Menachem Mendel (Max) Cottin was born in Minsk, Russia in 1878 and later immigrated to the US where he met his wife, Yetta. He worked as a shamas in a synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. After raising 5 children, Max and Yetta immigrated to Palestine in 1934, settling in Jerusalem.
After his wife's death, Max moved to Tiberias, where he was killed in the Arab riots in October 1938, together with his second wife Masha. At the time of Max's death, 4 of the children were living in US; one daughter, Esther, was living in India, having met her husband who was from Bombay here in Palestine. Esther learned of her father's death while listening to the radio when an announcer reported that 'an elderly American gentleman had died in rioting in Tiberias.' She knew there could only be one elderly American gentleman living in Tiberias at that time. Esther and her husband later went to the US; Esther's daughter, Wendy Sargon Bar-Yakov came on aliyah in 1970 and lives on Moshav Neve Ilan. Max was buried in a common grave with the 8 other victims of the riots.