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Miriam Hagai Steuerman (Eisenstein) 93
Love, beauty, values, devotion, gentleness, inspiration, resilience, versatility, knowledge, wisdom, warmth...kindness. The best of those things and so much more thrived in Miriam Steuerman. As the week began on Monday morning, Miriam, the matriarch of her family, passed into the ethereal world as every human inevitably does. She was the anchor of her family's life. She was 93 years old, and she lives on in her children Gilia, Shelly, and Amiel as well as her grandchildren, Dan, Ezra, Talia, Matan, Hagit, Elijah Zalman, Anne Meital and her loving great-granchildren. Born into a religious Jewish family of early Israeli settlers in the late 1920s, Miriam soon bristled at the idea of being held back because she was a woman. She believed "women's rights were human rights" before it ever became a slogan. As a young, attractive woman, she had many suitors, but it was a young American Naval officer who captured her heart. Miriam and Benjamin Hagai Steuerman worked tirelessly to help Israel in its fight for independence, and within months of Israel becoming a state, the two were married. She was a combat medic, while he was working in the Israeli underground. In 1948, a truly independent Israel snapped into focus, and a year later Miriam would give birth to her first child, Gilia, in Israel. A few years later, she and her family moved to the United States where children Shelly and Amiel were born. Miriam would move back to Israel and then eventually back to the US. Along the way she worked toward a PhD in Behavioral Science, a level of education unheard of for women of her generation. She also would become a superintendent of schools in Israel, start a travel business, and teach management courses at the collegiate level. She shattered glass ceilings everywhere she went, but not with a blunt instrument. She favored a velvet hammer, as was her nature. She managed the family finances, was a student, educator, business owner, and much more. But it was her unyielding devotion to her family that rose above all other accomplishments and ambitions. Miriam was good to the core. She fought for what was right. She was religious, but with an intelligence and voracious appetite for all that was historical and scientific. Her detailed explanation of religious texts was interpretive versus literal, the mark of a keen, reflective mind. She was able to reconcile both her faith and her science in a way few are able. She somehow also managed to tap into her creative side, painting and creating works of art in their own right. The left and right brain were always alive and kicking with Miriam. She was both a proud Israeli and a proud American. She taught her children and her grandchildren to be just. She was always on the right side of history. Her rapier wit and unflinching commitment to never be held back was balanced by her warm, loving nature. Miriam never espoused a scorched earth approach, but an inclusive, patient way. She will be remembered as a true pioneer, but with old-world sensibilities that led her to always put her family first. Schma Yisrael Adonai Elohanu Adonai Echad. Shiva will be observed. Please contact Gilia or Amiel for more information. To keep everyone safe and healthy, the interment service will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001 www.alzfdn.org. To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822, www.cjfinfo.com