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Dr. Robert Ira Lewy


Sun, Oct 11, 2020

The Leo Baeck Institute notes with sadness the passing of Dr. Robert Ira Lewy, a prominent physician and medical researcher who became a generous supporter of LBI.

Born in 1943 in Brooklyn, Dr. Lewy completed his medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania and was a longtime member of the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center, both in Houston. His research on the hematological effects of aspirin and the health effects of silicone breast implants both had far-reaching implications for physicians and patients worldwide.

Later in life, a chance discovery online of a photo of his great uncle, the illustrious Jewish scholar Israel Lewy, sparked a passionate attachment to his German-Jewish heritage. Dr. Lewy worked with LBI to document his family’s history in two archival collections at LBI, the Robert Lewy Family Digital Collection, 1810–2003 and the Robert Lewy Ancestry Collection, 1900–1990.

Based on the support he received from archivists and librarians at LBI while researching his family’s history and donating their papers to the Institute, Dr. Lewy endowed the Dr. Robert Ira Lewy Reference Service in order to promote the preservation and understanding of German-Jewish history. The service provides personalized support to scholars, genealogists, and other researchers in order to promote the understanding and appreciation of German-speaking Jewry and especially its intellectual accomplishments in science, medicine, and the arts.

From LBI News No. 110