NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Rita Rosen of New Rochelle died Saturday, March 8.
Rosen was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., to Anne and Max Pochapin. After receiving the Best Actress Award from Great Neck High School, she went on to study with Sanford Meisner, Martha Graham and Lee Strassberg at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Upon graduation she was invited by Rabbi Steven Wise to dramatize "Behold The Jew", the plight for a Jewish National Homeland, at The World Jewish Congress. This became the platform for her life of volunteerism.
She created "Theatre for a Cause", which presented dramatizations in support of civic, philanthropic and humanitarian causes. Guidance Center, UJA, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, United Way, New Rochelle Hospital, American Jewish Committee, Family Service of Westchester, Jewish Braille Institute and Temple Israel of New Rochelle, were among the organizations she and Philip supported.
Highlights: In 1973 Rita and Rabbi Amiel Wohl of Temple Israel, began broadcasting a radio program for High Holy Days and Sabbaths to those who could not physically attend worship services. That program continues, bringing comfort to the homebound of all faiths. Rita and Philip devoted a large portion of their time and energy to The Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Rita used her talents to create over 20 films, telling the college of medicine's story and highlighting the importance of medical research. Rita became a member of the Board of Overseers in 1983. In 2000 Rita received an Honorary Doctorate from Yeshiva University. In 2005 The Women's Division honored her with its highest accolade, The Lizette H. Sarnoff Award for Volunteer Service. Along with Philip, Einstein bestowed upon them their Humanitarian and Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Rosen is survived by her children, Phyllis Hadley and Michael Rosen; sons-in-law, Richard Hadley and Robert Landes; daughter-in-law, Stephanie Rosen; and nine grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Philip; and daughter, Wendy Landes.
A memorial celebration of Rosen’s life will be scheduled in the spring.