At Marilyn Henry’s memorial this afternoon – held in Temple Israel in Cliffside Park where she was rebbetzin and where her husband, Shammai Engelmayer is rabbi – Gideon Taylor, associate executive vice president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, quoted the foreword to Marilyn’s book about the Claims Conference by the eminent historian Sir Martin Gilbert: Her work, Gilbert wrote, was both scholarly and gripping. Those two words, Taylor pointed out, are rarely if ever used to refer to the same person. But they are a surprising and accurate assessment of Marilyn’s work – the depth and extent of her research, and the skill (and intelligence) with which she presented it.
Among the other speakers was Saul Kagan, executive vice president emeritus of the Claims Conference, and David Raab, a former Teaneck resident and the author of “Terror in Black September,” an eyewitness account of the 1970 hijacking of a plane on which he, then 17, was a passenger.
Someone asked me why the Standard had not sent a photographer – but it was not that kind of event. It was a gathering of friends, come together to remember and celebrate one who had been a friend to many – and whose life and work had been committed to serving the victims (and their heirs) and survivors of the Holocaust.
As so many said and felt today, may her memory be a blessing.