Dr. Sally Rogow
May 9, 1930 - December 21, 2012
Sally Rogow was a cherished mentor, advocate, and friend to all. Her services to those in need transcend her long list of accomplishments and awards. Although she will be missed by many, the impact of her work will continue to resonate.
Dr. Rogow, Professor Emerita in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia, was born in 1930 in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Rogow attended Brooklyn College and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin, where she met her beloved husband, Dr. Robert (Bob) Rogow. She completed her first MA in Anthropology at Columbia University, and then the family moved to Michigan where Bob had a faculty appointment at Michigan State. She completed her second MA degree in Education at Michigan State University
. She touched many hearts with her work in early childhood education at the Michigan School for the Blind before the family moved to British Columbia, where both she and her husband had faculty positions at Simon Fraser University. She soon began her doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1971 with her proud family in attendance.
Dr. Rogow was a pioneer in the development of teacher preparation programs in the area of visual impairment. On faculty at UBC from 1971-1995, she directed the Diploma (which later became the Master's) Program, preparing teachers to work with blind, visually impaired and multi-handicapped youth. The message in her teaching was clear – look for the potential in every child and then work hard to create the learning environment to ensure the realization of that potential.
She has shared her findings in over forty publications, and her pioneering studies have significantly expanded understanding of language development and literacy of children with disabilities. Following her retirement from UBC she became the project director of The Person Within, a program designed to help prevent abuse and neglect of children with disabilities. In 2009, Dr. Rogow received the Canadian Vision Teachers award for longstanding and distinctive service in the field of visual impairment. In that same year, Jewish Women International recognized her for her advocacy and leadership in the field. In 2011, Dr. Rogow was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field. Her name is inscribed in this Hall of Fame, located at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville Kentucky, beside the name of Helen Keller and other major names in the education of the visually impaired. A stone inscribed in the Hall of Fame has these simple words: Dr. Sally Rogow: Teacher, Mentor, Humanitarian.
Dr. Rogow's sense of justice permeated all her work, and she spent her lifetime teaching, encouraging, and advocating for those in need. She was never without a project for a cause, and continued to research and write throughout her retirement. Her book, "Faces of Courage: Young Heroes of World War II" is a collection of short stories about courageous young people from across Europe who resisted the Nazis. The book was selected by the Pennsylvania School Librarian's Association as one of the top forty recommended books for young people. Her monograph, Hitler's Unwanted Children: The Story of Children with Disabilities in Nazi Germany, describes the atrocities committed against children with disabilities living under this regime. This work highlights the need to remain vigilant on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.
She had an ability to inspire action and optimism in her students and family. She was an active and enthusiastic mother and grandmother who fostered a love of the arts and instilled values of fairness, inclusion, and social justice.
An active member of the Vancouver Jewish community and a member of Congregation Beth Israel for 46 years, she was a tireless advocate for increasing access for, and inclusion of, disabled youth and adults to Jewish daily life activities. She also participated vigorously in activities to promote interfaith communication and understanding.
Dr. Rogow was a devoted wife of 48 years to her husband, Dr. Robert Rogow, who predeceased her in 1998. Robert was a professor at Simon Fraser University in the field of Labor Relations. Their relationship was characterized by great love, devotion, humor, and a commitment to education and community service. The two of them passed on these important values to their children and grandchildren in both word and deeds.
Dr. Rogow wore her dancing shoes to every party and loved to celebrate milestones and accomplishments with her friends and family. She left enormous footprints to follow in both her professional endeavors and community involvement. Dr. Rogow's family includes her daughters Fern Rogow and Andrea Kowaz, her son-in-law Joseph Kowaz, her four grandchildren, Rachel, Emily, Eli, and Ruthy, her brother, Aaron "Buzzy" Levine and his wife Barbara, nephews and nieces, Russell (Jennifer), Mitchell (Susan), Brandon, Andrew and Jennifer (Jeff), and great- nieces and great-nephews: Samantha, Julia, Zachary, Mollie, Sadie, Sophie and George, Joshua and Jacob.
She was laid to rest at the Schara Tzedek Cemetery on Sunday, December 23. Donations in her memory may be made to the Robert and Sally Rogow Memorial Fund, Vancouver chapter of Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, (604) 257-5133, firstname.lastname@example.org