Riverdalian Susan Helene Tadayon died at New York Presbyterian-The Allen Hospital in Manhattan on May 10. She was 61 years old.
Ms. Tadayon worked as a secretary at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) for the last 10 years. She was a fixture of the neighborhood, well known for her friendliness, loyalty, work ethic and devotion to family, acccording to CSAIR.
In his eulogy for Ms. Tadayon, Rabbi Barry Dov Katz of CSAIR remembered her distinctive voice on the phone, “Conservative Synagogue, Susan speaking.”
He spoke of how she would welcome people to the synagogue office, asking them about their family and really listening to the answers.
“She represented Judaism to the outside world in a beautiful way,” he said.
Ms. Tadayon was the master of the synagogue announcements and outside board, taker of reservations and air-traffic controller for the office. She packed the Bar and Bat Mitzvah gifts, worked to arrange meals for people in mourning, coordinated volunteer and staff meals and took the time to call elderly members of the congregation who did not have e-mail to inform them about deaths and births.
Ms. Tadayon rarely deserted her post. She showed up to work in the aftermath of hurricanes and blizzards. She came early and left late to make sure the job got done.
Rabbi Katz noted, “Susan didn’t just watch over the comings and goings of our synagogue because it was her job, she did it because we were hers. She loved us as a group and as individuals. She reveled in the tumult, the life, the kids, and the human interaction.”
Before coming to work at CSAIR, Ms. Tadayon worked at the Riverdale Jewish Center and the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan.
In the words of Rabbi Corey Helfand, a former intern at CSAIR, “Susan had this amazing ability to work the office, in a real New York kind of style. She had this great way on the phone of making sure that people honored their commitments. When someone said they’d make a delivery and they were late, you could bet on Susan to get on the phone and find out what was going on.”
Parisa, Ms. Tadayon’s daughter, was the center of her mother’s world. Over the years Ms. Tadayon worked one, two and three jobs at a time so that she could provide for Parisa. Ms. Tadayon enjoyed spending time with her sisters Bunny Reed and Janit Brownstein. When her sister Bunny passed away, Susan took it upon herself to serve as grandmother to her grandniece Lizzie. Susan was always on the lookout for gifts for Lizzie. She planned trips to the park and to museums.
Ms. Tadayon was born in the Bronx on February 28, 1952 to Jack and Beatrice Brownstein. She was predeceased by her parents and by her sister Bunny. She is survived by her daughter Parisa, her sister Janit Brownstein, her niece Cynthia and grandniece, Lizzie.
A funeral took place on May 13 at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale. Burial took place at Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Fairview N.J.
Donations in Susan’s memory may be sent to Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, 475 W. 250th St., Bronx, N.Y. 10471. Condolences can be sent to Parisa Tadayon, c/o CSAIR.