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  • Wendell Maxey

Remembering Staten Island Resident And Holocaust Survivor, Brenda Perelman

Updated: Apr 26



The Staten Island Holocaust Center is saddened to learn about the passing of friend, neighbor, Staten Island resident, and Holocaust survivor, Brenda Perelman.


Her life is as remarkable as her story of survival.


Born in 1937, Brenda Perelman was from the Polish town of Holoby which is now part of the Ukraine. During the occupation of Poland, she and her family fled into the forest to hide from the Nazis who had shot and killed her 2-year old brother and grandparents. Brenda and her parents survived by staying in the forest and hiding with local farmers. Following the end of World War II, she and her family settled in Bologna, Italy, before immigrating to the U.S. in 1949. After attending yeshiva high school and graduating from Brooklyn College, Brenda worked as a social worker for the Bureau of Child Welfare. Following the birth of her children, she and her husband -- Moritz -- moved to Staten Island.


From volunteering at the Jewish Foundation School on Staten Island, to earning a master’s degree from St. John’s University, and her work as a special education teacher in Brooklyn for 20 years and even after retiring in Staten Island, Brenda touched so many peoples lives. Following her official retirement, she worked as a special education teacher on Staten Island for several more years. Brenda and Moritz were married for 64 years and resided on Grymes Hill, Staten Island, across the street from Wagner College, where they have often opened their home to students, teachers, faculty, interns, and hosted Shabbat dinners.


Brenda will be deeply missed.



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