jon woocher will be missed.

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  • July 9, 2017

On Friday, I learned of the death of Jonathan Woocher, PhD.

Over the years, I’ve had mul­ti­ple oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn with Jon. He always was incred­i­bly kind to me, and even when we dis­agreed, or when some­one in a work­shop chal­lenged him — usu­ally on his take on some recent trend or another — he was never dis­mis­sive and always gen­er­ous. And if he felt his own side needed defend­ing, he always did so with intel­lec­tual rigor and humil­ity. I’m grate­ful and hon­ored to count him among my teach­ers. (And I can’t imag­ine I’ll ever stop feel­ing pangs of jeal­ousy for his job title, pos­si­bly the best in the field, if not of all time.)

What oth­ers have said is true: Jewish edu­ca­tion is stronger due to his intel­lect and thought-leadership, both of which will be missed. I’d only add that his men­schlekheit will be missed, too.

Baruch Dayan haEmet.