HomeAbout Lena Allen Shore

About Lena Allen Shore

Dr. Lena Allen Shore (1921 – 2018), philosopher, poet, writer, businesswoman, and educator, has authored seventeen books in English and French, and composed over 100 songs (lyrics and music).

Born in Krakow, Poland, in 1921, Shore took courses at the Conservatory of Music in Lvov until 1941, when she and her family were forced to flee the city when the Nazis came. Her family attributes their survival to Shore’s courage: She traveled alone one night to get false documents for the family, which enabled them to live out the remainder of the war as Christians.

In 1951, Dr. Shore emigrated to North America, living first in Canada then in the United States. Founder of the Lena Allen-Shore Center for the Advancement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, which was affiliated with Gratz College where she taught for a number of years, Dr. Shore created 28 accredited interdisciplinary courses which addressed issues including: how to find meaning in life, Holocaust studies, combating prejudice, communication by which to build bridges and the importance of art in education.

Dr. Shore was a close friend of Karol Józef Wojtyła, later Pope John Paul II, with whom she began correspondence in 1978. The two finally met for the first time in 1996 at the Vatican, and she found his friendly demeanor quite moving. She wrote in her book Building Bridges, “Here I sit, a Jewish woman from Poland who decided one day in her youth in Poland during the war that, if she survived the war, she would try to spread understanding among people of different religions, ethnic groups, races and cultures."

Upon her passing the Shore family donated to Gratz College Dr. Shore's collection of books, booklets, manuscripts, letters and correspondence, syllabi, student papers, sound recordings, and 2D artwork. Her collection in currently in processing with the Haggadot partially digitized on this site. Click here to view that collection.