April 8, 1925 – May 4, 2019
Lilli Friedman (nee Meseritz) was born on April 8, 1925 in Berlin, Germany. She was the only child of Anna and Georg Meseritz and the granddaughter of Clara Schlomick. They lived in the Schöneberg neighborhood of Berlin until September 1939 when they fled from the Nazis. As a child she attended the Sickel Schule for Jewish children where she made lifelong friends. From 1939 to 1940 Lilli lived with her parents in London, England awaiting visas for America. She arrived in New York City in September 1940. Lilli lived in Washington Heights and attended George Washington High School. During her long career, she worked for Edwin Berliner Company, Berkshire Fine Spinning, and the Stephen Gaynor School. She worked for Stephen Gaynor School for 43 years, rising to the position of Admissions Director, and reluctantly retired at the age of 87.
In December 1951 Lilli met her husband, Charlie, at the bottom of a ski slope in Vermont called Lord’s Prayer. They were engaged one week later and were married for almost 67 years. They had two children - Alan (1956) and Anita (1961). They would spend their summers at Lake Oscawana, skiing in winter at Belleayre and Hunter Mountain in upstate New York and in Arosa, Switzerland. Charlie and Lilli Friedman travelled the world, spent several summers together in Tuscany, winters in Delray Beach, Florida, and back in New York were always active, dining out several times a week, exploiting New York’s rich cultural life, from its museums to Broadway shows. Lilli was active in B’nai B’rith and was the President of the Leo Back Chapter. She was also active at the Hebrew Tabernacle synagogue and was Vice President and on the Board for a number of years. Lilli volunteered at her children’s public schools and the YMHA of Washington Heights. Lilli also served as a Democratic Committee representative for her district in Inwood. Like her husband, she was interviewed for several books and documentaries and told her story of escaping from the Holocaust and the price her family had paid. Lilli was fond of repeating “Never Again!” as regards the Shoah.
Lilli Meseritz Friedman was above all part of a vibrant German Jewish community in New York City, through which she sustained lifelong friendships. She loved her family deeply. She is survived by her husband, Charles; daughter, Anita, and son-in-law, Victor Amram; son, Alan, and daughter-in-law, Gabriella Carginani; and her beloved grandsons, Gabriel and Alex Amram.
She passed away peacefully in her sleep.
- Lilli Friedman Wednesday, May 8, 2019