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Irving Shuman, attorney, Jewish community leader Dec. 8, 1932 April 11, 2012

Irving M. Shuman, a prominent attorney and leader in Buffalo's Jewish community, died Wednesday at his winter home in Longboat Key, Fla., after a lengthy illness. He was 79.

A Buffalo native, he attended Buffalo Public Schools and graduated from Fosdick-Masten Park High School. He was a graduate of the University of Buffalo and its Law School.

Mr. Shuman was a founding partner of what is now the law firm Gross, Shuman, Brizdle & Gilfillan.

He was honored in 2000 by the UB Law School with a Distinguished Alumni Award for his "many contributions to the betterment of our community."

In addition to his contributions to the legal community, Mr. Shuman served the Jewish community in several capacities. He was a past president and board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo and general chairman of the United Jewish Fund Campaign. He also served on the federation's executive committee and headed major committees.

He also led one of the early capital campaigns for the Jewish Community Center in Getzville.

Mr. Shuman was a passionate supporter of the State of Israel. He and his wife of 54 years, Marilyn, led several Buffalo community trips to Israel and contributed to the development of Sderot, Buffalo's "Project Renewal" city in Israel.

He was a member of Temple Beth Tzedek in Buffalo and Temple Beth Israel in Longboat Key at the time of his death.

Mr. and Mrs. Shuman received the American Jewish Committee Community Relations Award. In 1999, they received the Nathan Benderson Community Service Award from the Jewish Federation, the agency's highest honor.

He also was honored, along with his brothers, Hyman and Charles, by the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies for their service to the Jewish community.

He also was a longtime supporter of the Ride for Roswell and is one of the top five individual fundraisers in the history of the event.

In addition to his wife and brothers, he is survived by three daughters, Catherine Miller, Leslie Kramer and Diane Harkavy; and a son, James Shuman.