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Rona Glassman Finkelstein

Obituary Condolences

Rona Glassman Finkelstein

Born November 7, 1927, Rona Glassman Finkelstein passed away peacefully in Wilmington, DE in the loving presence of family on April 16, 2014. Rona was born and raised in Rochester, N.Y. She received a B.A. degree in fine art from Connecticut College, but her interest in philosophy led to the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. degree. After chairing the philosophy department at Delaware State University, Rona served as the founding director of the Delaware Humanities Forum. Hearing her great-aunt's tales of life in Eastern Europe inspired her to start taping her older relatives' reminiscences and to discover her family's origins. Intensive research culminated in the publication in 2002 of Where We Came From, a vivid portrayal combining colorful oral histories and descriptions of Jewish life in cities in Poland and America around the turn of the century.

Rona's generosity extended to individuals, communities and causes far and wide, and she was uniformly admired for her kindness, sincerity and caring spirit. Rona was a tireless champion of equality for people of all races and traditions. After traveling with her family to the Soviet Union in 1976 to aid Jewish Refuseniks, Rona devoted her efforts to assisting Jewish families from Russia settle in the Wilmington area. She taught English, drove the disabled to doctors' appointments, and helped them adjust to life in the United States. A longtime resident of Wilmington, Rona was deeply involved in the Jewish community. Until late in her illness, she took an especially active role in Jewish Great Books, chairing and choosing all selections in this annual exploration and celebration of seminal literature penned by Jewish authors.

Predeceased by her beloved husband Nisson in 1989, Rona is survived by two sons, Jesse and Loren, two daughters-in-law, Elizabeth and Shelly, four granddaughters, Sarah and her husband John, Danielle, Michaela and Arielle, and three great grandchildren, Malachai, Simcha, and Nevaeh.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 am Friday, April 18, 2014 at Congregation Beth Shalom 1801 Baynard Boulevard, Wilmington. Observance of the week long mourning and visitation period will commence on Friday, April 18, at the late residence. Shiva will be observed Tuesday evening at 8:45pm, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday evening at 7:00 pm. Contributions would be appreciated in Rona's memory to the .

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Published in The News Journal from Apr. 17 to Apr. 19, 2014
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