GREENFIELD - Peter Abel Salzman, 38, of Greenfield, died Sunday, May 19, 2013, at home.
Born on the Farm in Summertown Tenn., Peter grew up in Leverett.
Peter leaves a beautiful legacy of caring and compassion. He had the joyful spirit of a rock-n-roller, a rabbi and a rebel. He was philosophical, scholarly and spiritual. Most of all, he was a kind-hearted, generous and loving person who was always ready to listen to his friends and family and offer compassion and insight. Peter was funny too, with a warm sense of wit and wisdom.
Peter pursued a vast array of interests with energy and enthusiasm throughout his life. At Amherst Regional High School (ARHS), Peter was captain of the wrestling team, president of the debating team and president of Jewish Youth of Amherst.
Peter was a highly successful scholar and was at home in the world of ideas, often waxing philosophical on a wide range of political and cultural topics. He was a spiritual seeker and studied religion at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and at Yeshiva in Israel. He was assistant rabbi at Wesleyan University, where he graduated with high honors in 1998 with a bachelor of science degree in anthropology and a minor in religion. He was active in Hillel during and after college. During his junior year he attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as an exchange student. After graduating from Wesleyan, he attended Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He traveled to Svat, Israel, to study with Jewish mystics.
Peter's heart shone in his music. He sang with a beautiful voice and loved to play guitar and piano, and experiment with electronic music. He wrote original songs and enjoyed entertaining others as well as recording his original folk and hip hop. He filled his living space with guitars, electronic music equipment and other instruments. His music expressed rich passion, creativity and fun.
Peter's desire to help others learn and grow inspired him to become a special education teacher at Amherst Regional High School. His creative and innovative drive led him to become a web designer and a Microsoft certified programmer.
Peter was the beloved son of Jill Roberts and Scott Salzman and step-son of Rick Pivirotto, brother of Jenny Salzman and Gabriel Salzman and grandson of June Barap Roberts. Peter's sister Jenny was his best friend and supporter. Peter also leaves behind many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.
Graveside funeral services will be held Friday at 2 p.m. at the Jewish Cemetery in Shutesbury.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in Peter's memory to the Food Bank of Western MA.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on May 22, 2013