Today is the 5th Hebrew anniversary of Jennifer Lanxner's passing a"h. Jennifer was a dear friend and colleague, a member of the faculty, and the parent of current students Eli and Gabe Gordon and alumnus Joey Gordon. She passed away tragically at the young age of 40.
For those of you who did not have the privilege to meet Jennifer, I cannot fully capture and convey in words how amazing a person she was. She was kind and caring, thoughtful and considerate, loyal and committed, modest and giving. She was always full of joy which she shared with everyone around her. Her students loved her, her colleagues respected her, and she brought warmth, joy and peace into every space she entered. Below you will find memories of her written by FJA colleagues and former students.
While we will not be able to observe her yahrtzeit in person due to our current health and safety regulations, we will recognize who she was in several ways throughout the day. We began the school day by dedicating our learning to Jennifer's memory, I recited the memorial prayer, Kel Maalei Rachamim, over the loudspeaker during minyan, and Jennifer's family has provided a sweet treat to students to take as they leave school at the end of the day. Students are also aware of Jennifer's presence on a daily basis as they pass the beautiful alcove that was built in her memory.
May Jennifer's memory continue to be a blessing through the incredible impact she made on our community.
I first met Jennifer Lanxner in the Fall of 2009. It was the first year that I became a full time member of the FJA faculty, having worked part time since 2004. I was assigned to a Minyan with 25 energetic 9th graders, and I was in need of a second adult in the room. Newly hired Jennifer Lanxner was assigned to that role. Much more than an assistant to me, Jennifer entered the Minyan room each day like a ray of sunshine. Ever smiling, ever calm and calming, she immediately connected with the students and taught me, by her example, how to channel the students' energy into positive participation. Jennifer was much younger than I, but I always considered her to be my teacher.
- Rabbi Elliot Pachter
It is hard to believe that five years have passed since we lost my friend and colleague Jennifer. Jennifer was such a special woman, so beautiful, kind and warm. We used to share a classroom and enjoyed spending time planning lessons together, talking about our children, Israel and so much more. Her untimely loss left such a void in my life. I am comforted to see her children being loved and getting a good education at FJA, and by watching the beautiful memorial wall which was dedicated to her, ensuring that her memory and legacy will live forever.
- Bosmat Dovas
I am so thankful I had the opportunity to know Mrs. Laxner as a teacher, mentor, and role model. She was a source of comfort and light for me, and many others, both while I was a student at Frankel and for the years after graduation. Mrs. Laxner had the ability to make each and every student feel special, valued, and understood.
Her smile lit up every room she entered and her love of teaching was evident each and every day. Mrs. Laxner was the teacher I selected to speak on my behalf at graduation, due to the special relationship and connection we shared. Returning to FJA without her has been difficult but I know her memory lives on in all who knew her.
- Sara Weinfeld '14
Five years have passed since Jennifer – Shalhevet, Aleha Hashalom, passed away. Leaving all of us heart broken and speechless.
I will always remember her and her special personality. She taught me, even though she was 14 years younger than me, to always smile, be calm and keep a happy face.
When I first came to teach at Frankel Jewish Academy, I had no idea how fortunate I was to spend time with Jennifer while we shared our breaks between classes in the teacher workroom. She guided me with love and patience.
I no longer sit in the teacher workroom, it's not the same without her.
Dear Jennifer, You are gone from our sight, but never from our hearts.
Thinking of you and missing you a lot.
- Hadass Kidron
I first met Jennifer at the beginning of the school year of 2009-2010 when she came to interview for a position in school. When I asked her why she wants to be a Hebrew teacher Jennifer simply answered: I love to teach!
My memories of Jennifer is of a unique person who was there for everyone: students, parents and colleagues all the time. Always with a smile and patience, always reflecting on a lesson plan and thinking about the best practices. Jennifer loved to learn and loved to teach, two great traits for any teacher.
In 2015 when I spoke about Jennifer I read the following poem:
“After My Death” By Bialik, 1904
Say this when you mourn for me:
There was a man – and look, he is no more.
He died before his time.
The music of his life suddenly stopped.
A pity! There was another song in him.
Now it is lost
Jennifer's song and melody died with her in the prime of her life and she had so many more songs to sing to us.......
But I believe that in some way her song is not lost forever. Her songs and melodies are forever part of who her children ,יוסף אלי וגבי, are and this is how her memory will be remembered by them and by everyone who had the honor of being Jennifer's friend.
- Malli Holoshitz