June 23, 2024
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June 23, 2024
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Morris Zimmerman, z”l: ‘A Friend for the Long Haul’

I can’t write about Morris without including his dear wife Elaine, z”l, our dear friends for many years. The Zimmermans moved to Teaneck with Stanley and an “expected Sammy” in 1959, at a time when a fledgling Orthodox community was just starting to make its appearance here. We were delighted to welcome them, and soon after, their sister and brother-in-law, Bernice and Arthur Schwartz with their three sons. We became friends with both families originally through the Teaneck Jewish Center, the only traditional shul, albeit without a mechitza, on our side, led by Rabbi Judah Washer, a YU musmach who was highly respected by the Jewish and general Teaneck community. At that time, Bnai Yeshurun had just recently been formed but was way on the other side of town from the Zimmerman home in the Phelps area of Country Club. Morris and Elaine became members of Bnai Yeshurun as well. My husband Stanley, a”h, and I left the Jewish Center to help found Congregation Beth Aaron, and before long the Zimmermans and the Schwartzs joined us. Many years later, when the Young Israel was starting closer to their home, Morris and Elaine added yet another shul to their efforts and became valued members of the new Young Israel.

Immediately upon moving to Teaneck it was clear that Morris and Elaine were a “dynamic duo.”

They never did things halfway but became deeply involved and remained dedicated to every venture they undertook, lending personal wisdom and experience, giving immense amounts of their time, as well as financial support whenever needed. Their home was always open to meetings, and they offered hospitality to young and old. Every child in the neighborhood knew that the Zimmerman home was a “safe and happy haven.”

The Zimmermans were at the forefront of the founding of The Moriah School and remained actively on the board for many years, well after Sammy had graduated from the first Moriah class. When their sons became YU students they focused on that institution as well. Additionally, Morris was involved in Jerusalem Boys Town and Elaine in Women’s Mizrachi/AMIT.

Elaine was known to help adults master Hebrew and advance their Jewish education. At their summer home on the Jersey Shore, they became involved in the local shul as well. Commissioning a sefer Torah was a momentous and deeply satisfying event in their lives. They were fervent in their love and support for Medinat Yisrael. Just a few years ago, Morris wrote an impassioned email to his large correspondence pool imploring them to follow his lead in purchasing Israeli bonds in honor of their children and grandchildren.

After retirement, Morris and Elaine regularly attended many shiurim at local shuls together. They would often be seen at Rabbi Goldin’s classes and Rabbi Taubes’ shiurim. After Elaine’s passing in 2013, Morris regularly attended the Keter Torah chabura in Gemara taught by Rabbi Menachem Meier, referred to as Torah in the AM. Morris sat listening intently, following along in his English Soncino translation, and often contributed new insights into our learning based upon his lengthy experience in accounting and business. Our chabura was delighted to honor Morris on his 90th birthday joined by his son Sammy and granddaughter Rivka from Israel.

Morris was determined to remain independently in his home after Elaine’s passing. As a beloved neighbor and Young Israel member, he never felt isolated. He told me of many young friends who ran errands for him and helped him maintain the house, others who drove him to minyan, and the many invitations he had to Shabbat and Yom Tov meals, as well as the meals brought to his home.

Children and grandchildren continued to be a great source of nachat to him. And to the very end he greeted each new birth with great joy, with the most recent great-grandchild’s arrival celebrated on Zoom. His children were devoted and attentive, yet not local. Dr. Stanley and Joanne live in New Brunswick with married children in various locations. Son Sammy and wife Dr. Deena live in Nof Ayalon, Israel. When he was able, Morris visited them but was always happy to return home. Mostly the children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews flocked to him.

During these last few years, with failing health and after several falls, Morris decided to move permanently to CareOne while maintaining his home, which would host his children and grandchildren during their visits to him. He also realized that by staying local, his many local friends would have easy access to him and, most importantly, he would have a shul on the premises. And so it was for a while.

Little could anyone imagine that before long, the COVID pandemic would isolate Morris from family and friends. Still he made the most of the situation, retaining his humor and gentle manner and his astute awareness of everyone and everything around him. He was happy to chat on the phone with family and friends and remained interested and engaged in life.

Morris Zimmerman, z”l, was a wonderful human being, a devoted and intelligent Jew, a respected professional, and a dear and loyal friend to many. We miss him greatly!

Yehi zichro baruch.


Mollie Fisch and husband Stanley, z”l, came to Teaneck in June of 1958 as newlyweds. In 1972 they were among the founders of Congregation Beth Aaron.

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