Biography of the Rita Frankel Family

Rita Frankel (b. 1929), a social worker and active Jewish community member, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Manny and Eva Heisler Hartenbaum. She attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and then Mather College (part of Western Reserve University in Cleveland), graduating with a B.A. degree. Rita Hartenbaum married Burton Frankel, the son of Harry and Minnie Frankel, in 1953. The couple had three children: Ken, James, and Scott. Rita Frankel later earned an M.A. degree in Counseling and Human Services from John Carroll University. From 1978 to 1991, Frankel was employed as Displaced Worker Service Coordinator and Counselor at Cuyahoga Community College.

Esther Metzendorf Fischgrund (1891-1995) was the daughter of Rose Heisler Berko, the sister of Sholem Moyshe Heisler, Rita Frankel's grandfather. She was a widely respected businesswoman and community leader. She married Seymour Fischgrund in 1916, and, in 1925, the couple opened Fish Furniture on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The store was one of the first in the industry to offer locally produced unfinished furniture. Always active in communal affairs, Fischgrund served two terms as president of Oheb Zedek (Taylor Road Synagogue) Sisterhood.