From Larisa Klebe
My grandmother was a young child when she and her family fled Nazi Germany. She inspires me because, despite this rough start, coupled with the fact that she wasn't highly educated, she became someone who was very civically engaged and well-informed about the world around her, and she also found great success as a real estate agent.
As a real estate agent, my grandmother refused to engage in unethical practices like declining to work with clients of color, or suing clients who had to back out of a contract. She had a reputation for putting ethics above all else, and I know that this influenced her community, and made our world just a little bit better.
Though sometimes a source of contention between us, my grandmother was never afraid to speak her mind. She taught me to not shy away from having strong opinions, and to stand up for what I believe in.
My grandmother loved her family fiercely. Sometimes the way in which that love manifested itself was a bit difficult to deal with or understand, but I am so grateful to her for the endless amount of love that she had for me, and I still feel it with me even though she's gone.
One time my grandmother came to visit me in Boston with my aunt and uncle, and I took them all on a tour of the museum where I was a volunteer docent. Even though it was no small feat, my grandmother climbed a flight of stairs so she could experience the tour, and I'll just never forget how enthusiastic she was throughout the whole experience. I was so happy to share that part of my life with her, and the memory of being with her in that space is one that will stay with me forever.
I also want to thank my grandmother for her support of JWA.
You can also honor someone important in your life by selecting a "We Celebrate Tribute" in the JWA store.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Ilse Klebe." (Viewed on March 20, 2018) <https://jwa.org/wecelebrate/klebe-ilse>.