A crowd of more than 30 people cheered at the corner of 65th Avenue and Utopia Parkway in Fresh Meadows last weekend as a strip of the roadway in front of the neighborhood’s Utopia Jewish Center was renamed for a rabbi who acted as spiritual leader to the center’s congregation for 35 years.
A section of Utopia Parkway, between 64th and 65th avenues, became Rabbi Solomon Goldman Way Sunday after a crowd of the Utopia Jewish Center’s congregation members and City Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows) unveiled a sign for the strip.
Goldman, who died in 2006, served as spiritual leader for the Jewish center from 1964−99 and became its rabbi emeritus, said Yonoson Hirtz, the center’s current rabbi.
“We know life represents spirituality and goodness, but it is preparation that is most important,” Hirtz said. “Therefore, I think it is very appropriate that we remember Rabbi Goldman. He paved the way for us and laid the foundation. We are indebted to him.”
During the ceremony, Gennaro handed over a copy of the street sign to Goldman’s family, including Rebbetzin Helen Goldman, the rabbi’s wife of 59 years, as well as their children and grandchildren.
“He was a great beacon of light,” Gennaro said. “He borough love, wisdom and compassion. This street in his name will continue to guide Fresh Meadows residents and the Utopia Jewish Center congregation.”
In addition to his three decades of work at the center, Goldman also acted as auxiliary chaplain of Ossining State Prison for two years and as chaplain at Brooklyn’s Brookdale Medical Center for 23 years. Prior to joining the Utopia center, he served as rabbi for Tiferet Yisroel for 18 years in East New York, Brooklyn.
Menachem Weiner, Goldman’s grandson, described his grandfather as a caring person who gave back to the Jewish community.
“For all those who knew him, there was only one opinion: He was a great man,” he said. “He had love for his fellow man.”
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.
©2009 Community News Group
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