Eulogy for Anna Safer-Weisenfeld

Written by her granddaughter, Susan Broder

December 12, 1993



Hello Family & Friends


It’s 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.


Our 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.


Anna 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.


I 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.


I 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.”


She was my last grandparent.  She was our family’s matriarch.  And the legacy she left is us.  All of us here today.


And I’ll miss her.