Hilda Greenberg, 93

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Rebbetzin Hilda Greenberg passed away in New York City on Dec. 3 at age 93.

Hilda Greenberg, the longtime rebbetzin at Temple Sinai in Dresher, took her role to heart. She knew the details of her congregants’ lives — when they needed a call or a note — and never missed a meeting or anything involving the sisterhood and other synagogue affairs. 
 
The rebbetzin passed away in New York City on Dec. 3 at age 93.
 
“Everybody always said I looked like her,” said her youngest daughter Adena Greenberg. “She was fiercely loyal, devoted, very supportive and had an open heart for everyone. Even in high school, I enjoyed coming home after school and finding her there always ready to take me where I needed to go.”   
 
Adena recalled that their relationship developed even further during her teenage years. She and her mother would often have impromptu late-night bonding sessions. 
 
“I would say, ‘Let’s go have a party,’ and she was always game,” Greenberg said. 
 
She told the Exponent that her sister, Reena Keren, who lives in Tel Aviv, also had a close relationship with her mother and spoke on the phone with her everyday.
 
Born Hilda Weiss in Brooklyn, she studied for three years at Brooklyn College, but finished her bachelor’s degree at Temple University, after moving to Philadelphia with her new husband, Rabbi Sidney Greenberg. They met at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York where Greenberg was taking classes. For their first date, he insisted that she cut class, and they went to see the movie How Green Was My Valley.
 
 They married on Oct. 30, 1942 in Brooklyn and moved to Philadelphia, where they assumed the positions of rabbi and rebbetzin of Temple Sinai for 57 years, impacting the lives of thousands of congregants during their tenure. 
 
“She was an old-fashioned rebbetzin,” said Flossie Albert, Temple Sinai congregant, who spoke at the funeral and knew Greenberg since she was 8 years old. “We don’t grow them like her anymore. She had a good life and she had a good influence on a lot of people’s lives.”  
 
Although Greenberg was 13 years older than Albert, she had a tremendous impact on her life. They celebrated holidays and Shabbat together and the rabbi and rebbetzin were like her second parents. 
 
“They had a meaningful and positive influence on those lucky enough to get to know them,” Albert said about the Greenbergs. “Hilda was always near him in every way and he depended on her. She was a wonderful daughter to her beloved parents and a super mother to her children.”
 
In 2000, the couple moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Being close to family became their priority after losing their daughter, Shira Greenberg Ruskay, in 1998. 
 
Hilda Greenberg is survived by two daughters, Dr. Adena Greenberg (Shlomi Liran) and Rena Keren, and six grandchildren.
 
Contact: jcohen@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0747

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