By Idit Klein
Last week, the world lost a magnificent light: Milly Guberman Kravetz, whom I was privileged to call a dear friend. Milly died on September 27th at age 101 surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren at home, in her bed, and peacefully, all just as she wanted. I am so deeply glad for her.
I first met Milly in the early 2000’s when I was just starting to build Keshet and her daughter-in-law, Jayne Guberman, an early Keshet leader, said to me, “You’ve got to meet my mother-in-law, Milly. I think you’d really like one another.” Indeed, we did, and that first conversation over tea turned into many walks and meals and visits together over the years. Milly quickly became a Keshet supporter — donating funds, making connections with other donors, and hosting a fundraiser at her home.
Soon, Milly became Keshet’s oldest donor, a designation of which she was most proud! I will always remember how her face lit up when I described a new Keshet project or growth opportunity. I will remember, too, how her face darkened and her voice filled with quiet rage as I told her about attacks on LGBTQ+ rights.
At shiva this week, Jayne reminded me of what Milly told her when Jayne asked how she felt about her granddaughter coming out. Milly said: “You know, I’ve always looked at her through a kaleidoscope. So now I just need to turn the kaleidoscope a bit.”
It is fitting that Milly left our world as Sukkot, Z’man Simchateinu/the Season of Our Rejoicing was upon us. All of us who loved Milly remember her with joy in our hearts, amidst the sadness that she is no longer here with us. Joy at a life so profoundly well lived. Joy at the light she leaves with us. And we, too, now turn our kaleidoscopes to see through the shifting shapes and colors to a different world.
May Milly’s memory forever be a blessing. Zichrona l’bracha.