Brief: Lee Bender, Longtime ZOA Leader, Dies at 56

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Lee and Jane Bender

Lee Bender, who served as president of the Greater Philadelphia Zionist Organization of America from 2012 to 2019, died on Sept. 10 at the age of 56 after a long illness.

Bender, a native of New York, had lived in Philadelphia since 1989 with his wife, Jane. The Cornell University graduate — following his father and grandfather, and followed by his eldest son — was an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, and later left for private practice, working as a litigation attorney at Joseph Chaiken & Associates.

His involvement with the Jewish community of Philadelphia was multi-faceted. Besides his tenure with the ZOA, he served on several committees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and as co-president of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El’s Men’s Club. Bender was a prolific writer, often blogging for The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel. He cowrote the book, Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A-to-Z.

Bender is survived by his wife, Jane Green Bender; his sons, Justin and Noah; his siblings, Evan Bender and Sharon Bender (Andrew Feldmann); his sister-in-law, Marci Green; and his mother and father-in-law, Melvin and Greta Green.

There will be a memorial service on Sept. 13 at 9 a.m. at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El.

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