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Max Mordecai Alper
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Birth: Feb. 24, 1923
Onondaga County
New York, USA
Death: Sep. 18, 1999
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Max grew up in Syracuse & Buffalo NY. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1936. Max graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1940 and entered UCLA, where he majored successively in pre-engineering, humanities, and art. He worked nights in an aircraft plant after Pearl Harbor, then spent several months in a Zionist training camp in New Jersey. Max was a U.S. Air Force B-29 airplane mechanic in Guam and Tinian in the Pacific Theatre of Operations in WW II. He was demobilized in 1945 and returned to UCLA.

In 1946, Max interrupted his studies to go to Palestine. He enrolled at Technion University, Haifa, a school oriented towards the sciences. Max joined the Haganah defense force as an airplane mechanic and later volunteered for the new Israeli air force. He worked as an airplane mechanic near Tel Aviv and taught his craft to others. While manning a machine gun on the ground, Max shot down the first enemy plane in the War of Independence. It was an Egyptian Spitfire, which was recovered by the Israelis to use as a prototype for their own air force. His activities are documented in "I Am My Brother's Keeper, American Volunteers in Israel's War of Independence 1947-1949" by Jeffrey Weiss & Craig Weiss, 1998. Max was also mentioned in a book by D. Jason Fenton on Israel's volunteers in the war for independence.

Max married Florence (Floss) Firstenberg in Brooklyn in 1949. They moved to Los Angeles almost immediately, and Max entered USC to complete his education. Max was an aerospace engineer and mechanical designer for many years and worked on the Apollo, Pioneer Jupiter, and Mars Lander-Viking spacecraft.

After Max retired in 1985, he built an art studio in his backyard. He won first prize in a group show for a major work in 1998, and he had several exhibitions at local art galleries. Max & Floss were members of Adat Shalom synagogue, where he served as Board Chairman and was instrumental in raising funds for redesigning the facility.

Max was active in the American Zionist Federation, the American Habonim Association, the Democratic Party, the Institute for Jewish Education, the Jewish Federation Council, the Labor Zionist Alliance (LZA), the National Committee for Labor Israel/Histradut, the Technion Society, and World Machal, an organization of non-Israeli volunteers in the War of Independence. He was a founding member of Californians for Technion, whose membership was entirely of engineers, and also a founding member of the Union of Soviet Jewry. Max served as president of the Labor Zionist Alliance and was honored by this group in 1989. He also served as president of the Institute of Jewish Education. In 1998 he was honored by the Israeli government for his service in the War of Independence. In 2001, the LZA dedicated the Max Alper Memorial Library, for books on Israel and Zionism, at the Institute of Jewish Education. 
Family links: 
  Jacob Yoel Alper (1890 - 1976)
  Priva Rosovsky Alper (1889 - 1979)
  Harry Alper (1919 - 1991)*
  Max Mordecai Alper (1923 - 1999)
  Philip Alper (1924 - 1990)*
*Calculated relationship
Zionist, artist, husband, father, grandfather, wildcat
We love you dearly, Maxele
Hillside Memorial Park
Culver City
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Everlasting Peace, Bl 4, Pl 75, Sp 7
Created by: Nancy Goldberg
Record added: Jul 02, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54392532
Max Mordecai Alper
Added by: Nancy Goldberg
Max Mordecai Alper
Added by: Nancy Goldberg
Max Mordecai Alper
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James Seidelman
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- MarBella
 Added: Jan. 31, 2011

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