Roslyn Weintrob, z”l


My mother, Roslyn Weintrob, Rachel Leah bat Tzvi Hirsch, whose 21st yahrzeit we marked on Wednesday, was an eishet chayil who not only worked to build a strong family steeped in Jewish values, but was also determined to do more than her fair share of tikkun olam.

In 1974, while simultaneously demanding that New York’s bureaucrats deliver services to the people, and fighting legendary inefficiencies at Board of Education headquarters where she worked, she suffered a debilitating stroke. She emerged from a coma after six months, b’ezrat Hashem, but was never the same.

A story in New York’s tabloids on the day of her yahrzeit recalled the speech my mother was delivering at Brooklyn Borough Hall when the stroke felled her and she collapsed. She was passionately describing how a woman died just one day earlier because a city ambulance took more than 30 minutes to arrive at her home. (This type of incident made abundantly clear the need for Hatzolah.)

This week’s news referred to an occurrence a few years ago ­— in a restaurant on the ground floor of the office office building where my wife works — in which a New York City Emergency Medical Technician refused to interrupt her coffee break to help a pregnant woman who had collapsed in the restaurant. The city attributed the death of the woman and her baby to delayed assistance.

The EMT told the papers this week that she had nothing to apologize for, and would do it again — she’d again turn her back on a dying woman rather than disturb her coffee break.

My mother’s life was likely saved by virtue of the proximity of a good emergency room at Long Island College Hospital.

Last Thursday, Governor Cuomo’s SUNY board of directors, in direct violation of a state Supreme Court restraining order, closed that hospital’s emergency room.

We should fear for the future of a city whose workers can be as cold to human suffering as was that coffee-breaking EMT, and for a state that is as callous to the emergency needs of its people as its governor is proving it to be.

Shabbat Shalom, Ed Weintrob