Rose Kelman

KELMAN, Rose Beloved Wife and Partner with Lifelong Commitment to the Pursuit of Peace and Justice Rose Brousman Kelman passed away peacefully on April 15 at age 94. She was the beloved and cherished wife and partner of Herbert Kelman, Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Emeritus, at Harvard University, for 67 years. In addition to her husband, Rose is survived by her nephew, Michael Stern, her nieces, Deborah McCants and Ruth Ticktin, and eleven grandnieces and grandnephews. Her sister, Esther Stern of Chicago, passed away suddenly on April 20, a few days after Rose’s death. Rose was a dedicated social worker, trained at the University of Chicago (BSS 1948) and Howard University (MSW 1953). She had experience in family social work, school social work, medical social work, and psychiatric social work, as well as in teaching and supervision of social work students. After receiving her BSS degree from the University of Chicago, she took a position in Baltimore. Her husband, in turn, came to Baltimore in 1951 as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins. They met, fell in love, and got married in 1953. In Baltimore, they were active in starting a new chapter of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and participating in its ultimately successful campaign to integrate the lunch counters at the city’s five-and-ten-cents stores. They spent many of their dates on the picket line or at sit-ins. Increasingly, Rose became involved in her husband’s research, some of which dealt with the impact of experience in the U.S. on the images and attitudes of students and specialists from different parts of the world, and entailed considerable travel abroad. The research benefited greatly from her interviewing and human relations skills. She developed close ties with many of her husband’s students. When asked if she and her husband had children, she would answer “No, but we have students.” Starting in 1990, Rose played a central role in the Israeli-Palestinian problem-solving workshops and working groups organized by her husband and colleagues – taking detailed notes of workshop discussions, making logistical arrangements, attending to participants’ needs, and contributing more than anyone else to creating a secure and supportive environment for all. Rose treated everyone with dignity and caring, whether it was a homeless person in Harvard Square or a prince in the Royal Palace of Jordan. Donations in memory of Rose can be sent to New Israel Fund or the Joint Distribution Committee. No Services at this time.

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