Steven died May 31, 2020, of pancreatic cancer at the age of 75. 

Born in 1945 in Washington Heights, N.Y., he was a distinguished scholar of Jewish history and accomplished social worker. He earned a bachelor’s degree from City College in 1966 and earned a Ph.D. from Princeton in 1972.

After teaching at Columbia University and Monmouth College, and working as a researcher at two institutes in New York, in 1978 he began a 30-year career at American Jewish University in Los Angeles, where he was Isadore Levine Professor of Jewish History and dean of the college. He wrote of a number of scholarly works, and his The Jewish Cultural Tapestry: International Jewish Folk Traditions won the National Jewish Book Award.

When Steven retired from academia, he pursued a master’s degree in social work and became a social worker on Skid Row. A collector of human stories, which he reconstructed with extraordinary skill and sensitivity, he lived a life that was complete with family and friends, scholarship and accomplishments, love and tradition. He taught others, cared for others, and gave to others. 

Predeceased by his wife, Marilyn, he is survived by children Ruth and Kenneth and nine grandchildren.  

Graduate alumni memorials are prepared by the APGA.

Graduate Class of 1972