The Fifth Matriarch: Audrey Madans (z”l)

Posted on Jun 21, 2022

 L-R: Audrey Madans, Barbara Ezring, Regina Newman

Audrey Madans was a very special lady and a Torah Fund Legacy Society member. Born in Mauldin, Massachusetts, Audrey came south as a newlywed in 1951; first to Charlotte, North Carolina, then to Salisbury, North Carolina, and finally back to Charlotte. 

Audrey referred to herself as a “professional volunteer.” It is obvious that tikkun olam ran through her veins, evidenced by her serving as president of nine organizations in Charlotte and Salisbury, including Temple Israel Sisterhood twice in Charlotte and Temple Israel Sisterhood in Salisbury. 

She was a board member of four other organizations including Temple Israel in Charlotte and Charlotte Jewish Federation. Audrey loved to sing and was a choir member at Temple Israel from 1959 until her death. 

Audrey was involved in at least six other organizations in the Charlotte area, usually as a committee member, and she still found time to serve as an area director for the southern region of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, as well as its creative Judaica Arts chair. In the latter position, she led a very memorable workshop on the Magen David, providing history, fun, facts and laughter; all her workshops were like that. 

Audrey’s home was open, welcoming to all, and filled with memorabilia of her life. She had beautiful art on her walls and places for her two special hobbies. One hobby was collecting hat pins from all over the world, many of them with Judaica themes, and she knew the history of each pin. If they were antique pins, she knew if they had been used for other purposes, when, and why. Her other hobby was collecting postcards, a few with Judaica themes, which she stored in wall-to-wall bookcases. 

Audrey never met a stranger. She greeted visitors to the synagogue and asked them to sit with her so they were not alone. Audrey attended services on Shabbat and many minyanim during the week. She also attended most classes offered. Audrey was a vital part of Temple Israel. For her 70th birthday, the synagogue director at that time gave her a license tag that read “TIM5” (Temple Israel Matriarch 5). She rode all over town in her red Solara convertible with that tag, and everyone recognized her, especially with her white flowing hair! In December 2020, Audrey was presented with the Shofar Award by Temple Israel. This distinguished award is given to a deserving congregant and is not given every year. Audrey was a very worthy recipient and she felt quite honored to be recognized. 

During the pandemic, Audrey called Edna Schrank to say she wanted to become a member of the Torah Fund Legacy Society. She told Edna that this was something she wanted to do to pay it forward. She participated every day in the Women’s League’s Makom B’Yachad program, always closing with, “Y’all come back now, ya hear?” in her native Massachusetts accent. The women who attend Makom B’Yachad still end each program with those words in Audrey’s memory, an impactful tribute to her. 

Audrey passed away on April 15, 2021. She is survived by a son, Craig, of Charlotte, a daughter, Maxine, of Newton, Massachusetts, five grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. We miss this extraordinary woman. May her memory be a blessing. You can make a donation to Torah Fund in memory of Audrey. Join the Torah Fund Legacy Society in her honor. 

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