Rhonda Krandel, z”l worked at Holy Blossom for many years. Rhonda passed away in 2012. For many years the Department of Education wanted to recognize Rhonda’s contribution to Holy Blossom but were stalled by our renovation. On Sunday, December 8th a group of colleagues and Rhonda’s family joined us for the dedication of a tree in her memory and small gathering. Lorraine Sandler, our Director of the Holy Blossom Temple Pre-School (as it was then known) shared a few words of remembrance. May Rhonda’s memory be for a blessing to her family and all who knew her and were blessed to have been taught by her.
Address honouring the memory of Rhonda Krandel: December 8, 2019.
Thank you to Holy Blossom for allowing me to say a few words today. I was the person responsible for hiring Rhonda in 1989 or so. We had arranged to meet in my office during that summer for an interview, and when I perceived Rhonda to be about 10-15 minutes late, I walked to the old foyer on Ava Rd, to see if she was there. There was a twelve-year-old sitting cross-legged on the metal screens and I asked her if she had seen a teacher walking around. She recognised my voice and said, “You must be Lorraine.” Even when Rhonda was forty, she looked as though she was 12 !!!!!
We had our interview, which went very well. Rhonda was bright, astute with a cheerful disposition. I had previously had a conversation with Rabbi Plaut z”l, where he spoke about the fact that classical reform was changing and that he would invite me to bring a gentle modicum of traditionalism into the curriculum. We should help the children see the world through Jewish eyes. While the task of leading this endeavour was mine, I needed a cadre of teachers who would be able to follow through. Rhonda seemed to fit the bill.
And indeed she did. She was loved by the kids, the parents and her colleagues. She was fun, creative, hard-working and professional. She learned the names of each child, even before I did, by six weeks. She knew every song and story instantly. She was the person to proofread all my newsletters. She knew what I meant, even before I did and invariably found several errors to boot.
It was a privilege to have had Rhonda on our pre-school staff. She did as she needed to. She was a gift to our school and honouring her today is a beautiful reminder of a one of a kind human being and gifted teacher. We are all the richer for having known her and having her as part of our Holy Blossom family.