for Anna Safer-Weisenfeld
by her granddaughter, Susan Broder
December 12, 1993
Family & Friends
comforting to see you all here today. As
I was considering some of the comments I wanted to include, it occurred to me
that this gathering would feel familiar.
By that I mean, many of us have come together once a year to celebrate
our dear Anna’s birthday, and now we gather today to say good-bye. So, although today could be a sad day, for
her sake, we need to remember that she brought us together for good times.
grandmother came to live in California in the summer of 1985,
just months before Mel and I were married.
I feel very fortunate that she spent her last 8 years with us and that
she was here to know her great-granddaughter.
Weisenfeld’s life was a long and full one.
Consider this: her life started
87 years ago in a town in what was Prussia. From this town, in a country that no longer
exists, she traveled with her family as a young girl to the goldenee medinah. Landing in Ellis Island [editor’s note: she actually landed in Pennsylvania], she lived her teen
years in New York City and she worked in the
garment industry. Her family, like other
immigrants, knew hardship and poverty.
These experiences surely shaped her quiet, but strong spirit to
survive. Her story is the story of
immigrant Jews in this country in this century.
She lived through incredible times and events – 2 great wars, the
depression, space travel, and the progress that technology brought. I see in her passing the end of an era. Observing her life through this kind of
perspective, gives me reason to pause.
love my childhood memories of her, the big house in Atlantic City. How the kitchen smelled. Her sun porch. How she would keep my busy sorting through
buttons I her sewing room. You know, I
still have some of those buttons. I
loved going with her to Willie’s, and walking the boardwalk to feed the
pigeons. And the honeysuckle on the back
porch. I remember finding her passport
photos and being startled at how much it looked like me.
consider my grandmother a woman of valour.
Without a formal education, she was smart. She was not only devoted to her family, but
also to her Jewish community. As the
prayer Eschet Chayel says – “Give her credit for the fruit of her labors and
let her achievements praise her at the gates.”
was my last grandparent. She was our
family’s matriarch. And the legacy she
left is us. All of us here today.
I’ll miss her.