Obituaries for April 20, 2017


Roy Millenson, buried his tefillin in Antarctica

Roy Millenson, of Rockville, died from cerebrovascular disease on April 9. He was 95.

He attended Wilson Teachers College in Washington. During World War II, he was trained in Arabic and North African studies by the Army at the University of Pennsylvania. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946, and was stationed in Cairo, Transjordan, Iraq and Bahrain. He visited Palestine three times. After the war, he finished his undergraduate degree at George Washington University in 1947. He retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1965 with the rank of captain.

Millenson served as a legislative assistant and press secretary for then-Rep. Jacob Javits (R-N.Y.) for several years. He also worked with the American Jewish Committee and National Civil Liberties Clearing House. He assisted with legislation that created the National Science Foundation and the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities.

During a 1974 Senate trip to the Antarctic to visit a National Science Foundation research site, Millenson performed a ritual burial of his tefillin that he received at his bar mitzvah at Adas Israel Congregation.

Millenson was member of Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County for nearly 50 years, and served on a variety of committees and boards.

Millenson was the son of Joseph Millenson and Helen Handen Millenson, who moved to Washington in 1915. He was predeceased by his wife, Charlotte Katz Millenson. He is survived by his children Janet Millenson (Herb Edelstein), Michael Millenson (Susan) and Elliott Millenson (Wendy Strongin); grandchildren David Edelstein, Daniel and Alissa Millenson and Carly Millenson.

Paul Stern, saved with other American Jewish soldiers

Paul Stern of Reston died on March 30. He was 93.

Stern graduated from the City College of New York. He went on to start a textile company in New York called Sterns & Sons, and was president of Wellington Textiles, also in New York.

During World War II, Stern was among 800 American soldiers captured by the Nazis on Jan. 27, 1945. Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, who was posthumously honored by the Israeli Embassy in 2015, saved Stern and about 200 other American Jewish soldiers when he refused to comply with a Nazi commandant to order the Jewish soldiers to step forward.

“That one act of courage and bravery by [a] master sergeant saved my life, as well as all the Jewish prisoners at [the Nazi war camp] Ziegenhain,” Stern told Washington Jewish Week in 2015. By coincidence, Jan. 27, the day Edmonds saved Stern’s life, was also Stern’s birthday.

Stern was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service in World War II.

Stern was an officer at Temple Sholom in Westbury, N.Y., and an active member of Congregation Beth Emeth in Reston.
Stern was the son of Max and Jenny Stern of Bronx, N.Y. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Corinne Stern; son, Jeffrey (Jill) Stern of Washington; daughter, Joanne  Stern (Tom) Fleeter of Reston; and grandchildren Allison and Emily Stern, and Daniel, Drew (Samantha) and Diana Fleeter.

Jesse Lurie, longtime Hadassah Magazine editor, dies at 103

Jesse Lurie, the longtime executive editor of Hadassah Magazine and a peace activist, has died at 103.

Lurie, an Israeli American, was the magazine’s founding executive editor in 1947 and held the post for 33 years. He professionalized a publication that had been run by volunteers since its launch in 1914.

Lurie also served as a correspondent for The Jerusalem Post covering the United States, according to a Post article about his passing published April 14. One of his six brothers, Ted, was among the founding journalists of The Palestine Post, which would become The Jerusalem Post and he would serve as editor-in-chief.

Lurie traveled extensively in the Jewish world, including Soviet Russia, writing about people he met, the political situations in those countries and how they affected the Jewish population. He was an ardent campaigner for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and was among those who supported the founding of Neve Shalom, the cooperative village cohabitated by Jews and Arabs.

As one who also supported and encouraged media diversity in Israel among Jews and Arabs, he created the Eliav-Sartawi Award for journalism in Israel through Common Ground, an organization with which he was closely associated in his efforts to encourage conflict resolution in the country.

As for Israel’s future, Lurie said in a 2014 interview while visiting the country that he was sure it would remain secure, but was not overly hopeful of great progress on the peace front.
“Israel has been living in a bubble for 20 years or more, and will continue to live in a bubble for some time,” he said. n

—JTA News and Features

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