It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of Bonia Shur, Director of Liturgical Arts at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Shur passed away Thursday, August 30, 2012.
Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, states, "Bonia Shur's life and musical expression reflected the trajectory of 20th-century Jewish experience, from the destruction of the Shoah to the birth of Israel and the flowering of Jewish culture in America. Together with Fanchon's gifted choreography, his creativity and vitality nurtured the academic and spiritual journeys of our students and enriched the larger community. His charismatic presence will be missed greatly, and his extraordinary music will endure as a living legacy."
Bonia Shur was born in Latvia in 1923 to a musically talented Jewish family. He escaped the Nazi invasion only to be drafted into the Russian Army. To survive the horrors of combat, Bonia used his creative ingenuity and directed music ensembles during the war. He served as a Russian officer after the war in occupied Germany and Austria. He then escaped to Poland to join the Jewish underground. In 1949 Shur emigrated to Israel and lived on Kibbutz Netzer Sereni. In Israel, he studied under the esteemed composer Paul Ben Haim. Bonia Shur’s genius in musical arrangement brought him national acclaim on Israeli Radio throughout the 1950’s. In 1960 Bonia Shur came to the United States to expand his creative outlets. His move to Los Angeles yielded compositions for films including the score for The Russians are Coming. Shur’s work in television garnered a Television Academy Award for Revolt in Mode’in.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu