Remembering Myra Kraft
Myra Kraft was a commanding presence in the philanthropic world and in particular at Brandeis University.
She passed away yesterday after a valiant struggle with cancer, and we mourn the loss of a good friend and wonderful human being. On behalf of all of us at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, we send our condolences to Robert, her husband, and to their sons and extended family.
I was privileged to know and work with Myra in a variety of capacities. Years ago, we traveled together to Israel on CJP missions and, later, Barry Shrage matched us as co-chairs of a task force assessing how to support Israel missions. Last year, we worked together on Brandeis University's Presidential Search. Myra had a keen sense of individuals and how a candidate's personal and professional persona worked in concert. Her perspective was invaluable. In addition, her commitment to task and her determination to do the job, even when personal circumstances were challenging, inspired everyone around her.
Myra had menschlikeit - a deep sense of what is right and good - and she had the courage of her convictions. The list of people and organizations that were changed by her ideas, her philanthropy, and her involvement with their work is a long one. CMJS is honored to be on that list. Myra made it possible for us to launch what will be our flagship research program, the Jewish Futures Project. I remember her listening patiently as I described the nuances of longitudinal panel design. After a thoughtful and engaging dialogue on the merits, she added her support to the project. Myra was both a student and a pillar of the Jewish world. Our debt to her is enormous.
May her intelligence, compassion, and drive inspire us to continue good works and may her memory be for a blessing.
Leonard Saxe, Ph.D., Director
Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies
Steinhardt Social Research Institute
Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program Tribute