Jan 10

In Memory of Shirley G. Levine

"I always have said that my mother had the most profound impact on the development of Krav Maga in the United States. Not merely because she introduced it (through me) to the students of Heschel Day School starting in 1981; but, because she believed children who had a strong sense of self, were more social, secure and confident which positively affected their journey through, and their love of, learning." - Darren Levine

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of Shirley G. Levine, mother of Darren Levine, and Founding Head of School at Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School – the first school in the U.S. to have Krav Maga integrated into its physical education program.

“Imi Lichtenfeld used say that if KRAV MAGA was going to grow in Israel and throughout the world, it would have to be exported from Los Angeles and the Heschel Day School program.

Her close friendship with Grand Master Imi Lichtenfeld, along with my Father, formed a perfect alliance that set in motion the expansion of KRAV MAGA in the States; and ultimately throughout the world.”

- Darren Levine

Shirley passed away early yesterday morning. Shirley was the dedicated leader, inspirational visionary and consummate educator who led Heschel Day School from its inception in 1972 until 2003. For 31 years Shirley dedicated her life to the Heschel community, making Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School one of the exemplary Jewish day schools in the country.

Her passion for excellence, her love of children, and her mentorship and friendship will be dearly missed by all she touched. Our thoughts are with her husband, Arnold, sister Lee, children Mark, Darren and Marci, and her 6 grandchildren.

Today, Heschel, Krav Maga Worldwide™, and the entire Krav Maga community, lost an incredible leader, teacher, and friend.

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Peace and security through strength…she believed this…but also witnessed the students at Heschel who learned Krav Maga had less to prove and indeed…walked with their head held high…and they walked in peace.

Shirley G. Levine
August 9, 1931 – January 9, 2012

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Funeral services will be held on Thursday, January 12 at 1:30 pm at Mount Sinai in the Hollywood Hills which is located at 5950 Forest Lawn Drive.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Stop Cancer / The Marni Fund. Click here to make a donation.