Editor, Producer and
Advocate for Peace
Esther Baum Davidowitz was born in Hazelton, Pennsylvania in 1934. After graduation from Wyoming Seminary in Wilkes-Barre, PA in 1951, she attended Simmons College in Boston, receiving a B.S. degree in 1955. She took additional coursework at Wilkes University in the arts and humanities after her 1955 marriage to William Davidowitz.
Esther has touched the length, width and depth of the Wyoming Valley. Her commitments to community and family are unshakable; her natural grace, style, talent, humor and strength are appreciated and admired by all who know her.
She is an outstanding leader. She has served on the Boards of a host of agencies for over four decades, including the Luzerne County Agency on Aging, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Wilkes-Barre, the Ethics Institute, the Four Nations Ensemble, Hadassah, including a term as Vice President, Temple Israel Sisterhood, including a term as Vice President, the National Council of Jewish Women, including a term as President, Ballet Northeast, and Wilkes University, where she has served as Treasurer, Secretary, and Chair or the Academic Program Committee.
Essy is the quintessential volunteer, having lent her expertise, sound advice and organizational skills to fundraising campaigns for the Wills Eye Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, John Heinz Institute, Wilkes College, Israel Bonds, United Jewish Appeal, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial, and King's College. She has planned a wide range of programs, conferences, lecture series, concerts and numerous organizational dinners. She has served the visually impaired as a reader and driver, and by initiating a tape recording service. Essy was active in developing Council House, and was a non-governmental representative to the United Nations for the NCJW. She is the founder of Novess, a company that designs and executes original jewelry. Essy has also lent her background in interior design to the Kingston Senior Citizen Center, Weckesser Hall of Wilkes University, the Jewish Community Center, United Hebrew Institute, and the office of Ohav Zedek. She is a flutist in "Freilox and Bagels", a JCC Klezmer band.
Essy has been a devoted wife to her husband, Bill, for 43 years, and is a loving mother of four sons and grandmother of nine whose crusade to improve the human condition is an inspiration to family and friends. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Anti Defamation League presented its 1998 Distinguished Community Service Award to Esther B. Davidowitz.
Esther B. Davidowitz has played a major role in the cultural and educational life of the Wyoming Valley for over forty years. She has been a member of the Wilkes University Board of Trustees since 1973, serving as Board Treasurer, Secretary and Chair of the University's Academic Program Committee. From this position she was a key player in the institution's growth and diversification, including its elevation to university status in 1991. She has been a close advisor and friend of the university's first four presidents, and co-edited the writings of Wilkes' founding president, Dr. Eugene S. Farley.
Besides Dr. Farley's collected writings, Essays of an Educator, Mrs. Davidowitz edited a study of the fiction of I.B. Singer and Master of Dreams, by Dvorah Telushkin. She also proofread Words that Hurt, Words that Heal by Rabbi Joseph Teluskin. Your Life is Worth Living: How to find spiritual contentment in the modern world by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen is her most recent publication.
In recent years Mrs. Davidowitz has been an advocate for World Peace as a delegate to the Global Peace Initiative in Switzerland. Under the auspices of its Business Council for Peace Mrs. Davidowitz has helped promote the rights and dignity of Afghan women by producing Videos specially designed to teach the women of Afghanistan how to run a business. Subsequently she produced Business Videos for United Nations agencies UNIFEM, CYSCO and the Afghan Women's Council.
Recently Dr. Henry F. Smith Jr. and Esther published Pennsylvania Seasons, a book of photographs, poems and essays. The book features six essays and one hundred illustrations of nature in Pennsylvania, combined with the poems of 58 Pennsylvania poets written to illuminate the photographs. Doctor Smith is the essayist and photographer. Mrs. Davidowitz edited the volume.