On September 8, 2014, ELLIOT, cherished husband of Sheilah Miller (nee Poland); loving father of Brett (Chris) Handler; beloved grandfather of Evan Handler and Scott Handler. Funeral services and interment will be held at Beth Jacob Cemetery, Finksburg, on Wednesday, September 10 at 1 p.m. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Baltimore Humane Society, 1601 Nicodemus Road, Reisterstown, MD 21136. In mourning at 9203 James Howard Lane (Grey Rock), Baltimore, MD 21208, Wednesday and Thursday.
On September 9, 2014, RONALD, beloved husband of Marlene Rubin (nee Hurwitz); devoted father of Dr. Larry (Beth) Rubin, Karyn (Michael) Grossman and Marc (Sandi) Rubin; beloved brother of Janet (late Sheldon) Arenberg and the late Marvin Rubin; loving grandfather of Robert Grossman, Lauren (Tali) Apt, Josh Rubin, Ilyssa Rubin, Eric Korotki and Francine (Steve) Womer. Also survived by three loving great-grandchildren. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Thursday, September 11 at 2 p.m. Interment at Anshe Emunah Aitz Chaim Cemetery, 3901 Washington Blvd. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah, 7000 Rockland Hills Drive, Baltimore, MD 21209 or the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018, or to the charity of your choice. In mourning at 12304 High Stakes Drive, Reisterstown, MD 21136.
The funeral for legendary Jewish comedienne Joan Rivers, who passed away Sept. 4 at the age of 81, a week after suffering cardiac arrest during routine throat surgery, was a star-studded affair indeed.
“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” said her daughter, Melissa. And the tributes that were spoken at Temple Emanu-El in New York on Sunday certainly reflected Rivers’ joy for making people smile.
Howard Stern delivered the eulogy, Audra McDonald sang “Smile,” and bagpipers from the New York City Police Department played “New York, New York.”
“It was uplifting. We were celebrating her life,” said fashion designer Dennis Basso. Hugh Jackman sang “Quiet Please, There’s A Lady On Stage” at the end of the ceremony.
Among the attendees were Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, Kelly Osbourne, Sarah Jessica Parker and husband Matthew Broderick, Bernadette Peters, Barbara Walters, Geraldo Rivera, Diane Sawyer, Kathie Lee and Donald Trump.
Known for never holding back when it came to providing her unfiltered opinions on everything from what Kim Kardashian was wearing on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the standup comedienne — known for her catchphrase “Can we talk?” — was renowned for her fearlessness, tenacity and courageousness to say whatever was on her mind.
Rivers began her career as a standup comic in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, a time when the words “female” and “comedy” almost never went hand in hand. Rivers’ performances led to her first appearance on national television, which was a guest spot on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show,” a gig she said was responsible for launching her professional career.
In more than five decades, Rivers hosted two syndicated talk shows, recorded comedy albums, appeared in numerous films, TV shows and standup specials, had her own jewelry line on the Home Shopping Channel and was the author of 12 best-selling non-fiction humor, memoir and self-help books. Recently, she was best known for hosting “Fashion Police” on E!, a weekly program that launched in 2010 in which she, Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, George Kotsiopoulos and a number of celebrity guests commented on the best and worst looks donned by Hollywood celebrities. Rivers also shared a reality TV series with her daughter called “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” (2011-2014) and launched a YouTube series in 2013, “In Bed With Joan,” where she interviewed celebrities and comedians, including her first guest, fellow Jewish funny girl Sarah Silverman.
In July, she appeared at Washington, D.C.’s Sixth & I Synagogue to discuss her latest book, “Diary of a Mad Diva,” with journalist Hanna Rosin. Washington Jewish Week reported on the event, noting that Rivers gave every ticket holder a copy of the book with an autographed nameplate, as she said it was “too cheesy” to ask people to buy it. During the talk, Rivers provided her thoughts on Heidi Klum, Helen Keller, the Kardashians, and her fondness for telling Jewish jokes.
Her opening joke was about Heidi Klum and the Holocaust: “I haven’t seen anything that hot since the Germans were pushing Jews into the ovens,” she said. “I’ll get [it] from the ADL for insulting the Jews, but if I had said the gypsies, the Jews would have complained they were left out.”
And her thoughts on Anne Frank? “I’m nothing like Anne Frank. She lived in a walk-up; I live in a penthouse. She stayed home all the time; I go out shopping.”
Rivers said she performed a lot of Jewish jokes “to remind people about who we are and that we’re still here … and to shake things up.” She went on to talk about the difficulties of becoming a successful comedienne as a young woman and how she remained grateful to Johnny Carson.
“I have never found being a woman in this age to be a hindrance,” she said. “Back then I couldn’t do an abortion joke. … I couldn’t even say I was pregnant on the air to Ed Sullivan. I had to say soon I will be hearing the pitter-patter of little feet.” She also told the audience that she never thought she ever went “too far” with a joke. “Every time I can make someone laugh, it’s like giving them a small vacation,” she said.
On September 7, 2014, ELAINE, loving daughter of the late Jennie and Aaron Blum; cherished sister of the late Frieda Blum; devoted cousin of Ronald Quirmbach, Iris and Roger Powell, Ted and Shelly Weiner. Funeral services and interment at Bnai Israel Cemetery, 3701 Southern Ave., on Tuesday, September 9 at 3 p.m. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to the Talmudical Academy, 4445 Old Court Road, Baltimore, MD 21208 or Bais Yaakov School for Girls, 11111 Park Heights Ave., Owings Mills, MD 21117.
On September 5, 2014, FRANCES (nee Salstein), beloved wife of the late Sol Brevda; devoted mother of Fawn (Yosef) Isaacson and Renee (Andrew) Meyers; loving sister of Ida Hoppard, Daniel Selden, Bernard Selden and the late Milton Salstein; cherished grandmother of 15; adored great-grandmother of two. Interment at Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, N.Y. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to the Ahavas Yisrael Charity Fund, c/o Janine Chapman, 2723 Woodcourt Road, Baltimore, MD 21209. In mourning at 3410 Taney Road, Baltimore, MD 21215.
On September 4, 2014, SYLVIA (nee Spector), beloved wife of the late Melvin Block; cherished mother of Frederick Block and Sanford (Sue) Block; devoted sister of Edward (Ilene) Spector and the late Edina Spector; devoted grandmother of Melanie Block; beloved daughter of the late Benjamin and Fannie Spector; beloved daughter-in-law of the late Louis and Lena Block; beloved sister-in-law of the late Paul Block. Also survived by loving nieces and nephews. Funeral services and interment will be held at Mikro Kodesh Beth Israel Cemetery, 6700 Bowleys Lane, on Sunday, September 7 at 1 p.m. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Chizuk Amuno Congregation, 8100 Stevenson Road, Baltimore, MD 21208 or the National Kidney Foundation, 30 E. 33rd St., New York, NY 10016. In mourning at 27 Stonehenge Circle (Stevenson Village), Baltimore, MD 21208.
On September 7, 2014, KENNETH, beloved husband of Frances Jablon (nee Matz); loving father of Brian (Linda) Jablon, Allan (Karen) Jablon and Capt. Jeffrey (Patricia) Jablon; cherished brother of the late Irving Jablon and Fay Clarin; devoted grandfather of Mark, Sarah, Rebecca, Benjamin, Ryan, Paige and Chase Jablon. Funeral services at The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Greater Cumberland, 211 S. Lee St., Cumberland, MD 21502 (Rabbi Stephen Sniderman officiating). Interment at Eastview Cemetery, Cumberland, Md. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project, 1120 G St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. In mourning at B’er Chayim Temple 107 W. Union St., Cumberland, MD 21502, following interment on Thursday.
On September 6, 2014, RONALD, beloved husband of Elaine Kronsberg (nee Gilden); devoted father of Charles Myles Kronsberg (Shari Similo Kronsberg) and the late Zena Nadine Kronsberg; cherished grandfather of Sarah Elizabeth Kronsberg; loving brother of Barry (Jodie) Kronsberg. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane, on Tuesday, September 9 at 2 p.m. Interment at Beth El Memorial Park, Randallstown. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Zena Nadine Kronsberg Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Beth El Congregation, 8101 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore, MD 21208 or the American Lung Association, 211 E. Lombard St., #260, Baltimore, MD 21202. In mourning at 4200 Ravenhurst Circle, Glen Arm, MD 21057, Tuesday and Wednesday.
On September 6, 2014, Dr. PHILIP, beloved former husband of Diana Kay Filner; cherished father of Daniel Baer Filner, David Howard (Courtney) Filner and Ethan Samuel Filner (Elisabeth Mellinger); devoted brother of the late Barbara Filner and Donna Miller; loving grandfather of Edison, Eloise, Sebastian and Matilda Filner. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane, on Monday, September 8 at 4 p.m. Interment on Tuesday, September 9 at 4 p.m., at Workmen’s Circle #45, Pittsburgh, Pa. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the charity of your choice. In mourning at 11305 Woodland Drive, Lutherville, MD 21093, immediately following funeral service on Monday.
On September 5, 2014, WILLIAM, beloved former husband of the late Mildred Rosen (nee Vanhorn); stepfather of David (Shelly) Kelly; cherished brother of Cecelia Fox, Sylvia Holtzman, Sarah Morrison and the late Paul Rosen, Lena Averella and Jenny Rosen. Also survived by many loving nieces, nephews and dear friends. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane, on Monday, September 8 at 10 a.m. Interment at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Cemetery, Rosedale. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to Jewish War Veterans of the USA, P.O. Box 79695, Baltimore, MD 21279.