Dear Daniella’s son, husband, and family,
My name is Faygel Beren and I was privileged to get to know Daniella in Camp HASC, Stern College, and Los Angeles (when my parents moved there three years ago).
I can still see a picture of Daniella lovingly touch her forehead to one of her little campers–a totally sublime moment–at which you know, her Neshama was connecting to this little pure soul, soothing the child that due to disability knows little of a true state of calmness.
I also remember Daniella as a devoted, focused student at Stern College. She was eager to become an accountant and follow in her father’s path. And anytime one had the opportunity to hear Daniella speak of her parents, he or she would become immediately envious of the tremendous kibud av viaim this woman must have demonstrated throughout her life. Her love for her family was so so so evident and radiated with such sincerity.
I never saw Daniella not smiling. She was someone who loved life, someone who loved being an observant Jew, someone who made you feel the world was absolutely beautiful. I remember Daniella once talking to me about her spiritual journey. From that conversation I garnered that she was a woman not afraid to change and to grow, in order to reach a higher level of spirituality and become closer to the Ribono Shel Olam. She was an Eshet Chayil, in many senses, but especially in the sense of her boldness and courage to move forward spiritually and to continually grow.
During college, when my parents moved to Los Angeles from Baltimore, I was going through a difficult time. The move was hard on me. When I came to visit my parents in Los Angeles for Shabbos, I was so surprised to see Daniella Lee-Casper at Young Israel! Of course, Daniella davened in Young Israel whenever she came to visit her parents, but at the time I did not know that. Though we had not seen each other for a very long time, she gave me the biggest smile when I came into the women’s section. After davening, she came over to me, we talked, and in that conversation, she offered me total unconditional friendship if I were to ever need anything when I was in LA. In addition, she was so eager for our parents to meet each other so that they could host us for a Shabbos. When talking to her, my worries about LA, about being anonymous in this new city melted away. At that moment I was with a true friend, Daniella Lee!
This past Pesach my mother and I walked with Daniella and Mrs. Lee after Shul. We were four women (2 sets of mothers and daughters, and Daniella on her way to becoming a mother herself!), full of simcha for the chag and excited to learn more about each other. I remember my mother talking to me after we parted ways with the Lees and said “That is the sweetest girl I ever met.”
That was Daniella to so many of us: the sweetest girl you ever met.
Hamakom Yinachem Eschem Bisoch Shaar Evlei Tzion ViYirushalayim,