J. Zel Lurie, 103-year-old Jewish journalist

J. Zel Lurie

DELRAY BEACH, Florida (SDJW) – Jesse Zel Lurie, a longtime columnist for San Diego Jewish World and many other Jewish publications, died at the age of 103 just prior to the start of Passover.

Lurie’s brother Ted had served as editor of the Palestine Post, and Jesse corresponded for the newspaper, now called the Jerusalem Post, from the United States and the United Nations building in New York.  Later he became the founding editor of Hadassah Magazine, a position that he held for approximately 35 years.

The journalist was not content to sit on the sidelines.  A dedicated peace activist, he was among the Israelis who had founded Neve Shalom, a “peace village” where Arabs and Jews live together to demonstrate that it can be done.

His was a voice often opposed to prevailing political orthodoxy in Israel.  He was a harsh critic of Prime Minister Benyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, whom he believed had neither the will nor the desire to make peace with the Palestinians.

Writing past his 103rd birthday, Lurie believed he might have been the oldest working journalist in America.  Toward the latter part of his life, he would dictate his articles to a helper.

When Lurie covered the United Nations, he became friendly with Richard Yaffe, who was a correspondent for the Jewish Chronicle of London, as well as for New York Jewish Week and for liberal newspapers in Israel.

It was through their mutual regard for the late Yaffe, who was a cousin to San Diego Jewish World editor Donald H. Harrison, that Lurie came to write columns for the daily online San Diego publication.  Many of his columns may be accessed via this link:  http://www.sdjewishworld.com/?s=J.+Zel+Lurie&x=0&y=0

San Diego Jewish World joins many of its readers in extending condolences to the Lurie family.  We shall feel ever fortunate to have counted his byline among those of contributors to our publication.  All of us–even those who disagreed with him politically–were enriched by his knowledge and his passion — Editor



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3 Responses to “J. Zel Lurie, 103-year-old Jewish journalist”

  1. admin says:

    Wonderful human being with strong sense of Justice. May he rest in peace.
    — Shibley Telhami

  2. admin says:

    Wonderful human being with strong sense of Justice. May he rest in peace.
    — Shibley Telhami

  3. admin says:

    All who knew him, loved him.

    — Henry M. Zachs, Hartford, Connecticut


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