Former ‘Post’ staffer Marilyn Henry dies, 58

ByREBECCA BOROSON
March 3, 2011 02:57

Veteran journalist was expert on looted Holocaust art.




MARILYN HENRY

MARILYN HENRY 58. (photo credit:Courtesy)

Marilyn Henry, a journalist and lecturer, died of cancer on Tuesday, four days short of her 58th birthday. She lived in Teaneck, NJ with her husband, Rabbi Shammai Engelmayer.

Henry was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post, for which she also had been a staff writer for many years, reporting from Israel, Europe, and the United States. For a time, she had been a contributing editor at ARTnews and served a brief stint as interim managing editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Henry also worked part time as an archivist for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.


She was an authority on German reparations and the recovery of Jewish properties looted and displaced in Europe during the Nazi and communist eras.

She was the author of Confronting the Perpetrators: A History of the Claims Conference (Vallentine Mitchell), with a foreword by Sir Martin Gilbert (2007), a contributor to the Encyclopedia Judaica and the American Jewish Year Book. In addition to The Jerusalem Post, articles by her have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, the Forward and Aufbau, and in publications in Germany, Switzerland, Britain, and the Netherlands.

She began her journalism career at the Jacksonville (Fla.) Times-Union. Before coming to The Jerusalem Post, she had been at Newsday, a daily newspaper based in Long Island.

“The journalism profession and the Jewish world have lost a shining star at the top of her game,” said Judah Gribetz, the New York attorney and “Special Master” who prepared the plan of allocation and distribution for US District Judge Edward R. Korman in the 1996-97 Swiss bank Holocaust restitution suits.

“Since meeting her in 1999, I have marveled at Marilyn’s wisdom and knowledge of the complex world of Holocaust restitution,” he said. “Her more than 100 articles about this lawsuit reflect her unswerving and outspoken commitment to Holocaust survivors.”

Noting that the class action suits had been settled by the banks and the plaintiffs for $1.25 billion, Gribetz added that the settlement “has resulted in assistance to over 453,000 victims of Nazi persecution worldwide.”

Robert Morgenthau, the legendary Manhattan district attorney who retired in 2009 after more than three decades in office, called her “a remarkable person and a great reporter – unequaled in her understanding of the US Jewish community and its relationship to Israel.”

As for her involvement with the synagogue, Donald Rosenberg, a longtime former president of the shul, said, “She did her job as rebbetzin – she tried hard to bring the temple together.”

But, he added, “she didn’t want to be called the rebbetzin; she wanted to be called Marilyn.”

Survivors include her husband, who is the rabbi of Temple Israel Community Center/ Cong. Heichal Yisrael in Cliffside Park and a columnist for this newspaper; three stepchildren, Malki Sinensky and Juda Engelmayer of New York and Jay Engelmayer of Modi’in; and 10 step-grandchildren.

Her brother, Jeffrey Cohen, lives in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Although her wishes preclude a funeral or public shiva, people wishing to make a condolence call on the family may do so on Sunday from noon until 7 p.m. at the Engelmayer residence, 957 Eastlawn Drive in Teaneck.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 3, beginning at 11 a.m., at Temple Israel Community Center/Cong. Heichal Yisrael, 207 Edgewater Road, Cliffside Park.

The family suggests donations to any food bank, animal shelter, abused women’s shelter, or either to Holy Name Hospital’s Villa Marie Claire Hospice or to Temple Israel Community Center/Cong. Heichal Yisrael.

Reprinted with permission of the Jewish Standard.

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