Sympathy – March 2017 issue

Posted on: February 28th, 2017 by tgregory

… for the family and friends of Michel G. “Mike” Kaplan, 70, past president of Congregation Micah, who died peacefully on February 15 at his home, surrounded by his family. Mike was born April 6, 1946 in Pasco, WA, and was raised in Middletown, NJ. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Selma Kaplan and is survived by his wife of 39 years, Rita Kaplan, and two children, Seth Kaplan (Megan Murray) of Portland, OR, and Molly Tadin (Duje) of Pittsford, NY; his sister, Georgia Rowe (Henry) of Gainesville, GA, and five grandchildren, Lailah and Eliana Kaplan, and Teo, Ivanica and Luka Tadin.

Mike graduated from Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Law School. He then received a master’s degree in taxation from New York University and served as a clerk on the United States Tax Court. Returning to Nashville, he practiced law with the firm of Boult, Cummings, Connors and Berry, and since 1993 with Sherrard, Roe, Voigt and Harbison. His expertise in tax, estate planning and exempt organizations, and his ability to communicate, made him a popular lecturer in these areas throughout the United States. His opinion on tax issues was often sought by writers from the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and Money, and his insights were often included in these and other publications. 

Mike’s passion was golf, which he took up as a teenager in New Jersey. It was mentored by a gentleman who taught Mike the importance of etiquette and the adherence to rules that are part of the game. Because his mentor also taught him the importance of giving back, Mike freely donated his time and legal talents to the Tennessee Golf Foundation and the Tennessee Golf Association. He was esteemed by all in the legal community, and his accomplishments are too numerous to list. But he will be remembered most for his honesty, integrity, and wonderful sense of humor.

Following a private service, a reception in his memory was held on Feb. 19 in the Congregation Micah social hall. Memorials may be sent to the Tennessee Golf Foundation’s First Tee Program, Vanderbilt University, Congregation Micah, or a charity of the donor’s choice. 


… to the family and friends of Sherman Novoson, 70, who died peacefully at his Nashville home on Feb. 13. From early childhood, Sherman loved music and studied the cello with passion. He pursued professional studies at the Peabody Conservatory, and later at the Hartt School of Music before earning a chair in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and then the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Health issues necessitated a career change, and his friendly and inquisitive nature led him to freelance reporting for news and sports outlets all over Tennessee, on the road and from his desk at the state capitol.  Sherman was born on August 20, 1946, in St. Louis, MO, and was a graduate of Clayton High School where he played in the orchestra and was an avid supporter of every sports team. He was preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Eleanore Novoson, and his loving wife, Johnnie Rogers Novoson. He is survived by his sister in California, Jo Ann Novoson, and her family, along with many cousins, friends, and colleagues. The family is grateful for the loving support of Congregation Sherith Israel, The Temple, and Jewish Family Services of Nashville, where contributions in his memory may be made. Private services were in St. Louis. 


… the family and friends of Yosef Chaim Udelson, 73, a former history professor at Tennessee State University, who died on Feb. 14 in Monsey, NY. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Shoshana Udelson, daughters Dinka Kumer of Tzfat, Israel, Chanie Goodfriend and Devorah Drew, both of Monsey, and more than 20 grandchildren. Born in Chicago, Yosef Chaim earned a Ph.D in history from Vanderbilt University and became a tenured professor at TSU, publishing books on the history of television and the life of Israel Zangwill. After becoming active with Chabad, he also began writing and lecturing on Jewish and Hasidic topics in England and Israel. His Jewish articles were published in Beor Hatorah and other publications.  After retiring from TSU, he lived for a while in Tzfat and later in Buffalo.