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“Don’t Worry, I Take Care”

Barbara Bensoussan

Miriam Lubling was a diminutive woman with a giant heart for chesed — and the gumption to knock down any obstacle in the way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

No college degree. No car. Broken English spoken in a thick Old World accent. None of these challenges kept Miriam Lubling a”h — who passed away a month ago at age 96 — from working tirelessly to ensure optimal medical care for every patient she encountered. Petite in stature, Mrs. Lubling’s presence belied her enormous drive to help any Jew in pain. For almost 50 years, in addition to her day job as a kindergarten teacher, she served as an angel of mercy — and patient advocate — to the sick in the Jewish community. When elected to the Board of Trustees at NYU Langone Medical Center, she sat as an equal among high-powered philanthropists, rubbing elbows with dignitaries such as Hilary Clinton, Elie Wiesel, and former New York governor George Pataki. New York state senator Simcha Felder nominated her for the Brooke Russell Astor Unsung Hero award, which she won hands down. This quintessential Yiddishe mamma cared so much that she strong-armed doctors and hospitals into helping patients in need. “If she wasn’t so very special, she would have been dangerous!” laughs Dena Feldman, who worked with her in Bikur Cholim. While many affectionately describe Mrs. Lubling as a character, others would call her a queen — dressed in an elegant suit and heels, she strode regally through the corridors of New York’s hospitals, making sure all her patients and their families received the services they needed, comforting them with her famous dictum, “Mammeleh, I take care.” “She had a special siyata d’Shmaya,” says daughterPeshiDrillick. “Even I can’t understand how she accomplished everything she did.”

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