Enid Shames

Enid Shames always wore peace beads. Loving mother to Jeff (Donna) and Gigi Pomerantz, loving grandmother to Yonat (Jono) Piva, Liat Mayer, Zachary (Jennifer), Jamison (Rebecah) and Nicholas Pomerantz and great-grandmother to Evelyn, Emma and Fiona Pomerantz and Asher Piva, she passed away on Nov. 12, 2020. Born on June 27, 1925, in New York City to Beatrice Kneitel and Jesse Josephson and adopted by Fred Goldstandt after her parents’ divorce, Enid attended Bentley High School, the University of Wisconsin and New York University, graduating with a master’s degree in education. She taught public school for 30 years at Davis School in New Rochelle, New York, and she was loved by many of the hundreds of students who sat in her classroom. In all her lessons she would engage her students with music and guitar. Each year they put on a play about justice or fairness, messages she promoted throughout her life. As vice president of the local teachers’ union, in 1970 she led a strike for smaller class size and better benefits for teachers.

After retirement, Enid’s activism didn’t end. As a member of the Raging Grannies and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, she protested wars and racial and environmental injustice. With her purple hat, she stood on street corners and public plazas with a dozen other women singing protest songs. She believed “there’s never a time in your life that you can’t speak out for what you believe in.”

She was also active in the National Organization for Women and the Palm Beach Democrats. She volunteered at the Norton Museum, enthusiastically greeting and directing visitors.

Enid (and Ben) attended Chautauqua Institution each summer for over 30 years. She supported Friends of the Theater as membership chair and the Chautauqua Opera Guild Young Artist program as an “Opera Parent.” She was a longtime member of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle and read hundreds of its books.

In 2010, at the age of 85, Enid traveled to Haiti with her daughter’s nonprofit, Youthaiti. Over the next five years she carried suitcases filled with tennis racquets, balls, sneakers and even a tennis net, bringing the joy of tennis to dozens of rural Haitian children. The Enid Shames Tennis Club lives on under the volunteer direction of Jackie Lefleur, one of the many young men she taught and inspired.

Enid supported many causes throughout her life, too many to mention. Donations in her memory would be especially appreciated by the Raging Grannies and Youthaiti. She will be missed by many.


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