Obituaries


My Sundays With Stanley

By Bob Brody

Toward the end, as he lay dying, pretty much all I wanted to do was make him laugh. I called him every week with a line or a joke or a story he might find funny. I plied him with levity. And laugh he often would. Even so, I suspected that as I tried to humor him, he was actually humoring me. Together, we whistled in the dark.Read More


Sidney Lumet, 86, Prolific Director of Gritty, Realist Films That Captured the City

By Annette Insdorf

Just after Sidney Lumet passed away, I received numerous e-mails from film students who fondly recalled his visits with them at Columbia University. A few remembered the emotional wallop of seeing “The Pawnbroker” for the first time, in my American film history course. Others praised Lumet’s humility and candor after a preview of “Night Falls on Manhattan” in our campus screening room. Lumet was unaffected, from his perennial sweater-over-shirt to his no-nonsense explanation of making movies. He was a breathlessly busy and prolific director, but he found the time to encourage aspiring filmmakers. The students’ e-mails that arrived after he died April 9 of lymphoma at age 86 were a testament to the smarts and the sympathy that rendered him less an auteur than a mensch.Read More


Juliano Mer-Khamis, Activist Who Lived in Two Worlds, Murdered in Jenin

By Mairav Zonszein

Like his life and his work, Juliano Mer-Khamis’s funeral procession cut across boundaries: It made its way from Haifa, crossing an Israeli army checkpoint to stop in the West Bank Palestinian town of Jenin and ended up at Kibbutz Ramot Menashe in northern Israel, where the slain filmmaker and actor was laid to rest and where his mother and fellow activist Arna Mer is buried.Read More


Marilyn Henry, Advocate for Survivors

By Michael Berenbaum and Jeanette Friedman

Marilyn Henry was the quintessential old-school girl reporter — more Hildy Johnson in “His Girl Friday” than Brenda Starr. Her laser-sharp brain could cut through the most complex philosophical, financial, legal, religious and arcane data to get to the heart of a story.Read More


Moacyr Scliar, 73, Storyteller of Jewish Latin America

By Ilan Stavans

The death of Brazilian fabulist Moacyr Scliar, at the age of 73, on February 27, in his native Porto Alegre, represents the loss of Latin America’s most popular Jewish writer of his generation, and the most influential.Read More


Chava Rosenfarb, Celebrated Yiddish Writer, Dies at 87

By Forward Staff

Chava Rosenfarb, who died on January 30 at the age of 87 in Lethbridge, Alberta, was a Yiddish prose writer and poet who made her mark as a postwar Yiddish writer in Canada. One of the few female novelists in Yiddish, Rosenfarb was a Holocaust survivor whose landmark Holocaust trilogy — published in 1972 and translated between 2004 and 2006 as “The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto” — remains one of the seminal works of fiction about the Holocaust in any language.Read More


Lou Henkin, 92, Pioneer in Human Rights Law

By David M. Schizer

Lou Henkin, founding father of human rights law and a leading light of Columbia Law School’s faculty, was a central figure in so many different communities — among those working in the human rights field, legal academics and lawyers, as well as in the Jewish community. To my mind, these different passions in Henkin’s life were all related and reinforced each other. Indeed, the strength of Henkin’s religious faith both shaped and drove his work to safeguard the integrity and dignity of individuals.Read More


Motl Zelmanowicz, 95, Bundist and Yiddishist

By Jack Jacobs

Motl Zelmanowicz, activist in American Jewish socialist and Yiddishist causes and longtime member of the Forward Association, died October 16 at the age of 95.Read More


David Twersky, Political Journalist and Peace Activist, Dies at 60

By J.J. Goldberg

David Twersky, a prominent Zionist activist, political journalist and peace advocate in Israel and America, died July 16 after a long illness. He was 60.Read More


Asher Arian, 72, a Political Scientist and Author

By Irving Leonard Markovitz

Asher Arian, one of Israel’s most prominent political scientists, died on July 6 after a long illness. He was 72.Read More





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