Matthew Penn, 89, executive director emeritus of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America, died on April 3 in Portland, Maine, of Alzheimer’s disease.
Penn was born in Russia in 1913 and came to Philadelphia with his family at age 8. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, and earned his graduate degree in social work from Columbia University. During his professional career, Penn directed the Bronx YM-YWCA, taught at Yeshiva University, and served as a field representative of the National Jewish Welfare Board. With his first wife, Mary Cohen, he owned and directed Camp Vega, a summer camp for girls. She died in 1969.
In 1975, Penn married Aviva Kaufman. After his retirement in 1982, the couple settled in the Washington area, where they were active volunteers in the Jewish community. His second wife died in 1998.
Penn is survived by three daughters: Janet, of Philadelphia; Diane Locker, of Kinderbrook, N.Y.; and Roberta Zuckerman, of Portland, Maine; the children of Aviva Kaufman Penn: Gideon Kaufman, of Aspen, Colo.; Joshua Kaufman, of Chevy Chase, Md.; and Abigail Wenner, of Chevy Chase, Md., and nine grandchildren and step-grandchildren.