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Alice Birnbaum
(July 16, 1929 - May 13, 2013)

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Alice Birnbaum

Alice Birnbaum, 83, of Sarasota died on May 13. Born to Anna and Meyer Weinman on July 16, 1929, she grew up in Bellmore, Long Island (New York). During the spring semester of her freshman year at Syracuse University, she met Leonard Birnbaum at a social event for young Jewish adults in Manhattan, and the two married in August 1948. They raised their three children, Janice, Jess and Matthew in East Meadow on Long Island. Inspired by Betty Friedan, she and a group of friends formed one of the earliest women’s consciousness-raising groups on Long Island in the mid-1960s. She would remain an active member of this group while she lived there, and their example motivated their husbands to set up their own men’s group. For many years, she lit up the lives of these couples and their children, especially during winter vacations in the Catskills Mountains, summer camping trips on the East Coast, and retreats at her Southampton summer home. She would later go back to college to finish her interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in history and literature, graduating from CUNY Queens College with magna cum laude honors in 1976 and then worked as an administrator for the Mental Health Association of Nassau County. She and Lenny moved into the Pelican Cove Condominium Association in Sarasota, Florida in 1994 following retirement. Quickly making a large circle of friends, the two soon started the Pelican Cove Cinema Club which she led until passing on the torch to a close friend last month. After her husband’s death in 2002, she organized a pro-choice rally with the local Planned Parenthood chapter and actively participated in a Pelican Cove women’s group. She led a full and active life to the end, including multiple bridge games on different days of the week. In addition to a lifelong love for the movies, she was passionate about literature, music, theater, art, travel, nature, gardening (especially her prized roses), social justice and the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. She always found time to enrich the lives of friends and family with her cooking, warmth, good humor and generous spirit. She was beloved by family and friends and will be deeply missed. She is survived by her children, Janice in New York, Jess in England, and Matthew in Washington, DC as well as her older brother, Roy Weinman, who still runs the Weinman family hardware store in Bellmore on Long Island. A memorial for her will be held on June 20 at 3 PM at the Pelican Cove Pavilion in Sarasota, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Sarasota-Manatee (www. jfcs-cares.org).

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