Long-time Jericho resident and renowned leader Elinor Herskovitz Flatow, a beloved mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and wife to the late Meyer Flatow for 37 years, died recently. A Philadelphia native, she was an accomplished singer who attended Settlement Music School and was the professional mezzo-soprano soloist at Adath Jeshurun in Philadelphia. She continued her professional singing career many years later at Roslyn’s Temple Beth Shalom.
Committed to her Judaism and Americanism, Flatow served as president of Jericho Hadassah for three consecutive years, with the chapter winning coveted “four star awards” during that time. She went on to become the education chair for Nassau County Hadassah. Throughout her Hadassah service, she was often requested to open events singing both the national anthem and Hatikvah.
Recognizing the key influence of music in her childhood and upbringing, she wrote Maestro Leonard Bernstein when she noted eldest son Edward’s developing music talent at the piano at four years old. Bernstein’s office wrote back, recommending Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music Pre-College, which led to Edward, daughter Paula and son Joel each attending for 12 years. Flatow was not only key in developing each of their musical talents and careers but served as President of Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Parents’ Association, helping to institute the division’s first graduation ceremony for pre-college students.
When son Joel graduated Yale University, she reached out to the Yale Parents Association to offer her help in any form. This lead to a groundbreaking and historic run as the Yale Alumni Fund’s National Chair of Past Parents for an unprecedented 33 years. During that time, Flatow led fundraising phone-a-thons with a force of volunteers drawing on parents of graduated Yale students, ultimately raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve student life.
For this work, she was the first non-alumni parent in Yale Alumni Fund’s 150-year history to receive the fund’s highest award called the Chairman’s Award at a gala in1995.
More than anything, Flatow was a deeply beloved, devoted, joyous, caring and committed mother and grandmother, taking a pride in her children and grandchildren matched only by their pride in her. She is survived by her three children, Edward, Paula and Joel Flatow; her three grandchildren, Rachel Vicino and Melissa and Daniel Flatow; niece Lori Herskovitz; and nephews Jon and Edward Herskovitz.