Yesterday I received shocking and sad news. My dear friend, Maxine Shore, passed away.
It was only less than two weeks ago that Maxine had called to wish us a happy Pesach.
From the time I moved to Israel in 1995, Maxine called before every Pesach and Rosh HaShana. Our conversation was the same. We asked about each other’s families and spoke about getting together soon. And we meant it.
Maxine and I met the year after my bat mitzvah. We studied together at the Gratz School of Observation and Practice held then, at Ahavath Israel Congregation. It was both a Hebrew school and a laboratory for the people studying to be teachers at Gratz College.
Maxine and I became friends that year and through all of the years that followed, we remained in contact.
We graduated from Hebrew school that spring and together entered the Hebrew High School located, at that time, at Rodeph Shalom Congregation on Broad Street downtown. We studied two and a half hours two evenings a week and four hours on Sundays. Our class was small and although all of us were serious students, there was a lot of laughter too.
When Gratz built the new building, at 10th and Tabor, Maxine and I and our classmates, found a new background for our friendships. We liked the lounge with the coffee machine that sometimes even had cups.
Through those high school, and then college years, I had my ups and downs. Maxine was then, as she remained, steady, consistent, and kind.
When I left Philadelphia after getting married, we maintained contact. Soon I received a letter from Maxine telling me that she was getting married. I was in Kentucky, she was in Baltimore, but we remained close.
We moved on to South Carolina, but a year later, when we moved to Somerset, New Jersey, Maxine was living in Highland Park, a 15 minute ride from us. We would walk along the main street together, pushing our firstborn sons side by side in their carriages.
When the Army sent us to Fort Campbell. Kentucky, Maxine and Larry were living in St. Louis. Back then, before the new highways were built, it was about a six hour drive, but we went to visit them. This was in 1973, during the time of the Yom Kippur War. We took our then combined seven children up in the St. Louis arch.
Later, they came to us for Thanksgiving and celebrated with us in Fort Campbell.
When we visited in Israel with our children, we spent a lively Shabbat with them on kibbutz Shaalvim. The next year, they hosted us in their home in Rechovot.
Years later, they were still in Rechovot when my son and his wife moved there and Maxine enjoyed seeing my grandchildren from her window when their mother picked them up from gan.
We celebrated family smachot together. We were at her children’s weddings; she and Larry were at ours.
Year after year, decade after decade, Maxine was there- always with a smile, always with a kind word. She asked for nothing, but was ready to give everything.
Maxine was always positive. No matter what, she minimized the bad and emphasized the good. When once or twice she called to get my input on matters of concern to her, she would later call to thank me and repeat her thanks again and again.
Maxine loved very deeply. She loved her family.
And she was sweet and kind.
The world has lost someone very precious.