November 15, 1923 to April 4, 2019
Louis (Lou) Rosenblum was born Nov. 15, 1923. His parents, Miriam and Julius, raised him and his younger brother, Myron, in Brooklyn, NY where he attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush, played stoopball and roller skated.
His studies at Brooklyn College were interrupted by service (1943-1946) in the Pacific Theater in the U.S. Army Infantry. He fought in the Battle of Okinawa, was awarded the bronze star and served in the army of occupation in Japan. After completing his B.S. in Chemistry in 1948, he moved to Columbus, OH where he met his life love, Evelyn (Evy), and earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry.
For 30 years Lou was a research scientist at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, his final role being chief of the Solar and Electrochemical Division, responsible for research and development of space-related photovoltaics and energy storage. He led the lab in developing demonstration projects at home and abroad to show that solar power was practical and suitable for uses around the world.
A pioneer in the movement for freedom of emigration for the Jews of the Soviet Union, Lou was a founder in 1963 of the first organization to advocate for the freedom of Soviet Jews, the Cleveland Council on Soviet Anti-Semitism. The organization’s success was recognized nationally and became a model for the formation of many similar groups. In 1970 Lou’s multi-year effort led to the formation of the Union of Council for Soviet Jews (UCSJ) with member councils in the U.S. and Canada and affiliates in other countries. Lou served as founding president of the UCSJ from 1970-1973.
Lou and Evy were founders of Beth Israel-The West Temple where for decades both served in leadership roles fostering and nurturing Jewish life on Cleveland’s West Side. Both also volunteered for more than 20 years as archival processors with the Jewish History division of the Western Reserve Historical Society.
Lou’s life was filled with hobbies and passions including wilderness hiking, canoeing, sailing, cooking Chinese banquets, cultivating huge quantities of sweet corn, woodworking, folk dancing, square dance calling, Hebrew language study, Torah study, and spending quality time with family.
Lou is survived by his four children, Jan Metz, Miriam Rosenblum and husband Sheldon Benjamin, Diane Rosenblum and husband Henry Gordon, and Daniel Rosenblum and wife Sharon Waxman; eight grandchildren: Samara, Elana, Paul, Malka, Rafi, Maya, Jonah, and Liana; and three great grandchildren: Nia, Azalea, and Oliver. Lou’s wife Evy died in 2013 and his brother Myron died in 2016.
The funeral was held on April 7, 2019 in Wellesley, MA, his home in recent years. A memorial service, to be scheduled, will be held at Cleveland’s Beth Israel-The West Temple. Donations in memory of Lou Rosenblum can be made to the “Evy & Lou Rosenblum Fund for Education and Social Action” at Beth Israel-The West Temple, 14308 Triskett Rd, Cleveland, OH 44111. Or on-line at www.thewesttemple.com/donate. (On the PaPal donate page – click on the “Special Instructions” link and write in the name of the fund.)