Phyllis (Kogen) Monderer

Phyllis (Kogen) Monderer, a prominent educator and education visionary, died Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. She was 91, and resided in Peabody, MA. She was born on June 24, 1927, the daughter of Samuel & Pauline Kogen. Phyllis Monderer attended Lincoln and Textile High Schools in New York City and City College of New York. She developed and created the Enrichment Program at Newton South High School, which for over 25 years, raised awareness by bringing in scores of speakers from the business world, academia, media, sports and politics into the school to present on topics such as AIDS, teens' self-esteem, human rights, the Holocaust, and social and diversity issues. In 1993 she was the winner of the Human Rights Award, from the Newton Human Rights Commission, that celebrated her belief that individuals can make an impact on society.

Phyllis was a renaissance woman; an avid participant in politics, a patron of the theater and the arts. She gave generously of her time to numerous volunteer organizations. She was a member of Temple Isaiah and its Sisterhood.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She is survived by her son William Monderer & his wife Marilyn of Milton, MA, her son Stewart Monderer & his wife Andrea of Andover, MA, and her son Eric Monderer of Palo Alto, CA. She is also survived by her brother Arnie Kogen & his wife Sue Kogen of Los Angeles, CA and her three grandchildren, Sarah, Jonathan and Jennifer Monderer.

For those who wish, contributions in Phyllis Monderer's memory may be made to American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004 or Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 or a charity of your choice.

Graveside funeral services will be held Monday, January 7, 2019 at 11am at Westview Cemetery, 520 Bedford St., Lexington, MA.

Memorial observance on Monday, January 7, 2019 from 1pm–3pm and 5:30pm–8pm at Stewart Monderer's residence.


  • Graveside Service Monday, January 7, 2019

Phyllis (Kogen) Monderer

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Sharon Miller

January 26, 2019

Dear Monderer Family,
I am so sorry for the loss of your family matriarch. Phyllis was such a strong, vibrant human being, deeply curious, stubbornly challenging (of rigid thinking and preconceptions), and full of mirth. I will always remember her hearty laugh and her readiness to to engage in delight of intellect and arts, as well as difficult conversations.

She was alway a part of my life - through my blissfully happy childhood, my challenging adolescence, my becoming an adult and a mother. She always shared her two cents and I am grateful for every bit of wisdom she shared, even that which was unsolicited. For Phyliss always spoke her mind and it always came from a place of deep care for me and my family, especially for my parents.

I will strive to be the kind of friend she was to me and to them ( as was your equally beloved father). Some of the good and the bravery and the kindness and the ability in me to reach out to help others, comes from what beautiful Jack and Phyllis gave to me.

May their memory be a blessing.

Love and comfort to you,
Sharon Miller

Sandy Fleishman

January 7, 2019

Dear family of Phyllis,
I knew Phyllis while she was at NSHS. I was a member of the Newton School Committee and attended many of her programs at South. She, Lillian Radlo and I were good friends. I also knew your Dad, Jack. They were a very special couple . Phyllis made a major impact on Newton students and I feel privileged to have known her.
My husband, Jack and I are very sorry for your loss and the loss for our community.
Sandy Fleishman