Deceased Information


    Esther Bigel

    Esther bas Rafael v. Dinah

  • AGE



    Saturday, May 13, 2023 (Before Sunset)


    Monday, May 15, 2023


    1:00 PM




    Shiva will be observed at the home of Penney Cohen on Tuesday May 16 at 7:00 PM and Wednesday May 17 at 7:00 PM.

    185 Belmont Trace, NW, Atlanta GA 30328



    Everyone Esther Bigel met quickly learned she was all heart.

    When she passed on May 13, 2023 at age 94, the world lost her unique brand of compassion and understanding.

    Esther was born in 1928 in Toronto to the late Dena and Raphael Naiman. The youngest of five children, she moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1951.  There, she met and married the love of her life, Mendy Bigel. After his untimely death, she raised their children on her own.

    In addition to her family, Esther was known for her lifelong love of children, who gravitated toward her everywhere she went. She most recently worked as a lunch monitor at East Side Elementary School, where she spent twenty years making lunchtime special for thousands of children. Upon her retirement, the school named the lunchroom in her honor, so her kindness and gentleness would always be remembered.

    Beyond her close-knit community at work, Esther had a plethora of friends from Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta, Georgia. A devout Jew, Esther was never far from her preferred seat in shul, which she attended weekly for as long as she could. She was also known for her fluency in Yiddish, deep love of chocolate babkas, and sincere enjoyment of every Shabbat and holiday.

    Determined and independent, Esther never learned how to drive, and enjoyed long walks to all her favorite stores.  But throughout her life, nothing was more important to Esther than her family. She was a loving, supportive, and caring mother and grandmother anyone would be lucky to have. 

    Esther is survived by her children Mitchell (Joanne) and Penney (Jeremy), her grandchildren Michael, Kelly (Jonathan), and Michelle, and many family members and friends with whom she had close and loving relationships and who will miss her dearly. Contributions to Congregation Etz Chaim, 1190 Indian Hills Parkway NE, Marietta, GA 30068.

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Esther Bigel

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  • Denise and Earl Levith

    A dear friend to our mothers (Mildred Levith and Mildred Wachter), Shul Bubbe to our kids, and a blessing to us. She was so full of life and love. We will miss her.

  • Ellen Sledge

    I never got the chance to meet Ms. Ester but she always sent her love prayers and support to me and my family in South Florida. I know her friend Betty will truly missing her and will forever keep her memories with Ms. Ester in her heart. My condolences to the family.

  • Allison Schwartz

    I had the privilege of befriending Esther when I was a student at East Side in the early 2000s. Now, into my 30s, I still remember how much I looked forward to our daily chats and being greeted by her smile. Annually, I looked forward to catching up with Esther during High Holiday Services at Etz Chaim, and would not leave the synagogue until I had found Esther. I was sure that as I aged into my 20s, she wouldn't remember the 10 year old girl she befriended at East Side (I was wrong about that!). Year after year, Esther could not have been more excited to see me and catch up about my life. Her warmth, kindness, and positivity will always be remembered.

  • Jennie Kaufman

    Penney, Jeremy & Michelle: Esther was a special women with a heart of gold. We were lucky enough to have known & loved her. May her memory be a blessing. Sending hugs Jennie, Lillian, Darren & Dori

  • Alan Bigel

    My Dearest Mom, I am glad you didn't live to see that I was left out of the "survived by" section of your obituary. Perhaps you will get to read your beautiful obituary. Everyone loved you, mom. You are the most wonderful person I will ever know. Whatever professional success I have achieved, and the person I have become--a shem tov, as you often said to me--are, more than anything, due to the love and encourgement you gave me when I most needed it. The 5 1/2 years I was with you in Brooklyn from January 31, 1977 until August 20, 1982, remain the happiest time of my life. You know why I choose this time frame. And after I left Brooklyn, you continued with your expressions of love and always letting me know how proud you are of me. We often joked about my height--6'5"--and you always added that being tall in the heart is most precious. This is where you made your strongest impact on me. You were a mother and father to me and, despite overwhelming odds, raised 3 fine children and lived 55 years without dad. I hope you are now with him again. I will carry you in my heart as long as I live. I love you so dearly, mom. Alan

  • Sue Rothstein

    Esther was such a warm, sweet soul. May her memory be for a blessing.