A ‘Go-To Person’

‍‍2015-02-26 10:40:28 - כח כסלו תשעה mjankovitz

022715_OttenheimerBaltimore’s Jewish community lost a longtime leader Feb. 7 with the passing of Joyce Sinsheimer Ottenheimer at age 87.

Born in Brooklyn, Ottenheimer moved to Maryland after meeting her future husband, Mose Ottenheimer, while studying early childhood education at Goucher College.

A licensed insurance broker by trade, friends and family remembered Ottenheimer as a “professional
volunteer.” She devoted much of her life to volunteering in leadership roles in the Reform Jewish community and at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

“[Her job] was sort of a side to her life,” said Fronda Ottenheimer, Joyce’s daughter-in-law.

Ottenheimer served as president of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation from 1986 to 1988, president of
the Mid-Atlantic Council Union for Reform Judaism and president of the Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland in addition to other roles in Jewish communal life. She was such a fixture at Baltimore Hebrew, said Fronda Ottenheimer, that to this day, her sons remember the congregation’s phone number by heart, having memorized it after a childhood of finding her there.

“If Joyce had been born at a different time, she would have been the CEO of a major corporation,” said Ottenheimer. Warm and welcoming to everyone she met, Joyce also enjoyed needlepoint, mah jongg, bridge and golf.

At the Feb. 10 funeral for Ottenheimer held at BHC, congregation leadership remembered her as a
mentor and a friend.

“She was well-respected when she came inside the building,” said Jo Ann Windman, BHC’s executive director. “She was always the go-to person if you needed advice.”

When Rabbi Andrew Busch came to BHC, he turned to Ottenheimer for guidance.

“Joyce liked life and its rules to be accomplished appropriately and in a straightforward manner,” Busch told funeral attendees. “How blessed we were to be the beneficiary of her values, her skill and her commitment.”

Ottenheimer is survived by her husband, Mose Ottenheimer 2nd, sons Jack and Richard Ottenheimer, daughters-in-law Carole and Fronda, her sister, Jane Kohn, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her son, the late Bruce Alan Ottenheimer.

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Harold Snyder

‍‍2015-02-26 10:38:31 - כח כסלו תשעה mjankovitz

022715_SnyderHarold Snyder made his mark as a pioneer and innovator in the video for horse racing industry with his company, International Sound Corporation, providing cameras that project the action and assist in decisions for close races to tracks all over the country. But more than that, he left an indelible mark on the hearts of those who knew him as a father, grandfather and great-grandfather that always put family first. He passed away on Jan. 26, at age 91.

“He had the biggest heart, and he created his own destiny yet was very humble about it; he kept a low profile,” said granddaughter Michelle Gordon.  He “had a very rich life with his family. Work was important, but priority was family. He adored us, each one.”

Gordon, chief of staff at The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, recalled the standing invitation Snyder and Marcia, his wife of 68 years, had with all of their children and grandchildren.

“Every Saturday, it was lunch at Suburban House. There were at least 10 of us there each week,” said Gordon. The family returned to Suburban House again in his memory.

Snyder grew up in the lower Park Heights neighborhood, near Park Circle. He and his wife started a family in Hilltop and then moved out to McDonogh Road in Pikesville, where Snyder’s son, David, grew up before going into business with his father.

“He didn’t graduate from high school but was a brilliant businessman,” said Snyder, now president of ISC. “He enlisted in the service in World War II, [and afterward] he and my mother built the business from the ground up. That’s what really stands out about my father,” he continued. “He was a humble individual. All this fuss would drive him up a tree, though he deserves every accolade he’s received.”

Snyder was a radio operator during the service, and upon returning home worked for the Hecht Company as a television repairman and did additional work installing sound systems in schools and also learned about closed-circuit television, said his son. Snyder also worked with his cousin, who provided film patrol for racetracks.

“In 1959 or so, [they] put a video system at Waterford Park track” (now West Virginia’s Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort), which, his son said, was the first video system installation done for horseracing.

The following year, Snyder bought out the partnership with his cousin, and the company became International Sound.

Snyder traveled often and spent a lot of time at race venues around the country, including Pimlico Race Course. Even then though, family remained central to his life.

“Preakness, it was a business venture for him, but also a family affair,” recalled Gordon. “We always had two to three tables in the dining room. He was probably at Preakness for the past 50 years. [Attending the event] was central to the family.” She added, “He was fair, honest and kind, and I can only hope to strive to be like him.”

In November 2014, Snyder received the Humphrey S. Finney Award from the Maryland Racing Media Association in recognition of his lifetime achievement. He was a major supporter of local Jewish organizations, including the Baltimore Zionist District, the Torah Institute of Baltimore and Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, and, in 1983, he and colleague Charles “Chick” Lang were honored by the Jewish National
Fund for their establishment of the Preakness Tree Park in Israel.

He lived “the life he wanted to live and that my mother wanted to live. He had no regrets, he told me that a number of times near the end,” said Snyder. “If you can live your life that way, at 91, I think you’ve lived a pretty damn good life.”

In addition to his wife, son and granddaughter, Snyder is survived by daughters Maxine (Bernard), Robin (Arthur) and Debra (Marvin); grandchildren Joe (Melissa), Jenifer, Sarah (Alex), Steve, Michael, Dana, Alyssa and Julia; and great-granddaughters Alana and Emily.

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‍‍2015-02-26 10:31:47 - כח כסלו תשעה hnorris

On February 25, 2015, RENEE (nee Gutherz), loving wife of the late Sid Neschis; devoted mother of Dr. David (Kim) Neschis; adored grandmother of Josef, Danielle and Michael Neschis. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, on Sunday, March 1 at 10 a.m. Interment at Garrison Forest Cemetery, Chizuk Amuno Congregation, Owings Mills. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to the charity of your choice. In mourning at the residence of Dr. David & Kim Neschis.

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‍‍2015-02-26 10:31:12 - כח כסלו תשעה hnorris

On February 24, 2015, SONIA SHIRLEY (nee Goldfein), beloved wife of the late Samuel Fagan; adored mother of Dr. Harold (Bonnie) Fagan and Ellen (late Jerry) Fox; cherished sister of Ruth (late Melvin) Pavsner, Natalie (Stanford) Schneider and the late Jerome Goldfein, Daniel Goldfein, Leah Kirson and Beatrice Wertlieb; loving grandmother of Kimberly (Andrew) Koppel, Marc (Lauren) Fagan, Erin Silber and the late Adam Fox; dear great-grandmother of Joshua, Zachary and Ryan Koppel, Noah and Max Silber, Ryder and Maddie Fagan. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, on Thursday, February 26 at 1 p.m. Interment at Anshe Neisen Cemetery, Rosedale. Please omit flowers. In mourning at 14 Peregrine Court (Avalon), Baltimore, MD 21208, receiving Thursday after interment with services at 7:30 p.m., and receiving Friday and Saturday from noon until 5 p.m.

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‍‍2015-02-25 10:19:12 - כח כסלו תשעה hnorris

On February 24, 2015, MARVIN, cherished husband of Iris Gertz (nee Riberkof); loving father of Steven (Amy) Gertz, Karen (Michael) Koff, Drew (Cathy) Gertz and Charyl (John) Ogonowski; devoted brother of Sonia (Stanley) Goldberg and Jerry (Frannie) Gertz. Also survived by 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road. Interment at Bnai Jacob Cemetery, 6700 Bowleys Lane. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the charity of your choice.

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