New York Supreme Court Judge and former City Council member Noach Dear, 67, succumbed Sunday to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus after struggling for weeks on a ventilator to survive.
Dear, who served from 1983 to 2001 as a member of the New York City Council, was a well-respected, long-standing member of the Midwood Orthodox Jewish community, bringing the community’s issues before the Council at a time when it was still rare. He represented Midwood, Bensonhurst and most of Boro Park at the time.
But he wasn’t only a politician and judge; Noach Dear also had a Masters Degree in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University.
He made headlines – and trouble – by voting in 1986 against a civil rights bill that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodation. The bill passed anyway.
Dear received his JD from Brooklyn Law School in 1991.
Awful, numbing news. The passing of my predecessor Justice Noach Dear is impossible to digest. The first to hold the seat I am now honored to serve. Compassionate, funny, pragmatic, always patient & loved people. His lifelong public service touched many thousands.
ברוך דיין האמת pic.twitter.com/EAMbID0Fao
— Kalman Yeger ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם (@KalmanYeger) April 19, 2020
After leaving the City Council, in 2002, Dear was appointed Commissioner of the Taxi and Limousine Commission for a seven-year term.
In 2008 he began his career on the bench, serving first as a civil court judge, then as an acting Supreme Court Justice in 2010, then finally in 2015 as a permanent justice in the Brooklyn Supreme Court.
In 2017 he was targeted by an anti-Semite who began hurling verbal abuse at him near Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park. The judge was clearly identifiable as a Jew, since he was wearing his kipa at the time. He ignored the attacker as he walked to his car. The man yelled, “You #$#% Jew, don’t you have a mouth?” Dear simply got into his car, locked the door, and called police.
“Judge Dear had a certain energetic, colorful persona that epitomized the great diversity not only with respect to the Kings County Judiciary but also as a member of our Bar Association and Brooklyn Community at large,” said Brooklyn Bar Association President Frank Carone. “He will be sorely missed.”
Baruch Dayan HaEmes