Monday, December 31, 2018

Bernard Rosenfeld, Kaser village's only mayor in its history, dies at the age of 71 

Bernard Rosenfeld, the village's mayor since its founding in 1990, died this morning at the age of 71.

Rosenfeld's funeral is scheduled for after 11:30 a.m. at the Hasidic Jewish community's main synagogue on Phyllis Terrace, off Route 306 in the Ramapo village.

Rosenfeld will be buried immediately after the service in the Viznitz Cemetery on Brick Church Road. He died of cancer and had been taken to a hospital in Cleveland for treatment.

His friends and colleagues recalled Rosenfeld for his community work, dedication to his religious beliefs and Kaser's residents. Members of the Viznitz Hasidic Jewish sect comprise the village.

"He was a person who dedicated his life for the community — both the village and congregation," said Shlomo Koenig, a former village deputy mayor who works for the Rockland Sheriff's Office as an deputy and Internet crimes expert.

"He spent his whole life trying to help other people," Koenig said. "He will be missed a lot."

Ramapo police sent officers to the community to ensure there are no traffic issues. The police said they had no plans to closed Route 306 to traffic, as was the case when thousands attended the grand rabbi funeral and burial in March.

New Square Mayor Israel Spitzer called Rosenfeld a mentor.

"We're all very broken with this loss," Spitzer said. "He was a very very genuine, honest, good person. His whole life was community work, giving of himself to others."

Spitzer became mayor after Mats Friesel died at age 95 in August 2015 after a long illness. Friesel had been the Hasidic Skver Jewish community's only mayor starting in 1961.

"I learned a lot from him," Spitzer said of Rosenfeld. "I always enjoyed being in his company and discussing issues together and listening to his advice and direction."

Rosenfeld ran Viznitz's government and politics, helping to decide the political candidates who would receive the community's bloc vote.

Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht called Rosenfeld a pioneer and leader.

"He was an educator who served as principal and then administrator of Viznitz Institutions." Specht said in a statement.

"Mayor Rosenfeld was a true pioneer who moved to the Town of Ramapo in 1965. He never wavered in his commitment to public service. My sincerest condolences to his family and the entire Kaser/Viznitz community."

His successor will be decided during the March elections.

Rosenfeld is survived by his wife, adult children, three sisters and grandchildren.


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