By Wally Dobelis
We have lost another cornerstone of the Gramercy Park neighborhood, Dr. Phyllis Robinove Block, wife of the late rabbi, Dr. Irving J. Block, who was the founder of the Brotherhood Synagogue. Phyllis, as she liked to be called, the mother of Herbert Block and grandmother of Joseph, Isaac and Tamar, peacefully passed away in the early morning of Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel hospital. The contribution of this this scholar of French literature was significant to the culture of our city life – she was the rabbi’s chief volunteer in publishing a bulletin, year after year, compiling memorial books and, particularly, helping foster his mission of the brotherhood of religions. This was acknowledged by the presence of two mayors of NYC at the services, one in the sanctuary and the other at the first shiva – David Dinkins and Bill de Blasio, respectively.
The funeral was January 14, 11 a.m., at the synagogue, with Rabbi Daniel Alder officiating, with Cantor Michael Weis, Rabbi Samuel Greenberg of Young Israel of White Plains and Rabbi Michael Miller of Jewish Community Relations Council offering readings. Son Herbert and grandson Joseph reminisced about their mother. The interment was at the Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus, N.J.