FROM RABBI SHLOMO RISKIN:
It is with deep sadness that I share news of the tragic and untimely passing of a passionate, brilliant and tireless Jewish leader, my beloved friend and visionary partner, Belda bat Rita and Benjamin (Kaufman) Lindenbaum, z“l.
Belda devoted her life, in addition to her wholehearted commitment to Marcel and her family, to being an indefatigable advocate for women’s rights to leadership roles in the broader Jewish community and for women’s right to divorce in Jewish law. She was deeply religious, and insisted that her God of love and compassion would not and could not allow women to be held captive to their husbands, or aspire to be less than worthy scholars in the classical literature of our tradition. She was courageous and powerful in her righteous demands, but gentle and loving in every one of her personal relationships.
My heart goes out to Marcel, Belda’s beloved ally in all matters of kodesh and not-yet kodesh. They truly acted as partners in bringing about real change in Torah education and Torah leadership for women. Ohr Torah Stone’s Midreshet Lindenbaum, in all of its many divisions, is a magnificent testament to Belda and Marcel’s vision and foresight. The advances they championed and effected will forever be associated with her name and will bring glory and honor to her memory.
Belda and Marcel created a beautiful and committed Jewish family dedicated to those very ideals which they expressed throughout their lifetime. May Hashem comfort Nathan, Matthew, Bennett, Victoria Feder, and Abigail Lindenbaum Tambor, together with their spouses and children, on their enormous loss. They, together with the legions of women scholars who were enabled to study due to Belda’s largesse and constant encouragement, will remain as her greatest legacy. They, and the generations which will follow them, will continue to keep her memory alive to all eternity.
May the family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.