Irvin A. ‘Bud’ Lavine, 90, ‘A gentleman to his fingertips’

Irvin Lavine Family photo
Irvin Lavine
Family photo

Jewish community leader Irvin A. “Bud” Lavine died Jan. 24 at the age of 90.

His death was attributed to old age. He was living in Rockville.

Lavine served as president of Jewish Social Service Agency from 1980 to 1982 and was on JSSA’S board. He helped to organize Jewish Council for the Aging, serving as its president from 1988 to 1990, and as the last president of Temple Israel Congregation of Silver Spring, he was a primary mover in the synagogue’s 1997 merger with Beth Tikva of Rockville to become Tikvat Israel, a Conservative congregation in Rockville.

David Gamse, executive director of JCA, said Lavine will be “deeply missed. I had the honor of knowing [Bud] for 26 years. Indeed, he hired me at the Jewish Council for the Aging and remained dedicated to its work.”

Longtime friend and former JSSA President Maurice Dunie called him “a very fine, pleasant gentleman. He was a hard worker in whatever he did.”

Born in Suffolk, Va., Lavine was an aeronautical engineer who became a patent attorney with an international practice. He served on the board of directors of Prince George’s Community College for 16 years, much of that time as chairman. Under his guidance, the institution built its current campus in Largo and hired its first professional college president.

“My father was a gentleman to his fingertips who treated everyone with courtesy and respect,” said Lavine’s daughter, Sherrie Lavine Krauser. “He was much loved.”

When Krauser, who is retired, was sworn in as a Prince George’s County District Court judge in 1989, her mother and Lavine’s wife, Bess Blafkin Lavine, was already serving as a judge on the court. The National Association of Women Judges believed them to be the first mother and daughter to serve on the same court in U.S. history, according to a Washington Post article from that same year.

Krauser said that her father encouraged his wife, Bess, to pursue her law degree well before the feminist movement, taking over family duties in the evening and later supporting her legal and judicial career.

“He was a deeply good man. Utterly devoted to a wife he adored; to a country he served in World War II; to a Democratic Party he believed in; to the synagogues he attended; to the children he raised; to the Jewish community he served,” Lavine’s granddaughter Abigail Krauser Shrier wrote in a Facebook post.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Judge Bess Blafkin Lavine; daughters Sherrie (Peter) Krauser and Hilary Lavine (Allan Ginsburg); son Matt (Deborah) Lavine; grandchildren Abigail (Zachary) Shrier, Joshua Ginsburg, Daniel Krauser, Shana Ginsburg (Sarah Kahle), Jessalyn (Robert) Schaefer, Adlai Lavine, Kenai Lavine, Samuel Lavine; great-grandchildren Jackson, Raphael and Daphne Shrier and Jonah Schaefer and nephews and nieces.

Memorial contributions may be made to Jewish Social Service Agency, Cohen-Rosen House or Tikvat Israel Congregation.

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