Alice Jaffe was born July 6, 1922 to Henry and Sarah (Zipperstein) Jaffe of Cleveland Ohio, the first child of young immigrants, who, like many others, were determined to find prosperity in their new home while maintaining their religion and heritage from the “old country”. Four younger brothers followed over the next twelve years. The children’s daily school studies were augmented with four additional hours of Jewish studies at ‘Cheder’ five days a week. Her love for the Jewish people, the Hebrew language and her religion developed at a young age. Alice recalled that during the Great Depression when life was a grinding struggle, her parents frequently sacrificed their own comforts for the less fortunate of the community. Alice’s life was forged within this context of Judaism, community and ‘chesed’.
Alice was outgoing and gregarious, a young woman with strong opinions, becoming involved in Cleveland’s Jewish and Zionist youth groups. As president of a Young Hadassah group, she travelled to nearby cities and the East coast for gatherings and conventions. After high school, she found employment in the Mayor’s office, broadening her interests in the larger community.
Alice’s life changed when she met Morris Zipkin at a young adult mixer in 1945. A recent graduate of Case University, the New Jersey native had remained in Cleveland to work at NACA (as NASA was originally known) to help in the war effort. They married in December 1946. Five years later, they moved to Akron Ohio, when Morris took an aeronautic engineering position at Goodyear Aircraft. Five years after that, they moved, now with three children, to Cincinnati for a key position with General Electric. Both Morris and Alice quickly became involved with leadership positions in their children’s school, Chofetz Chaim, their Synagogues, Hadassah, Mizrachi, B’nai Brith, Israel Bonds, the United Way and the Walnut Hills High School parent organization (Morris served two terms as president). When Morris moved with Alice to Palm Beach Florida in 1980 for an executive position at Pratt and Whitey Aircraft, they quickly continued their involvement in the local Jewish community with board positions on the local Jewish Day school and the Jewish Federation and other familiar organizations. Neither was content to sit back and watch; they were always part of the action.
Both Alice and Morris travelled extensively in the US and abroad and enjoyed new cultural experiences. On a business trip to Japan, Alice was treated to a private tour of Tokyo by an assistant to the Emperor. She was an experienced shopper, often stopping off in Tel Aviv, London and Paris. Florence Italy was a particular favorite.
Throughout her life, Alice was deeply concerned with the land of Israel and her people. She witnessed the birth of the state with elation and awe, then agonized over the threats of 1956, 1967 and subsequent wars. She bought bonds and sent money. Her brother and her oldest son made aliyah and raised their families in Israel. Alice assisted her brother when he founded the Israel Free Loan Association and was very proud of the thousands of Israelis who benefited from its efforts. She supported Ethiopian immigrants, led tours for Americans, helped to establish a synagogue in Gush Etzion and advocated on behalf of Israel whenever possible.
In her later years, following the death of Morris in 2003, she returned to Cincinnati, eventually moving to Cedar Village, where she found new friends and enjoyed the benefits of retirement and assisted living. She passed away on September 11, 2020, age 98. She was preceded by her eldest son Allan in 2008. She is survived by her son Jeff and daughter Judy, grandchildren Elise and Brian Mattes, Mollie and Jared Newman, Danielle and Reuven Pepper, Ariel and Dan Weiss, Derek and Molly Zipkin, Dafna and Chanan Ehrlich, and Avishai Zipkin. Great grandchildren are Emma, Nathan and Noam Pepper, Arthur and Lielle Newman, Josie and Zev Mattes, Samuel, Lev and Ilan Weiss, Neta and Tal Ehrlich, and Jacob Morris Zipkin.