Bernard Anshel, 87, synagogue president

July 19, 2004

Bernard Anshel, a retired accountant who served as president of Winands Road Synagogue in Randallstown for about 15 years, died Tuesday night at Sinai Hospital of complications related to recent heart valve replacement surgery. The Randallstown resident was 87.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Mr. Anshel spent his career working in various companies and for state agencies, and retired in 1977, said his wife of 59 years, the former Zelda Goldsmith.

But his retirement years were anything but quiet, she said.

Mr. Anshel, who earned a degree from a business school that later became part of the University of Baltimore, spent time doing income tax returns and taking care of finances for friends and acquaintances -- in addition to his work with the synagogue.

"He was a man who did so many acts of charity," she said.

If someone needed a seat in the synagogue during the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur but couldn't afford the fee, Mr. Anshel would quietly pay for the seat himself, said Mrs. Anshel and Nathan Sefret, the synagogue vice president.

"He was good-hearted, and there was nothing he wouldn't do for you," Mr. Sefret said.

He played an important role in the life of the synagogue during his tenure as president, helping the institution resolve financial difficulties, said Mr. Sefret and Mrs. Anshel.

At Mr. Anshel's funeral Thursday, the synagogue's spiritual leader, Rabbi Sholom Salfer, who was traveling in Israel, called from Jerusalem to deliver the eulogy and spoke for about a half-hour, said Mrs. Anshel. "It was the greatest accolade anyone could ever have," she said.

Mr. Anshel, a World War II Army veteran, was also known to many children years ago as Scoutmaster at the old Isaac Davidson Hebrew School in Northwest Baltimore. He and his wife were also active for many years in the National Federation of the Blind.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Anshel is survived by a son, Joseph Anshell of Scottsdale, Ariz.; a daughter, Ellen Kampler of Rockdale; and three grandsons.

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