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.