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BENNATHAN Professor ESRA BENNATHAN Emeritus Professor of Political Economy University of Bristol, UK (Age 93) Died on March 21, 2016 at his Washington, DC home. Born in Berlin, Germany of Jewish parents, he was sent to live with his father in Palestine in 1936. His mother survived the war, but his maternal grandmother, uncle, and aunt died in the Holocaust. He joined the British army in ''41, where he served as an intelligence officer in North Africa. After the war, Esra was invited by an uncle to England which became his homeland. He graduated in Economics from the University of Birmingham; and later became Director of Studies in Economics and a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge University. He served as Senior Economic Affairs Officer of the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East in Bangkok, accepted the Chair of Economics at Bristol University in 1976, and came to the US in 1981 as an Economic Advisor to the World Bank from which he retired in 1987. Deeply committed to his Jewish roots, he was a founder of the Leo Baeck Institute, London, organized to preserve for posterity the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry and was a member of the Board at the time of his death A mentor to many economists and other young people starting their careers, he celebrated the successes of others and was a devoted friend and loyal patriarch to a family that has always been inclusive. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Judith Nowak; by his first wife, Marion Bennathan (with whom he remained friends and who became a friend to Judith); by his son, Joel Bennathan, QC (Melanie Gingell); his grandchildren, Ella Turner (Jim), Matthias Bennathan (Siri), Rosa, Oliver, and Clara Bennathan; his great-granddaughters, Gracie Turner and Vilja Bennathan; a daughter-in-law, Jenny Corrick; his half-sisters, Ruth Ambor and Gabriela Landau; a step-sister, Elisabeth Kahan, who saved the life of his mother in Budapest, and by many nieces and nephews. His oldest son, Joshua, died in 2014. Esra''s ashes will be interred in London.

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Published in The Washington Post on Apr. 17, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
January 31, 2021
Dear members of the Bennathan family,

Please allow me to introduce myself as an Israeli intellectual historian, based in Washington DC, teaching at the George Washington University. In my current research, I am studying the life and works of the late historian Richard Koebner who, I realize, knew Esra Bennathan very well. I was wondering if you have any family papers that might shed more light on this subject?

Respectfully yours,

Arie Dubnov

Arie Dubnov
January 27, 2017
Chariya Prakamakul
May 3, 2016
Dear Judith,
I have just become aware that Esra has died, and I want to send you my most sincere condolences. Although I only met Esra on those few occasions during my trip to DC to see Joss shortly before his own death, I had heard much about both Esra and you from Joss over the years. I particularly remember sitting and talking with Esra in your living room while Joss was getting therapy upstairs. It was a long conversation that immediately became a deep, in some ways intimate, one, as we shared our pain at Joss's diagnosis. We spoke of confronting death, both the deaths of those we have loved and, ultimately, our own. We had very different philosophical positions about how we understand and approach death, but we shared them respectfully in a way that I found very consoling, and I hope Esra found some consolation in our conversation, too. During that brief time, I feel I got a sense of the man that Esra was; I liked him enormously. I can only regret that I had not met him earlier, and that on my subsequent trip to DC last January he was in hospital. He was a man of great intelligence and character, and I know he will be greatly missed. My very best wishes to you.
Kathryn Shevelow
May 3, 2016
I wanted to sign this because I have heard so much about Esra from Judith, my therapist. I knew he was very distinguished and, after reading this, seems even more illustrious. I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to Judith and others in Esra's family.
Caroline Ramsay Merriam
April 25, 2016
I have warm memories of serving with Esra as a colleague during his Bristol University days. May he rest in peace.
Peter Haggett
April 24, 2016
Dear Judith,
Although we have not met, I wish to send the sympathies from my family. Our mother, Judith Ben-Nathan, was his half-sister who passed away in 1982 from stomach cancer. She looked up to her older brother and told us of his achievements. She was extremely proud of him and loved him dearly. We were sorry to hear from Joel that Esra has passed away. He was an interesting person and I was glad that I had met him. These times are difficult for you but you shared many special times and years together..Our condolences to you at this time....Sharon and Michael (Gerard) Bamberg
April 20, 2016
Dear Judith,
My sincere condolences on the death of Esra.
May you be comforted by the support of your family and friends and the many years of wonderful memories together.
Stuart Sotsky
Stuart Sotsky
April 20, 2016
Ezra was a perfect gentleman, a brilliant scholar, and an inspiring person.
April 19, 2016
I'm so sorry to hear of your loved and deepest condolences are extended to you. Something that's helped me through the death of loved ones is to reflect on 1 Corinthians 15:26.
April 19, 2016
Very sorry to receive this unexpected news. I knew Esra since 1964, when he took over my room at the Department of Applied Economics at Cambridge University. Later, I worked with him at the World Bank on transport economic issues. He was a particularly clear thinker who knew how to apply theoretical knowledge to solving practical problems. Condolences are due to both his families.
Gabriel Roth
April 18, 2016
May the wonderful memories of your loved one sustain you until God's promises are fulfilled. (John 6:40)
April 17, 2016
So sorry to hear this sad news. Have fond memories of Esra, through my late husband, of the World Bank, who always spoke highly of Esra. Condolences to the family. Please notify me if there is a memorial gathering.
Joan Churchill
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