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Memorial Service

Congregation Tikkun v'Or
Sunday May 22nd, 2022

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Arthur Birnbaum

Arthur Birnbaum led a life full of appreciation for nature, community, and good food. Born July 26, 1941, to Solomon and Ray Birnbaum, Arthur was an only child but was part of a close extended family. Growing up in Brooklyn and Long Island, he lived next door to his cousins Larry (Stephanie) Krames, Elliot (Rosellen) Krames, Jennifer (Bob) Futernick, and Nancy (Natan) Huffman. In 1974, he made his permanent home in Ithaca, New York. Arthur was a devoted father to Jennifer (Mark Lawrence) Birnbaum, Daniel (Matt Basile) Birnbaum, and a loving grandfather to Zeke Birnbaum Lawrence. He is especially missed by his longtime friend and former wife, Gail Birnbaum.

As an adult, Arthur led a diverse and colorful life, working as a computer research office manager, rural letter carrier, scientific supply salesman, military photographer, fraternity chef, and personal caterer. His focus, however, was on family, life-long learning, music, and the outdoors. Arthur enjoyed listening to classical, world, and folk music and watching indie movies. He loved to introduce his friends and family to international vegetarian delicacies. He seemed to know every hidden trail in the Ithaca area. In the 1960s, as an organizer for the NYNJ Trail Conference, he helped reconnect a historical trail called the Long Path. It is now the longest in NYS, stretching from Manhattan to the Adirondacks.

Arthur was a curious conversationalist and thrived on deep connections. He gained spiritual insight at Wisdom’s Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies and studied the Jewish spiritual tradition of Kabbalah. Arthur led meditation groups, ran book club meetings, and hosted poetry readings. In later life, he published a book of his poems and prose entitled “Perspectives,” which he started writing as a young man. He was an advisory board member and volunteer for many nonprofits throughout the county, including Tikkun v’Or, Lifelong, Suicide Prevention, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Loaves & Fishes. In the summer, you could often find him dancing to bands on the Commons or picnicking at Taughannock. During the rest of the year, he would attend multiple concerts per week, equally happy listening to his children and grandchild perform as he was watching world-famous musicians like Yo-Yo Ma. His friends and family will miss his open heart, his keen sense of humor, and his love of everything that life had to offer.

Arthur passed away peacefully on April 18, 2022, after a long struggle with dementia. He was buried in a private family-only ceremony.  An in person memorial service by invitation only will be held on May 22 at Tikkun v’Or.  To attend virtually, please email arthursmemorial@gmail.com to obtain a Zoom link.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Wisdom's Goldenrod, Congregation Tikkun v’Or, or Food Bank of the Southern Tier.




Our hearts are with you, Dan and family. Arthur sounds like such an amazing man and one who touched many lives. Wishing you comfort and peace and many happy memories.

Tracy O'Brien Apr 27 2022 7:15 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Arthur Birnbaum

Tracy O'Brien Apr 27 2022 7:12 PM

I can still see Arthur, stranded and catching a nap on the couch in the waiting room at Schuyler Hospital during the height of the Blizzard of '93. He had just driven Gail, our Midwife, from Ithaca to attend the birth of our daughter. Thank you, Arthur. I see your smiling face. Rest in Peace.

Bill White Apr 27 2022 11:20 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Arthur Birnbaum

Tina and Steve Hilsdorf Apr 26 2022 11:37 AM

Arthur was one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever known. It saddens me to know he is gone. We are definitely missing a light in this world now...

Luisa Ambrosiano Apr 25 2022 12:44 PM

We have many fond memories of spending time with the Birnbaum family, Arthur was always there - often coming and going from various jobs and community projects, sharing funny stories, feeding us, and engaging in lively thought provoking discussions. He had a sweet look of contentment when his family was all around the table, laughing and talking, that I remember well. You will be missed Sweet Arthur.

Emily Barr Apr 25 2022 10:18 AM

I'm so sorry to hear about Arthur's passing. He was a wonderful constant when I visited Jennifer. Despite the time between my visits he was always kind, funny and made me feel welcome during my childhood and later. I'm so pleased that Mike and I got to take him around town when he visited LA for work many years ago. Our sincerest sympathies to the family and everyone who loves ❤️ Arthur.
Hugs, Ellen, Mike, Amelia and Claire

Ellen Dobbin Apr 24 2022 4:38 PM

Dear family, I’m very sad and sorry to hear of Arthur’s passing. You could always count on him to be a friend and a good listener. Ellen’s father Alfred and I spent many fun evenings with him when he and Gail lived in Brooklyn. The world was a brighter place knowing Arthur was there. Harry, Joan and I are very sorry for your loss and wish you all the sympathy possible. Much love, Susan, Harry and Joan

Susan Fowler Apr 24 2022 2:33 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Arthur Birnbaum

Marnie and Ira Kamp Apr 24 2022 11:24 AM

Arthur was a beloved member of Tikkun V'Or. He catered our wedding in 2012. He was a joy to be around with an infectious smile and witty conversation. He will always be remembered with love and gratitude for his generous spirit.

Marnie and Ira Kamp Apr 24 2022 11:23 AM

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