THE Sydney Jewish community has lost one of its most dedicated members with the passing of Fred Seskin last Saturday night.
Seskin, 86, had just attended JCA’s North Shore communal event when he collapsed and was unable to be revived. He leaves behind wife Necia and children Mark, Hilton and Sharon, as well as stepchildren, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was a proud and active Kehillat Masada congregant, was until recently president of the Seniors Friendship Club on the North Shore, was involved in organising events at Kadimah Gardens and was also a dedicated supporter of JCA.
Delivering his eulogy on Monday, Rabbi Gad Krebs described Seskin as “a community man in every sense of the word”.
“Had Fred scripted his own passing, to be on the conclusion of a Shabbat when he had been called up to the Torah, he had been honoured by the community … to spend his last motzei Shabbat not resting at home, but going [to] a communal function, and literally with his last stroke of the pen giving money to tzedakah in honour of the community, it could not have been better scripted,” he said.
“Perhaps Fred’s greatest trait, and one that we all saw, was his undying loyalty to people.
“Fred had an innate sense of justice, that good must prevail, and that he must do everything he can to make sure that there is good in the world. And he did it with every fibre of his being. We were all part of his broader family. We will desperately and dearly miss him.”
Son Mark described his father as “a humble, compassionate, loyal and caring man” who was happy with whatever he had and never complained.
“He just touched so many people,” he said.
Son Hilton told The AJN: “What was so special about him is he taught us about giving, about participating, about belonging to community [and] keeping families together.
“He kept a very strong tradition about Friday night, about the importance of family sitting down at a table, eating a meal together … For us, these are little things that are unimportant but that are so important.”
He added it was a “beautiful turn of events where everything for him was about community” to see the community to which he had given so much trying to give back in their attempts to resuscitate him.
He said it was also incredible to see Kehillat Masada full for the minyan in his honour on Monday evening.
“I wish he could look down and say ‘this is the effect I had on the community’. He would have been so proud of himself.”
Fred Seskin (right) passed away at the age of 86.