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April 19, 2012 - Image 66

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-04-19

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'A Life Well Lived'

Esther Aliweiss Ingber
Contributing Writer

fell in love and stayed that way. A young
soldier and his bride who discovered
Europe in 1957 in a Fiat Spider convert-
e've come to celebrate a
life well lived," said Rabbi
They spent a year traveling the
Tamara Kolton, officiating
Continent. Judith taught second grade
at the funeral for congregant Judith
at an English-speaking school in
Goren, Ph.D., of Beverly Hills.
Verdun, France, where Bob was sta-
Mrs. Goren, 79, a 25-year psycholo-
tioned. They retained a lifelong rela-
gist and honored poet, lost her six-year tionship with relatives of Judith's they
battle with cancer on April 13, 2012.
stayed with outside
She was also a teacher, a world traveler, Paris.
and a strong source of support for her
Steven Goren said
family and friends.
his parents "were world
Characteristically, Judith planned
travelers at a time
every aspect of the service held on
when that just was not
Sunday, April 15, at Birmingham
done." They followed
Temple in Farmington Hills, including
Bob's lifelong interest
her choice of eulogists: Julia Press, her
in pre-Columbian ruins
1 best friend of 30 years; Steven Goren, to
by traveling to sites
I represent the three Goren children; and throughout Mexico,
Rob Goren, to represent the nine grand- Honduras and elsewhere.
children. They all came up to light a
"They lived through
menorah. Readings of Judith's own
a major earthquake in
Judith Goren
poetry and prose enhanced the telling
Guatemala, a car crash
of her story.
on a cliff in Greece and other adven-
J .,. A native Detroiter born in 1933,
tures," Steven said. Judith, a humanist
Judith lived with her family on Virginia with her own views about spirituality,
Park. She graduated from Hutchins
always told people she experienced a
Junior High School and Cass Technical
sense of "something greater" when she
High School, and then studied at Wayne visited Machu Picchu in Peru and the
University. She earned her Ph.D. in
Oracle at Delphi in Greece.
psychology after raising three children
The Gorens loved to attend the sym-
with Robert "Bob" Goren, a personal
phony. Judith's father, Herman Wise,
injury and trial lawyer.
was its publicist after being music crit-
A friend introduced the couple at
ic for the Detroit Free Press. She became
a campus eatery nearly 60 years ago.
a writer, too, authoring five books. They
Bob said he offered Judith a lick of his
included three books of her poetry,
ice cream cone. They knew they were
one book on psychology and a recent
meant for each other shortly after see-
memoir, At the Edge: A Jewish Outsider
ing a production of Romeo and Juliet.
Finds Her Way, essays about growing up
In a poem Judith wrote for Bob's 65th outside the core Jewish neighborhoods
birthday that was read at the service,
of Detroit. Bob said her poems were
Judith reflects, "Inside these bodies
published in major poetry journals
with ridiculous numbers attached to
and included in several "best poetry"
them live a couple of college kids who
anthologies. She received awards from



32906 Middlebelt Road, Farmington Hills (at

14 Mile)


the Detroit Women Writers, a profes-
sional group.
Judith also taught creative writing
for a time at the Community House of
Birmingham. She was proud that her
student Judith Guest wrote the bestsell-
ing book Ordinary People. It became
a Oscar-winning movie directed by
Robert Redford and starring Mary
Tyler Moore.
Aside from her career,
family meant everything
to Mrs. Goren. Steven said
she gave them uncondi-
tional love. Rob said all
nine grandchildren were
a priority, and she regu-
larly visited those living
outside Metro Detroit. His
"Meema" read to them,
encouraged them to keep
journals and "attended
every play, every event,
every birthday?' Rob knew
"she could be trusted
with even the deepest secret."
Bob said his wife didn't cry when a
biopsy confirmed that the suspicious
mass on her lung was stage-4 bronchio-
loalveolar carcinoma (BAC), an unusual
form of lung cancer.
With the help of dedicated doctors,
the BAC was kept at bay for many
years following her fatal diagnosis.
New advanced cancer-fighting drugs
brought about a complete remission
of the disease for about three years
— precious time Judith used to work,
write and share family milestones.
"She set her goal of wanting to reach
80 years old," Steven said, but sensing
she was out of options shortly before
her April 5 birthday, announced to the
family, "79 is good enough?'
The matriarch's loved ones came to
her bedside to celebrate her birthday

party on March 31. Except for the oxy-
gen tubing she needed, Steven said his
mother thoroughly enjoyed herself and
exuded a sense of peace.
"She had a courage that would make
a soldier proud;' he said.
As Judith's recent poem "When the
Time Comes:' read at the funeral by
Julia Press, says: "I will know that it is
time to go when the house I live in can
no longer be repaired?'
Also at the funeral, Rabbi Kolton
read from a poem Judith completed in
March: "I have it all. I'm satisfied. My
life feels complete. I have loved and
been loved. I'm a year away from 80.
Dayenu. It is enough?'
Mrs. Goren is survived by her hus-
band of 58 years, Robert Goren; sons
and daughter-in-law, Gary Goren of
Alpena and Steven E. and Eva Goren
of Franklin; daughter and son-in-law,
Nancy and Stephen Price of California;
grandchildren, Anna Goren, Alexander
Goren, Benjamin Goren, Britani Goren,
Sullivan Goren, Robert Goren, Sophia
Goren, Stephanie Price and Michael
Price; brother and sister-in-law,
Richard and Diana Wise of Bloomfield
Hills; sister-in-law and brother-in-law,
Helen and Harold Langberg; nieces and
nephews, Henry and Elaine Langberg,
Mark and Lois Langberg, Kathe
Langberg, Geoffrey and Alanna Wise
and Susan Wise.
Interment was at Beth El Memorial
Park. Contributions may be made to
Birmingham Temple, 28611 W. 12 Mile
Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334,
www.birminghamtemple.org ; or
LUNGevity Foundation, 435 N. LaSalle
St., Suite 310, Chicago, IL 60610, http://
man . Arrangements by Ira Kaufman
Chapel. ❑

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