Dr. Deborah Kantor Nagler passed away peacefully at age 66 in Teaneck, New Jersey on April 3, 2020, after a brief but valiant battle with the COVID-19 virus.
She leaves behind her beloved husband Fred, her daughters Shira Price Marshall (Dan) of Boston and Chana Rackliff (DJ) of Los Angeles, loving brothers Dr. David Kantor and Mark Kantor, and dear brother- and sister-in-law Mel and Joan Nagler. She was preceded in death by her parents Dr. Alan J. Kantor and Isabelle “Liz” Kantor, sister Kathie Kantor Young, mother- and father-in-law Fanny Nagler and Harry Nagler, and Fred’s daughter Sharona Nagler. In addition, she leaves behind grandchildren Isabelle and Lyanna Rackliff and Adina Marshall; nieces and nephews Ellie Young Ander (Jeremy), Dr. Robyn Young Loscutoff (Walter), and Nava, Eitan, and Noam Kantor; Fred’s children, Sheryl Solomon (Ely), Aviva Mermelstein (Simcha), Yael Zimerman (Michael), and Yoni Nagler (Naomi), and 25 grandchildren and one great-grandchild; great Aunt Kay and Uncle Moshe Pomerantz; brother- and sister-in-law, Gary and Kathy Young; former sister-in-law, Lynnsie Balk Kantor; and many loving cousins, family, and friends.
Dr. Nagler grew up in Kansas City and St. Louis, attending Washington University. Her advanced degrees included a Master’s Degree and Honorary Doctorate in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary, a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from Full Sail University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Technology Leadership from New Jersey City University at age 64. She co-authored a book on STEM education at age 65.
Her career encompassed many roles in education: she was an innovative experiential educator at Congregation B’nai Amoona, Head of School at a Jewish day school, the first female leader at a large Central Agency for Jewish Education, the first Orthodox Jewish woman on the board of the national Conference for the Advancement of Jewish Education, a teacher at Gratz College, manager of technology for the distance learning Cantorial program of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and the leader of Hadassah’s education department.
After learning that she carried a BRCA gene mutation, she saved her own life through preventative surgery and impacted generations of lives through her breast cancer awareness advocacy.
Deborah’s leadership and great love for her family will continue to reach people who may never even know her name, but will live, love, and succeed because of her.
Memorial contributions preferred to Bergen County High School of Jewish Studies (website: bchsjs.org).