Shirley Maza, 97, of Highland Park died April 7, 2020. Born in Poland into a rabbinic family, she arrived in the United States as an infant and grew up in West Rogers Park, a suburb of Chicago. Following graduation from public high school, she moved to New York City to attend the Hebrew Teacher’s Institute. There she met and married a newly ordained rabbi, Joseph Maza.
The Mazas spent the first few years of their marriage in Lakewood, where Rabbi Maza continued his rabbinic studies in the first postgraduate class of the Yeshiva Gedolah of Lakewood headed by Rabbi Aharon Kotler. In 1950, they moved to South River, where he served as rabbi of Congregation Anshe Emeth, a position he held until his retirement in 1998. During that period, Mrs. Maza, often referred to as the “rebbetzin” (rabbi’s wife), worked with her husband at the congregation; her responsibilities included teaching regularly in the congregation’s Hebrew school.
She was active in many Jewish organizations, including Hadassah and AMIT. She held national leadership positions and served as a regular speaker for AMIT. An ardent religious Zionist, she co-led with her husband numerous congregational missions to Israel.
Predeceased by her husband, she is survived by three daughters, Cheryl Strauch, Phyllis Parker, and Sandra Gross; two sons, Elliot and Avi Maza; 16 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.
Private services were held April 7 at Washington Cemetery, South Brunswick, with arrangements by Goldstein Funeral Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to AMIT (amitchildren.org).