Temple Beth Israel’s first president, Sydney Flanzbaum, of Sarasota and formerly of Longboat Key, died Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. He was 99.
Born in Boston, he was a former resident of Providence, R.I. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Flanzbaum built a shoe store he inherited from his father into a chain of leased shoe departments. He later sold the business and became vice president of Zales Corp.
Mr. Flanzbaum retired to Longboat Key, and in April 1979, he invited a group of friends to his condominium to discuss the idea of forming a Jewish temple on Longboat Key. In January 1980, the Reform Jewish Congregation Beth Israel of Longboat Key received its charter from the state. The next month, Mr. Flanzbaum was elected as the first president of the temple.
A service will take place at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, at Temple Beth Israel. Memorial contributions can be made to Jewish Family and Children’s Service, 2688 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, Fla. 34237, or Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key, Fla. 34228.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].