Obituary: Marilyn Ellen Lubarsky

Passionate teacher, Holocaust educator

Marilyn Ellen Lubarsky was born June 9, 1952, at Queen of the Angels Hospital in Los Angeles, the first child of Ruth and Robert Lubarsky.

The family resided in a tiny apartment above a bar in Van Nuys, awaiting the availability of housing in Veteran’s Village on the Westwood, California campus of UCLA, where Pauley Pavilion now stands. Six weeks later, they moved onto campus, just in time for her father to be awarded his master’s degree. Two years later, just after her sister Sandra was born, her father completed his Ph.D. in microbiology and the family moved to Santa Monica, California.

By 1956, their first house was purchased in West Covina with a GI loan and Robert began his teaching career at what was then Chaffey Junior College, on the Ontario campus of what is today Chaffey High School. In 1960, her brother Jonathan joined the family. When Chaffey College moved to Alta Loma, the family settled in Upland, where Marilyn and her siblings would all graduate from Upland High School.

One of the most fortunate decisions she made was to go to Scripps College, a school she would love for the rest of her life. Studying with her beloved professors Blaine, Brogdan, Downing, Gehrken, and Goodrich at Scripps, and Whedbee at Pomona College, opened doors to a universe of learning which enriched every day of her life and informed her career as a teacher. She would go on to earn a law degree from the University of Santa Clara, a teaching credential at Cal Poly, Pomona, and a certificate in gifted and talented education at UC Riverside.

Her great passion was education. She spent 10 years as the principal of Temple Beth Israel’s Religious and Hebrew School in Pomona, 14 years as an adjunct professor of education at Cal Poly, Pomona, and 28 years teaching social studies at Upland High School. She embraced every opportunity available to public school teachers. She spent most of the summer of 1991 in India on a Fulbright-Hays scholarship and the summer of 2009 on that program in Poland. She took great pride in her role as a Holocaust educator, studying in Jerusalem and Washington, D.C., and ultimately working with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a Mandel Fellow and as a member of the Regional Education Corps as a trainer of teachers. She and her students were included in a film about the Shoah Foundation which is often shown following screening of “Schindler’s List.”

In retirement, she continued to advise college-bound students with Priscilla Wu and Associates. She remained active on many committees at Temple Beth Israel and as a member of the University Club of Claremont.

She is survived by her sister, Sandra Lubarsky (Marcus Ford); brother, Rabbi Jonathan Singer (Rabbi Beth Singer); nieces Rena, Jenny, and Robert Singer; nephews Aaron and Daniel Lubarsky-Ford; many cousins and friends; her cherished dog Bagel; and hundreds of beloved students.

Donations in her memory may be made to The Ruth and Robert Lubarsky Family Scholarship at Chaffey College at; Temple Beth Israel Pomona at; or to an animal shelter of your choice.


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