Jewish education benefactor Yetra Goldberg dies

Yetra Goldberg

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Yetra Goldberg, longtime benefactor of local Jewish day schools and other causes, and vice chairman of Delmar Gardens, died Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at her home in Jerusalem. She was 85, and also maintained a longtime residence in University City. 

Mrs. Goldberg was the widow of Israel Goldberg, co-founder of Delmar Gardens, and past President of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, who died in 1987. The Goldbergs were widely admired and loved for their generous and unflagging support of Jewish education and other causes within the Jewish community, as well as their support for the State of Israel.

Rabbi Jeffrey Bienenfeld, former rabbi of Young Israel Congregation in St. Louis, who currently resides in Israel, offered a eulogy for Mrs. Goldberg at a service in Jerusalem. He said he was “honored” to pay tribute to “this great lady, and that she was-a great lady, one of virtuous merit and noble stature.”

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A native of Tulsa, Okla., Yetra Goldberg was a graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy. She was a member of the Missouri and National Occupational Therapy Associations. She used those skills at Delmar Gardens, which had been co-founded by her late husband back in 1965, serving as Director of Occupational Therapy and continuing her longtime association as vice chairman of the nursing home group.

In his remarks, Rabbi Bienenfeld said, “Who was this woman who harked from Tulsa, Okla. to become a benefactor to so many throughout the Jewish world, a community leader in St. Louis, and most of all, a devoted wife to her dear husband, Izzi, of blessed memory, and a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to her wonderful family?”

Barry Rosenberg, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, described Mrs. Goldberg as “a true Woman of Valor. She was warm, compassionate, generous and totally committed to the Jewish people. As a Life Member of Federation, her input was highly valued. She demonstrated her commitment to Clal Yisrael through her philanthropic and volunteer efforts on behalf of the full spectrum of Jewish community organizations. I will miss my visits to her in Jerusalem.”

Gabe Grossberg, president and chief executive officer of Delmar Gardens Enteprises, said, “The Delmar Gardens family is deeply saddened by the loss of Yetra Goldberg. She was a dear friend and partner with my parents, the late Barbara and Henry Grossberg. Yetra’s legendary philanthropic contributions and dedication to the Jewish community epitomize the Delmar Gardens philosophy of love, care and understanding.”

Among Mrs. Goldberg’s many community activities were leadership positions in the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation and service with the Grand Givers Division of its participation in the Jewish Federation Campaign. She and her late husband and family made numerous trips to the State of Israel and maintained a home in Jerusalem for many years.

Mrs. Goldberg was also active with the Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary 644, the Conference of Jewish Organizations, the Women’s Division of Young Israel and Meals on Wheels.

Mrs. Goldberg was a generous benefactor of the Rabbi H. F. Epstein Hebrew Academy, the Torah Academy for Girls and the Louis and Sarah Block Yeshiva High School.

Among Mrs. Goldberg’s survivors are a son, Tzvi Goldberg of Jerusalem and two daughters, Janice Britansky of Jerusalem and Diane Fredman of St. Louis.

Rabbi Bienenfeld offered his eulogy at the service honoring Mrs. Goldberg at the Hall of Eulogies at the Har Menuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem. Mrs. Goldberg’s remains were buried next to those of her beloved husband, Israel Goldberg at that cemetery.

Contributions in Mrs. Goldberg’s memory may be made to the Epstein Hebrew Academy, the Louis and Sarah Block Yeshiva High School, Young Israel Congregation or the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.