Rabbi Zalman Ury, Day School System Leader, Dies at 92
Rabbi Zalman Ury, who dedicated more than 50 years to building Jewish education in Los Angeles and was rabbi emeritis at Young Israel of Beverly Hills, died last month at the age of 92.
For 47 years, Ury worked with the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) building and nurturing the yeshiva day school system. Under his direction, dozens of Orthodox day schools were established.
“The landscape of Jewish education today has been largely shaped by his dedicated leadership,” Dr. Gil Graff, director of the BJE, said at a memorial attended by about 1,000 people before Ury’s body was brought to Israel for burial. “Rabbi Ury had great respect for Jewish learning, particularly that learning that was lived out in ethical practice.”
Ury founded BJE’s Yom Iyun teacher education day 25 years ago, and today the seminar annually attracts 800 educators. He wrote a curriculum to teach ethical behavior, based largely on his doctoral thesis on education, which he earned at UCLA.
Born in Poland in 1924, Ury lost his parents and siblings in the Holocaust. He survived first in a yeshiva in Lithuania and then in labor camp in Siberia and on a collective farm in Uzbekistan. Even under those trying circumstances, the teenage Ury made it his mission to teach the younger children.
Ury and his wife, Eva, whom he met in a Polish orphanage, came to Lakewood, N.J., in 1947, where he received rabbinic ordination. The family moved to St. Louis, and in 1957, Ury — trying to escape hay fever — moved to Los Angeles. He worked as educational director at Hillel Hebrew Academy and taught at Rambam Torah Institute. In 1959, he joined BJE, and continued there as a consultant even after he retired in 1993.
Ury is survived by his wife, Eva; children, Natalie, Celia, Rama and Israel; 20 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren. — Julie Gruenbaum Fax, Contributing Writer
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Maurice Carmona died Feb. 4 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Kay; son, Daniel; daughters, Linda (Stephen) Monroe, Victoria and Suzanne; and four grandchildren. Groman
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