On January 8, 2013, HUC-JIR lost a dear friend, Shirley Tartak, who passed away at age 95 in Tiburon, CA. Shirley Tartak was known to generations of students at the Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles and Jewish educators around the world through her generous support of the Tartak Learning Center.
Shirley and her husband Paul, z"l, were devoted leaders of the Reform Movement and HUC-JIR in the 1960s and 1970s, and were among the visionary leaders who made it possible for the Los Angeles campus to grow from a small home in the Hollywood Hills to the campus facility we continue to enjoy today. Paul and later Shirley served on the Board of Overseers of the Skirball Campus, on which Shirley continued to serve until her passing.
Shirley shared Paul's deep commitment to Jewish education, to the Union for Reform Judaism, and to the College-Institute. Because of Shirley's vision and commitment, the Rhea Hirsch School of Education created the Tartak Learning Center in 1979 with an initial gift from Shirley and the estate of her husband Paul.
Since then, Shirley’s ongoing generosity has sustained the Tartak Learning Center and provided the funding for its directorship. The Tartak Learning Center, which is under the direction of Lynn Flanzbaum, has become a significant educational resource for students locally and educators nationally and internationally.
The entire College-Institute joins the Reform Movement in remembering Shirley Tartak, an energetic, gifted and generous woman.
Shirley is survived by her niece, Karen Light, Karen's husband Mitchell and their two daughters. Contributions in Shirley's memory may be made to HUC-JIR for the Tartak Learning Center.
May Shirley's memory be a blessing.