• "I just found out today about the loss of Jonathan. We..."
    - Nara Berson
  • "This must be the same Jonathan Hess I knew in high school..."
    - Diana Senechal
  • "Our sincerest sympathies to the Posner Family on the death..."
  • "Professor Hess was such an inspiring presence during my..."
    - Michael Yonan
  • - Margaret Schatkin


Jonathan Morris Hess, 52, of Chapel Hill, died suddenly on Monday, April 9, 2018. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Beth Posner; his daughters Rebecca, Lily and Amelia; and his siblings Carl (Carol), Laura, and Roger (Cassandra). He is the son of the late Robert L. Hess and Frances Aaron Hess. Jonathan was the Moses M. and Hannah L. Malkin Distinguished Professor of Jewish History and Culture and Chair of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also was the Director for the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies. He was educated at Yale, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pennsylvania. His significant professional achievements are dwarfed by his accomplishments as a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. Jonathan's greatest pride, shared with his wife, was in the kindness, strength, and brilliance of each of his daughters, with whom he shared a love of music, academic curiosity, and laughter.

Published in The New York Times on Apr. 12, 2018
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