Sharon Gillerman, a professor of Jewish History who taught at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and USC, died on Nov. 20 after several months of illness.
Her passing is mourned by a community of students, teachers, friends, and family members, who will miss her fierce love, thoughtful demeanor, and wry humor.
Gillerman grew up on the Westside and attended UCLA for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. After spending time in Germany, Israel, and New York, she returned home in 1998 to teach at the Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College.
Gillerman’s scholarship focused on modern German and central European Jewish history with a particular interest in gender history, cultural studies, popular culture, and transnational history. Her work consistently overturned scholarly assumptions, as she wrote with exceptional depth, originality, and honesty and brought her rich intellect and passion to every project.
Her book *Germans into Jews: Remaking the Jewish Social Body in the Weimar Republic*, challenged the belief that the Weimer era was marked only by the withering away of the German Jewish community, by showing how many Jewish actors worked to strengthen community bonds during this time.
Sharon is survived by her husband, Mark Quigley, associate professor of English at the University of Oregon, her daughter Maya Gillerman, her mother Roberta Gillerman, her brother David Gillerman and her nieces, Shayna, Alyssa, and Ana.
“Sharon brought forth a deep and genuine and generous presence to all those she encountered. She listened, she didn’t rush or prejudge. She took people as they are and shared her own presence which was at once gentle and forceful and one which left an enduring impression,” said husband Mark Quigley. “She was a rich and thoughtful presence as a teacher, a writer, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a wife, and most of all as a mother.”
A funeral was held at Mount Sinai Simi Valley on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Shiva gatherings, a Jewish tradition where people share memories and prayers for a loved one, will continue throughout the week.
Those who wish to make a donation in Gillerman’s memory are encouraged to give to the Heal the Bay Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Los Angeles Family Council.
The Hebrew Union College has created a page for people to share memories of Gillerman at http://huc.edu/campus-life/los-angeles/remembering-sharon-gillerman-zl.