April 16, 2024
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Teaneck’s Dr. Milton Ohring, z”l, Professor of Metallurgy and Talented Sculptor, Passes Away at 87

Family, friends and long-time neighbors of Milton Ohring z”l assembled at Gutterman and Musicant on Sunday afternoon, March 5, to pay tribute to a man whose life was lived as a model of “principle and purity.” Menachem Mendel ben Meir Yaakov, 87, was the beloved husband of Ahrona for 62 years, devoted father to Avi, Noam and Feigel, and cherished grandfather of eight.

The recitation of Tehillim by Rabbi Daniel Fridman of Teaneck Jewish Center and Rabbi Akiva Block of Kehilat Kesher opened the service. Rabbi Lawrence Zierler, former Rabbi of Teaneck Jewish Center, referred to the phrase in the book of Micah in which the prophet proclaims,

“What does God want from you except to go humbly before Him.”

Despite his impressive achievements in the field of Metallurgical Engineering, including 35 years as a Professor and mentor to hundreds of students at Stevens Institute of Technology, and the authoring of three tomes on the science of metallurgy, Ohring was humble and modest.

After his retirement in 2001 from academia, Ohring pursued his passion for artistry, creating over 30 sculptures depicting Biblical scenes and memorial images from the Holocaust. Two of his Holocaust sculptures are on display at Teaneck High School. His works have been exhibited at several venues to great reviews.

Fittingly, the Biblical Parshiot of the weeks before his demise speak of the construction of the Mishkan and the designing of the clothing of the Kohanim. Ohring would have delighted in identifying the metallurgical constructs and composition of the materials used. Like Bezalel, the architect of the Sanctuary, Ohring would think through the design and then go on to create-lachshov v la’asot.”

Wife Ahrona described her life’s partner as a man without anger and requiring low maintenance. However, when speaking of the years of the Holocaust, and how fortunately his parents were able to leave Poland in 1938 and settle in America from where they were able to save the lives of many family members, Ohring displayed deep emotional sentiments. His love of written and spoken Yiddish, his extensive library of Yiddish works, and even his organizing a Yiddish Club at Teaneck Jewish Center, were his tribute to a generation that was brutally obliterated.

Son Avi recalled how he would accompany his father to used book and record sales where he would purchase volumes and recordings in Yiddish which were cherished as they served him as an echo of a vanished world.

Son Noam recalled that his father’s favorite holidays were Thanksgiving and Pesach when the entire family would gather and bond. There are even existing videos that recorded these festive gatherings. Daughter Faigel thanked her father for passing down his wit and sense of humor to her as well as his love of laughter.

Grandsons recalled their grandfather’s attempt to teach them advanced algebra at age 7, training them in the use of power tools from a young age, and hiring them to polish the stone and metal sculptures in his garage workshop. They recall their visits to the home on Griggs where their grandparents lived for 54 years which was like entering a museum as it was filled with their dear grandfather’s artwork and creations.

Rabbi Nati Helfgot of Congregation Netivot Shalom concluded the service by reading a song entitled “The Lonely Child” taken from a book of Yiddish songs from the Ghettos and Camps. The Kel Maleh was recited by Rabbi Robert Sheinberg. The internment took place at Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus.

Yehi Zichro Boruch.

By Pearl Markovitz

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