by Walter Fox
Benjamin “Bob” Bricklin, 89, formerly of Laverock, a certified public accountant who was long active in the Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy communities, died Jan. 8 of Alzheimer’s disease at the Mayview Convalescent Center in Raleigh, N.C.
Mr. Bricklin retired in 1986 from KMG Main Hurdman (now Peat Marwick) after working for more than four decades with the firm. But it was as a community activist in Northwest Philadelphia that he was probably better known.
He was a founding member in 1969 of what is now the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement as a representative of the Germantown Jewish Centre, where he had served as treasurer of the board of directors. He was a board member and treasurer of NIM for eight years and chaired the organization’s 20th Anniversary Committee in 1989.
During the 1960s he was a participant in the Pipeline, a people-to-people conduit between Chestnut Hill and North Philadelphia sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Association and the Episcopal Church of the Advocate. The goal of the project was to connect the power, expertise and pocketbooks of Chestnut Hill with a financially exploited and deprived neighborhood near 18th and Diamond streets – and to do so on a human, personal level.
Mr. Bricklin provided pro bono accounting services to Pipeline participants and many others over the years, and often said that he got more out of the Pipeline than those he helped.
He also served a treasurer on the boards of directors of the Miquon School and what is now Temple Beth Tikvah-B’nai Jeshurun, where he was a founding member.
Born in the Feltonville section of Philadelphia, Mr. Bricklin was the only son of Ukrainian immigrants who were furriers. He was a graduate of Northeast High School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
He was a proud man with few needs, according to his daughters who used to tease him that all he required for survival was a tent, a sleeping bag and a mess kit – the tools of a Boy Scout, which he was through his teenage years.
He is survived by daughters Shoshanna of Chestnut Hill, Lila of Mt. Airy and Aliza of Raleigh, N.C.; four grandchildren, and his former wife, Bernice K. Bricklin.
A graveside service was held on Jan. 10 at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Trevose. Memorial donations may be made to the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement, 7047 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19119, or to the Alzheimer’s Association, Delaware Valley Chapter, 399 Market St., Suite 102, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
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