On May 8, 2015, DR. EDWARD, Beloved husband of Elsa Kramer (nee Ring); devoted father of Barry Kramer, Stephanie (Bradley) Specter, Dr. Jonathan (Cari) Kramer; dear brother of Alice (late Harry) Bloom, Gilbert (Sheila) Kramer; loving grandfather of Lindsay Specter, Shelby Specter, Dara Kramer and Allison Kramer. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane, on Monday, May 11, at 1 p.m. Interment at Hebrew Young Men’s Cemetery, 5800 Windsor Mill Road. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the American Cancer Society, 8219 Town Center Drive, Baltimore, MD 21236 or the charity of your choice. In mourning at 3 Schloss Court, Baltimore, MD 21208, Monday evening with a service at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the family will be receiving 1 to 9 p.m., with evening services at 7:30 p.m.
On May 7, 2015, HYMAN, beloved husband of the late Adrienne Schwartz (nee Singer); devoted father of Theodore (Carol) Schwartz, Stuart Schwartz and Betty (Brian) Fischer; loving brother of the late Joel Schwartz; adored grandfather of Alexa (Michael) Kleiman, Eric Schwartz and Jaime Schwartz. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane, on Monday, May 11, at 10 a.m. Please omit flowers.
On May 7, 2015, PAUL, beloved husband of Miriam Weintraub (nee Kisseleff); devoted father of Joan (Stanley) Goloskov, Heidi (Eric) Strassler; adored brother of the late John, Morris and Julius Weintraub; loving grandfather of Nicole (Peter) Dalrymple and Madeleine Strassler; loving great grandfather of Ainsley Dalrymple. Services and interment at King David Memorial Gardens, Falls Church Va., on Monday, May 11, at 12:30 p.m. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Salvation Army National Headquarters, P.O. Box 269, Alexandria, VA 22314.
On May 7, 2015, BELLE (nee Vodenos), beloved wife of the late Morris Bloom; devoted mother of Alan (Lynn) Bloom, Dr. Ira (Lynn) Bloom and Robert (Anne) Bloom; cherished grandmother of Hilary Bloom, Dana Kunzelman, Jason (Chanda) Bloom, Jennifer Bloom, Heather (Paul) King and Marni (Jerry) Connolly; adored great-grandmother of Avery Klondar, Ethan Klondar, Maya Kunzelman, Tyler Bloom, Robbie Bloom, Jake Connolly, Olivia Connolly and Yehoshua, Yaakov, Yehuda, Rivka and Moshe King. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Monday, May 11, at 11 a.m. Interment at Beth Jacob Cemetery, Finksburg, MD. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Beth El Congregation, 8101 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21208. In mourning at 12 Houndswood Court, Baltimore, MD 21209, Monday and Tuesday.
On May 6, 2015, HERMAN, beloved husband of the late Sonia Feldman (nee Sigel); dear brother of the late Robert, Joseph and Harry Feldman, Eva Paul and Dvore Greenbaum. Also survived by many nieces. Services and interment at Beth El Memorial Park, Randallstown on Friday, May 8, at 3 p.m. Please omit flowers. Contributions in Herman’s memory may be sent to the Northwest Hospital Auxiliary, c/o LifeBridge Health, 2401 W. Belvedere Ave., Baltimore, MD 21215.
Morton J. Macks, a Baltimore leader in building and philanthropy, passed away April 30 but left his mark as an innovator in real estate and changed the shape of Jewish education and camping. Family, friends and colleagues fondly remembered him for his words of wisdom and
advice that influenced the lives of many.
Born in Baltimore in 1925 to Julius and Martha, he grew up on Belvedere Avenue. Urged to excel in education, especially by his mother, Macks finished public school early then attended Johns Hopkins University on a full scholarship when he was 16. After he graduated in 1944 from the School of Engineering, he became an officer in the Navy construction’s battalion. The following year he was the officer in charge of construction of residential facilities for naval support personnel in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
During his time in the military, he commandeered a plane to Shanghai, China from Okinawa in order to barter matzah — available in abundance to Jewish soldiers during Passover — for kosher chickens, a special treat for the Jewish troops.
In 1946, Macks returned to Baltimore and with small loans from several relatives, began his work in real estate with his newly founded company, Chesapeake Realty Partners. After success at building and selling individual homes in Baltimore City, he changed his focus to construct suburban communities, the first one in Reisterstown and a second in northern Anne Arundel County. Over the course of the next 80 years, Macks and his children would construct approximately 30,000 homes, 7,500 apartments and more than 1 million square feet of retail space.
Macks met Louise Damsky in 1951 and the couple became engaged less than three months later. They married in 1952 and together raised three children, Martha, Genine and Lawrence.
As a young boy, wrote Lawrence in the eulogy to his father, “many a night I would fall asleep to his voice talking to construction superintendents or business associates on the phone or to his using the portable Dictaphone that was always in his briefcase. ‘Miriam take a letter’ was a refrain that would help me drift off to sleep,” only to be woken later to a tender kiss placed on his forehead.
“Sincerity, thoughtfulness, caring, humility and putting others ahead of himself” are traits that come to mind for many when they think of Macks, wrote Lawrence.
Quickly becoming a well-known, respected and innovative member of the building industry, in 1960, Macks bought and built up Maryland Housing Corporation, and soon after, MHC’s pre-fabricated houses from the factory on Southwestern Boulevard were transported to builders all along the East Coast. It was in one of these homes, shipped to Moscow for an exhibit that touted American commercial innovation, that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Vice President Richard Nixon engaged in one of their famous “kitchen debates.”
Creator of the popular Parade of Homes and founder of the Home Builders Institute, Macks was lauded as Homebuilder of the Year twice — a decade apart — and also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Homebuilders Association of Maryland.
Martha Macks-Kahn, the eldest daughter, remembered, “When we were small, he would drive us around to his [construction] jobs on Sundays” to look at his projects and even toured the Parade of Homes. “He alternated this with taking us to the zoo.”
Macks-Kahn added that she learned creative business approaches from her father, helping her succeed as a gallery owner.
In the 1980s Macks transferred leadership of his real estate business to Lawrence and his son-in-law,
“The main thing that stands out in my personal relationship with him,” recalled Fidler, “is that Morty
engaged me, he asked me specifically to pursue his goals with regard to Jewish camping and retreating,” which included traveling together to area camps and retreat centers and led to Fidler’s positions as founding layperson at the Pearlstone Retreat Center and as board chair of the Capital Camps and Retreat Center.
“Morty was an extraordinary values-oriented guy, and the opportunity to work and practice philanthropy and community engagement by his side was very meaningful,” said Fidler.
In 1964, Macks became chairman of Beth Tfiloh Congregation, a position he held for two years. In that
capacity, he directed the building committee that designed and built both the main sanctuary and the
elementary school. Thirty years later, working with Hal Dahan and Howard Brown, Macks was a founder of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community High School and remained a major benefactor through annual scholarships, support for the library and arts education and the endowment fund.
“He was really a giant, he was a remarkable person,” said Beth Tfiloh’s Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg. “He never forgot his roots; he was always fair and honest, and he was willing to be a help to anyone at any time.”
Macks further served the Jewish community as campaign chair of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and “changed the landscape of Jewish education and Jewish life in the North Atlantic region,” said daughter Genine Macks Fidler.
The Associated’s “central address” for professional training and program development, the daughter pointed out, bears his name: the Louise D. and Morton J. Macks Center for Jewish Education.
“The moment that I met him,” said Associated President Marc Terrill, “I knew that there was something
different and something extraordinary” about him. “His intellect, his compassion, his empathy, his sense of responsibility” was truly outstanding, and he was “a leader that made this world better because he was here.”
Macks also contributed founding gifts to most of the Jewish day schools in Baltimore as well as the Capital Camps and Retreat Center, Camp Shoresh and the Pearlstone Center. He was a benefactor of Johns Hopkins University, including its School of Engineering, the Lyme Disease Foundation and Johns Hopkins Medicine. Other organizations that benefited from his involvement and support are Israel’s Technion, Sinai Hospital, Israel Bonds, the Israel Tennis Centers, the Epilepsy Association, Save-a-Heart and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research, among others.
As patriarch of the family, Genine said, he was a source “for advice and support. He was the gravitational center of everything.”
On May 1, 2015, DEBBIE (nee Lerner), beloved wife of Buddy Feldman; devoted mother of Eric (Angelina) Feldman and Bryan Feldman; dear sister of Maury Lerner; loving daughter of the late Gerald and Sandy Lerner. Services and interment were held in Florida on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. The family will be receiving at the Pikesville Doubletree by Hilton, 1726 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore, MD 21208 on Sunday and Monday 5 to 9 pm.
On May 4, 2015, JACK A., beloved husband of Carol Lewis (nee Kahn); devoted father of Rachel (Tom) Levy and Naomi Lewis (Yik-Ming Yam); cherished grandfather of Sam and Jake Levy and Owen and Oliver Yam; loving son of the late Arthur and Pauline Lewis. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Wednesday, May 6, at 2:00 p.m. Interment at Chevra Ahavas Chesed Cemetery, Randallstown, MD. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to Temple Isaiah, 12200 Scaggsville Road, Fulton, MD 20759 or the charity of your choice. In mourning at 5242 Hermit Path, Columbia, MD 21044, through Friday.
On May 3, 2015, BARBARA A. (nee Berman), devoted wife of the late Abraham D. Bermanski; beloved mother of Carrie (Michael) Bishop, and Dana (Howard) Farbman; cherished grandmother of Jenna (Phil) Sharp, Molly Bishop, Emily (Ross) Taylor, Julie Farbman and fiance Gregory Gold, and Annie Farbman. Services and interment at Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery, Berrymans Lane on Tuesday, May 5, at 1:00 p.m. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2219 York Road, Suite 302, Timonium, MD 21093. In mourning at 3690 Ashley Way, Owings Mills, MD 21117, Tuesday and Wednesday.
On May 2, 2015, JAY, beloved father of Amie and Michael Borenstein; dear son of Alvin and the late Sheila Borenstein; loving brother of Dennis Borenstein and Margie Ely. Services and interment at Anshe Emunah Aitz Chaim Cemetery, 3901 Washington Blvd., on Wednesday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1850 York Road, Suite D, Timonium, MD, 21093. The family will be receiving at 8404 Allenswood Rd, Randallstown, MD 21133.