Upcoming Services

Marlene Glazer Tue Jul 5th at 3:00

View More



Aviva Thatch Sandler

Aviva Thatch Sandler, 80, of Commerce, Michigan, died on 01 June 2022.

The Funeral was held at IRA KAUFMAN CHAPEL on Tuesday, 07 June 2022 at 11:00 AM .

Rabbi Jennifer Kaluzny officiated.

Click to watch a video of the recorded service.

Interment at Clover Hill Park Cemetery.

Click for Directions for Cemetery

The family of Aviva Thatch Sandler will be gathering through the evening of Sunday, June 12 at the residence, 1099 Island Drive, Commerce MI 48382. The phone number is 248-363-3022.

Family and friends will be gathering on Tuesday 3:00-5:00 p.m. and then 6:00-8:00 p.m, and on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 4:00-8:00 p.m.

Please only enter the shiva house if you've been fully vaccinated.

Click for Directions to Shiva

Born during the Holocaust on March 4, 1942, to parents Benesch and Riva Tkatsch (later Thatch), Aviva Sandler (neé Thatch) died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on June 1, 2022.

Aviva spent the first two years of her life in a few cramped rooms in the Kovno Ghetto (Kaunas Lithuania) with 7 additional family members. When the SS would come to inspect, Riva and baby Aviva would hide in a hole dug in the dirt beneath layers of sofa, rug, and floor, where she was trained to be silent. Two years later, fearing what was to come, her parents made the difficult decision to smuggle her out of the ghetto. A plan was hatched. Sedated by a Jewish doctor, she was bundled into layers of clothes, padded with hay, wrapped in a distinctive blanket from her father’s textile import business, and dropped from a wagon under cover of darkness at a pre-determined spot on a road, where an unknown gentile woman had agreed to take her to safety.

Shortly thereafter, the ghetto was liquidated and Aviva’s family was transported to the concentration camps: Shtuthoff for the women, Dachau for the men. Thankfully, both parents survived the war. In a movie-worthy twist of fate, Aviva’s original rescuer was unable to safely keep her and, when approached, was unable to name the second rescuer. It was Aviva’s sharp-eyed grandmother who spotted a woman in the village square wearing a shawl made of Aviva’s unique blanket that enabled the reunification of the family in spring of 1945 after the liberation. Aviva’s personal experience of kindness and hope at such a young age was reflected in her kindness toward others and in her lifelong optimistic outlook.

Aviva enjoyed a long career as a Clinical Social Worker in the Detroit area, helping hundreds of clients piece together the puzzles in their lives. It was a career to which she was well-suited and one that she loved.

A generous hostess, Aviva loved nothing more than filling her home with friends, flowers, and family, serving an abundance of food that tasted as scrumptious as it looked. Her 4th of July parties were legendary, as were her Passover Seders.

An adventurer, Aviva traveled with her husband Bob all over the world: Egypt, Morocco, Italy, England, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Africa, Cuba, and Colombia, among others. She enjoyed skiing and SCUBA diving excursions.

An artist, Aviva created beautiful knitted clothing, wool-felted art, fused glass, and handmade paper 3-D artworks. Her gardens were living art throughout the seasons.

Aviva amassed legions of lifelong friends with whom she enjoyed life’s adventures. Her life, bookended between the most horrific of wartime experiences and an international pandemic and the heartless war between Ukraine and Russia, nevertheless was filled with love, beauty, gratitude, and adventure.

Aviva is survived by a host of beloved relatives: her loving husband of 60 years, Robert; her devoted children Elizabeth, Eric and Jennifer Sandler-Bowen; her son-in-law Lance Bowen; her treasured grandson Ian Sandler-Bowen, who loved his Uma; her best friend and sister Rhoda (Michael) Kamin and loving brother Dr. Leonard Thatch; sister-in-law Susan (Isidore) Bass. Nieces and Nephews, David (Megan) Bass, Michael (Edit) Bass, David (Jolene) Kamin, Carrie (Christopher) Swan; loving cousins Gloria Zimet, Jefferey and Lisa Mark and Dr. Polina Davidson; Gloria’s children and their partners Yaniv (Sivane), David (Antonio) and Noam (Coleen) and little Eli; great-aunt to Naomi, Clara, Aron, Lainey, Henry, Laurel, Frances and Emma.

Cherished daughter of the late Benesch and Riva Thatch; treasured granddaughter of the late Emma Frank; niece to the late Samuel and Rose Mark; sister-in-law to the late Marshall and Judith Sandler; cousin-in-law to the late Natan Zimet.

It is suggested that those who wish to further honor the memory of Aviva Thatch Sandler may do so by making a contribution to:

Development Department
333 Seventh Avenue, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Click to Visit Charity Website

Freedom House Detroit
1777 N Rademacher St
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 964-4320
Click to Visit Charity Website

Together Rising
800 West Broad Street #6409
Falls Church, VA 22040
Click to Visit Charity Website

A Charity of one's choice