it is that Doris was herself right to the end. (more…)


Evelyn Heller

    Evelyn Heller was a beloved mother and friend.  She was born here in New Haven, the daughter of two Russian Jewish immigrants.  She was raised with her sister, Charlotte, and went to school here and then attended what was then Larsen Junior College, what is not Quinnipiac University.  She was a bookkeeper for the family business, the Palace Laundry, and then worked at the Hamden Chronicle and eventually as secretary to the Medical Director of  Parkview Medical Recovery Center.  
    She married Roger and they had a strong and wonderful marriage for fifty-two years until he passed away in 1995.  The family won’t forget their big 50th anniversary party at Colonial Tymes. (more…)


Roger Heller

    Roger Heller was a beloved husband, father, brother and friend.  Roger lived in New Haven all his life, and he knew every inch of this town, from one end to the other.  It was his world.  He knew the business world in this town and the sports and the people from the mayor to the dogcatcher.
    After high school he went to work as a salesman for a custom tailor.  He went all over, selling to the Fords and the Kennedys and people all over the country.  He was a great communicator and a great story-teller and he was interested in everything.  He could talk everyone’s language; he could talk to the elite and he could talk to the riffraff.  He was a character in the best sense of the word.   The strange thing was that he could talk to and be with anyone, but he was always still himself.  He wanted to know everything and he could learn from complete strangers. (more…)