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Elmont synagogue mainstay dies at 101

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The coronavirus pandemic claimed another life on April 20, when Abraham Goldstein died of complications from the virus. He was 101-years-old.

Goldstein was a “mainstay” at the Elmont Jewish Center, according to Bruce Schneider, the chairman of the synagogue’s board of directors. During his more than 30 years as a congregant there, Goldstein served as a sexton, helping to run the Shabbat services every week, and vice president of ritual affairs. Additionally, Rabbi Chaim Blachman said, Goldstein used to lead the prayers for the sick, and “would always joke that we shouldn’t lose anyone, because then he would be out of a job.”

“He was a great, humorous [and] loveable guy,” the rabbi said of Goldstein, adding that whenever he would visit him at the nursing home, he would immediately ask how the other congregants were doing.

Goldstein served in the Second World War, and liked to show off his photos from his time in the service. He also took it upon himself to ensure that the Holocaust would never be forgotten.

“He was very alert, even in his old age,” Schneider said.

He added that Goldstein’s wife, Sara, and their three children have also “been very important to the life of the synagogue” and “made sure everyone had what they need.”

Goldstein is survived by his wife, Sara; and their three sons.