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.