Cynthia Shapiro was born in Sheffield, England in 1937. She was educated at High Storrs Grammar School for Girls after which she went to a secretarial college to learn shorthand and typing.
She always wanted to be an actress – was involved in amateur dramatics from an early age and also got parts in some BBC North of England drama productions. At 18 Cynthia got a job as an ASM (assistant stage manager) with the Chesterfield Civic Theatre, a professional repertory company, where she worked for a year for £2.50 a week! She loved it but because of the long hours she found she was losing contact with her Jewishness and Jewish friends, so she left.
Cynthia was offered a job in London with FZY (Federation of Zionist Youth)) as their Organizing Secretary, so at age 19 a friend and I left Sheffield for the 'greener grass on the other side'. Through FZY she met her future husband, Stanley, who came from Belfast, Northern Ireland and they married in 1959. Life in Belfast was wonderful until the late 60s when the IRA reared its ugly head, and the situation between the Protestants & the Catholics became intolerable, horrendous. The Shapiros knew they had to get out and in July 1980, they made aliyah with their four children (and 22 pieces of luggage!) The Shapiros settled in Raanana.
Shortly after their arrival Cynthia met people who were starting a drama group called "The Sharon Players" and she became actively involved in this group for more than 20 years. She also joined Wizo and Emunah. In the mid 80’s she got a job as an English secretary in the Zoology Dept. of TAU where she worked for 13 years.
The day after she retired, she became an ESRA volunteer, working for three years in the Herzliya offices of Gan Rashal and Hanadiv, then some 10+ years ago, with other volunteers, they 'revamped' the tiny second hand bookstore in Raanana (started by the late Ita Weiner), into what today is the home of thousands of books, the thriving ESRA Second-Hand English Bookshop where she still volunteers 3-4 mornings a week. Cynthia is also a proof reader for ESRA MAGAZINE.
“But my biggest achievement is being 'savta raba' to two baby granddaughters”, says Cynthia.