Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice



haya v’Yakov, age 95, of Longwood, passed away on May 6, 2018, in her home at Village on the Green. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 62 years, Ernest Rapp, and their son, Richard Rapp. She also was preceded in death by her parents, Jacob and Martha Lehrer, her sister Greta Singer (Frank) and Ernest’s family, Oasis and Ethel Rapp and Berta and Alfred Schorr.

Sylvia was born Herta Lehrer on Sept. 17, 1922, in Vienna, Austria. She lived a privileged and cultured life until the Anschluss in 1938, when the Nazis invaded Austria. She lived under Nazi occupation witnessing Kristallnacht. Her family was one of the fortunate to emigrate to the US in 1939. The early years had a lasting impression on her.

Sylvia continued her education in New York obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Bethany College, graduating with honors and a master’s degree in psychology from NYU. While attending an English class in night school, she met her future husband, Ernest Rapp z”l, also a new immigrant from Vienna. They married Feb. 2, 1946. For the next 10 years, Sylvia and Ernest lived in New York, raising their three daughters while Ernest advanced in architecture.

In 1956, the family moved to Orlando where they have remained. Ernest worked as an architect, designing many of the high-rise buildings in downtown Orlando until his death in 2008. Sylvia worked as a psychologist at Sunland Hospital and then as a principal at a school for special needs children.

For the past 40 years, she has devoted her life to her family, friends, volunteer work and travel. In earlier years, the family had been members of Temple Israel and then Ohev Shalom and Chabad in later years. Sylvia was a life member of Hadassah.

Mrs. Rapp is survived by her daughters, Ethel (Barry) Portnoy of Altamonte Springs, Judith (Robert) Hara of Winter Park and Sharon (Leonard) Habif of Atlanta and Jerusalem. She had a close connection to her 10 grandchildren: Adele (Howard) Fried, Adam (Donna) Portnoy, Martin Portnoy, Josh (Melissa) Portnoy, Aaron (Moriah) Hara, Jacob Hara, Miriam Habif, Livana (Psychya) Futterman and Yoel Habif. In later years, she was blessed with eight great-grandchildren: Zachary, Grayson, Easton, Colten, Eva, Lillia, Zahava and Hadassa.

A graveside service was held at Temple Israel Cemetery with Rabbi David Kay officiating. In memory of Sylvia Rapp the family requests contributions to the charity of your choice or Haddassah, http://www.florida@hadassah.org . Funeral arrangements entrusted to Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel, 640 Lee Road, Orlando 32810. 407-599-1180.


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