Lila J. EZRA
February 17, 1948 – November 1, 2019
Lila was born in Brooklyn in 1948 and except for her college years and one year in Italy, she lived in Brooklyn all her life. She became very passionate about Brooklyn, even before it was popular. Perhaps she was continuing the family tradition, since our great grandparents, after coming from Romania and Germany, bought a brownstone on 6th Ave in the late 1800's. Lila's grandmother and mother were both born in that house, which stands today, slightly more expensive today than the $2,000 they paid for it.
Lila went to PS 188 in Coney Island, and returned to supervise social workers there, a number of decades later. She attended Mark Twain JHS in a gifted program, skipping a grade. She went to Lincoln High School, where she graduated at age 16 and started Farleigh Dickenson University where she met her husband to be, Eddie Ezra, whom she married at age 22.
Some of Eddie's relatives were still in Iran and they gave Eddie and Lila a magnificent gift of a three month trip around the world . After an arduous trip to Iran, Lila arrived very sick, and the relatives set up a hospital in their home to care for her. She recovered and it was the beginning her very close relationships with her middle eastern relatives, as well as the first of many exotic trips for Lila.who put a map of the world on her wall, and marked it whenever she completed another trip.
IN 1977, Lila and Eddie bought their brownstone, where Lila has lived all these years, cherishing it and making it the center of many memorable gatherings, spending some of her happiest times gardening and sitting on the terrace watching and listening to the birds, and enjoying her her beautiful garden. Lila was totally devoted to her two sons, Jeremy and Brian, and although she worked part time as a social worker, they were the main focus of her life. When they were in college, Lila decided to fill a lifelong dream and spend a year in Italy. It was challenging to obtain a sabbatical, but she persisted , and spent a year in Rome, where she studied Italian and painting, travelling all over the country, inviting our parents, myself, and various friends, to stay with her in Rome, and share her experience.
Lila returned to New York and continued to work as a social worker, and stood on the roof of a public school. to watch the twin towers fall on 911. She continued to work as a social worker, even working at PS 39, where both her grandmother and nephew had gone to school. Another Brooklyn tradition for Lila.
After a number of years as a social worker, which included participating on a crisis intervention team, Lila went to work for the UFT and became the Executive Director of the Member Assistance Program,n which she developed and ran, hiring a staff, establishing offices, and helping hundreds of UFT staff.
Lila played many roles in my life.Starting as my baby sister, and bringing great joy to our family, sharing my childhood as my kid sister was her first. We later became good friends , sharing many wonderful times together, going to yoga retreats, fasting, always enjoying each other's company, even if it was spending time shopping at Path mark. But it was as adults that she became not only my friend, but a true support person, whether it was spending time with me in the emergency room, visiting me in rehab, or listening to my stories. She was my confident and I could tell her anything. She shared the care of or mother, who recently turned 100, and Lila was fully engaged as a partner in her care taking.
Lila had a persistence in achieving her goals which was remarkable. For example, she fought for years to have my mother reimbursed for damages from Sandy, and eventually won her case. She fought for her sabattical and won this as well. Sh fought enormously this past year to save her life, giving inspiration to me and everyone who was close to her.
I was fortunate to have the very best sister anyone could have and I can't imagine life without her. I am going to remember the life lessons I learned from her which are to pursue your goals relentlessly,be involved and love the people around you, and cherish your life by making it as close as you can to the life you want to achieve.
- Funeral Service Tuesday, November 5, 2019
- Committal Service Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Lila J. EZRA
November 4, 2019
My sweet friend Lila,
I will miss you more than words can express, you were the kindest most caring person, always available to your friends and family,
You will always be in my heart 💜,
Please Rest In Peace,
November 4, 2019
I had the honor & privilege of knowing Lila as a friend & colleague at the UFT where Lila’s love & passion to help all who came into her orbit shined bright & true. The world is surely a dimmer place without Lila but her spirit lives on through family & friends. May her memory be for a blessing!!