Community Briefs: Brett Breslow Off Ventilator

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Philanthropist Leon C. Sunstein Jr. Dies at 98

Investment adviser and philanthropist Leon C. Sunstein Jr., 98, died of complications from a stroke on March 23, at the Hill at Whitemarsh in Lafayette Hill.

Leon Sunstein
Leon Sunstein

The Philadelphia native graduated from Cornell University in 1943, the same year he married Emily Weisberg and joined the Pacific theater as a Navy officer in World War II.


Sunstein joined brother Charles and cousin William Gerstley in the family’s brokerage firm, Gerstley Sunstein & Co., after the war. Although the business was acquired by Drexel Burnham in the 1970s, Sunstein remained as a senior vice president until retiring in 1988.

He then established his own investment consulting firm and worked there until just before his death.

Sunstein was involved with numerous Jewish charities and community organizations, financially supporting them as well. He served on the boards of JEVS Human Services, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Jewish Federation honored him with its Community Award in 1989.

Outside the Jewish services world, he worked with United Way beginning in 1964 and was a board member of Hahnemann University Hospital, which honored him with its University Medal in 1968.

He was a member of Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia.

Sunstein is survived by his daughters Lauren Sunstein and Kay Hymowitz; his son Paul Sunstein; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His half-sister, Suzanne Fleisher Roberts, died this week.

DJOP Names New Board Member

Adam Kessler
Adam Kessler

Adam Kessler joined the board of Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania.

DJOP is a Philadelphia-area-based federal political action committee that supports progressive Democratic political candidates and sponsored educational programs.

Kessler is the former director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, serving from November 2008 until April 2018. He began his career in 1986 at the Baltimore JCRC.

In 1993, Kessler joined the Jewish Federation world, becoming the assistant campaign director of the Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. He moved to Philadelphia in 1998 and became director of the Bux-Mont regional office of the Philadelphia Jewish Federation system. He also had a two-year stint at a private fundraising
consulting group.

He now works with local Christian and Jewish leaders advocating for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Brett Breslow Off Ventilator

A Cherry Hill, New Jersey man fighting the coronavirus is on the mend and was removed from a ventilator at Cooper Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, CBS3 reported.

Brett Breslow, who was featured in an April 2 Jewish Exponent article, spent 19 days on a ventilator and remains in the ICU, although he has started physical therapy.

From left: Brett, Amy, Grace and Jack Breslow
From left: Brett, Amy, Grace and Jack Breslow (Courtesy of Amy Breslow)

“He had to have multiple transfusions. He needed a plasma transfusion, he needed a blood transfusion,” his wife, Amy Breslow, said. “He was fighting every obstacle, every step of the way.”

Amy Breslow had asked for the public’s help in donating plasma, hoping for a donation from a person who had recovered from COVID-19 and developed antibodies to the disease. Brett Breslow did not receive that treatment.

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