Congregation Beth Israel, the Jewish people and the world at large have lost a great man!
It spoke volumes to me about Bennett Pearl’s values that he and Libby celebrated their 50th anniversary by coming to Shabbat Eve services at his beloved temple. It was rare that he was not here, and his smile warmed the sanctuary.
Bennett often referred to himself as the only volunteer that I ever fired.
He worked so hard and so tirelessly on the Legacy Program for the temple.
He threw his heart and soul into the effort. Several years ago he ended up in the hospital. I asked his doctor whether Bennett’s full-throttle efforts on behalf of the Legacy program could jeopardize his health. When the doctor agreed that it could, I took Bennett off the case.
As it turned out, it was only a medical furlough, not a firing. Before too long Bennett was back on the job that was so important to the future of the synagogue he loved so much.
Bennett’s love was not just for the synagogue as an institution but for the values it represents and for its people.
His love for and kindness to Vickie and me was a love we both felt constantly. He knew that chocolate chip ice cream was one of my favorite foods, so one day while I was recovering from surgery, he made a special trip to Manchester to buy me home made chocolate chip ice cream that is legendary.
He took a special interest in my son Ben, and the two of them talked business for hours. When Ben returned to Connecticut from Arizona, Bennett was a huge help to him in sorting out his career priorities and goals.
But perhaps Bennett’s activity that I admire most is his devotion to the little girl he tutored as a volunteer every week at Rawson School, his own alma mater. Every step of progress she made filled his heart with joy.
The Talmud teaches, “One who saves a single life, saves the entire world (B Sanhedrin 37a).
”Bennett Pearl saved many lives during his earthly journey and brought joy to many others.
If there were more people like him, Jewish life would be better off, and the world would be a better place. His memory will always be a blessing to our family and to so many others.