Irene Weinberg, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and Holocaust survivor , died Sunday, July 16.
Weinberg, a native of Lwow, Poland(now Ukraine), was studying art and music when the Germans invaded Poland. She survived by taking on a false identity and working in German occupation government offices. When her identity was uncovered, she escaped to Warsaw, where again, she survived under false identity and obtained work in government offices.
She lived in a building occupied by German Army and SS officers and hid her aunt inside a closet in her apartment. With her access to government documents, she was able to provide false identity papers to other Jews who could thereby stay out of the Warsaw ghetto and the extermination camps.
Toward the end of the war, she was drafted into labor camps as a Polish non-Jew. After liberation, she escaped Poland into Austria, where she met and married Rabbi Dr. William Weinberg, a leader among the Jewish refugees. They moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where he was appointed State Rabbi of Hesse, and she was his right hand as he dealt with the rebirth of the Jewish community under the auspices of the American military and the new German government.
They moved to the United States in 1951, and for several years she worked as an artist for a decorated goods company while her husband mastered English in order to serve as a rabbi in America. In the following years, she assisted with Jewish education in her husband's congregations and was active with sisterhood, Hadassah, and other Jewish organizations.
In later years, she tutored youth for bar mitzvah, volunteered at the Bureau of Jewish Education and sang with a senior chorus that performed for residents at retirement homes.
She is survived by her son, Rabbi Norbert (Ofra); grandchildren, Danit (Roman Ferd), Adi and Eran; and great-great grandchildren, Arielle, Ethan and Jonathan Ferd.
Services were held Tuesday, July 17 at Eden Memorial Park, Groman Mortuary.
Rabbi Sherwin Wine, Founder of Humanistic Judaism
Rabbi Sherwin Wine, the founder of Humanistic Judaism, was killed in an auto accident while vacationing in Morocco. He was 79.
Wine died July 21 when his taxi was struck by another vehicle in Essaouira, according to the Web site of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, the movement's central American body. The rabbi and driver were killed instantly, but Wine's partner, Richard McMains, survived and was said to be in stable condition.
A self-professed atheist, Wine was raised in a traditional home and ordained as a Reform rabbi, but came to see himself as dishonest for reciting prayers to a God in whom he did not believe. Humanistic Judaism was intended to provide a home for himself and others who felt bound to their Jewish identity and culture but rejected the idea of God. Only about 30 Humanistic congregations exist in the United States, served by 14 rabbis.
In 1963, Wine established the world's first Humanistic synagogue, the Birmingham Temple in Farmington Hills, Mich. He went on to help found the Society for Humanistic Judaism in 1969; the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, which trains Humanistic rabbis, in 1985; and the International Federation of Secular Humanistic Jews, the movement's international umbrella.
Wine earned two degrees in philosophy from the University of Michigan and was ordained a rabbi at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He also wrote several books and was a prolific teacher, instructing the movement's rabbinical students in addition to presenting a weekly lecture series at the Birmingham Temple.
Wine is survived by his sister, Lorraine (Ben) Pivnick; and nieces, Elyse and Billie Pivnick.
-- Ben Harris, Jewsh Telegaphic Agency
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