Obituaries


Cleveland-based Philanthropist Ruby Bass, 91

By Dan Levin

Ruby Bass, renowned philanthropist for State of Israel Bonds and the women’s division of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, died September 28 at the age of 91.Read More


Joe Glazer Remembered

By Theodore Bikel

One feels tempted to mourn: Yet another voice has been stilled. But it would be wrong when we talk about Joe Glazer, who died September 19 at age 88. His voice was never stilled when he was alive, and it will be with us — especially those of us who are part of the labor movement — for as long as the movement has the gumption to turn protest into song and song into protest. Joe understood, better than most of us, that the song is not merely an expression of working men and women’s lives but a tool in the arsenal of struggle.Read More


Remembering Israel’s James Joyce

By Menachem D. Rotstein

With the August 21 passing of Yizhar Smilansky, Israeli literature lost a voice of moral conscience and modern Hebrew lost one of its most gifted virtuosos. (He wrote under the name S. Yizhar, as he was and is universally known in common parlance as Samekh Yizhar.) Dubbed the James Joyce of Hebrew literature, Smilansky — who received numerous literary awards, including the prestigious Israel Prize — died one month shy of his 90th birthday.Read More


Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Bible Scholar

Tikva Frymer-Kensky, a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School and a pioneer in feminist biblical scholarship, died August 31 at her home in Wilmette, Ill. She was 63. The cause of death was breast cancer, the university announced.Read More


Catskills Comedian Jan Murray Dies at 89

By Guest Author

Jan Murray, a Jewish comedian who got his start in the Catskills, died Sunday at 89. Murray, who was born Murray Janofsky in the Bronx to immigrant parents, was one of a generation of Jewish comedians that includes Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Shecky Greene and Buddy Hackett. He was a star of 1950s television, using his gravelly voice and his quickRead More


Jerzy Ficowski, Poet and Translator

By Joshua Cohen

Jerzy Ficowski, a peerless advocate for the arts and letters of a decimated Polish Jewry, died in Warsaw on May 9, at the age of 82.Following World War II, during which he served in the Home Army and participated in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Ficowski published nearly 20 volumes of poetry, including the acclaimed “A Reading of Ashes.”Read More


Luba Kadison Buloff, 99, Last Survivor of Yiddish Theater Company

By Caraid O’Brien

The world of the theater lost a peerless artist last week. Yiddish actress Luba Kadison Buloff passed away on May 4 in her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at the age of 99. Born in 1906 in Kovno, Lithuania, the last surviving member of the renowned Yiddish theater company the Vilna Troupe, she was the embodiment of a sophisticated andRead More


Jose Miller, Cuban Jewish Leader, 80

Dr. Jose Miller, president of Cuba’s tiny Jewish community, died February 27 at age 80.Read More


Murray Zuckoff, JTA Editor, 79

Murray Zuckoff, a longtime Jewish Telegraphic Agency editor-in-chief, died Sunday in New York of lung cancer at age 79. Zuckoff served as JTA editor from 1969 to 1987. In his own columns, he wrote on a wide range of issues, including Israel, poverty, black-Jewish relations and the way that Jewish issues are covered in the general media.Zuckoff wasRead More


Past B’nai B’rith Leader, 86

Jack Spitzer, 86, a Seattle philanthropist known for his work in promoting social justice, died July 31 following a cardiac arrest. Spitzer was president of B’nai B’rith from 1978 to 1982 and was member of Hillel’s international board of governors.Read More





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