SALEM: Abe Salem, age 97, born Abraham Solomon in Vengeroff in Poland in December 1919, died on May 8, 2017. As a young man Abe studied to be a cantor at a Yeshiva in Warsaw, but his Jewish education was interrupted by the German invasion of Poland in 1939. He escaped to Soviet Russia, where he did hard time in Soviet labor camps throughout the war. The rest of his family, including three younger siblings, perished in concentration camps. After the war he met his wife, Mina (Langnas), and their first child, Lazar (Larry), was born in 1947 at the Displaced Persons Camp in Landsberg, Germany. He and Mina immigrated first to Indiana and then settled in Pittsburgh in 1951. In response to his fears of anti-Semitism in the United States, Abe changed the family name from Solomon to Salem. A daughter, Lucy (Raizman), was born in Pittsburgh in 1952. Mr. Salem worked as a baker and self-employed glazier in Pittsburgh but performed services during Jewish holidays for several small synagogues in the East End of Pittsburgh, at the Riverview Towers, and also in Braddock, Pa. Following his retirement and move to Squirrel Hill from the East End, Abe was hired as Torah reader and minyan director at Congregation Beth Shalom, duties he performed with joy and devotion for almost 25 years. Beth Shalom celebrated his 20th anniversary with the congregation with a gala celebration in his honor in 2006. A gifted singer and storyteller, he moved to Weinberg Terrace in 2011, following Mina’s death in 2010. Also in 2010, with the help of Cindy Harris, he published a memoir, “Just a Few Questions: Barbaric Stories from an Ordinary Life,” and attended his granddaughter’s wedding in California in 2014 where he was able to sing and celebrate with friends and family. Cindy remained a devoted friend who visited him almost daily, attended to his welfare, and accompanied him to events in the Jewish community. He was interviewed for the United States Holocaust Museum Oral History Project and the Transcending Trauma Project with Council for Relationships in Philadelphia, and regularly attended Yom Hashoah events in Pittsburgh. Abe will be remembered as a generous father and grandfather, for his tireless contributions to Beth Shalom and its community, and for a love of all things Jewish. Abe’s family is grateful for the synagogue’s support, along with caring friends Cindy Harris as well as Dr. Alan and Fern Steckel, Mindy Shreve, who was a very frequent visitor, and Rabbi Daniel Wasserman and his wife, Judi, of Shaare Torah, who also provided comfort and company. He is survived by his son Larry Salem and partner Katie Moore of Owings Mills, Md., daughter Lucy and her husband David Raizman of Philadelphia, and grandchildren Rebecca Raizman Newman, her husband David Newman, and Joshua Raizman and fiancee Sommer Mateer. A funeral will be held at Congregation Beth Shalom on Thursday, May 11, at 1 p.m. with burial following at the Beth Shalom Cemetery. Shiva will be at Beth Shalom following burial. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, 826 Hazelwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.