Stanley Gevirtz, a biblical scholar and author credited with training many of the rabbis currently practicing in the United States, has died of cancer. He was 59.
Gevirtz, a professor of biblical studies at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles since 1972, died Friday at his home.
William Bondareff, a USC psychiatry professor and former classmate of Gevirtz, said his associate's studies in the fields of ancient Near Eastern languages and biblical Hebrew earned him a worldwide reputation.
"He was an extraordinarily influential teacher of Hebrew and probably responsible for the teaching of more rabbis in this country than anyone else," Bondareff said. "He was devoted to his students, who, in turn, have been devoted to him."
Gevirtz was born in New York City and received his bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College. He earned a doctorate at the University of Chicago.
Gevirtz served on the faculty of the University of Chicago in the department of Near Eastern civilizations from 1958 until 1972, when he joined the faculty of the Hebrew Union College and Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.
In addition to teaching rabbinical students, Gevirtz wrote a book, "Patterns in the Early Poetry of Israel," and had numerous articles published in scholarly reviews.
He is survived by his wife, Marianne, three children and a sister.