Some forty plus years ago, Vivian (of blessed memory) and Sidney joined Congregation Shomrei Emunah. At the time, we had no idea how special and vital they would become to the life of our Synagogue.
Sid was the driving force in bringing the Jewish War Veterans’ Post 47 to our Shul. He was Commander of the Post and ultimately moved up the ranks to the level of State Commander. When Sid told me he was moving, I asked him if there was a Post in Michigan. Yes, he said, two of them, and I am sure either one will be blessed to count him among one of theirs. Vivian always saw to the breakfast after the monthly meetings. They always invited the Sunday morning minyan to join them; lucky for me, because I was often there. Vivian was a great hostess, somehow knowing just the correct amount of food needed, and always how to make that food look and taste delicious. Beyond all that, her friendly personality was infectious, insuring that everyone felt welcome.
Sid in a quiet, can do manner, took on many tasks, many of which most members had no idea about. He was caretaker of the memorial boards, making sure the proper plaques were lit each week. When the Nutley Hebrew Congregation joined Shomrei Emunah, he incorporated their memorial boards with ours, not an easy task. Sid is a Kohan and he takes the associated responsibilities very seriously. At the three pilgrimage festivals, Sid performs the blessing of the congregation with great care and dignity. Sid and Vivian were responsible for the changing of the Bimah curtains before the high holidays to white and then back again after the holidays were over. One year, out of the blue Sid asked me if I had a clothes line. I said yes. He brought all of the curtains and torah covers to my house, and we washed them and hung them on the line. We could only do one a day, and Heaven forbid if it rained!
For years, Sid and Vivian were also responsible for preparing our kiddushes. I believe that their time in the miliutary taught them their way around purchasing and preparing food for a large hungry crowd, along with the fastest way to get the job done. Many of us, serving as assistants, learned from watching them, and, most of all, we had a great time!
Sid and Vivian were minyan makers at Sunday morning services, devoted volunteers on the mitzvah committee and chaired the bowling social group. On a Saturday night, once a month, members would go bowling and meet after for coffee, cake, and conversation. It was there that I met this fabulous couple. Sid and I discovered that we went to the same high school, one year apart. It was soon after that we become great friends.
There are people who see a task to be done and just do it. This was the essence of this great couple. Sadly, we lost Vivian two years ago, as an early victim of the COVID pandemic. Her spirit lives on within all of us who knew and loved her.
On a personal level, Vince and I shared many wonderful evenings with them. Vivian and I had our birthdays two days apart, and we often celebrated them together. I miss those days.
Sid may your next chapter be long with good health, new experiences and much joy with your family. You will be missed at Congregation Shomrei Emunah.
With love and gratitude,
Deanna S. London
Boynton Beach, Florida