In memory of
Edith Schapiro, 80, of Montclair and New Paltz, N.Y., passed away after a long illness at her daughter's home in New Paltz on Wednesday morning. The funeral service will be held at The Jewish Memorial Chapel, 841 Allwood Ave., Clifton, at noon on Thursday, Jan. 7. Condolence information is available from the chapel, (973) 779-3048. Edith Schapiro (nee Kravet) was born in Newark in 1929, the only child of Bertha Ellins, a schoolteacher, and her husband Lewis Kravet, a stained-glass artist whose work is still visible today in many area churches. Edith graduated from Weequahic High School; Douglass College of Rutgers University, summa cum laude, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She married her high school sweetheart, Jerry Schapiro, in 1953. Edith Schapiro was among the first female television reporters in New York City, appearing under her maiden name, Edith Kravet. She earned the distinction in 1951, when Channel 11 produced its newscast in cooperation with Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Shortly after graduating from Columbia in 1953, she became a reporter at the Newark Evening News, with a daily circulation of over a quarter-million people. She was promoted to society editor, expanding the job to profile outstanding women across the nation, with a series of articles that has become a reference work in numerous biographies. She went on to become the newspaper's literary and theater critic. That same year she married her high school sweetheart, Jerome Schapiro, a chemical engineer and fellow alumnus of Weequahic High School. The two grew up in that Newark neighborhood and had known each other for years. Throughout her journalistic career, Mrs. Schapiro maintained a close affiliation with CBS News, where she had begun work shortly after her undergraduate days at Douglass. Over the years Mrs. Schapiro worked with Edward R. Murrow, Don Hewitt and Dallas Townsend at CBS News. She officially left CBS after the birth of her daughter in 1955, but continued to work with "Murrow's Boys" for much of the next decade, particularly when Murrow visited New York after moving to Washington to head the U.S. Information Agency. A high point came in 1962, when she assisted Murrow with his speech that inaugurated Newark's Channel 13 as a non-profit educational television station; it later evolved into the PBS flagship station WNET/Thirteen. In following decades Edith Schapiro balanced the challenges of being a fulltime homemaker with her continuing career. When her three children were young, her active involvement with their schools led to her writing regular columns for The Montclair Times, The Verona-Cedar Grove Times and The Little Falls Herald, as well as serving as publicist for agencies, including the United Way of West Essex and the Boy Scouts. During the same period she was the founding editor for monthly magazines at Temple Sholom in Cedar Grove and later Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Montclair. She and her husband were active members of both synagogues. She wrote columns for the Metrowest Jewish News before becoming editor of its "Lively Arts" section from 1975 to 1978. For her various work she was honored with National Award of United Synagogues of America for excellence in communication. After her children went to college, she became the editor of the Jewish Community News of North Jersey and Greater Clifton-Passaic and wrote national columns for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. In the 1990s Mrs. Schapiro and her husband moved to the Catskills but did not retire; together they created and ran the non-profit Sullivan-Ulster Jewish Star. In 2000, she wrote and produced a television commercial for the Red Cross' "Project Search," a global effort that re-unites families separated by war and natural disasters. Mrs. Schapiro and her husband, Jerry, lived in Newark, Cedar Grove and Montclair before moving to the Catskill/Hudson valley area of New York. She is survived by her daughter, Lois Cohn; her sons, Bob and Ken, and six grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a local chapter of the UJA or to the Hospice of Ulster County, N.Y.
View Full Obituary ›