E. Gelernter, 61; Survived Nazi Terrors

Posted: December 24, 1999

Eva H. Gelernter, 61, a survivor of the horrors of Nazi occupation who went on to become a social worker after reaching the United States, died Wednesday of colon cancer at Keystone Hospice House in Wyndmoor.

Before requiring hospice care a few weeks ago, Ms. Gelernter had been a longtime resident of Center City.

Born in Brussels in 1938, Ms. Gelernter escaped the Nazi police state in Belgium with her family, crossing into France in 1942 before reaching America in 1951.

They first settled in Chicago, but within a short time moved to Philadelphia. Impressed by the help given her family by American social workers, Ms. Gelernter went into the field.

After earning a bachelor's degree in sociology from Temple University in 1958, she got her master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

She was the executive director of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society for several years, and was an AIDS and oncology social worker at Graduate Hospital for nine years. Most recently, she worked for the Keystone Health System, where she acted as a liaison with community agencies and case managers.

She also taught at Penn and Widener University.

Ms. Gelernter was a member of several professional organizations, including the National Association of Social Workers and the Association of Oncology Social Workers.

She also was involved in Jewish humanitarian causes, including Child Survivors of the Holocaust. She was a member of Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel.

She is survived by her parents, Rabbi Charles and Esther Gelernter; and a sister, Rosette Narkunski.

Services will be at noon Sunday at Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks, 6410 N. Broad St. Burial will be at Roosevelt Memorial Park. Shiva will be observed at the home of her sister in Linwood, N.J.

Memorial donations may be made to Keystone Hospice House, 8765 Stenton Ave., Wyndmoor, Pa. 19038.

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