OBITUARY

Dr. Jon Woocher

August 27, 1946July 7, 2017

Woocher, Jonathan Steven, 70, passed away on July 7, 2017 after a four-year battle with cancer. He was a distinguished scholar and esteemed colleague who transformed the field of Jewish education. Dr. Woocher was the founding president of the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. Previously he was President and then Chief Ideas Officer of the Jewish Education Service of North America. Dr. Woocher graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, and received a Ph.D. in religious studies from Temple University. Most recently he received an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Dr. Woocher is the author of Sacred Survival: The Civil Religion of American Jews and numerous articles on Jewish education, community, and religious life. Jonathan Woocher was born August 27, 1946 in New York City to Howard and Ruth Woocher. He is survived by his wife, Sherry, children Meredith Woocher (Peter Sheingold) and Benjamin Woocher, grandson Aden Sheingold, brother Fredric Woocher, and father Howard Woocher. Services will be held 1:15 PM Sunday, July 9, 2017 at Bernheim Apter Kreitzman, LIVINGSTON. For more information, visit BernheimApterKreitzman.com

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Funeral Service Sunday, July 9, 2017

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Shiva will be held at the Woocher residence
REMEMBERING

Dr. Jon Woocher

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Nancy Heinerscheid (Work)

July 20, 2017

What a pleasure it was to know you both, Sherry, and though it's been years since we've seen each other, I'm thinking of you and your family. Our days at Carleton were fun, laughing and friendship. Then meeting Jonathan again about 15 years ago in NY city simply re-enforced my thoughts on what a bright, caring and funny man he was.

Tikvah and Wiener

July 12, 2017

I met Jon through my work in Jewish education. Though we didn't come in contact often, from the moment I met him, I knew he was a special soul, a venerable elder statesman, a mentor, and a role model. His caring, humility, and deep respect for others and for the Jewish people were readily apparent in all that he did. He touched so many lives, and we are all mourning the loss of this special soul.

Scott Aaron

July 11, 2017

Jon's book Sacred Survival was a life changer for me. I understood my own perception of the Jewish world after reading it. It was an important component of why I became a Jewish communal professional. Jon was a professional acquaintance over the years who I always enjoyed learning from but his written ideas will keep influencing me for many years to come. Z"L.

Howard Shrobe

July 11, 2017

I was Jon's roommate for 3 of our years together at Yale, but we had known each other earlier from Ramah. Although we drifted away after school, I will always remember Wooch as a dear friend and as a highly principled and giving person. My condolences to Sherry and to their children; we've lost a great person.

Lee Meyerhoff Hendler

July 11, 2017

I first met Jon as a lay leader in Baltimore nearly 40 years ago when he taught the model of civil Judaism which explained so much of what I had intuited but had not fully understood. That was Jon's genius. He spent his life a step ahead of the rest of us seeing how we were learning, living, and acting as Jews in the world. He worked tirelessly to interpret all that he saw AND foresaw so that we might live our lives with greater satisfaction and purpose. Most of all he was a scholar with a generous heart. What a gift it was to know him and to learn from him.

Jakir Manela

July 11, 2017

Jon always took a sincere interest in me and in our work at Pearlstone. He always made time for me, was always kind and patient and supportive. And he always understood our work on a deep level, why we do what we do, what it means to innovate. Such a kind and sweet man, and such a strong visionary leader. One of a kind. I am so, so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing

Marc Heilweil

July 10, 2017

"Wooch" was a joy to know at Yale. He was so kind, understated and caring. Because we lived in different parts of the country we never saw each other after college. We did speak a few times. My memory of him is strong and I am saddened by his passing. He was a very special man.

Avi West

July 10, 2017

Jon was a mentor and model of mensch-lech scholarship. His encouragement kept me in communal work as a Jewish educator, helping me to navigate the institutional mazes and political challenges of BJE life. May his family and the entire community find comfort in his memory and accomplishments.

July 9, 2017

Dear Sherry and the rest of the family,
I was so sad to hear of Jon's death. I first knew of Jon through his academic writing (especially his book on the Jewish civil religion), then later met him personally when he went to JESNA. He was the perfect intellectual leader -- so smart on his own, but so open to new ideas,not to mention that he was such a lovely person. I always enjoyed my times with him when he was in LA. His death is a great loss to the world of Jewish education, and to us all.
His memory is surely for a blessing.
Isa Aron, recently retired professor of education at HUC-JIR

Stephen Herskovitz

July 9, 2017

I remember Jon from his Camp Ramah days in the 1960's and knew his wife Sherry from Camp Raman in Nyack. I am saddened by his untimely death. My condolences to Fredric and the whole family.

May the All Present comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.