World

Alice Shalvi, Hailed as a Mother of Feminism in Israel, Dies at 96

Alice Hildegard Margulies was born on Oct. 16, 1926, in Essen, the commercial metropolis in western Germany, the youngest of three youngsters of Benzion and Perl Margulies, who have been first cousins. Her dad and mom owned a wholesale enterprise promoting linens and cutlery. Theirs was a cultured residence, stuffed with music and literature, infused by her father’s devotion to his synagogue and the spiritual Zionist motion. Alice was a solitary baby, particularly after her sister died of pleurisy when Alice was 2, leaving her with a a lot older brother with whom she had little in frequent.

As Hitler rose to energy and Nazi harassment of Jews intensified, the household fled south to Mannheim, the place they’d family, and eventually to London in 1934.

In Britain, the place she was referred to as “the little refugee girl” at faculty, Alice, a voracious reader, nurtured a ardour for English literature. Although English was not her first language, she received quite a few writing awards and was accepted to Newnham, one of two ladies’s faculties at Cambridge University.

She excelled in her research and have become immersed in Jewish life on campus. There, foreshadowing her later activist inclinations, she proposed someday that girls, too, ought to lead the singing at Shabbat meals. To her shock, the boys agreed.

“And, the following Friday evening, I made history by being the first woman to lead,” Dr. Shalvi wrote in her memoir. “Unfortunately, the victory was marred. In my nervousness, I pitched my voice too high and, to my shame, had to readjust the key after the first two lines. But the precedent had been set.”

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