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Fay Halpern Lande ’59

A picture of Fay Halpern Lande

Fay Halpern Lande ’59, September 20, 2010, in Columbia, Maryland, from cancer. Fay grew up in New York City, the daughter of labor activists. She earned a BA from Reed in philosophy and returned to New York, pursuing further study in philosophy at Columbia University. Fay lived in New York's East Village during the late ’60s and early ’70s and helped found an alternative children's day care co-op devoted to providing a creative and nurturing environment. She pursued an interest in fine arts and earned an MFA in painting at Indiana University-Bloomington in 1964. Her artistic endeavors also included puppet making, tie-dye, and batik on silk. She used natural dyes and worked to ban a synthetic red dye because it was linked to bladder cancer. Fay was married to Robert Lande for 32 years. They met in New York and were married in Vienna, Austria, where Robert had moved for work. Fay taught classes on tie-dye at a college in Vienna, making her Yiddish sound as much like German as she could; she got herself admitted to medical school; worked for Simon Wiesenthal, the Nazi hunter, answering correspondence; and did interviews for the English language radio station, Blue Danube Radio. Fay was also confronted by the remnants of anti-Semitism in Vienna. She and her family returned to the U.S. three years later so that she could take care of her mother, who was ill. Fay's experiences in Vienna and the caring she received from Orthodox women at the time of her mother's death were influential in Fay's decision to become more religious. She was a member of the Lubavitch Center for Jewish Education in Columbia, Maryland, where she was appreciated as a woman of strong convictions and faith. Fay worked as a freelance writer and as an editorial assistant and writer with the Baltimore Sun. Newspaper colleagues praised her intelligence and sensitivity and her gifts as a writer. Above all else, Fay was devoted to her husband and two daughters, and to her two grandchildren, all of whom survive her. “She was the emotional core and support of our family,” Robert said. Donations in Fay's name may be sent to the Lubavitch Center for Jewish Education, 770 Howes Lane, Columbia, Maryland 21044, for construction of a small library, which will be named for her.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2011

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