Solomon Fisher, 78, a longtime Philadelphia tax lawyer who was a leader in the Jewish community, died Saturday, Dec. 14, of complications from liver cancer at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Mr. Fisher spent two decades at Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Levy before leaving in 1984 to form his own law firm with Selwyn A. Horvitz.
Mr. Fisher worked for Horvitz, Fisher, Miller & Sedlack, and for Reed Smith once the firms merged. Later, Mr. Fisher brought his career full circle by returning to Dilworth. He also taught in Temple University's master's of tax law degree program for 25 years.
Mr. Fisher's niche was tax law; he was certified as a public accountant, and he bolstered his skills with a law degree.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in a family of Russian immigrants, Mr. Fisher was a longtime resident of Cheltenham before moving to Center City six years ago.
He graduated from Central High School and then Temple. He earned his law degree at Temple in the late 1950s. As both an undergraduate and graduate student, he ranked first in his class, his family said. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1960.
Mr. Fisher took a job with the Department of Justice in Washington but returned to Philadelphia in 1964 for a job in the private sector.
He was named one of the Philadelphia area's Super Lawyers, a distinction given after a peer review, in 2005 and 2006.
Despite working long hours, Mr. Fisher found time to be a Jewish community leader. He was president of the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Philadelphia branch of the American Jewish Committee, and the Central Agency for Jewish Education.
He also held several offices at Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, including a term as president.
Mr. Fisher was a trustee of the Jewish Archives, which he helped found. He also was on the board of trustees for Perelman Jewish Day School.
Much of his work was aimed at improving relations between the Jewish and African American communities; he worked to counter groups that spread hatred and ignorance, his family said in a tribute.
He formed panels of speakers representing different viewpoints, and once invited the Black Panthers to visit him at home.
Mr. Fisher was instrumental in securing for the Jewish community the Mandell Education Campus in Melrose Park, which serves as home to Perelman Jewish Day School's Forman Center, Gratz College, Ramah Day Camp and several other Jewish organizations.
An avid reader and sports fan, Mr. Fisher would read as he watched sports on TV. "He would read six different books at the same time," said his son, Eric.
Mr. Fisher also regularly served as judge of elections at his local polling place.
Surviving, besides his son, is his wife of 50 years, the former Alice Rosenthal; daughter Suzanne; a sister; and a grandson.
Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Congregation Adath Jeshurun, 7763 Old York Rd., Elkins Park. Burial will follow in Roosevelt Cemetery. Shiva will be observed at Mr. Fisher's residence at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 19, and Sunday, Dec. 22, at 1 p.m.