Teachers College Mourns Herbert Gold
Published in Inside - Volume XVII, No. 3
Herbert Gold, the Long Island, New York developer and philanthropist who, with his wife, Rita, funded the creation of TC’s Rita Gold Early Childhood Center, passed away on November 25th at the age of 96.
The Brooklyn-born Gold was a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. After working at his father’s business building homes and apartment buildings in Rockville Center, New York, he was appointed as a partner to the firm Stackler, Frank and Gold to complete Rockville Center’s urban renewal program. In 1941, he met Rita Weinstein, a teacher, poet and lover of music who later earned an MA in English Education from Teachers College in 1952, and they were married for 67 years, until her death in 2008.
The Golds established Rita Gold Early Childhood Centers at Teachers College and in Tel Aviv, Israel. They also established the Rita Gold Scholarship Fund at TC.
Herb Gold also funded scholarships for underprivileged students and young opera singers. ((Renee Fleming was a protégé). He gave generously to The New York City Opera, the Juilliard School of Music and The Sarasota Opera; and to many Jewish causes in the United States and in Israel. He also enlisted the jazz musician and longtime TC faculty member Bert Konowitz to help create and publish a songbook and recording of Rita Gold’s songs for preschoolers, both titled Songs for a Head Start (based on her experience as a Head Start teacher).
One of the songs – “The Goodbye Song” – was inspired by the Golds’ son, Richard, who had passed away in his early 30s.
“Herb Gold was a loyal and generous friend of Teachers College, a passionate supporter of the arts, and a fervent believer in education of all kinds,” said TC President Susan H. Fuhrman, who wrote the preface to the most recent edition of Songs for a Head Start. “He was also a deeply loving husband and father, and a person who put others’ needs and the well-being of the community before his own. He will be sorely missed by all of us.”