Jean and Armand (z''l) Lindenbaum
Jean and Armand (z”l) Lindenbaum have been an integral part of JCAB for decades and leaders of the Jewish community in New York, Israel, and around the world.
Armand, the youngest of four children, was born in Antwerp in 1938 to Ghity Amiel and Nathan Lindenbaum. The family escaped Europe in 1940 and settled in New York. In September 1946, Nathan Lindenbaum was killed in a plane crash on his return from Antwerp to check on family and the diamond market. Four years later, Ghity married divorcé Max Stern, who had 3 children. In 1954, the family decided to buy a home in Atlantic Beach. It was the place to be if you were Modern Orthodox and you could afford to rent or buy a summer home. A year later, 9-year-old Jean Herskovits and her parents were invited to the Lindenbaum/Stern home on the bay and only one of their children volunteered to show her around. It was 17-year-old Armand. They did not, however, officially meet again until Ephie Propp introduced them at the 2nd Seder in Grossinger’s during Jean’s senior year of high school. They married 2 years later in 1966 and started a family while Jean was in college.
Armand became a Real Estate broker after he graduated from Yeshiva University and earned a masters from NYU Graduate School of Business. In the early 60s, he bought Pease and Elliman, a management and brokerage company, and in the 80s, he sold it to Douglas Elliman to invest in hedge funds. The market was his true passion. In 1974, Armand joined the 92 Street Y’s board, representing the Orthodox members. He a;sp served on the Beth Israel Hospital, Kehilath Jeshurun, and Fifth Avenue Synagogue boards, and he was the President of the New York Board of Rabbis Lay Advisory Committee and on the board of the Realty Foundation of NY.
After graduating from Finch College, Jean joined the boards of the Lenox School where she was a graduate, the Yeshiva University Women’s Organization, and Ramaz School. In 1981 she became a co-chair and then chairman of Mid-Manhattan Political Action Committee until 2005. In 1988,, Jean joined the newly formed Women for Women, an organization that promotes peace between Jewish women in NY and the wives of Ambassadors in the UN.
In the summer of 1968, Max Stern convinced Armand to buy a house in Atlantic Beach that was 2 blocks from the Shul. Armand’s siblings, Stanley and Marsha Stern and Leonard and Judy Stern were also in Atlantic Beach along with various friends from NYC. Summers were festive and fun with lots of parties. In 1982 they bought the house across from theirs on the bay, and Armand was quick to take advantage of Bay activities. He was the first in the area to have a surf jet and a wave runner (pre-jet ski). Tons of kids got their first taste of a boat ride with Armand at the helm. Jean and Armand truly adored biking all over AB, visiting friends and cheerleading for Atlantic Beach as the greatest place on earth. When Max Stern passed away in 1982, Armand took over Max’s role as the candy man of the Shul, sitting at the end of the left isle in Row P. We had no Rabbi Saul in those days.
Armand was already on the Shul Board of Trustees and became Chairman when Herman Merkin retired in 1984 and took Rabbi Roth with him. Armand, was devoted to the shul and served faithfully for 32 years until stepping down due to his having Alzheimer’s. Arthur Udell, z”l, was President and together with Armand and the Board of Directors, they hired Rabbi Basil Herring. Stephen Hammerman eventually took over for Arthur and when he and Ellie moved to Arizona, Mark Ramer became our President. Armand and Mark forged a very close relationship, and they shared a great love and devotion for the synagogue. Armand convinced Mark to start a Shul Mikvah dunking in the ocean before Yom Kippur. Unfortunately, on the first time out, Armand lost his favorite bathing suit.
In 2018, Jean moved Armand to Atlantic Beach permanently. Armand passed away last October, but his spirit continues to permeate our community. Jean continues the family tradition of leadership and serves as First Vice President of the Shul, guiding JCAB into its next chapter.
Armand and Jean have three children, Felice, Amiel and Jessica and Ariel and 6 grandchildren…AJ, Jonah and Samuel Lindenbaum, Jordan, Jack and Noah Sebag. Of course, their favorite place in the whole world is Atlantic Beach and the Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach.