Mickey was a force to be reckoned with for the 46 years she was an active member of our community! Her broad smile and clear opinions helped shape the conference in many ways.
But 1971 was not her first experience with the Northfield Conference – in 1944, at age 16, she came to the Conference when it was a Christian conference for teenage girls. It was her first time standing up to her mother. In her daughter Betsy Hays’ words: “My grandmother had been telling her for years that she would have her nose fixed when she was 16. My mom refused and asked her to use the money to attend the conference. It was life changing for her. As the only Jewish girl in her class at Abbott Academy, attending chapel every day, and having 2 very assimilated and non-practicing Jewish parents, she was ready to convert. The ministers at Northfield, however, convinced her that she needed to know more about her own religion before deciding to do something else. And she heeded their advice.”
In 1971, she and her husband, Mike, were invited back to the Conference by her dear friend, Sally Emmel, specifically because they were a practicing Jewish family and the Conference was opening to all religions and genders. In those early years, George Blackman and Mickey’s brother-in-law, Sam Friedman, held an annual workshop on Jewish Christian Dialog.
Mickey and Mike came and they stayed and, over the next years, their daughter and 3 of their four sons attended for various periods of time. In addition, other family members (cousins and in-laws) as well as friends, also attended. For her daughter, Betsy, though, Northfield became a staple and she soon brought her own children, Temma and Adam. Brother, Josh, and his then-wife, Libby, attended for several years bringing their two children, Margot and Jacob, so Mickey had the delight of having 3 generations at the Conference.
Mickey was active in the Northfield community, including being Workshop Chair, being a member of the Troika more than once, and being on the Northfield League Board. She also gave several Conference Hour talks, including one with Mike. She loved the Conference. She loved Families, Sacred Circle, singing, being the Food Liaison, and especially playing Scrabble into the late night with anyone who was willing to take her on! Her last year attending the Conference was 2017.
Mickey passed away peacefully on February 28, 2019, surrounded by her loving family.
We miss Mickey’s warm and generous spirit, her strength of character and her infectious laugh.