1925 - 2014
International Jewish Folk Art Collector and Activist Edythe Prens Siegel of Stamford, CT, preceded in death by her late husband Toy Designer Herman Max Siegel, died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 88.
She belonged to the Harry G. Friedman Society, a Judaica collectors' organization at The Jewish Museum in New York City. She lectured at the Society on international Jewish folk art, featuring works of art from her husband's and her collection. Paintings from this collection were featured in many juried museum shows, including at the Smithsonian and The Jewish Museum in New York.
Active in the Stamford Jewish Community, Mrs. Siegel brought Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer to Stamford three times, including for a reading of Zlateh the Goat, his first children's book, at the Ferguson Public Library in Stamford, where he read to local children. Out of respect for I.B. Singer's vegetarianism, Mrs. Siegel's mother air-mailed home-made blintzes to serve the author.
She was also an active volunteer at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center where she launched the Museum-on-Tour program, and served as the Program Chair for the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County for which she arranged an authentic, Kosher, Indian-Jewish meal at Coromandel in Stamford. She invited Copeland Marks, author of Sephardic Cooking: 600 Recipes Created in Exotic Sephardic Kitchens from Morocco to India, to oversee the menu development while Rabbi Mark Dratch oversaw the kashering of the restaurant's kitchen.
Mrs. Siegel participated in one of the first leadership development programs for young Zionists after the founding of the State of Israel, where she was privileged to take classes taught by Martin Buber at Hebrew University.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate Journalism program, she produced the first Israeli fashion show ever held in the United States and rejected a job offer from Life magazine to become the editor of "The Jewish Ledger" in her hometown, Rochester, NY.
She belonged to the Ahavah chapter of Hadassah in Pound Ridge and was honored with a national, lifetime achievement award from Hadassah for her leadership and commitment to the organization and Israel.
Mrs. Siegel is survived by her three daughters and their spouses, Deborah Siegel Baker and her husband Gary Baker, Kathy Siegel Fine and her husband Elliot Fine, and Sarah Siegel and her wife Patricia Hewitt; and four grandchildren Zachary Fine, Zoe, Sam and Max Baker.
A service will take place at Leo P. Gallagher Funeral Home, 2900 Summer St., Stamford on June 6, 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Hadassah at http://hadassah.org.
Published on NYTimes.com from June 6 to June 7, 2014