Twenty-four years ago, Florence Meyer’s determination and motivation resulted in renaming the North Shore Institute for Adult Jewish Education to memorialize her brother, Rabbi Herbert Tarr. The bestselling author and humorist whose warmth, wit and wisdom were exemplified in his critically acclaimed novels (Conversion of Chaplain Cohen, Heaven Help Us!, So Help Me God, A Woman of Spirit, etc.) reached both Jew and non-Jew, enhancing their appreciation and understanding of Judaism. Rabbi Tarr was the quintessential Jew and truly believed that all Jews should respect and be responsible for one another – be they Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist or Reform. This Institute comprised of synagogues from all branches of Judaism, the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center and Makom NY, abides by this philosophy. We are honored to fulfill Rabbi Herbert Tarr’s legacy.
With much love, Florence Meyer’s children and friends are working hard to continue providing a diverse spectrum of speakers designed to broaden your knowledge and understanding of our rich heritage, by working with our member organizations to help sponsor Jewish minded programs for the community.
The establishment of the Herbert Tarr North Shore Institute for Jewish Education, in memory of her brother, Rabbi Tarr, might be considered Florence’s greatest accomplishment by members of the Jewish community. Florence, however, considered her family of four children, their spouses and ten grandchildren her greatest achievement – devoting much time and love in bequeathing her family a wealth of Jewish tradition, education and love of Judaism.
Florence Targovnik Meyer grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, where her parents moved for the best Jewish education for their children. She attended City College of NY earning a B.S. and Masters in Education. She met and married Ernest Meyer whose dental office was in the neighborhood of Grover Cleveland High School, her first teaching position. Ernie and Florence raised four children, all of whom attended religious school through High School at Temple Beth Sholom. Florence reveled in hosting Jewish holidays in her home where guests were always thrilled to participate in Passover Seders and lavish Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holdiay meals.
Florence’s temple activities began with Sisterhood. She served as Vice-President of Membership, Education, Social Action and Israel Affairs Chair for many years. She ran the Israeli Gift Shop for the TBS Israel Expo selling only items made in Israel. Passionate about Israel, Florence traveled there many times for family Bar Mitzvah trips and on solidarity missions. As a member of the TBS Board of Trustees, she co-chaired many Cantor’s Concerts, sang in the temple choir and took advantage of the plethora of educational opportunities within the synagogue. She was honored by TBS as a “Kallah Torah”.
As a lifetime member of Hadassah and a board member, she initiated the “Imah in Perpetuity” in memory of her mother. She worked at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan and served as the Jewish representative at Molloy College on panels discussing different religions. She received the “Lomday Torah Lishmach” award from the Jewish Theological Seminary Women’s League Institute for completing 10 years of study – an effort of pure joy in spite of Manhattan traffic.
Following the loss of her brother and husband twenty-four years ago, Florence gave new meaning to her life by renaming the North Shore Institute for Adult Jewish Education. Her goals of memorializing her brother and enhancing appreciation and understanding of Judaism have been achieved. Her wish was to have her children and friends carry on this labor of love.