Ida Rotman dies at 104

Ida Rose Rotman, 104, of Worcester, died April 27 after a brief illness. She was the widow of Murray Rotman. Born in Dorchester, she was the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Kaplan. At the age of 14 she started working as a part-time bookkeeper in the Dorchester Jewish Credit Union, which was managed by her father. At 16 she graduated early from high school and worked full-time to help support her family. She learned secretarial skills and became an office manager in a Boston law firm. She and her late husband moved to Worcester in 1945 and they founded Murida Furniture Company in the late 1950s. They leased the furniture and carpet departments in C.T. Sherer and later in Barnard’s. Then, in the late 1960s, they opened their own business at College Square, first as a Barnard’s branch and then, soon after, as Rotmans, which became the largest furniture, mattress, and flooring store in New England. She served as part owner, office manager, and accessory buyer. She was a member of Congregation Beth Israel and served as the president of the Congregation’s Sisterhood. After moving to Lake Worth, Fla., she was a founding member of Congregation Beth Tikvah in Greenacres and also served as president of the Palm Beach chapter of Women’s American ORT. She actively supported many charities and Institutions including the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. At 100, she was honored at the Women’s Leadership Conference held at the DCU Center and this year she was recognized by the United Way of Central Massachusetts as it oldest and most continuous supporter. She is survived by her children, Barry Rotman and his wife, Arline, Steven Rotman and his wife, Leslie, and Bernie Rotman and his wife, Benita; eight grandchildren, David Rotman of Shrewsbury, Alan Rotman (Nathalie) of Zichron Yaakov, Israel, Andy Rotman (Janna) of Northampton, Greg Rotman (Sally) of Palm Springs, Calif., Richard Rotman (Jennifer) of Westboro, Jamie Rotman (Tom) of Shrewsbury, Elisa Rotman (Rabbi Aaron Melman) of Northbrook, Ill., and Lauren Rotman Paris (Jonathan) of Newton; and 14 great-grandchildren, Ben and Maddy; Ayelet, Daphna, and Dan; Myles and Henry; Matt and Sam; Sarah, Jordan, and Hanna; and Eben and Lev. She was predeceased by a brother Sidney Kaplan. Memorial contributions can be made to The Ida and Murray Rotman Scholarship Fund, c/o The Greater Worcester Community Foundation, 378 Main St., Worcester, MA 01608; The Rotman Fund, c/o Congregation Beth Israel, Jamesbury Drive, Worcester, MA 01609; Congregation Shaarai Torah West, 835 Pleasant St., Worcester, MA 01602; or Women’s American ORT, 75 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038.


Dorothy Katz

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