Adelaide “Addi” Friedman, wife of the late Rabbi Morris Friedman, who saw her son, Woodsburgh resident David Friedman, become the United States ambassador to Israel, was niftar on Aug. 4. The Lawrence resident was 91.
At the rebbetzin’s levayah on Tuesday at Riverside Boulevard Chapels in Hewlett, David remembered his mother’s “unequivocal love and support and encouragement.”
“There’s no value I can place upon the self-confidence, the security, the sense of being loved, that our mother gave to us.”
Addi’s daughter Naomi Wolinsky, son Mark, several grandchildren, and Rabbi Zalman Wolowik of Chabad of the Five Towns also spoke.
Naomi said her mother was “the kindest person I ever knew, [who] exemplified the mitzvah of shemirat halashon.”
She and Mark referred to the love of reading that Addi, for many years a seventh-grade English teacher, conveyed to her children and grandchildren. David said that some of Addi’s students at the Hebrew Institute of Long Island approached him at the levayah to convey their appreciation.
Mark remembered his mother’s “compassionate, pure and loving neshama.”
Several grandchildren recounted examples of Addi’s love and how their characters were shaped by their grandmother.
“My father was well known for many years as a public figure; she was not,” David said. “She kept her privacy, she took care of her family. She chose to do that.
“She was brilliant in her own right. She was thoughtful, she was eloquent, she was elegant, She had every opportunity to go and attain personal aggrandizement, personal gain. She didn’t think it was the right thing to do. With our father out and about all day long, she elevated us over everything else.”
In addition to her children, Addi is survived by their spouses, Tammy Friedman, Rosie Friedman, and Steven Wolinsky, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The family is sitting shiva at the Friedman residence in Lawrence through Monday morning, Aug. 12. David Friedman will be in Lawrence through Wednesday evening and will continue shiva at his residence in Hertzliya, Israel, from Thursday evening through Monday morning.
Addi’s marriage to Rabbi Friedman reflected the couple’s commitment both to family and community. Rabbi Friedman was a pioneer of Modern Orthodoxy on Long Island, serving as spiritual leader of Temple Hillel in North Woodmere and as president of the New York Board of Rabbis.
With the rabbi in those capacities, President Ronald Reagan visited the Friedmans’ North Woodmere home on a Friday afternoon in in 1984.
David recalled his mother’s grace under a media spotlight and the pressure of preparing her home and cooking a Shabbos-style meal for the leader of the free world.
“I didn’t do anything different than I usually do for Shabbos, but I fussed a bit more,” Addi told the New York Times. “I was going to serve chicken soup and matzoh balls, but I don’t want to load the president up with heavy foods.”
In an especially emotional moment in Tuesday’s service, David read what her mother told the Times after Reagan left.
“I’m a little disappointed he couldn’t stay longer,” she said. “He’s so charming that I felt I’d known him for years. I’m sorry all the joys in life are very brief. The song may be over, but the melody lingers.”
David added, “Mom, I would respectfully take issue with one thing you said in the New York Times. Not all joys in life are very brief.
“It was an absolute joy to be your son for almost 61 years. You gave me everything necessary for a productive, a happy and a meaningful life.”