Rabbi Jacob Ott, Former Rabbi at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel,
Dies at 86
Rabbi Jacob Ott, who served for 34 years at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, died of congestive heart failure on Saturday, Dec. 16. He was 86. Ott was born in Chicago in an Orthodox neighborhood, three months after the end of World War I. His study of Torah began at the age of 3, because he didn't want to be left behind as his father and uncle went off to shul. By 4 he could read Hebrew, and he continued his yeshiva study throughout his youth, including during his undergraduate and post-graduate work at the University of Chicago. He was ordained as a rabbi in Chicago in 1942. A chaplain in the armed forces during World War II, he joined the 83rd Infantry and served in Wales and Luxembourg. He left the army as a major with a bronze star and then moved to Los Angeles, where he would serve as rabbi at Temple Beth El. In 1959, he interviewed for the position of rabbi at the Sephardic Santa Barbara Avenue Temple, which would later become Tifereth Israel. He knew little about Sephardic minhag at the time, and told the committee that he would take the job but gave them six months to find someone else. His so-called 'temporary appointment' would last until he retired in 1992. During his tenure he was decorated with a medal of honor by the King of Spain
"Rabbi Ott put this temple on the map," said Jack Gordon, president of Tifereth Israel. "When I came here to join with my wife-to-be 24 years ago, I was captivated by his sermon. I'm not Sephardic, but I loved that he was asking questions and not giving answers. It was dramatic, interesting, and he engaged the congregation."
Ott's wife Bess died in 2001. He is survived by his son, Robert; daughter, Nancy; three grandchildren; and sister, Tybee.
Morton Alexander died Nov. 19 at 86. He is survived by his sons, Bryan, Howard and Michael; daughter, Linda Turcotte; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and sister, Marjorie Finer. Groman
Phyllis Fannie DaMauer died Nov 15 at 72. She is survived by her son, Jordan; daughter, Starr; and friends. Chevra Kadisha
Lilian Drew died Nov. 19 at 93. She is survived by her son, Dr. Stanley Ian (Noreen Green); and grandchildren, Aaron and Hannah. Mount Sinai
Sidney Fass died Nov 18 at 94. He is survived by his son, Larry (Tobie) Schwimmer; daughter-in-law, Lindy Schwimmer Asher; five grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and sister, Shirley. Chevra Kadisha
Arthur Giffis died Nov 17 at 96. He is survived by his sons, Stanley (Tulla), Norton (Sandy) and Howard; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sister, Florence Solomon. Chevra Kadisha
Stephen Lewis Grace died Nov. 7 at 77. He is survived by his wife, Marcia; daughters, Marjorie (Jeffrey) Grace-Sayers Anna (Jim Blanc) and Deborah; six grandchildren; brother, Irving; sisters, Alice Lapan, Gertrude Leventhal and Rose; and niece, Marion (Ray) Lapan. Groman
Harry Greenberg died Nov. 20 at 97. He is survived by his daughters, Caren Steinberg and Mindi Thelen; and two grandchildren. Groman
RACHEL GREENBERG died Nov. 18 at 78. She is survived by her husband, Harry; son, Jack; three grandchildren; brother, Bernard (Shirley) Toplitzky; brothers-in-law, Joe (Molly) and Morris; and sister-in-law, Millie Greenberg. Hillside
Max Gryczman died Nov. 18 at 86. He is survived by his wife, Bluma; daughter, Sharon (Ari) Koresh; son, Steven (Susan); four grandchildren; and one great-grandson. Mount Sinai
Max Guggenheim Jr. died Nov. 17 at 88. He is survived by his son, David (Holly). Malinow and Silverman
MORRIS HOLLANDER died Nov. 18 at 92. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Harmon; granddaughter Marci (Armi) Carabet; and two great-grandchildren. Hillside
David Karney died Nov. 20 at 80. He is survived by his wife, Irene; daughters Aliza (Marc) Guren and Susanna (Michael) Flaster; stepdaughters, Susan and Lori Lieberman (Joe Cali) and Kim (Michael) McCarty; four grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; sister, Rina (Haim) Gueron; brother, Amiram (Perla); sister-in-law, Marian (Dick) May; and brother-in-law, Bud (Jackie) Cohn. Hillside
LAWRENCE KUSHNER died Nov. 21 at 78. He is survived by his wife, Jean; and stepsons, Steven and Michael Loewy. Sholom Chapels.
Nisel Korinman died Nov 16 at 76. He is survived by his wife, Yanina; sons, Boris and Michael; and sister, Klara Shtarker. Chevra Kadisha
Sylvia Finkelman Lawson died Nov. 20 at 80. She is survived by her son, Craig; and daughters, Michelle Dornfest and Sherry. Malinow and Silverman
FRANK LAZAR died Nov. 3 at 90. He is survived by his wife, Sara; son, Steven; and three grandchildren. Groman
CANDICE LEVENSON died Nov. 20 at 56. She is survived by her husband, Steven Helsov; sisters, Barbara (Tom) and Linda (Kurt); mother-in-law, Gerrie Heslov; and brothers-in-law, Grant (Lysa) and Michael (Lynn) Heslov. Hillside
SHIRLEY BLOSSOM LEVINE died Nov. 21 at 90. She is survived by her son, Mel (Connie Bruck); daughter, Dena (Irv Schechter); seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Hillside
Rita Martynova died Nov 13 at 49. She is survived by her husband, Eduard; and son, Igor. Chevra Kadisha
Parvin Messian died Nov 16 at 76. She is survived by her husband, Soleyman; and son, Behrouz. Chevra Kadisha
FANYA MILIKH died Nov. 20 at 73. She is survived by her son, Boris. Sholom Chapels.
Marvin Mitchell died Nov. 21 at 81. He is survived by his wife, Muriel; daughter, Rhona (Abraham) Wacht; son, Burton (Pamela). Mount Sinai
Cecelia Ostraff died Nov. 20 at 99. She is survived by her nephew, Marshall Labow. Malinow and Silverman
WALTER PERETZ died Nov. 18 at 79 He is survived by his wife, Rebecca; son, Arthur; and daughter, Sharon Chapman. Hillside
Elaine Perlsweig died Nov 19. She is survived by her husband, Leon; son, Robert; daughter, Jeanne (Shay) Lumelsky; and three grandchildren. Chevra Kadisha
Helene Rachel Press died Nov. 19 at 89. She is survived by her son, Stephen; daughter, Susan Bailey; and four grandchildren. Groman
MARY PROCEL died Nov. 20 at 83. She is survived by her husband, Morrie; son, Alan; and daughters, Nanette Stark and Deborah. Sholom Chapels.
Edythe Rindler died Nov. 20 at 92. She is survived by her daughter, Marjorie Austin; and sons, Edward, Richard and Alan. Malinow and Silverman
Ida Salem died Nov. 18 at 87. She is survived by her sons, Gary and Raoul; and sisters, Frances Smith, Eve Hornstein, Betty Steinhauser, Bertha Starkman and Bess Lipson. Groman
Leah Schneider died Nov. 21 at 102. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Olga Singer. Malinow and Silverman
Harold Stone died Nov. 18 at 92. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer (Gordon) Bosserman; sons, Robert (Marcia) and Michael; and four grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman
Rhonda Schachtel died Oct. 19, at 45. She is survived by her husband, Jack; daughter, Michelle; sons, Marc and Marshall; brothers, Steven (Johanne), Jacob and Nicholas Shinder; and parents-in-law, Harry and Linda. Mount Sinai
Rebecca Schwartz died Dec. 1 at 82. She is survived by her daughters, Barbara (Mike) Sion, Marilyn Rado and Ronnie (Lenny) Lieb. Mount Sinai
Frieda Schwortzman died Nov. 12 at 88. She is survived by her sister, Sylvia; and niece, Marion Hefferman. Malinow and Silverman
Joseph Solomon died Nov. 20 at 82. He is survived by his wife, Mildred; daughter, Julie (Maury) Leff; and three grandchildren. Mount Sinai
Phillip Darwin Terrill died Nov 4 at 84. He is survived by his daughters, Candace (Tom) Curley, and Laurie Schwartz. Chevra Kadisha
Paul Unger died Nov. 20 at 83. He is survived by his sister, Frances Topin; and niece, Terry Kaufman. Groman
Dorothy Waxman died Nov. 18 at 86. She is survived by her son, H. Stuart; daughter, Rosalind Landsman; six grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and sister, Florence Davis. Groman
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