passed away January 15, 2006 at his home
in Maryland, USA, He was 63. Our
goes out to Frankie, and to his children Oren,
Caryn, Tamir and Alex; and to his two grandchildren Tali
a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and
of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Delaware.
He received his Ph.D degree from the Department of Sociology at the
In recent years his research had concentrated on Jewish demography, and
he was co-chair
of the research team that worked with the United Jewish Communities, New York, in
a national Jewish population survey.
Six months ago he was diagnosed as
suffering from a terminal sickness. I
took my farewell of him last
October, and took this picture of him the last day I saw him.
not only a cousin - he was my only cousin on my mother's side - he was
also my close friend since childhood days. Most of my holidays as a
young child were spent with Viv, either at his father's farm in the
northern Transvaal, or later in Rustenburg, or in Durban. On my last
visit with Viv, in October last year, we talked about those days and
realised just how mischievous we were together as we drove our parents
and aunts crazy. When Viv was of high school age his family moved to
Durban and our fathers became business partners and close friends. We
shared many common interests and ideas, and were both loyal members of
the Habonim youth movement. I suppose we had our arguments, but they
must have been insignificant, for I cannot recall a single incident of
hard words or bad feeling between us in all the time that we knew each
When Viv married Frankie,
Doreen's closest friend, the bond between us only strengthened. They
came on aliyah to Israel soon after us and we spent a lot of time
together, including the memorable occasion of the Six Day War when they
left Jerusalem to be with us in safe Netanya. How could I forget Viv
calling us to come and see the low-flying plane seconds before it
bombed our town.
When Viv and Frankie left to study and live in the USA our friendships
continued. We saw each other frequently, in various parts of the world,
and kept up close contact. Sometimes he spoiled us by cooking his
favorite (only?) dish, Lemon Chicken.
But he usually reserved this delicacy for his family. His family was
important to Viv, and he was
important to them.
We will miss you, Viv. Rest in peace.
The unveiling of the Tombstone - tributes from Doreen, Frankie
by Alex Klaff, Oren Klaff and Colin Kessel
Caryn Klaff's memorial ride.
On line obituary
of Delaware announcement
At the Thirty-eighth Anuual Conference
of the Association for Jewish Studies in San Diego, California,
December 18 2006, there was a session in memory of Vivian Klaff.
CITIES OF SILVER AND GOLD: IS URBAN JEWISH LIFE IN THE WESTERN U.S. A
HARBINGER OF THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN JEWRY?” A SESSION IN MEMORY OF
VIVIAN KLAFF Z”L
(Click Session 7.6
GALLERY OF SOME PICTURES OF VIV KLAFF
barmitzvah: with parents Sholem
and Rose (above); Anthony
and Aunts Dora and Bess (above right)