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2012 In Memoriam YEAR IN REVIEW

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Frederica Sagor Maas, a Hollywood screenwriter and one of the last links to the silent film era, died on Jan. 5 at the age of 111. A resident of San Diego, she was the 44th oldest person in the world. Maas, wrote the 1925 script for the film “The Plastic Age,” which launched the career of actress Clara Bow. Her final credit was the 1947 musical “The Shocking Miss Pilgrim,” starring Betty Grable.

Dr. Melvin G. Goldstein of East Haven, the long-time meteorologist for Connecticut’s Channel 8 news team known to most as “Dr. Mel,” died on Jan. 18 after a 16-year battle with cancer.  He was 66.

Jeffrey Zaslow, a journalist and best-selling author who wrote about life transitions for The Wall Street Journal, was killed in a car accident on Feb. 10. The resident of suburban Detroit was on his way home after giving a lecture to promote his new book, “The Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters.” He was 53.

Andew Breitbart, the controversial conservative Internet publisher, died on March 1 in Los Angeles, where he lived. Breitbart played a lead role in exposing several infamous scandals, including the one involving former New York Representative Anthony Weiner. He was 43.

Murray Lender, a bagel baker, food executive and philanthropist, who helped bring the bagel to kitchens across the nation, died March 21 at the age of 81. A former resident of Woodbridge, he lived in Aventura, Fla.

Elan Steinberg, a longtime advocate for Holocaust survivors, died April 11 in Manhattan from lymphatic cancer. The former World Jewish Congress (WJC) head won more than $1 billion from Swiss banks for Holocaust victims. He was 59.

Benzion Netanyahu, a renowned historian and Zionist activist, and the father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reportedly his strongest influence, died April 30 at his home in Jerusalem. He was 102.

Maurice Sendak, the children’s author and illustrator best known for the 1963 classic “Where the Wild Things Are,” died May 8 in Danbury from a stroke. He was 83.

Vidal Sassoon, celebrity hairstylist, died in Los Angeles on May 9 of Leukemia. He fought antisemitism throughout his life and had served in the Haganah. He was 84.

Fred Jacobs of West Hartford, who lived through the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz, died May 15.  Jacobs, who came to Hartford with his wife Regina in 1947, was the leading force responsible for the Holocaust memorial designed by sculptor Elbert Weinberg that sits in front of the Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford, as well as greater Hartford’s annual communal Holocaust commemoration service, one of the first in the country. He was 91.

Marvin Hamlisch, the prolific composer of more than 40 film scores, including “The Way We Were” “Sophie’s Choice,” “Ordinary People,” and “The Sting,” died August 8 after a brief illness. He was 68.

Yitzhak Shamir, Israel’s seventh prime minister, died June 30. Shamir, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, served intermittently as prime minister from 1983 to 1992 as the head of the Likud party. Before entering politics, he worked at the Israeli spy agency, the Mossad, and was a member of the Revisionist underground movements Irgun and Lehi in pre-state Israel. For the past several years he lived in a Herzliya nursing home. He was 96.

Florence Waren, who ‘hid in the spotlight’ as half of the famous ballroom dancing duo “Florence et Frederic” while France was occupied by the Nazis, died on June 12. She was 95. Waren, who often danced in front of German officers, hid fellow Jews in her apartment and smuggled supplies and arms to the French Resistance while Nazi officers frequented her performances.

Joe Kubert, the comic book great who worked on acclaimed series such as Tor, Tales of the Green Beret, Sgt. Rock and Tarzan, died Aug. 12 in Morristown, NJ. He was 85.

David Lederman, founder of Danver, Mass.-based Abiomed Inc., a manufacturer of medical implant devices, died Aug. 15 of pancreatic cancer. Lederman developed the AbioCor, the world’s first battery-powered artificial heart. A resident of Marblehead, Mass., he was 68.

Hal David, the renowned songwriter who famously collaborated with Burt Bacharach and vocalist Dionne Warwick, and won numerous American music awards, including Academy Awards and Grammys, died Sept. 1.  He was 91.

Vladka Meed, a member of the Jewish resistance in Poland who, posing as a gentile, smuggled dynamite and pistols to resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto, and helped children escape from the ghetto, died Nov. 21. Meed was one of the first to tell of the horrors of the Holocaust in her book, “On Both Sides of the Wall,” published in Yiddish in 1948.

Larry Cohen, the witty, cigar-chomping conservative newspaper writer who had served over the course of four decades as a reporter, editor and columnist for multiple publications including the Hartford Courant, Hartford Business Journal and Waterbury Republican American, died of a heart attack on August 27. A longtime resident of Connecticut, he had recently retired to Sanibel, Fla. He was 64.

Arlen Specter, the five-term Republican-turned-Democratic U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, died Oct. 14. Specter served in the Senate from 1981-2011. He was known for his fierce independence and high-profile role as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was 82.

Devorah Krinsky, the wife of Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky — the public face of the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement and herself a force in the Lubavitch movement — died Nov. 23 after a brief illness. She was 74.

What makes Israel the 13th happiest country in the world?
One Jewish community, two grassroots organizations

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