Mrs. Suzanne Halberstadt-Chorowski
Service: Zoom Service Sunday April 18th at 2:00 PM
zoom link - https://zoom.us/j/97017696700?pwd=ZytINytoMzQwRWpoRTRiNUNyUkhSdz09
Suzanne Halberstadt-Chorowski, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and longtime Longmeadow resident, passed away from complications relating to breast cancer on April 16 at the age of 75.
Suzanne Nicole Halberstadt was born on a farm in La Seyne-sur-Mer, in the South of France, on November 21,1945. Her German Jewish family hid in that area for the duration of the second World War. In 1947 her family moved to the Inwood/Washington Heights section of Upper Manhattan, where they lived within the Breuer’s Orthodox German Jewish community.
In 1958, she and her parents, Professor Manfred and Lilli Halberstadt, moved to the Forest Park neighborhood in Springfield, MA. Suzanne attended Forest Park Junior High and Classical High School, from which she graduated in 1963. She attended American International College for college and graduate school, where she received her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Early Elementary Education and Special Education.
In 1968, the year after college, she began her career as an early childhood educator, fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. That same year she left for Europe to follow her wanderlust. In England, she met her first husband, David Shaffer, and worked for the Royal Astronomical Society.
The young couple returned to Springfield, where she continued her career as a second grade and kindergarten teacher in the city’s inner city public schools, teaching in the city’s first bilingual classroom. Suzanne’s daughters, Sylvie Juliet Shaffer and Molly Miranda Shaffer Parr, were born during this time, and her marriage to David ended with the 1970s.
In the early 1980s, she met the love of her life, Dr. Max Chorowski, and moved to Longmeadow, Massachusetts, where she lived for the next 40 years. She continued teaching as a Hebrew school teacher for the next 35 years. In total, Suzanne spent 50 years of her life teaching, inspiring countless children along the way. In 2007 she received the Western Massachusetts Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education for her work at the Sandi Kupperman Learning Center at Temple Beth El.
An extraordinary cook and avid reader, Suzanne’s home was always full of visitors and guests dropping in unexpectedly, all hoping for a seat at her table. There was always room, and her guests were always treated to a gastronomic delight. Suzanne had a green thumb and could be found in her gardens on warm days. Her house was always filled with fresh flowers – some from her gardens, while others were given to her by Max, who always brought home flowers for Shabbat on Friday afternoons.
She was a dedicated community member at B’nai Jacob, Sons of Zion and Temple Beth El. She devoted much of her time to the National Council of Jewish Women, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), and later ran the book club for Jewish organizations throughout Western Massachusetts.
Suzanne and Max had a love larger than life and traveled the world together. Although health difficulties slowed her down as she aged, Suzanne and Max’s love for each other continued to grow.
Suzanne was a true lover of the arts. Her house was filled with paintings and sculptures she found during her travels and adventures. She attended art exhibitions throughout the Northeast. She brought her children to summer stock theater up and down the east coast. She was a perennial season ticket holder to the Springfield Symphony, Stage West, and was always a member of the Quadrangle.
Even in her final days battling breast cancer, Suzanne never lost her sense of humor, her gratitude for her beautiful life, and her love for her family.
Suzanne leaves behind her husband Max and their beloved dog Stella; her three daughters: Sylvie Juliet Shaffer (Miriam Quintal) of Takoma Park, MD, Molly Shaffer Parr (Richard Parr) of Northampton, MA, and Amanda Chorowski Katz of Gaithersburg, MD; and her brother Dr. Marcel Halberstadt (Lucille) of Bloomfield Hills, MI. She will be lovingly remembered by her five grandchildren Becca, Lynx, Lilli, Leo, and Beatrix, and her nieces Lisa and Lori.
The burial service will be Sunday April 18th at 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Suzanne’s honor to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund at Temple Beth El (979 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA 01108) or to the Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (1148 Converse Street, Longmeadow, MA 01106).
Mr. Allan A. Broverman
Service: PRIVATE GRAVESIDE SERVICE