The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Arlene Kaufman

Condolences to the family of Arlene Kaufman, 78, who died at her home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on July 27. We extend our deepest condolences to Arlene’s son Dr. Michael Friedman and the family.

Born on January 29, 1944, in Takoma Park, Md., to Bertha and Isadore Gudelsky, Arlene became one of the Jewish world’s most notable philanthropists, visionaries and advocates. Her drive to make the world a better place created momentous impact in the Palm Beaches, Greater Washington, Nashville, Israel, and beyond.

As an unwavering advocate for Israel and the global Jewish community, Arlene’s meaningful philanthropy and organizational leadership included Jewish Federations of North America, The Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, and Hillel International. Arlene’s greatest passion was strengthening younger generations ’connections with Israel and their Jewish community. Her impact will be felt for generations to come. She was among the first leaders of Birthright Israel and Masa Israel, a program of The Jewish Agency, where she served as international co-chair.

Arlene's lifelong commitment to connecting the generations to the broader Jewish world continue to enable Nashville youth and teens to benefit from immersive experiences in Israel through the Mary and Harry Zimmerman Fund.

Prior to moving to the Palm Beaches, Arlene was a devoted leader of Greater Washington’s and Nashville’s Jewish communities and continued to support them long after relocating to South Florida.

Arlene served as board chair of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County from 2006-2008, and, annually, she and her beloved husband, Sanford (Sandy) Baklor were among its most significant philanthropists.

Arlene is survived by her husband, Sandy Baklor; her children, Michael Friedman (Sara), Iris Markel and fiancé Clark Monish, and Marc Friedman; nine grandchildren, Matthew, Ally and Kevin Markel; Daphne and Benjamin Friedman; and Cerri, Daniel, Jacob and Jessica Friedman.

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