Oct 29, 2013

May the memories of Simone and Martin Lipman be a blessing!

This past Shabbat, I served as the first Simone and Martin Lipman Scholar in Residence at Kehillah Synagogue in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Simone and Martin z"l, exemplified Kehillah Synagogue's commitment to social justice, and it was a humbling honor to teach in their memories. 

From the very first moment to the last, I felt the spirits of Martin and Simone z"l alive and well, channeled by their sons Robert and Peter pulsing and challenging each of us to save the world, person by person. I cannot thank Rabbi Jen Feldman, Education Director Sherri Morris, and the entire community enough for the humbling honor of teaching in their memory. May Kehillah's spirit transform the world by hearing the Jewish call for Justice and acting on it, touching one heart and soul at a time.

I share here a small glimpse into who Simone and Martin z"l were. May their memories be a blessing!

                      - rabbi menachem creditor

Simone was born in France in the Alsatian village of Ringendorf. After graduating high school, she entered a program in early childhood education. Her studies were cut short by the start of World War II. Simone became a resident worker at a French internment camp where her efforts focused on the children. Ultimately, she helped to rescue 350 children and place them with French families, in orphanages, in convents and in summer camps. All of her immediate family survived the war. Simone moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1946 on a scholarship awarded by the National Council of Jewish Women to resume her education. Simone had a long career in social work in Cleveland and Syracuse helping children and their families.

Martin was born in Stolzenau, Germany. He lost his father at the age of four and as a child grew up victimized as a Jew in Nazi Germany. He escaped to an English boarding school in 1938. When the war started, he was interned for a year as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man. After his internment, he joined the war effort by working in a factory. His mother and grandmother died in the Holocaust. In 1945, he moved to Cleveland to join his brother and sister. He worked his way through Case Institute of Technology and was then hired by Carrier Corporation. His installations of low temperature industrial refrigeration can be found in Europe, South Africa, China and Japan.

Simone & Martin met in Cleveland in 1946, were wed in Paris in 1949 and soon began a family. In 1963, the family moved to Syracuse, NY where they helped to establish Beth Shalom synagogue. In 1986 they retired to Chapel Hill. As part of their efforts to create Jewish communities, Martin and Simone joined others in founding the Kehillah Synagogue, and they tirelessly devoted themselves to ensuring its success. Simone became actively involved in the Jewish community and was instrumental in establishing Jewish Family Services. Martin was a tinkerer; he soon became known as the man who could fix anything. He made use of his skills volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Jewish Family Services, Durham-Chapel Hill Jewish Federation, Beth El Synagogue, Hillel and Kehillah Synagogue. He served on the boards of Hillel and the Jewish Federation. The Lipmans were blessed with a loving marriage of 59 years, two sons (Peter and Robert) and several grandchildren. May their memories be for a blessing.