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Cal Fullerton Religion Studies Founder Dead

November 24, 1995

LAGUNA NIGUEL — Morton C. Fierman, a rabbi and retired Cal State Fullerton professor, has died of cancer. He was 81.

"He has given so much to all of us," said neighbor Carol Threadgill. "We're going to miss him terribly as a friend and as a member of the community."

Born in Cleveland, Fierman attended Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. In 1957, Fierman became rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana. Six years later, he founded the department of religious studies at Cal State Fullerton and later became the director of its Institute of Judaism.

Threadgill recalled that Fierman often used to say, "We're trying to convert our students to their own religions."

Fierman was the first teacher on the West Coast to offer a course on the Holocaust, said Threadgill. He also established the Holocaust Archives at Cal State Fullerton.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday November 29, 1995 Orange County Edition Metro Part B Page 2 Orange County Focus Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
Morton C. Fierman--A Nov. 24 obituary incorrectly stated Rabbi Morton C. Fierman's role in the development of the department of religious studies at Cal State Fullerton. Fierman co-founded the department with Donald Gard.

"He was quite a man, a pioneer," said his wife of 53 years, Isabel Fierman. "People must be taught about the Holocaust. He was very committed to that. He was very special."

Fierman died Nov. 7 and was buried two days later at Pacific View Memorial Park in Newport Beach. In addition to his widow, he is survived by his son, Nathan, 48, of Los Gatos, and two grandchildren.

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