Dr. Esther Rose Lowy is mourned by members of the L.A. Jewish community as well as by friends, colleagues and students across America. She passed away on Dec. 19 at the age of 66.
Born in New York, she had a lifelong passion for studying Tanach. While in high school, she placed first in a U.S. Tanach competition. Later on, she competed in the International Chidon of Tanach in Jerusalem and placed third. Whenever she was asked to speak, she always used phrases from Tanach as the central theme.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brooklyn College, Dr. Lowy was also a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and spent one year studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as an undergraduate majoring in mathematics. Dr. Lowy earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the prestigious Courant Institute of NYU at a time when women constituted 4% of those receiving mathematics doctorates in the country. Dr. Lowy began her academic career by joining the faculty at City University of New York. Her specialty in math was Group Theory.
In 1974 she married Rudolph Lowy and moved to Los Angeles. She began teaching at California State University in Pomona and later joined the math faculty at UCLA. While teaching at UCLA, she earned a MBA from UCLA. In 2005, she became founding dean of Touro College Los Angeles, a position she held until her death. Dr. Lowy worked with Touro’s founder, Dr. Bernard Lander, to establish a program of high academic quality in a positive Jewish atmosphere.
At Touro, she used her incredible skill and passion to inspire both teachers and students to establish and reach ever higher goals. She was a true leader whose love was felt by students, staff and employees. She always made time to talk to her students and provide guidance on life issues and educational questions. Her concern for every student and her dedication to ensuring the success of each individual was legendary.
Dr. Lowy believed passionately in higher education for both men and women and would stop at nothing to assist young students in achieving their educational goals. She was a tremendous asset to Touro College and her passing leaves a void and a profound sense of loss. According to Touro College president and CEO Dr. Alan Kadish, Dr. Lowy was an outstanding educator, a personal friend to so many and a caring and dynamic academic leader.
Dr. Lowy’s legacy in education is only surpassed by her legacy as a mother. She put her career on hold for twenty years to raise eight loving children, infusing them with the same passion and ideals she exhibited in her own life. Her children have all followed her path of higher education and communal responsibility, figuring prominently in their respective communities. Her loss will be felt by all, but most poignantly by her husband Rudolph, and her children Ellie, Ephraim (both of the five towns), Mindi, Tova, Devorah, Naphtali, Shuli, and Chaim as well as her grandchildren.
May her memory be blessed.