Jewish Journal


July 8, 2013

Alvin Schiff, Jewish education pioneer, dies


Alvin Schiff, a  pioneer in Jewish education and a prolific author, has died.

Schiff died of unknown causes, Yeshiva University announced Monday. He was in his mid-80s.

At Yeshiva University, he established and directed the Graduate School of Jewish Education in 1959, which later was renamed the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.

He authored more than a dozen books, as well as several hundred articles and research papers on the status of Jewish education.

Schiff was a founder of such Jewish education projects as March of the Living, along with the New York parade for Israel now known as Celebrate Israel.

Recognized for his global dedication to Jewish education, he was awarded the President’s Prize in Jewish Education in Israel in February 2005. Schiff  was the executive vice president of the Board of Jewish Education for 25 years.

Herbert Dobrinsky, vice president of Yeshiva University affairs and a former student of Schiff, told JTA, ”I can’t say he was the greatest educator in the world, but he came close to it.”

Schiff received his bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva College and his doctorate from YU’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, as well as an honorary degree from YU in 1977.

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