Attorney Eli Rubenstein

Eli Rubenstein, attorney, philanthropist and good friend

After a four and a half year struggle with pancreatic cancer that was marked by amazing good humor and grace, Eli Rubenstein, 68, died at home on January 27, surrounded by his loving family.

In addition to his wife of 46 years, Emily Broner Rubenstein, a former social worker who spent the later part of her career as The Volunteer Coordinator of The Bridge: A School/Community partnership in Melrose, his survivors include his children Isaac and Michelle Rubenstein of Framingham and Abigail Rubenstein and Maxwell Bogue of New York City; grandsons Jesse Rubenstein and Charles Bogue; sister Beth Rubenstein of Los Angeles and her daughters Ashlyn and Hannah Rubenstein; sister-in-law Cynthia Broner of Cambridge and her children Maya and Justin Florence and Adam and Sydney Alperowicz; and sister-in-law Audrey Broner of Belmont. He is also survived by a large, loving extended family of cousins; many of whom considered him their uncle, all of whom considered him a friend.  He was pre-deceased by his sister, Susan Rubenstein.

Eli was born in 1949 in Washington, DC and grew up in Silver Spring, MD. He shined at Montgomery Blair High School and went on to study at Columbia University where, in his sophomore year, a roommate fixed him up with his future bride, then a freshman at Barnard College. A month after he graduated magna cum laude with a dual major in economics and urban studies, they were married. That fall, he enrolled at New York University School of Law.

Eli spent his first three years after law school in the legal department at the real estate firm Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, after which he began his 40-year career at Goulston & Storrs. At G&S, he worked as a partner and director in the firm’s Boston and New York offices, applying his expertise in real estate development and financing strategies. When he joined, the firm had 16 lawyers; today, it has more than 200.

He was the gregarious patriarch of a large and loving family, who adored him for his warmth, wit, and joie de vivre.

He was a treasured friend to childhood pals and a large circle of people he met through his neighborhood, Temple Shalom, Belmont Country Club, and work – both colleagues and former adversaries won over by his skill and respect for the practice of law.

Eli loved a good dinner, many of which he cooked with great skill. He enjoyed hosting groups of family and friends. He also made a great martini and made sure that every child in his extended family could do the same as soon as they reached adulthood.

Having met in Manhattan, he and Emily spent time throughout their marriage in both Newton and New York, where they enjoyed walking around exploring the city’s many neighborhoods and attending the theater.

 Traveling was also one of the couple’s passions. Eli’s travel for both business and pleasure took him to every continent besides Antarctica.

 Following the deaths of his uncle, father and sister who all suffered from primary progressive multiple sclerosis, Eli knew that whatever course his life took, a substantial part of it would be dedicated to the movement to create a world free of MS. He served on the national board of directors of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and spent three years as the board’s chairman.  He also served for decades on the Greater New England Chapter board of trustees, with two terms as chapter chair.

He was honored with the National MS Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Norman Cohn MS Hope Award; he was inducted into the Society’s Volunteer Hall of Fame; and he twice received the New England Chapter’s MileStones in Leadership Award for his contribution to policy vision and fundraising for the society.

A strong believer that people have an obligation to “give back”, Eli also donated his time, talents, and generous support to several other worthy organizations, including Dimock Community Health Center, the American Jewish Committee, and Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

Funeral will be held at Temple Shalom of Newton, 175 Temple Street, Newton MA on Monday, January 29 at 11 am. Following interment at Sharon Memorial Park, the family will be sitting shiva at the Rubenstein residence until 8pm, and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1pm – 4pm and 7pm – 9pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter, 101A 1st Ave., Waltham, MA 02451 or http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Chapters/MAM/Donate

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