By Katherine Meeks
Faigy Mayer passed away on Monday, July 20. She was part of the diversity of the New Voice Toastmasters Club at the New School in Union Square.
Faigy Mayer was a woman on a quest, and I admired her for what she was trying to do. She was brought up in a strict Ultra Orthodox Hasidic sect which did everything it could to shape her and keep her in that mold. But Faigy rebelled. She said she didn’t want to be a mom with 20 kids. She envisioned another type of life. Faigy struggled to break free, and did make a break at the age of 24 to live a different kind of life, a kind of life she thought was more natural for her, a secular life of the kind most of us here in the city enjoy. It wasn’t easy for her.
As a result of her decision, her family and community shunned her. Her mother wouldn’t let her back inside the family house. Although she had never felt at home in her own culture, it was a struggle for her to adapt to the new culture in which she had no experience of making decisions for herself or using analytic thinking to make life choices. She went to college to get both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in accounting, and became a tech wizard – creating several apps and founding a start-up tech company. Our techy members enjoyed talking with her on that topic.
Being part of Toastmasters was part of her quest to find her footing in secular culture. She attended our New Voice Club for a while, dropped out, and about a year ago returned – she was interested in being part of the community again and I remember she expressed interest in working with a prison Toastmasters Club our club was sponsoring. She was doing everything she could to find her way in secular culture.