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In Memoriam – Eric Joss

In Memoriam – Eric Joss


Statement issued by Dr. Hal M. Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, July 10, 2016

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership mourns the loss of our long-time trustee, Eric Joss.

Eric was the embodiment of “mentschlikhkeit;” he was a gentleman of the highest order. Eric was devoted to the work of our Institute over decades. He was warm, giving, and funny. He had the rare ability to combine bold vision and passion with substance and practicality.

Deeply committed to all things Jewish, Eric was more than just a philanthropist and a trustee. He was, above all, a talmid, a student, with an unbridled love of learning and a prodigious curiosity. He was an unabashed ohev Yisrael — a lover of Israel — and a pursuer of justice in every sense.

I was privileged to work with Eric and to learn from him over the years of my Presidency. A frequent guest at our seder table, my family always looked forward to having Ellen and him with us. I will always treasure the occasional wee dram we shared over the years, and our mutual love for the singer, songwriter Leonard Cohen.

Eric Joss was a loyal Spertus trustee, a Jewish communal leader, and he was, I am proud to say, my friend. To his wife, Ellen and his children Dan and Jill, whom he loved beyond words, the entire Spertus Institute family extends our deepest condolences. Y’hi zikhrono livraha. May his memory be an eternal blessing.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Eric Joss

Eric Joss age 72. Beloved husband of Ellen nee Freedman. Loving father of Daniel, Jillian (Michael Maciel) and the late Jaclyn. Dear brother of Wilfred (Russell), David (Cheryl) and Norman (Rozes). Fond uncle and great uncle of many. Service Monday 11AM at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. Interment Memorial Park, Skokie. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Anshe Emet Synagogue,, Spertus Institute, or American Jewish World Service, Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822,

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on July 11, 2016