Baruch Dayan HaEmet – Sara and Seymour Rabin z”l

Sara Rabin, mother of Bonnie Rabin, died peacefully in Beit Shemesh, Israel on Thursday, January 5th, 2023 after a brief, but catastrophic Covid-related illness. She was buried there that night. 

Seymour Rabin (Shemaryahu ben Yentel Yaakov Dovid), Bonnie’s father, passed away on Shabbat (January 7, 2023) and was buried close to his beloved wife right after Shabbat. Seymour was critically ill with respiratory failure from Covid and was in Hadassah Hospital.

Bonnie’s daughter Hahna, who is there, shared that all of Beit Shemesh knew her mom and dad as the inseparable, cute elderly couple who were always out together; never the one without the other.

This is a devastating loss for Bonnie who is unable to travel and our community is striving to support and comfort her at this time.

There will be a combination of small, in person, masked shiva visits and zoom shiva visits and minyanim as follows:

Monday –  Minyan and Kaddish 5-6.15pm MST (zoom)
Tuesday – shiva visit (no minyan) 3-4pm MST (zoom)
Wednesday – shiva visit – 11-12 (zoom)
All of these will be on Bonnie’s personal zoom:
Zoom ID  725 888 1467 
no password required

Thursday – we are hoping to get a small in person minyan together at 6pm at the Boulder JCC before the rabbis’ discussion
Friday – Shiva Visitation In Person at Bonnie’s home 2 to 3 pm MST

A Meal train for Bonnie has been set up here if you would like to participate.

Tzedakah contributions in memory of Sara can be directed to Bonai Shalom, Temple Beth El in Ithaca, NY, the ADL or a charity of your choice.

Hamakom y’nachem – we wish Bonnie and her family strength and comfort among all the mourners. Peace on the souls of her parents Sara bat Aharon haCohen v’Chaya Bayla and Shemaryahu ben Yaakov Dovid v’ Yentel.
May their memories be for a blessing.

In Bonnie’s Words


My mother  Sydel Jane Cohen Rabin was born and raised in Brooklyn NY to Aaron and Ida Cohen of blessed memory.

She was a very cheerful and  happy person and lived her life with a smile — bringing positivity and hope to all  people no matter the situation.   

She spoke of her childhood to me often and those became cherished bedtime stories I shared with my own children -including the tales of Fluffy Nose -and the Rebezzin– . When I was terribly ill with Covid — she would call me and tell those stories.

I have wonderful memories of happy times of my earliest childhood.

My mother’s encouragement to always ask a question and not be afraid to let others know you don’t understand – was fundamental to my academic path and to living my life always a free spirit with a smile to all.

My parents met at a weekend dance at large synagogue in Brooklyn — typical in those times  My dad jokingly tells the story- and I don’t know if it is true– that she was so awestruck at their instant connection – she couldn’t remember her phone number– and told him to look her up in the phone book under “Cohen” —  he found her – and they were married shortly thereafter in 1959 living 63+ devoted years together.  Their devotion is something we all hope to have with a Bershert- and they had a wonderful marriage.

Mom inspired in me to follow my heart always and to become the  free-spirit I am and like her father- to always see the light, seek happiness and have faith for the goodness in all people and situations. 

It was difficult to maintain our closeness 7000 miles away when she and dad moved to Israel in 1994 and our phone calls and zooms kept us connected.  For that I am always sad that she moved so far away and didn’t have more of a day-to-day presence in my life but she was always in my heart and I know I was in hers.

She was a good woman — an  Eshet Chayil and I should have told her that more often.  I will love you always – my mommy – who bought me the best springtime orange sandals- a memory that somehow seems to have popped into my head the last few days,  – she held my hand when I sick, danced at my wedding, listened to my troubles and successes  and I know she was very proud of me and my two children Hahna and Aryeh.


My father Seymour Rabin (affectionately known as Sy by so many) was born and raised in Bronx NY to Jacob and Yetta  of blessed memory.  He was one of four children– Henry, Rozzie, my dad and Benjamin
Dad was smart– super smart.  He was tenacious, an exceedingly hard worker, a sense of injustice called him to action and he was always driven by integrity in all he did. He had a huge Yiddishe Heart.

My dad taught me my aleph-bet– I remember learning my hebrew letters with him before enrolling in hebrew school- and having a bit of explaining to do as I learned old school ah- and AWH – and Tof and Sof – I got into trouble and we had a conversation with the teacher. My dad was insistent -.  Shabbas was Shabbas not Shabbat.

My dad had an incredible head for mathematics, for logistics and for retail.  Even without a college education- he excelled and worked hard.  My dad could get things done- a man of action and a man of lists– he didn’t rest until everything was taken care of. That is how I roll – often like my dad, I’m told I work too hard.

Dad taught me arithmetic years before I’d learn the same concepts in school- and I was inspired to do the same for my children Hahna and Aryeh- also gifted with the same passion and sense of mathematics.  When he paid the family bills, he would have me write out all the checks and he would sign them- I did this when I was in elementary school.  When I started  my business he had lots of ideas I put into action.

Dad was a man of incredible integrity- he spoke of the injustice done to his father at the bakery and my dad made it a point to carry himself honestly in all he did and expected nothing less of me.

Dad had a huge Yiddishe heart-  he was a proud Jewish War Veteran – wearing that  blue and yellow oddly shaped hat at Memorial Day marches. When we moved from Brooklyn to the Bronx he was a founding member a new synagogue in our neighborhood. Returning to Brooklyn a few years later- he was on the board of our synagogue where he advocated for girls to be included in Hebrew school and become bat-mitzvah.  I was the first girl to chant haftorah at Temple Beth Abraham in Brooklyn in 1974 – it made him, my mother and my grandparents proud.   He lived so far away that he and mom didn’t attend Hahna and Aryeh’s Bnai Mitzvah – but held them in his heart.  He had a love of family – his grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.  Every weekly call he asked about Aryeh and Hahna- and at times he seemed to already know more about Hahna – working the internet in unbelievable ways.  Pictures of them filled their home in Beit Shemish.   

My father and I didn’t always agree about many things – but I have an incredible respect for the man he was and the core values he held so closely guiding him to action with heart, and integrity.   My father worked harder than anyone I know and I hope he finds deep rest with mom by his side always.

About Rabbi Marc Soloway

Marc is a native of London, England where he was an actor and practitioner of complimentary medicine before training as a rabbi in London, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. He was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies at the American Jewish University in 2004 and has been the the spiritual leader at Bonai Shalom in Boulder ever since. Marc was a close student of Rabbi Zalman Schechter Shalomi and received an additional smicha (rabbinic ordination) from him in 2014, just two months before he died. He has been the host and narrator of two documentary films shown on PBS; A Fire in the Forest: In Search of the Baal Shem Tov and Treasure under the Bridge: Pilgrimage to the Hasidic Masters of Ukraine. Marc is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders, has traveled to Ghana in a rabbinic delegation with American Jewish World Service and co-chair of the Rabbinical Council and national board member of Hazon, which strives to create more sustainable Jewish communities. In 2015, Marc was among a group of 12 faith leaders honored at The White House as “Champions of Change” for work on the climate. Marc is a proud member of Beit Izim, Boulder’s Jewish goat milking co-op.

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