A large crowd of co-workers and friends packed the Surf Solomon Senior Center for a moving memorial tribute presented by the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI) in memory of Leona Goldberg, who passed away after serving for more than 23 years as JCCGCI’s case management coordinator.
In her position, Goldberg had been responsible for ensuring that a variety of important services were being delivered to numerous low-income frail elderly residing in Coney Island and Brighton Beach.
Goldberg’s personality was summed up by Rabbi Moshe Wiener, executive director of the JCCGCI, who recounted how, “With her high degree of sensitivity, caring and striving on their behalf, Leona devoted her entire being to her clients.”
According to Rabbi Wiener, Goldberg would go shopping for frail and elderly clients, and often paid for their food and medicine “from her own meager salary” and was “willing to take telephone calls at her home at all hours of the night from senior clients who felt that they were in crisis at that moment and needed a reassuring voice.”
In a special proclamation, declaring the day “Leona Goldberg Memorial Day” in the borough, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz declared that, “For over two decades, she was always going beyond her duties as ‘mother’ to her elderly clients…her rich life of service to our borough and its residents reached many and will live on in her words, deeds and spirit.”
The personal impact that Goldberg left on her clients and peers was vividly demonstrated by a touching video presentation depicting the beloved caseworker in action, as well as by testimonies from a number of her close friends who had benefited from her singularly compassionate and generous nature.
The program concluded with an uplifting musical piece played in Goldberg’s memory by Lora Finkelman, a fellow caseworker at JCCGCI.
Rabbi Wiener concluded that, “[Goldberg’s] memory will continue to inspire all of us to provide our vital services to our clients with the greatest amount of caring, respect and love.”