Woman of Valor: Rabbanit Goldie Fendel, z"l

A tribute to a woman of lovingkindness, who epitomized the unique role of the Jewish woman as it has been through the ages. "A woman's wisdom is the building block of her home."

Contact Editor
Arutz Sheva Staff,

Arutz Sheva
Arutz Sheva
PR photo

Rabbanit Goldie Fendel, wife of renowned educator Rabbi Meyer Fendel, and mother of Rosh Yeshivat Sderot Rabbi David Fendel and of Arutz Sheva founding editor Hillel Fendel, passed away in Jerusalem on Rosh Hashanah after a long illness

She was the youngest child of Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Feldman of Los Angleles and sister of Rabbi David Feldman of Teaneck, New Jersey. 

Rabbanit Fendel overcame great difficulties and made her way to New York as a teenager by herself to further her Jewish education and become a teacher of Judaic studies, later teaching Braille to the blind.

It was not only her dedication to  students that made Rabbanit Fendel such an admired figure, but her tremendous warmth and open house in West Hempstead, Long Island. Her home, that of a real Eshet Chayil, was open to people of all ages and all backgrounds - Holocaust survivors, Soviet refuseniks, IDF war veterans, teenagers for Simchat Torah simchatons and assorted Shabbatons, HANC students, and everyone else who knocked at the door.

As one "regular" said in memoriam: "She was such an outstanding baalas chesed who cared about each person individually, aside from her help to the Jewish community as a whole."

She served as dedicated rebbetzin and all-around helpmate when her  husband was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of West Hempstead and founding principal/dean of Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, a saga that can be read in  Nine Men Wanted for a Minyan, the book chronicling their pioneering accomplishments for Judaism in America.

When the family moved to Israel in 1984, making their home in Har Nof, Rabbanit Fendel was a driving force behind the founding of the Sderot Yeshiva. Her son, Rabbi David Fendel, later received the prestigious Moskowitz Prize for his yeshiva's spiritual and practical help to the Sderot community during the years of rocket fire endured from Gaza.  She was a beloved volunteer in Emunah Women, the Religious Zionist Women's Movement, and with her husband,founded and ran Camp Nvei Ashdod for girls in Israel, a project which continued for 18 years..

Even during her illness her non-stop visitors attested to the kindness she bestowed upon them despite her suffering. May her memory be blessed and may the nachat she received from the family she raised be a comfort to them.

Arutz Sheva's founding editor, Hillel Fendel, a familiar and admired figure to long term Arutz Sheva readers, is sitting shiva this week for his mother z"l. Readers who wish to send condolences may write hillelfendel@gmail.com