Marie L. Rothschild, civic and religious activist

July 13, 1993|By DeWitt Bliss | DeWitt Bliss,Staff Writer

Marie L. Rothschild, a longtime leader in the Jewish community and in Baltimore in general, died Saturday of respiratory failure at her home in the Park Towers West Apartments on Park Heights Avenue.

Mrs. Rothschild, who was 90, held many posts in the Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. She was the first woman to serve on the board of Sinai Hospital and was active in the Baltimore Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross and other groups.

Darrell Friedman, president of the Associated, described her as "a very caring and committed leader." He said she believed strongly in being active in the Jewish community and in Baltimore in general.

Joyce Levy, former executive secretary and a life member of the board of Sinai's auxiliary, which Mrs. Rothschild helped start and for which she served as president, described her as being "sharp as a tack" with extraordinarily high standards and excellent judgment with "a tremendous influence on later board members."

Ms. Levy said Mrs. Rothschild was a "terrific lady" who would never ask anyone to do something she would not do.

Mrs. Rothschild had also served as a liaison between Sinai and its patients.

Her posts in the Associated included service on the board of the Jewish Family and Children's Bureau, membership on the long-range planning committee, and head of the Women's Big Gifts Division and the Women's Division speakers bureau.

She was the first woman to chair the Baltimore Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and serve as its representative on the Baltimore Jewish Council. She was a former member of the national publications committee for Commentary magazine.

From 1929 until 1933, she was president of the Sisterhood of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. She was a founder of the Jewish Historical Society and a member of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

She had been a member of the local and national boards of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the board of the Baltimore Council of Social Agencies. She served on fund-raising committees for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and headed several programs for the Red Cross, including a World War II blood drive in which she was instrumental in integrating the blood-collection program.

She was also instrumental in the integration of the Grand Jurors Association.

Awards for her community work included the Hannah G. Solomon Award of the Baltimore Section of the National Council of Jewish Women and the William J. Casey Award of the local Red Cross, which made her an honorary life member of its board. She was honored with leadership awards from the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and the Baltimore Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, and was made an honorary life member of the Baltimore Jewish Council.

The former Marie Lowenstein was a native of Baltimore and a graduate of Western High School who attended Goucher College.

In the 1930s, she opened her home to relatives and others who were refugees from Nazi Germany.

Her husband, Stanford Z. Rothschild, retired chairman of the board of the Sun Life Insurance Co. of America, died in 1969.

A memorial service for Mrs. Rothschild is to be conducted at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, 7401 Park Heights Ave.

She is survived by a son, Stanford Z. Rothschild Jr. of Pikesville; two foster sons, Curtis L. Lowell of Mexico City and Richard Schamberg of Los Angeles; a foster daughter, Hilda Hammer of Los Angeles; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Associated Jewish Community Federation, the Central Scholarship Bureau, or the American Red Cross of Central Maryland.

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