I have wonderful memories of dear Lois Lautenberg, and profoundly mourn her passing (“Lois Lautenberg, a ‘humble’ benefactor devoted to local Jewish community,” June 4). It was a great privilege to have such a regal presence in my life and to know that her beauty and elegance was girded by shrewd intelligence and common sense.
We got to know one another when we served on the governing board of the Sister Rose Thering Endowment for Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University. She often recalled her tour of Auschwitz with Elie Wiesel as a defining moment in her life.
We also developed a personal friendship. She adored her children and also shared family stories. Also, she was extremely welcoming and articulate when introducing one of our visiting scholars, authors, or artists.
When I became director of the Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest Lautenberg graciously accepted the position of co-chair, along with Gina Lanceter. Together these two lovely and amazing women lent their support and guidance to empower the creation of new initiatives to commemorate and educate about the Holocaust. It enabled us to become the most active Holocaust center in New Jersey and an international leader in the field.
However, Lautenberg’s reach extended far beyond the Holocaust Council. Her generosity and wisdom greatly improved the lives of countless people of all ages, abilities, ethnic backgrounds, and religions.
May her family and all who mourn Lois be comforted and inspired by the knowledge that hers was a life well-lived, in every way. She was a blessing to the world. May her memory be a perpetual blessing.