A. Tuzman; owned window cleaner

Arnold Tuzman
Arnold Tuzman
Posted: December 19, 2013

Arnold Tuzman, 98, of Elkins Park and Pompano Beach, Fla., a Holocaust survivor, businessman, and philanthropist, died Thursday, Dec. 12, of cancer at Abington Hospice at Warminster.

Mr. Tuzman was the longtime proprietor of Jenkintown Window Cleaning, a family business taken over and expanded by his son.

The firm was known for sending workers hundreds of feet skyward to clean the windows of such structures as Liberty Place, the Wanamaker Building, and Veterans Stadium. It also handled hospitals, historical sites, and mansions on the Main Line, according to its website.

Mr. Tuzman was born as Aharon Tuzman in 1915 in what is now Zaklikow, Poland.

At age 8, he sold sweet buns warm from the family's oven on the village streets to make a little money.

After the Nazis invaded Poland in World War II, his widowed mother, Symma, told Mr. Tuzman to take his brother, Maier, and flee. Bribing a farmer with two bottles of vodka, the two young men crossed the Soviet border buried inside a hay wagon.

They covered their mouths so as not to cry out when border guards stabbed the hay with pitchforks, his family said in a tribute.

Mr. Tuzman and his brother were captured by Russians, though, and sent to a Siberian labor camp because they were escapees. When a call went out for men to serve in the Soviet Polish army, Mr. Tuzman volunteered. Rising to the rank of chief quartermaster, he not only saved his and his brother's lives, but also smuggled supplies to Jewish survivors of concentration camps, his family said.

Mr. Tuzman was still in uniform just after V-E Day when he was asked to give a ride to a young woman named Esther Knobel. Suspecting she was Jewish, he asked if she knew a Hebrew blessing recited on the Sabbath.

When her eyes filled with tears, he knew she was a fellow Jew. "They were both being careful," their daughter, Ani, said.

The two married in 1946 and immigrated to America a year later. They lived briefly in New York City before moving to New Jersey.

Mr. Tuzman sold roofing and siding, delivered soda, and ran a chicken farm in Vineland, all before becoming proprietor of Jenkintown Window Cleaning.

In 1961, he moved his family from South Jersey to Northeast Philadelphia. Later, the two moved to Montgomery County, and divided their time between it and Pompano Beach.

Even in his chicken-farming days, Mr. Tuzman made charitable giving a priority. He and his family collected coins and, once a month, sent money to an orphanage in Israel.

The Tuzmans supported Boys Town Jerusalem, Ben Gurion University, Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life, and many other groups. In later years, Mr. Tuzman supported the work of interfaith organizations.

In 2009, when his wife died after 63 years of marriage, Mr. Tuzman endowed the Esther Tuzman Holocaust Education Fund at Gratz College.

Surviving, besides his daughter, are a son, Marty; another daughter, Rochelle Tuzman Sauber; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were Monday, Dec. 16.

Contributions may be made to the Arnold and Esther Tuzman Holocaust Education Fund, 7605 Old York Rd., Melrose Park, Pa. 19027, or online at www.gratz.edu.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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