July 23, 2015

Obituary: Vera Stern, Arts Leader Who Helped Rescue Carnegie Hall

Vera Stern, who headed a U.S.-Israeli arts organization and played a key role in the campaign save Carnegie Hall from the wrecking ball in 1960, died Tuesday at the age of 88 in her Manhattan home, The New York Times writes.

A German-born Jew who escaped Nazi-occupied Paris as a teenager with the help of a Swedish diplomat, Ms. Stern met and married violin virtuoso Isaac Stern in Israel in the early 1950s. After the couple moved to New York, she began working for the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, which promoted artistic ties between the two countries, ultimately become the group's president.

When Carnegie Hall was threatened with demolition to make way for an office tower, Mr. Stern served as the public face of the rescue campaign while Ms. Stern worked behind the scenes. The effort ultimately persuaded the city to buy the storied venue, which named a box for Ms. Stern in recognition of her work.