USCJ Mourns Passing of Shoshana S. Cardin


“In a place where there are no leaders, strive to be a leader.” (Pirkei Avot Mishnah, 2.5)

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Shoshana S. Cardin on Friday morning. Shoshana was a tireless political activist, philanthropist, and champion of women’s rights, racial equality, and Jewish cause since the early 1960s. She was one of the most influential Jewish lay leaders of our time, strengthening the Jewish People, and the State of Israel.

Shoshana led by example, rolling up her sleeves and persevering in the face of obstacles to speak out on behalf of justice. For Shoshana, charity included not only financial support, but also taking personal responsibility for the people and institutions one supports.

A longtime member of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, Shoshana recognized how profoundly Conservative Judaism had shaped her worldview and inspired her work. She believed strongly in the power of individuals to effect change; and in leaders who confidently pursue their goals and in doing so, engage and inspire others.

It is for this reason that, in 2014, she worked with USCJ to create the Shoshana S. Cardin Award, which recognizes emerging Jewish lay leaders. Upon winning the inaugural award, Dr. Jessica Poscover said, “I am humbled by this recognition. Shoshana Cardin has moved mountains in her efforts to build Jewish community, and I am so proud to be associated with her name.” Dr. Poscover and other past recipients, along with future recipients, are a testament to Shoshana’s legacy as they re-imagine the future of Conservative Judaism for a new generation.

Condolences can to be sent to her daughter, Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, at 3617 Anton Farms Road, Baltimore, MD 21208.

We extend our sympathies to Nina, Shoshana’s three other children, Steven, Ilene and Sandy, and their families, and pray they will be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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