Solomon Fisher, 78, long active in the Jewish community in a variety of leadership posts, died Dec. 14.
A graduate of Temple University as well as its School of Law — having the distinction of finishing first in his class at both — the native Philadelphian then moved to Washington, D.C., where he got a position with the Department of Justice.
When he returned to Philadelphia, he got a job at Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Levy, where he served for two decades before moving on to join Selwyn Horvitz in establishing their own firm, which later merged with Reed Smith.
Eventually he did a 360 — coming back to Dilworth Paxson.
A certified public accountant, Fisher taught Temple’s master’s of tax law curricula for 25 years; in 2005 and 2006, he was deemed a Super Lawyer.
Fisher was at the forefront in the Jewish community, serving over the years in many groups, including as president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia and of the Philadelphia branch of American Jewish Committee. He also served on the board of the Jewish Learning Venture and its predecessor, the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education.
Fisher had a reputation for doing things right, says Burt Siegel, who worked with him twice — when Fisher was president of the local AJC in the 1970s and later at JCRC.
Calling the lay leader “extremely caring,” Siegel, who went on to become executive director of JCRC in 2000 before retiring in 2008, remembers Fisher as “exacting; he was a tax lawyer who strongly believed that things should be done right — that’s how he did things. It was good training for me, to work with a lay leader who had high expectations of his staff.”
He also apparently had expectations that people could get along no matter their differences, working to better Jewish-black relations over the years.
Fisher was also instrumental in the establishment of the Mandell Education Campus in Melrose Park.
He was active at Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, including serving as its president. He was also on the board of Perelman Jewish Day School and the Philadelphia Jewish Archives, which he helped found.
During election years, Fisher was a regular presence at the polls as a judge of elections.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Alice; a daughter, Suzanne; a son, Eric; a sister, Beatrice; and a grandchild.