Call us: 1-888-700-3336

Jennie Raphael

jennie raphael

January 12, 1930 – September 23, 2023

RAPHAEL, Jennie was born in NYC during the midst of the great depression to Esther (Daniel) and Hanania Raphael, Sephardic Jews who emigrated from Veria, Greece. She was the youngest of three girls. She grew up in Harlem and the Bronx, and graduated from Walton High School.

After working for American Silver, and then in the textile industry, she eventually became a successful co-owner and Vice-President of Scarsdale Fabrics, Inc., riding the ups and downs of the industry for decades. After her business partner, who was also her beloved personal partner of 50 years, “Bud” (Burton N. Lichten) died in 2011, Jen ran the business herself until her late 80s. While she resisted computers and cell phones at first, she adapted to them eventually, even joining Facebook and FaceTiming!

Jennie’s life always revolved around work and her extended family. In many ways she was the Matriarch of the family. She was a devoted daughter and sister who lived with and supported her mother and oldest sister Bessie in the Bronx until their deaths. During those years, her niece Holly spent many summers living with them, and Aunt Jennie sent her to Castle Hill Day Camp. Throughout her life she also was extremely generous to her sister Bella (who died in July of 2020), and her nieces and nephews, as well as her great-nieces.

Jennie never forgot a birthday and was always ready to offer help. When Holly’s husband had to come to NYC for cancer treatments he stayed with Jen. When Holly was starting her first job as an associate at a law firm in Buffalo, Aunt Jennie took her on a shopping spree to buy suits. When her great-niece Esther was young and would visit for a week at a time during school breaks, Aunt Jennie would take her to work with her, and then out to dinner and a Broadway show almost every night. She loved to treat her great-nieces Natasha, Eliana and Mikaela to trips to the American Girl Doll store in their youth and to shopping trips and broadway shows as they got older, always ending the day with a special dinner out. Nephew Irv and niece Carol-Ann loved to join and take Jen out themselves.

Many have described Jennie as a force to be reckoned with, who was fiercely independent and as tough as they come. She had strong opinions about everything and she expressed them. No matter any disagreements you might have with her, if she cared about you, she always had your back.

Jennie took great pride in her appearance, always stylish and well put-together when she went anywhere. She had her hair and nails done at the hairdresser weekly by Joey, then Jeffrey (who became a close friend) after Joey died, and after Jeffrey’s death Roberto. When she was temporarily in assisted living, and when she could no longer go to her hairdresser after coming back to her apartment, Roberto came to her to do her hair.

She traveled some when she was younger, including a trip to pre-Castro Cuba. Mostly, she loved living in NYC, shopping and dining out, and had many favorite restaurants. For years she enjoyed hosting family and friends at her office on Broadway for bagels and a Zabar’s spread, together with a great view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, she took the family out to dinner.

Jen lived on the upper east side of Manhattan since 1994. After enduring significant health setbacks for the past few years, she was able to remain in her apartment in her beloved neighborhood with the assistance of aides. She became especially close to her caregiver Kanmisa, who was with her four days a week from the beginning, and who was with her the day she died.

While some family members took her to dinner for her 90th birthday, unfortunately COVID prevented the big 90th birthday celebration planned for Jen in spring 2020. Post-COVID, she still enjoyed attending Thanksgiving dinners, Passover seders and family celebrations hosted by Irv and Carol-Ann in NJ. She treasured hearing from family and friends, speaking to her niece Holly practically every night before going to sleep, reminiscing, talking about family genealogy, and staying up-to-date on the lives of those she knew and loved.

Jennie, who died unexpectedly, but peacefully, during the night/early morning on September 23, will be greatly missed by her niece Holly Baum, as well as by her nephews Howard (Anna) Baum, Richard (Michelle) Baum and Irv (Carol-Ann) Baum and great-nieces Esther Baum-Taylor, Natasha, Eliana and Mikeala Baum, and Amanda and Megan Lugo. She also will be especially missed by Holly’s long time friend Grace Levine, her only surviving cousin Ben Daniel, the Valensi, Daniel and Marcus families, and many other surviving family, friends and business associates.


Service: Thursday, September 28, 2023 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm

Sanctuary of Abraham and Sarah

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

Photo Gallery


  1. I missed you so much Ms Jennie, that every time I ruminate on the past, I cry with sadness and pain. You were the family I needed. Always there when I need advice, your shoulders and words were my comfort.
    Thank you very much to You and your entire Family for the unconditional love you gave me.
    Was my pleasure serving you.
    I will always carry you in my prayers
    I love you
    Kanmisa your Aide.

  2. Kanmisa–I am so very touched by your sincere feelings for my aunt. You were wonderful to her and your companionship was very special to her. I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to get to know you and I am so glad that you were in Jennie’s life taking such good care of her. You made a huge difference! Please stay in touch.

  3. Thank you for being so sweet to her. I was grateful to know she had someone who cared for her like we would. I loved seeing you at our house for holidays! Living far away, it gave me comfort to know she always had company. Please keep in touch

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle