Palm Beach Synagogue will honor resident Bill Langfan — retired businessman and World War II veteran — to mark his 95th birthday on Saturday. Services start at 9 a.m. followed by a noon luncheon and 12:30 p.m. celebration.
“Mr. Langfan is a pillar of tremendous strength within our community,” said Rabbi Moshe Scheiner. “He has exemplified the virtues of loving kindness and generosity, and community and family and friendship.”
“At 95, he is a role model and example to all of us on how one can be engaged, building a lasting, living legacy that will impact the lives of many others for generations to come.”
Cantor Zev Müller of New York will lead the services and Israeli scholar MordecaiKedar, an assistant professor at Bar-llan University, will talk about “the shared values and principles that have forged a great relationship between the United States and Israel, something which Mr. Langfan has devoted his life toward strengthening,” said Scheiner.
Langfan will read from the Torah he donated to Palm Beach Synagogue in 2009 in his parents’ memory. He’s also given Torahs to Temple Beth El, Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach and Temple Aitz Chaim of West Palm Beach, all local synagogues he’s attended.
Langfan’s donations toward youth education connect teens to their heritage, history and culture and build leadership. This month, he again will sponsor synagogue teens to attend the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C., so they can become more engaged with issues that unite the United States and Israel. He also sponsors students attending from local temples Beth El and Emanu-El and Chabad of Clinton, N.Y., serving Hamilton University.
He lectures and writes about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, sometimes with son Mark, who uses maps to illustrate Israel’s importance to the United States and Europe. His website is williamklangfan.com.
During the war, he served in the Battle of the Bulge and was in the first group of liberators at the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945.
His three children followed his footsteps and earned law degrees. One of his six grandchildren is attending his alma mater Cornell University, where a moot court competition is named for him, one of his several permanent endowments.
Langfan was the youngest of five growing up and “treated royally,” he said. He was the first one in his family to attend college and law school.
Family from Washington, D.C., and New York will attend Langfan’s birthday tribute at the temple and a party at The Chesterfield.
His birthday wish is “for people to seek the facts,” he said. “If you know the facts, and you make a judgment, you are entitled to convey your opinion. But have facts, don’t just rely on what you hear or read.”
Of the synagogue tribute, he said: “They are asking me to tell a joke they haven’t heard before. That’s a little difficult. Good jokes are hard to find.”
Music at Bethesda-by-the-Sea — James Guyer, organist and choirmaster at St. Boniface Episcopal Church in Sarasota, will play a recital at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Evensong with the Bethesda Choir will follow at 4 p.m. All are welcome.
Festive — Food, music and speakers will highlight a Women’s League Shabbaton weekend March 17 and 18 at Temple Emanu-El. It will kick off with a dinner at 5:45 p.m. March 17, followed by 7:30 p.m. services.
The next day, Temple Beth Sholom Teen Choir of Greenwich, Conn., directed by Cantor Asa Fradkin, will sing traditional songs during the 9:15 a.m. service.
Carol Simon of Tampa, president of the National Women’s League of Conservative Judaism, will address both services.
Mickey Feldberg, a former Women’s League president, called Simon “charming, vivacious, and she has dedicated much of her adult life to Women’s League.”
In addition, Women’s League president Rhea Zukerman will honor the board for its yearlong programming.
All are welcome. RSVP for dinner by March 13 by calling 832-0804.
Pre-Purim event — The Palm Beach Jewish Women’s Circle gathering at 7 p.m. Monday at The Chabad House will feature tastings of hamantaschen (three-cornered cookies or pastry that resemble Haman’s three-cornered hat in the Purim story) and guest speaker Sorele Brownstein. Born and raised in Milan, Italy, Brownstein will share insights into Jewish heroines of the past. She co-directs Chabad of Davis , Calif., with husband Rabbi Shmaryahu Brownstein.
Sorele Brownstein, the author of The Gilded Cage: Queen Esther’s Untold Story, will also have a book signing and sale.
The women will prepare hamantaschen and gift packages before the Purim holiday, which runs from sundown March 11 to nightfall March 12.
Purim drama — Purim Puppet Theater led by Rabbi G of the Chabad Youth Network will take place at The Society of the Four Arts Children’s Library for ages 3 to 12. Children also can bake and take home hamantashen at the event, set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
(This article was published on 7:00 a.m. Friday, March 03, 2017, in http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/lifestyles/religion/synagogue-honor-role-model-95th-birthday/zKyRUzNefPOg93RCoBC9aN/)