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E. Billi Ivry, First Female Trustee and a Member of Five YU Boards, Passes Away

Oct 23, 2008 -- E. Billi Ivry, the first woman to be elected as a member of the Yeshiva University Board of Trustees, passed away last weekend at the age of 102.

A YU Benefactor, Ms. Ivry also served on four other University boards – Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Stern College for Women, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. In all these schools, as well as the affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), she established major scholarships and student free loan funds in her name. At Stern College, she established the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies in her mother’s honor, where she also established a chair in Jewish history in her own name.

“[Her] vision was focused on the children, on the Jewish story, on learning and knowledge,” said President Richard M. Joel in the eulogy he delivered at her funeral. “That vision focused till the last on serving as a link between her parents, Rebecca and Israel Ivry, and our children, between Jewish history and Jewish destiny.”

Ms. Ivry established the Rivka Ivry Student Center/Bet Knesset and the Israel Isaac Ivry Beit Midrash at the Jerome and Geraldine Schottenstein Residence Hall on the Wilf Campus. She recently dedicated a special wall in the Lea and Leon Eisenberg Beit Midrash at Stern College. At RIETS, a Kollel Fellowship was established both in her name and in the names of her parents, Rebecca and Israel Isaac Ivry.

Highly regarded as one of the most beloved YU Trustees, Ms. Ivry received an honorary doctorate from the University in 1987. President Joel called her Yeshiva University’s “matriarch, the first woman university trustee, the longest continual annual donor, the only trustee sitting on five of our boards, our friend and great benefactor.”

The University sends condolences to her many nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews and cousins.