Naomi Silvermintz, 92; active with art museum, HMLC

Naomi Silvermintz

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Naomi Mazur Silvermintz, longtime volunteer and life member of numerous local Jewish organizations, died Thursday, Dec. 10.  She was 92 and a longtime resident of greater St. Louis.

Mrs. Silvermintz was born in East St. Louis on Dec. 7, 1923, the daughter of Rabbi Jacob R. and Edith Frankel Mazur.  Her father was rabbi of Brith Sholom Congregation before it merged with Kneseth Israel to form BSKI. Mrs. Silvermintz was a graduate of Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

For more than 40 years, Mrs. Silvermintz was a docent at the St. Louis Art Museum.  She was a lifetime member of Hadassah, the sisterhoods of Brith Sholom Kenneth Israel and Kol Rinah congregations, and an honorary life member of the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center of St. Louis (HMLC).

Dan Reich, curator at HMLC and formerly on the staff of the St. Louis Art Museum, worked with Mrs. Silvermintz at both museums.

Reich told the Jewish Light he met Mrs. Silvermintz when he came to St. Louis in 1986, while she was a docent at the  Art Museum, and they remained friends. He said Mrs. Silvermintz was involved with the HMLC since its inception. She was a member of the museum commission, then a life member of the HMLC Council.  

“Until the very end of her life, she remained involved in the Yom HaShoah committee,” Reich said. “She was especially committed to the Torah procession, which began the annual Holocaust commemoration, perhaps because one of the Torah scrolls was dedicated to the memory of her beloved father, Rabbi Jacob R. Mazur.” 

Mrs. Silvermintz attended the HMLC’s 20th annual dinner earlier this year, he said. 

“Although illness had taken its toll, Naomi was, as always, immaculately dressed and perfectly coiffed,” Reich said. “She said the museum meant so much to her, she simply could not miss the celebration.  Until her last moments, Naomi Silvermintz remained the embodiment of graciousness and kindness.”

Mrs. Silvermintz was an advocate for racial equality and wrote a children’s book on that subject titled “The Brown Egg and the White Egg.”

Funeral services were held Sunday at Berger Memorial Chapel, officiated by Rabbis Noah Arnow of Kol Rinah; Mordecai Miller, emeritus; and Jay Goldburg, former Jewish community chaplain.  Burial was at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, 7500 Olive Blvd.

Mrs. Silvermintz’s husband of 69 years, Saul Silvermintz, died in 2013.  Survivors include a daughter, Elaine Kaufman (Robert, M.D.) and Mark Silvermintz (Donald Posegate), four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Contributions preferred to the charity of the donor’s choice.