Sharing our Sadness

One of the most powerful things about community is the way we can hold one another up in celebration, in happiness, in reflection, in spiritual practice, and in grief. It is in this spirit that we are sharing that our Executive Director, Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein has lost her father, Rabbi Norman David Koch, unexpectedly and suddenly.  Today we share the obituary written by his family and thank you, our community, for the many ways you support all of us at the Y every day.

May his memory be a blessing

image (1)In grief we announce that Rabbi Norman David Koch died, surrounded by his beloved family and friends, as Shabbat Yitro entered on Friday evening February 6th/18 Shevat, of silent and undetected esophageal cancer. He was 66 years old.

His death came eight days after burying his dear mother, Reta.

Rabbi Koch is survived by his beloved wife Rosalyn, his siblings, Paul Koch & Patti Marcus, Ellen Koch & Marty Shinder, by his children, Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein & Dr. Jason Epstein, Yonatan & Erin Koch, Matan Koch, Adina Koch, Aytan Koch, and his grandchildren, Duncan, Jason and Avigayil Koch and Amichai and Kobi Epstein.

The funeral will take place on Sunday, February 8 at 11am at Temple Sholom, 122 Kent Road (Route 7) New Milford, CT 06776 with interment immediately following at New Milford Center Cemetery. Family will return to the home of Rosalyn Koch for the meal of consolation. Shiva will be held Sunday evening from 7-8:30 pm with a minyan at 7:30pm. For details regarding shiva after Sunday, please contact Marissa Rosenblum at Marissa_Rosenblum@14StreetY.org.  Shiva will be held in New York City on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Having retired in June from serving for 35 years as the Rabbi of Temple Sholom in New Milford, CT, Rabbi Koch was known and respected as a leader with steadfast convictions and a passion for social justice. An active member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) he was a past president of its Northeast Region.  Rabbi Koch was active in the New Milford Clergy Association, served on the Medical Ethics Committee at New Milford Hospital, was a member of the Ethics Commission of the Town of New Milford, and after serving on many boards was serving as the chair of the cemetery in New Milford.  For decades he served on the faculty of the URJ’s Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA and numerous NFTY Northeast Institutes and was dedicated to Jewish camping and to creating innovative Jewish educational programming.

Norman was a loving father and grandfather who enjoyed cooking for his family, Scrabble and crossword puzzles, and reading and playing with his grandchildren.

Donations in his memory can be made to Temple Sholom, P.O. Box 509, New Milford, CT, 06776, Congregation B’nai Israel, 193 Clapboard Ridge Rd., Danbury, CT 06811, and the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th St, New York, NY 10003.

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