Holocaust survivor Sarah Luhby, 90


Longtime local resident Sara Luhby passed away Wednesday, April 24, 2019. She was 90.

Born in Poland, Luhby escaped with her parents and an aunt, and moved to Israel in 1936. The rest of her family perished.

She served in the underground as a teen, helping smuggle Holocaust refugees into Israel. She studied at the Hadassah School of Nursing in Jerusalem during the War of Independence in 1948, and eventually rose to become the director of nursing education in Israel’s Ministry of Health.

She came to New York in the 1960s to pursue a Ph.D. at Teachers College, where she had previously earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing education. She met and married Leonard Luhby, a doctor, and settled in Kingsbridge Heights. The couple eventually moved to Riverdale.

Throughout her life, she remained fiercely devoted to Israel, visiting family and friends often. She led Hadassah’s American alumni chapter for many years and supported many educational and health causes in Israel.

She was equally devoted to her daughter, Tami, and son-in-law Ed Purce, who lived nearby and saw her often — though never enough for her. A warm and caring person, she also was beloved by her husband’s and her son-in-law’s families.

She had a rich and fulfilling social life, visiting museums and galleries and attending concerts, operas, dance performances and theatrical shows with her many friends. She returned to Israel last year for Hadassah’s centennial celebration. All of these activities, along with her deep connections to those she knew and loved, kept her young.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law of the Bronx, as well as cousins Nehama, Danielle and Yuval Sneh of Israel, Gil Sneh of England, Ran Sivron of Kansas, and Carmel Sivron of Texas.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sara Luhby’s name to American Associates of Ben-Gurion University at

Sara Luhby,