Obituaries


Rabbi Yehuda Amital, 85, a Thinker Who Blended Passion With Humility

By Adam Sales

Rabbi Yehuda Amital, one of the great contemporary Jewish leaders and thinkers — and one of my personal heroes — passed away in Jerusalem on July 9 at the age of 85.Read More


Reminiscing About Chaim Grade’s Widow, a Caustic Woman Known as the ‘Black Witch’

By Itzik Gottesman

During my extensive interviews with my father about our family, he would occasionally add the phrase “Mayne reyd zoln nisht tsu shver zany” — “May my words not be too heavy” — a traditional expression used when you say something critical about someone who has died. But there arose some moments during our talks when his criticism was so sharp that we had to laugh when he invoked that expression, since it was clear that one simply could not smooth over or cover up what was just said, by invoking it.Read More


Charlotte Jacobson, 97, Communal Leader

By JTA

Charlotte Jacobson, 97, who as Hadassah national president reclaimed the Jerusalem land where the organization’s flagship hospital now sits, died on May 14 in Florida.Read More


A Lady in Word and Deed, Lady J Was Grandmother to All Britain’s Jews

By Nathan Jeffay

In late April, my mother’s cell phone rang, and at the end of the line was a woman to whom she had never before spoken. This woman had heard my brother give a speech in a London synagogue and was impressed, so she simply “had” to track down my mother, call her and give her a chance to kvell. As a grandmother and great-grandmother of many, she regarded kvelling as a basic human right.Read More


Remembering Avi Gross Schaefer: Student, Soldier, Future Peacemaker

By David Ellenson

Avi Gross Schaefer, a 21-year-old veteran of the Israel Defense Forces and a freshman at Brown University, was killed almost instantly February 12, after being hit by a car driven by a drunken driver. Rabbi Arthur Gross Schaefer and his wife, Laurie Gross, a prominent artist, have lost a son, and the wider world lost someone who was primed to make a difference as a peacemaker.Read More


Poet and Partisan Avrom Sutzkever Dies

By Forward Staff

Avrom Sutzkever, who died January 20 at the age of 96, was not only a great Yiddish poet but is acknowledged as being one of the great poets of the 20th century.Read More


Remembering Mina Bern, Star of the Yiddish Stage

By Masha Leon

The Mina Bern that I knew could always rise to the occasion and stop a show — without even trying. Bern, who died January 10 in New York City at age 98, was a dominant figure in Yiddish theater for several decades and brought its emotional richness to audiences around the globe. She also directed and starred on Broadway and landed roles in a dozen movies.Read More


Levine, an Artist Who Drew in Yiddish

By Menachem Wecker

David Levine, who drew idiosyncratic portraits of thousands of celebrities, politicians, artists, and other newsmakers, died on Dec. 29. The Brooklyn-born artist’s caricatures and watercolors appeared in Esquire, New York Magazine, Newsweek, The Nation, The New Yorker, Time and the New York Review of Books, where he started drawing in 1963.Read More


The Bostoner Rebbe, Levi Yitzhak Horowitz

By JTA

The Bostoner Rebbe, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Horowitz, the first American-born Hasidic leader, died December 5. He never fully recovered from a heart attack that he suffered during the summer. He was 88.Read More


Yochanan Muffs, Scholar of Bible, Law and Languages, Is Dead

By Ed Greenstein

Yochanan Muffs, a scholar of Bible, law and Semitic languages whose books illuminated the legal and social meaning of emotions such as love and joy in the lives of Jews in antiquity, succumbed to Parkinson’s disease on December 6.Read More


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