Elaine and Fredz’l
Family and kindness are perfect synonyms for Elaine and Fredz’l Greenspan. Over the course of their beautiful 63-year marriage, Elaine and Fred held family, and by extension their beloved friends and community members, in the highest regard. Today, Elaine continues to carry that torch.
The daughter of a pediatrician, young Elaine watched her father, Jacob Polozker, make house calls, constantly running to meet the needs of his patients at all hours. He was charitable with his services and extended his help whether the patient could afford to pay or not. While he passed away early in Elaine’s life she carries his legacy with her. Elaine’s mother, Ann, was her role model, displaying incredible resilience and strength as she raised Elaine and her two siblings, simultaneously pursuing charitable activities. Jan and Jill shared that Elaine is a good and loyal friend, always looking for opportunities to include others and help where she can. Elaine exudes positivity and optimism, suited to a woman whose middle name is Hope.
Elaine’s greatest pride is her children, Jan and Jill and their families, who embody the compassion that has been passed down from generation to generation. Above all, Elaine is devoted to her family. She is dependable, generous, accepting and loving and offers the perfect humor at exactly the right moments.
Fred, a World War II army veteran and builder for 60 years, got his start in the business with his father Harry. He started his own business in 1949. Over the course of his career building apartments and homes in the Detroit area, Fred was recognized for his distinguished service. He held various leadership positions and was inducted into the Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan Hall of Fame in 1999. Jan and Jill remember their father Fred with so much love and warmth and reflected that he was humble, thoughtful and well respected. He was a fun dad who took them on outings to visit the apartments he built and managed. Known as “Fred Friendly,” he was accepting of everyone and was deeply proud to be able to help families make homes for themselves. Beyond this, he quietly funded the college tuition of his most loyal employees’ children.
Fred and Elaine both grew up at Temple Beth El and Fred eventually went on to serve as a board member. They raised their children with Jewish traditions that were important to them including regular Friday night Shabbat dinners and Passover Seders with grandparents, lighting Chanukah candles and attending holiday services at Temple Beth El.
Together Fred and Elaine supported many causes, including Temple Beth El, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Beaumont Hospital and Hebrew Free Loan. Their first gift to the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network was unsolicited and initiated because of the admiration Fred and Elaine had for the goals and work of JHCN. In 2021, the family proudly created the Elaine and Fredz’l Greenspan Family LifeLinks Fund. This helps enable JHCN to connect individuals who are facing a life-limiting illness, along with their family members, to the best care possible. Services include care navigation and advocacy, social work support, spiritual care and life-enriching programs. All of this is provided to patients and families at no charge. Just as Fred believed that vital care should not be withheld from any patient and Elaine seeks opportunities to do good, JHCN is committed to ensuring no Jew navigates end of life alone.