My friend Rachel was easy to love. She was intelligent and funny, curious and brave. She kept up with hundreds of friends from all stages of her life. She collected friends, pulling people along with her boundless energy and interest in the world. I met Rachel in middle school and she was one of my best friends from then on, until her death in a train accident last spring.
As a young adult Rachel lived in Guatemala, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan, and had friends from those sojourns. She kept in touch with the family she had lived with in Nepal, where she first began to learn about small business in the developing world; and she kept up business contacts among a Ukrainian community of Jewish women, hoping to sell their textiles in America. She had friends from college and business school, from her temple and from her neighborhood in Manhattan, from the camp she attended as a teenager and from the small city in Michigan where we grew up. She left behind hundreds of people who adored her, not least her husband and young son. She would have been forty next month. She was so easy to love.