Alice R. Edelman passed away peacefully on Friday November 13, 2020 at age 92 at St. John’s Home in Rochester, New York.
Alice was born on October 20, 1928, in Krakow, Poland. She was the only child of the late Ruth and Jacob Tobias Lewkowicz.
In early September 1939, as the Nazi Luftwaffe bombarded Warsaw and as Lithuania closed its border with Poland, Alice, along with her parents and aunts, uncles, and cousins on her mother’s side, escaped Poland into Lithuania, after handing over their vehicle to the border guards in exchange for admittance. For the remainder of 1939 and 1940, she and her parents traveled as Jewish refugees throughout Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. They went to whichever country would grant them visas; coincidentally, their route more or less traced the German war path, with aerial bombardments starting shortly after their arrival in a given country. They rarely spent more than a few weeks in one spot, the exceptions being several months’ residence in Johannesburg, South Africa followed by Jerusalem, British Mandate Palestine, where Alice was able to attend school for the first time since leaving Poland and where she learned English and became fluent in Hebrew.
In late 1940, Alice and her parents arrived at Stapleton Air Force Base, Staten Island, aboard the U.S.S. Ulysses S. Grant, a sea journey which included dodging German U-boat wolf packs. Alice and her parents lived on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for several years, and she attended New York City public schools. In 1943, the family moved to Scarsdale, New York, and Alice graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1946. She graduated from New York University in 1950 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, and she worked as a secretary for the Israel Bonds organization through the 1950s.
On November 18, 1956, Alice Lewkowicz married John Edelman at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York. For a few years, they lived in Kew Gardens, New York. In 1960, Alice and John Edelman bought their home in White Plains, where they lived for many years and raised their family. Alice was an active member of Bet Am Shalom Synagogue and White Plains Public School parent organizations through the early 1980s. John predeceased Alice in 1987, and Alice stayed in the family home through 2006 when she moved first to Ardsley, New York; followed by three years’ residence at Woodland Pond in New Paltz, New York; and finally to St. John’s Home in Rochester, New York since 2013.
Alice loved to travel, both domestically and abroad. Her favorite U.S. destinations were New England and the Pacific Northwest. She enjoyed many Caribbean cruises, and revisited the homes of her youth in both Poland and Israel.
Alice Edelman is survived by her loving children, Susan Edelman (Jonathan Siegel) of Rochester, New York; Barbara Edelman (Mark Gebbie) of New Paltz, New York; and Roy Edelman of Staten Island, NY; and by her six beloved grandchildren: Elizabeth, Deborah, Jonah, John, Kirstin and Shea; and by her sister-in-law, Libby Edelman of Rochester, New York, along with several cousins in the United States and in Brazil.
The family is grateful to the kind and caring staff at St. John’s. Medical, daily caregiving, activity, food service, and custodial staff all went beyond basic job duties to make our mother feel glad to see them every day.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday November 17, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. at Kensico Cemetery’s Sharon Gardens in Valhalla, New York with Cantor Devorah Gartner officiating. Interment will follow.
Memorial donations may be made to Magen David Adom (the Israeli emergency rescue service) at American Friends Of Magen David Adom, 352 7th Ave., Suite 400, New York, NY 10001, www.afmda.org; or the Southern Poverty Law Center at 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104, www.splcenter.org.
Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home is honored to assist Alice’s family with the arrangements.