Ellen Brody, the 49-year-old mother of three whose SUV was at the center of a fatal Metro-North train crash on Wednesday — in what is being called the worst accident in the train line’s history — is being remembered by those who knew her as a loving mother and friend, and an active and selfless community member.
“When we opened here twelve years ago, the Brody’s were one of the first families to join the Hebrew school. It was very important to them that their daughters should receive a Jewish education,” Rabbi Benji Silverman, founder and co-director of Chabad of the Rivertowns, told Hamodia. “She was a very warm person with a big circle of friends, many of whom she brought into our community. If she found something she loved, she wanted to share it with others. I give her credit for a lot of our growth over the years.”
Mrs. Brody has been an important part of Chabad of the Rivertowns since its founding, along with her husband, Alan, a journalist and author, and three daughters, Danielle, Julia and Alexa, ages 14 to 22.
Mrs. Brody took pride in and was close with her daughters, said the Rabbi. “She always talked about how her girls were doing. And they admired her as well, adored her.” Rabbi Silverman noted that two of her daughters had recently returned from a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip, and the Brody family was set to attend a Shabbos dinner at Chabad this Friday night.
“She made friends with everyone and never saw the bad in people. She had a genuine curiosity and really wanted to find out everybody’s story,” said the Rabbi.
Rabbi Silverman said that she was active in the shul, community projects and the school, and was always willing to volunteer her time.
Mrs. Brody lived in the Edgemont section of Scarsdale, N.Y., and worked at a suburban jewelry store in Chappaqua. Her friends at the store were preparing to celebrate her 50th birthday in March.
“It’s not just a tragedy for the town. It’s a personal tragedy for me,” said Paul Feiner, supervisor of the town of Greenburgh, who said he has known the Brody family for years. “She was an exceptional … super, super nice [person],” he said.
Her Rabbi agreed. “She was very in tune, very warm, and passionate about her family, her friends and Judaism.”
Yehi zichrah baruch.