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Hanita Edelman Dechter

Hanita Edelman Dechter Obituary
July 19, 1915 - November 23, 2019 Hanita Edelman Dechter, 104, docent and antiquities collector, died peacefully Nov. 23, 2019, at her home in Brentwood. Born July 19, 1915, to Henry Edelman of Los Angeles and Mabel Lehman Edelman of New York City, she was the granddaughter of Rabbi Abraham Wolf Edelman, who with his wife Anna Cohn arrived in Los Angeles in 1859 and settled near Olvera Street. Rabbi Edelman was the founder and first rabbi of Congregation B'nai B'rIth in 1862, now the Wilshire Blvd.Temple. Hanita attended Los Angeles High and UCLA. She married Martin J. Schaffer of Schenectady, NY, in 1941. Their children, David Schaffer (wife Barbara Coffman) of Santa Monica and Jane Schaffer of New York City, survive, along with Jane's daughters, Julia Gruberg (wife Caroline Blackford) and Laura Gruberg, all of Brooklyn. Hanita married Aaron Dechter in 1962. For almost 40 years they traveled widely until his death in 2001. Hanita's interest in archaeology led her to begin the Dechter Collection of Greek and Italian vases and other pieces. Hanita was also a docent at LACMA for 45 years, a member of the Docent Council, and an early member of the Getty Villa Council. She yearly shared her knowledge and her joy of collecting with other docents, who could examine the antiquities at her home. Hanita's love of Los Angeles was lifelong and unwavering. She was a committed Democrat, active with the League of Women Voters and in civic affairs, supporting social justice and equal rights-a legacy passed on to her granddaughters, along with her love of art, theater, books and history. She remained curious and took classes into her tenth decade. Uniquely independent, passionate and charming, Hanita will be dearly missed. Those who wish to make a contribution in her memory may want to consider her favorite causes: children, Native Americans, the blind, and animals.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Dec. 7 to Dec. 10, 2019
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