Rita P. Herman
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Rita P. Herman

HERMAN: Rita P. Herman was known for her love of children and flowers, for her generous spirit, and for her devotion to family and to friends from all walks of life.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Rita attended Peabody High School and graduated with honors from the University of Pittsburgh, where she met her husband, Emil W. Herman, ob”m. They married in 1957. Rita taught at Falk School, and later in Penn Hills, becoming a master first-grade teacher. She taught hundreds of children to read, including those with special needs, dyslexia and even deaf children.
Mrs. Herman, together with her husband, embraced a traditional Jewish life in the early 1970s, when they enrolled their oldest two children in Yeshiva Schools and began attending the Lubavitch Center.
A pivotal moment in her life was meeting the Lubavitcher Rebbe in a private audience, where he expressed his hope that they would inspire others to connect with their Judaism in a deeper way.
Rita and her husband went on to become pillars of the Yeshiva community. Under the leadership of Rabbi Sholom Posner and Mrs. Keny Deren, z”l, she worked tirelessly to enhance the English department of Yeshiva Schools. Rita had a unique vision for a reading center and brought in students and artists to paint the walls and decorate the space. Then she partnered with the University of Pittsburgh to implement a state-of-the-art individualized reading and math program, unlike any in the city.
Rita actively cultivated and maintained relationships with friends from grade school, from college and with her neighbors, both old and new. One of Rita’s passions was gardening, `and she was well known for the way that she shared her flowers with others for their Shabbat tables and for those who needed centerpieces for weddings.
After retiring from teaching, Rita’s creativity in children’s education led her to create a computer program to teach keyboard typing to elementary school students. Within the last year, she published her first children’s book, “Be Like the Sun.”
Mrs. Herman died of pneumonia on Sept. 21, at Mercy Hospital. She was 85.
Rita was predeceased by her husband Emil Herman. She is survived by a daughter, Devorah Leah Rosenfeld of Brooklyn, New York; two sons, Rabbi Pinchas Herman of Miami, Florida, and Rabbi Aaron Herman, of Pittsburgh; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews who loved her deeply.
Graveside services were held on Sept. 30, at Cneseth Israel Cemetery, with her son, Rabbi Pinchas Herman, officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Rita P. Herman Jewish Education Fund, and sent to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, 2000 Technology Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. PJC

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