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The Jewish Funeral
Irene Siegel
Date of Funeral:
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Time of Funeral:
Funeral Location:

Shiva Details:
Virtual shiva will be held on both Sunday, 24 May and Monday, 25 May at 7:00 - 9:00 PM EDT both days.

Click here to join the virtual shiva

Meeting ID: 918 8423 8093
Password: Irene
Contributions in her memory may be made to:

Jewish National Fund
78 Randall Avenue
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
Online Donations

Please direct acknowledgement cards for any contributions to Yoni Siegel, 10 Plateau Place, Unit M, Greenbelt, MD 20770

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The Family of Irene Siegel
Jun 1, 2020 3:47 PM

We welcome you to share your memories with us and with those who visit here.

Beth Levin Schlein - VJC 1976
May 22, 2020 04:32 PM

I was one of Mrs. Siegel’s students at Villa Julie.
So sorry to read of your loss. Remember to think of the good times and memories and she will always be with you.

Audrey Polt
May 22, 2020 11:44 PM

Dear Paul, Marc and Yoni,
I am so saddened to hear of the loss of your beloved mother, especially during these challenging times when family cannot be together. Irene was my first cousin, eighteen years my senior, and I am forever grateful for her friendship and for the family history she passed on to me. Our heartfelt condolences.

Wendy Berkow
May 23, 2020 08:29 AM

Irene along with Bernie was an instrumental part of the glue that kept our large, families together at picnics, reunions, etc., among their many, many talents, and selfless contributions to the betterment of others. Their hard work made a significant difference in the lives of many, as they were raising their family. I only wish I had seen them more. Together, their strength was endless. Their treasured, story - telling enlightened us, and Irene , too will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with everyone, at this sad time.

Joyce Ray Gary
May 23, 2020 11:25 AM

Please accept my sympathy in your loss. I was one of Mrs. Siegel's students at Catholic High over 50 years ago and I still have fond memories of her. She was one of the nicest and best teachers I ever had. May her memory be a blessing to you.

Howard and Barb Siegel
May 23, 2020 11:31 AM

Dear Paul, Marc and Yoni,
Please accept our deepest sympathy on the loss of your beloved mother Irene. How fortunate we were to grow up on Baythorne Road with such wonderful neighbors as Irene and Bernie and the three of you. I reflect back on those days fondly. We wish you comfort in the knowledge that your parents were kind, outstanding and dedicated individuals.

Mike Siegel
May 23, 2020 12:45 PM

We were next door neighbors for 25 years. Although not related, both families had a Paul and a Bernie and we shared the last name of SIEGEL. Income taxes were always a mess; the IRS has yet to understand this situation. Paul, Mark, and Yoni, my sincere condolences on the loss of your Mom. We had a great childhood on Baythorne Road. Be well!

Howard I. Schwartz
May 23, 2020 04:11 PM

I just heard the sad news yesterday about the passing of your mother, Irene Siegel. I feel that she has had a profound impact on on my life, even though I never met her. I so wish I had met her. She was in many ways the first family historian of Mlynov. She and I could have had great conversations about the various people in our families and the extended Russian village who came from there. As I research Mlynov and dive deeper, I keep finding that Irene has been there before me. that I stand on her shoulders in my own efforts to understand the history of the families who came from there; she captured so much of our common history. I am totally grateful to her, though we never met. I’m so sorry for her loss hope and send my deepest sadness about her passing to her children and my gratitude for what she did to capture our collective Mlynov story and what she left behind so we could also know that story.

Hillary Wiseman Crystal and Jack Crystal
May 23, 2020 07:40 PM

Dear Siegel family,
So sorry to hear of the loss of your dear mother. I have such fond memories of both your parents from Chizuk Amuno and Camp Ramah. They were always such warm and kind people. May her memory be for a blessing.

David Goldberg
May 24, 2020 07:43 AM

I always loved Bernie and Irene and made many trips at their home, in Ranchleigh I think. That was many many years ago. I used to always brag to people about how smart and hamisha they were. We are saddened to lose Irene, but now she is with Bernie, again. May her memory be a Blessing to us all. (David, Goldie Goldberg's son.)

Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah
May 24, 2020 08:33 AM

MMAE sends our condolences to the Siegel/Godseker/Fishman/Berkow families on the passing of Irene. Bernie and Irene donated a Sefer Torah to MMAE to honor the memory of the first president of our shul, Joseph Berkow, z'l, who was president from 1897 to 1917. We remember fondly the dedication ceremony, filled with members of the extended family, and we remember the joyful singing and dancing with that beautiful Sefer Torah. That Torah resides in our chapel where we read its holy words on Mondays, Thursdays and Shabbos mincha. So three time per week, we take it out of the ark, see Bernie and Irene's dedication on the Torah cover and we think of them with warm memories.

Having re-joined her beloved Bernie z'l, may they both rest in peace, and may their memories always be for a blessing.

Jeff Forman

Debra Silberman Weinberg
May 24, 2020 08:34 AM

I am one of the many Cousins with roots in Mlynov ( Herman family) and shared your mother’s love of genealogy. We met through Millie Tillinger, our cousin in Israel. I am grateful for all the stories and the connections that your mother/ grandmother told me about. So sorry for your loss!

Rich Polt
May 24, 2020 08:48 AM

I'm very sorry to hear about Irene's passing. I fondly remember my visits with Irene and Bernie when I was younger. Now that I work in the legacy field, I can more deeply appreciate her commitment to preserving our family lineage and lore.

Jo-Anne Tucker-Zemlak
May 24, 2020 09:35 AM

Bernie and Irene were part of the early day’s of USCJ HAZAK program. Joining a trip to israel and the annual week long retreat . They were an awesome couple and wonderful addition to our program.
May you all cherish their remarkable contributions to our world .

Herta Baitch
May 24, 2020 10:38 AM

Irene and Bernie were members of a small committee at Chizuk Amuno
to develop a Holocaust Memorial before they left Baltimore.
What a darling couple!

Philp Nochumowitz
May 24, 2020 11:13 AM

Irene and I took a course in conversational Hebrew 60 yrs ago. I was delighted to call Irene and Bernie friends. May the memory of Irene before blessing.

Rabbi Paul Schneider
May 25, 2020 03:33 PM

Dear Family,
I remember Bernie and Irene at Chizuk programs for many years. I especially remember them in the context of their love of Israel. On many occasions we spoke of the new immigrant populations from the former Soviet Union and from Ethiopia. I will remember them both as true אוהבי ישראל.

Ira Deming
May 25, 2020 06:55 PM

I am sorry for your loss. I am one of the descendants of the Demb family from Milanov thus I would be a cousin. Although I never met Irene, I am indebted for all the work she did to uncover our family’s diaspora


Irene Siegel

Irene Fishman Siegel, college instructor, social activist, mother, and beloved wife of Bernard “Bernie” (blessed memory 2015) died of COVID-19 on Friday, May 22, at Holy Cross Hospital, Maryland. She was 91.

Born on April 6, 1929 to David and Ita (nee Goldseker) Fishman. Irene grew up in Baltimore, where she graduated from Forest Park High School. She went on to be the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. She graduated from the University of Maryland with Honorable Mention, majoring in Social Studies with a minor in Business Education. Upon graduation she accepted a full-time teaching position at her alma mater Forest Park High School in shorthand, typing, bookkeeping, junior business training, and office machines. She interrupted her teaching career to raise three children. She resumed her teaching career, first at Catholic High School in Baltimore, and later as an instructor at Villa Julie College (now Stevenson College).

The central themes of Irene’s life were pride in her Jewish identity and dedication to family. Irene was the essential cog in maintaining the cohesion of the survivors of the extended Fishman-Goldseker family clan who fled death and persecution in Europe. She was the keeper of the family history for many years, organizer of reunions, bridge to family members in Israel, and helped document the Fishman-Goldseker families’ history in Mylynov, Poland (now Ukraine).

Irene’s dedication to family fueled her and Bernie’s interest in genealogy and after extensive research they were able to construct a family tree dating back generations. This included identifying and reestablishing a connection with family members in various countries who had lost contact with the family when they fled Europe nearly a century earlier.

Always central to Bernie and Irene was their love of Israel and the Jewish people. Active throughout their lives as members of Chizuk Amuno Synagogue serving in leadership positions in the Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Couples Club, Hatikvah Club, and Adult Education programs. Bernie and Irene donated Torah scrolls and Magilot to synagogues and schools. They contributed generously to many Jewish and Israeli charities, including the Jewish National Fund (JNF), Yemin Orde Orphanage (Israel), Naamat, Hadassah, and Friends of Ben-Gurion University. Volunteering in Israel during the Gulf War of 1991, they actively worked in the civilian front. When not focused on family and the Jewish community, Bernie and Irene were tireless activists for social justice causes in their community, country, and around the world.

Irene met Bernie during a stroll in Patterson Park on Yom Kippur. She married the love of her life on July 15, 1951. They had three children together Paul, Marc, and Yoni. Bernie and Irene were absolutely inseparable throughout their lives (64+ years). Always active, they traveled the world together, visiting Israel 25 times, and attending numerous elder hostels.

Irene will be remembered as a loving mother and wife and for her never-ending willingness to give of herself and help others. Irene was always ready to lend a helping hand and fight for justice.

She is survived by her children, Paul Bennett Siegel of Costa Rica; Marc Howard Siegel (Linda Zangwill) of San Diego, California and Yoni Siegel of Greenbelt, Maryland; her grandchildren, Dahlia (Preston) Canter of Kirkland, Washington, Maya Siegel of Seattle, Washington, and Emma Siegel of Austin, Texas; and her great-granddaughter, Marni (Dahlia and Preston). She is also survived by her older sister Selma Bacher.

Funeral services are private.

Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Jewish National Fund, 78 Randall Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY 11570. Please direct acknowledgement cards for any contributions to Yoni Siegel, 10 Plateau Place, Unit M, Greenbelt, MD 20770.

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