(March 16, 1933 - April 22, 2018)
Marilyn L. Zirl's rich educational and administrative career achievements served well when she came to Seton Hall University in 2000 as Sister Rose Thering's administrative assistant in the Sister Rose Thering Fund office. She and Sister Rose worked as a team to build the organization that supports teacher education in the graduate program of Jewish-Christian Studies. Marilyn brought both educational and administrative skills from her career in high school teaching in West Orange and Livingston, NJ, where she taught French and English.
A graduate of Barnard College with a graduate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, Marilyn served as executive director at the Jewish Community Center of Fort Lee, NJ, as well as administrator of Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange, NJ. She also served as the first administrative assistant to the North American Association of Synagogue Executives, where she continued on as a regular member, formerly an officer and member of the Board of Governors.
Marilyn was promoted to the position of administrator of the Sister Rose Thering Fund, reporting to David Bossman, executive director, following Sister Rose’s return to her Dominican Sisters’ motherhouse in Racine, WI, in 2005. Marilyn was the primary conduit for outreach to teachers, overseeing the scholarship application process, supervising the essay contest for middle and high school students (based on viewing the documentary, Sister Rose's Passion), and maintaining communication with the Board of the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies. She coordinated the work of the various committees of the Board as described in the Bylaws of the Fund.
Marilyn was a model of dedication to the mission of the Fund, a generous personal supporter in its fund-raising efforts, and a warm and engaging face of the Fund for educators and supporters alike. We build upon her foundational work, and with difficulty we say Rest in Peace to this talented and loyal professional.