Dov Burt Levy, Jewish Journal, and
Gantseh Megillah columnist for the past six years died on Monday, November 17
from complications of pneumonia. He was 73 years old, born November 28, 1934.
When Dov grew up in Revere, he was
known as Burton Levy and began using Dov, his Hebrew name, during the 24 years
he lived in Israel.
Dov was born in the West End of Boston
but lived in Revere for his entire 12 years of public school. He always said
that he majored in playing the horses and dogs at the two Revere racetracks.
His high school grades were low and his truancy high. After he joined the Air
Force at age 18, and learned he wasn't as dumb as he and everyone thought, he
resolved to become a high school teacher and be the sort of teacher who would
really help kids.
After four years in the Air Force
serving in Greenland, Germany and France, including a month furlough in Israel
in the summer of 1956 where he fell in love with the country, he returned to
Boston and completed a bachelors degree in high school education at Boston University
and a year of graduate work in political science. While searching for a teaching
job, and they were not easy to find that year, he applied for and received a
Carnegie Fellowship in Public Administration which provided one year of work
in the Governor's office (under Governors Foster Furcolo and John Volpe) and
a further year of graduate work at UMASS-Amherst. (He was awarded the PhD degree
in political science in 1965.)
Dov was politically active at BU
serving as president of Hillel and chairman of the Student Zionist Organization.
Two years later, he became the first Korean War veteran to head a state veteran's
organization: the American Veteran's Committee.
In college, Dov met and married Lisa
Wallach of Malden, and they had two children, Elizabeth and Patty.
Completing the Carnegie fellowship,
Dov became Asst. Director of the Anti-Defamation League Regional Office in Detroit,
Michigan. From there he became Director of Community Services of the State of
Michigan Civil Rights Commission. In 1969, Dov left state government service
to become an Associate professor of political science at Wayne State University,
opened a consulting firm specializing in urban problems, and continued a police-community
relations consultancy with the Community Relations Service in the Department
In 1972, he joined the US Environmental
Protection Agency as Director of Administration at the National Air Pollution
Research Center in Research Triangle Park, NC and transferred to EPA's Washington
headquarters in 1978.
In 1979, following his first (of
three) heart surgeries, Dov made aliyah and began a 24 year residence in Israel
divided between Kibbutz Afek, near Haifa, for three years where he worked daily
in the orchards, three years in Ramat Aviv where he operated a gardening business
and taught at Tel Aviv University, and the remainder of the time in Jerusalem
where he spent two years as a full time volunteer at Alyn Hospital and began
his writing career writing opinion articles in the Jerusalem Post, travel articles
for periodicals around the world, and most importantly, grandparent articles.
He often said, "The best part
of my life were the days and months and years I spent being a babysitting grandfather.
I picked the children up as infants from the nursery to elementary school. I
fed them, played with them, took them around the neighborhood and city. I taught
Mickey and Jenny English and they taught me what joy it is to be a caregiver
to my own progeny."
When the Israeli kids became teenagers,
Dov relocated to Salem where he could be minutes away from his third grandchild,
Emily, in Danvers. Though Emily's parents' work schedules allowed at least one
of them to be home after school, Dov spent as much time as possible with Emily
and had many after school coffees with her. She drank chocolate; Dov drank cappuccino.
In September 2002, when Emily was entering the first grade, Dov brought her
to the Jewish Journal office and introduced her to the staff and she proceeded
to read aloud Dov's first column for the Journal, which contained Emily's name.
His wife, Lisa, two daughters and
their husbands, Elizabeth and Avi Levy of Mevassaret-Zion, Israel and Patty
and John Knickle of Danvers, and three grandchildren, Michael and Jenny of Israel
and Emily of Danvers, a brother William of Waltham and a sister, Dr. Roberta
Gantz of Boulder, CO survive him.
Dov has been buried in the Jewish
cemetery in West Roxbury, next to his father and grandfather. Shiva was held
at the home of his daughter, Patty Knickle, in Danvers. It is possible to reach
the family through Dovís email.
Memorial gifts may be made to the
Israel National Council for the Child, 38 Pierre Koenig St., Jerusalem 93469,