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May 19, 2015 2:16 pm

Remembering Belda Lindenbaum

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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A torah scroll. Photo: Wiki Commons.

I was deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Belda Lindenbaum last week at the age of 76.  While I did not know her very well, I found our encounters to be inspiring, and always saw this passionate, devoted woman as a heroic fighter for the Jewish people.  As I told her on numerous occasions, I had deep respect her.

I got to know her through my involvement with Jewish women’s issues, and I deeply admired her passion for standing up for what she thought was right.

The Jewish world needs more people like Belda Lindenbaum who are devoted to strengthening our people, our connection to our heritage, and finding special meaning in Judaism.

Belda co-founded the Midreshet Lindenbaum women’s seminary program in Israel, which combines religious studies and army service, and was especially passionate about issues for Jewish women. She was passionate about life – about doing things, about creating.

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As an activist on many issues, I shared thoughts regularly with Belda and always appreciated her encouragement and the kind words she offered. She oozed confidence and determination. I found inspiration in her strength and her ability to infuse humor and sarcasm into discussions.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin wrote that Belda Lindenbaum was “an indefatigable advocate for women’s rights to leadership roles in the broader Jewish community,” and he is so right.  But she was more than that – she was a pillar of Jewish strength.

As a Type-A male, I found this woman leader to be so immensely strong and inspiring. She has a special place in Gan Eden I am sure – as she touched so many Jewish souls on a deep level. This was a devout, dedicated woman.

According to the Jewish Women’s Archive, Belda “was driven by the birth of her daughters to create new opportunities for Jewish women and girls.” She previously served as president of the board of the Drisha Institute for Women, President of the American Friends of Bar-Ilan University, and as a board member of Ramaz Day School. She is survived by her husband, five children, 18 grandchildren, and two siblings.

Baruch Dayan Emet Belda Lindenbaum. The Jewish people thank you.

A born and bred New Yorker, entrepreneur Ronn Torossian was raised by a single mother, Penny Waga, who was (and is) his hero. She worked throughout her life for Jewish issues, and he is now raising daughters who he hopes will follow in the path of other strong Jewish women.

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