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In Memoriam: Dr. Edna Aizenberg, Emeritus Professor of Hispanic Studies

April 10, 2018
  • Dr. Edna Aizenberg, Professor Emeritus
    Dr. Edna Aizenberg, Professor Emeritus
The Marymount Manhattan College community is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our esteemed colleague, Dr. Edna Aizenberg, Professor Emeritus of Hispanic Studies.

Dr. Aizenberg began her academic career at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, and was a founder of the U.C.V’s School of Modern Languages.  She began teaching at Marymount Manhattan College in the mid-1970s until her retirement only a few years ago. A world-renowned scholar of Borges, her book The Aleph Weaver (1984), initiated the study of the Shoah, politics and “reality” in Borges’s work. The book’s Spanish translation, El tejedor del Aleph: biblia, kábala y judaísmo en Borges(1986) won the Fernando Jeno Prize (Mexico, 1997). Among her numerous publications and essays, Dr. Aizenberg was also a member of the editorial boards of Variaciones Borges and EIAL, and served as an evaluator and consultant for the Modern Language Association, MacArthur Foundation; National Endowment for the Humanities; the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Israel Science Foundation. 

Dean Emeritus Peter Baker, in a note to the MMC community regarding her passing, wrote the following;

“She contributed greatly to the general culture of the college. In the 1970s there was on Broadway a hit presentation of Argentine tango.  She had contacts and brought a group of the cast to the Great Hall to perform for the college community. In the 1990s she was able to bring the noted African novelist, Chinua Achebe, to MMC to speak… In style she was somewhat formal and yet quite practical and down to earth.  Though she spoke Spanish perfectly and lived with her husband  in Venezuela for almost a decade, there was in her English always a little touch of Brooklyn, which was quite charming.  She was deeply committed to the intellectual and scholarly life, but also a deeply committed wife and mother.”

During her time at MMC, Dr. Aizenberg taught numerous courses within Hispanic Studies, including Spanish language instruction classes and literature courses such as “Hispanic Women Writers”, “Voices from the Third World”, and “Revolution and Literature”.

Dr. Aizenberg was a devoted scholar, instructor, and colleague. Marymount Manhattan College is privileged to have had her as part of our community for so many years.

The funeral will take place on Wednesday, April 11 at 1:30 PM at ICCJ 167-11 73rd Avenue, Flushing, New York. Burial will follow at Wellwood Cemetery, 1400 Wellwood Avenue
Wyandanch, New York.

Our deepest condolences are with Dr. Aizenberg’s husband, Rabbi Emeritus Yehoshua Aizenberg, their two sons, and their extended family and friends.

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