Sylvia M. (née Katz) Lubliner
Sylvia M. (née Katz) Lubliner, September 23, 2021, Jacksonville Florida, proud mother of Rabbi Jonathan (Susan) Lubliner; loving grandmother of Avichai, Elior, and Itamar; devoted aunt to Miriam Parkinson and Beth Amy Susman; and dedicated to sister-in-law Heni Fassler; predeceased by the love of her life and husband of 43 years, Rabbi Immanuel “Manny” Lubliner.
Born to immigrant parents, Sylvia and her sister of blessed memory, Sonia, were raised in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in English with Honors from Brooklyn College, Sylvia received a fellowship to attend Syracuse University’s Student Dean Program, a nationally-recognized graduate program in which women graduate students were assigned as counselors to undergraduate women housed in campus residences. After receiving her Masters from Syracuse University, she completed all coursework for a Doctorate in Educational Counseling, but opted for motherhood and a career in secondary education. A talented educator who loved literature and was always invested in her students’ well-being, Sylvia believed deeply in the value of public school education, teaching at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn – her own alma mater – and Lakeland High School in Northern Westchester County, New York. Later, she would become a guidance counselor, first at Nyack High School and later at Tappan Zee High School, both located in Rockland County, New York. Respected by her colleagues and appreciated by her students, Sylvia’s career in public education spanned 45 years.
Despite her commitment to a full-time career, Sylvia relished her role as a rebbetzin (wife of the rabbi) and saw herself as a partner in all things with her husband, Manny. She also relished her role as Jonathan’s mother. When Manny was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 47 and subsequently retired from the rabbinate at the age of 53, Sylvia continued to work full-time as the family’s breadwinner, in addition to increasingly becoming her husband’s caregiver and primary parent of son Jonathan. Through her inspired and unwavering commitment to Manny, she managed to care for him at home from the time of his retirement in 1976 until the last few months before his death – a total of two decades.
Beyond her career and her devotion to family, Sylvia was passionately committed to a variety of causes in the larger Jewish community. For more than forty years she was an active member of the Greenburgh Hebrew Center in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where she served as Sisterhood President. She also was a founding member of Havurat Rosh Pinah in Hastings, New York, and a member of the Jacksonville Jewish Center since her relocation to Northeast Florida in 2008. A past member of the International Board of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, as well as a onetime board member of Mercaz USA (the Zionist Organization of the Conservative/Masorti movement), Sylvia was also a co-founder of American Friends of Neve Hanna, the only children’s home of its kind in Israel affiliated with the Conservative/ Masorti movement. For her dedicated service, she received numerous awards from the synagogues to which she belonged, and the organizations she served, including Hadassah. Until the last few years, she continued to teach adult education, including leading book club groups and teaching basic Hebrew.
Beloved by her family and friends, respected by colleagues, neighbors, and fellow members of her community, she will be missed for her energy, her dedication to Jewish life, and her generosity of self. Contributions in her memory may be directed to the Jacksonville Jewish Center, American Friends of Neve Hanna, or the Jewish Theological Seminary.