December 8, 1926 – October 20, 2023
Waters of Babylon Chapel
Date: October 25, 2023 Time: 11:00 AM
New Montefiore Cemetery: 1180 Wellwood Ave., West Babylon, NY 11704
Service Recording: Click Here
Shiva to be held:
Thursday, October 26, 2023 from 12pm to 6pm
Friday, October 27, 2023 from 12pm to 3pm.
Shiva will be at Selma Brodbar’s home located at
200 Leader Hill Drive
Hamden, CT 06517.
Charitable contributions in lieu of flowers: UJA Federation of New York
Harold Brodbar, age 96 of Hamden, CT, died Friday, October 20, 2023.
Harold Brodbar was born in The Bronx, New York, on December 8, 1926, to Nathan Brodbar and Fay (“Fannie”) Vogel. Following his mother’s early death, he was lovingly raised by Nathan’s second wife, Nettie Balbinoff. Harold spent his youth in the Bronx and in Far Rockaway. During the summers, he lobbied his parents for a season pass to the nearby Rockaway Beach Club and worked at his father’s and uncle’s growing empire of three stores selling fruits and groceries. At 19, he dropped out of college to serve in the US Army Airforce during World War II, completing basic trainings in Buckley Field Colorado, Randolph Field Texas, and Biloxi Mississippi. Fluent in German, he served as an interpreter for US officers during the Occupation in Germany in 1946 and 1947. One can only imagine what it must have felt like to be a young American Jew born to Eastern European immigrants informing Nazi officers of their arrests. Upon his return to the states, Harold continued his studies, earning a bachelor’s degree from CCNY, and a Master’s in English from Hunter College. He was a doctoral candidate in English Literature at Columbia University, where he was, as we say, an “ABD” (all but dissertation).
Harold met the love of his life, Selma Saldinger, at a NYC training class for new social workers. As the story goes, it was love at first sight, and Harold found his opening when he heard Selma humming an aria from Inferno, the famous opera based on Dante’s “The Devine Comedy.” He impressed her by naming it, and then asked her to join him outside for the lunch break. (Incidentally, his lunch was the only thing contained in his snazzy briefcase that matched his tweed sport coat.) They married in July 1955 and spent the next 68 years “doing everything together.” As newlyweds, they moved to Brooklyn where they raised three children: Amy, their first, Noah, and then Gabriel. Harold spent much of his career as a New York City public school teacher at Eastern District High School in Brooklyn, where he taught high school English. He retired in 1991. Following his retirement, he and Selma traveled the world (with a special love for Italy) and while at home took in all New York City had to offer, including Lincoln Center, the many museums, and the Metropolitan Opera. Throughout their life together, Hal and Selma built a home that hosted 50+ Seders, and served as a central gathering point for a large extended family. In May 2021, they moved to Whitney Center, a continuing care retirement center, in Hamden, CT.
Harold was a lifelong New York Yankee fan, runner and fitness enthusiast, lover of animals, voracious reader, and most notably a deeply loving husband and father. Harold will be remembered for his kind and gentle spirit, his intellect, and his wicked sense of humor.
He leaves behind his wife Selma, son Noah, daughter Amy (Mille Morales), son Gabriel (Aimee Quick), brother Martin, and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers feel free to make a donation in Harold’s name to the UJA Federation of New York.
A graveside service will be held at 11am on Wednesday, October 25th at New Montefiore Cemetery located at 1180 Wellwood Avenue, West Babylon, New York.
Shiva will be held at Selma’s home located at Whitney Center, 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Apartment 426, Hamden, CT on Thursday, October 26th from 12pm to 6pm and on Friday, October 27th from 12pm to 3pm.