Tirza Agassi - Obituary


by Professor Abigail Grafton
Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, Friday March 28, 2008–09–24

Tirzah Agassi. 1950-2008. A multi-talented, vibrant, ever-curious adventurer has passed. Tirzah Agassi died on Monday, March 24, 2008, after a valiant struggle with cancer, leaving her friends and family to remember an individual of radiant passion and joy, and extraordinary ability to engage in dialogue with people of all faiths and nationalities.

Tirzah was born in Jerusalem, and grew up in England, Hong Kong and Boston. She studied at Boston University and The Hebrew University, and received her M.A. in Psychology from Sonoma State University in California.

Tirzah worked in Israel as a psychotherapist with young people with eating disorders, and as a therapist for the terminally ill. She was a member of the Israeli Organization for Family Therapy. She worked as a journalist and music critic at the Jerusalem Post, specializing in popular music for over 10 years.

She wrote a script for a film about meetings between Israelis and Palestinians for overcoming animosity and violence, and was seeking a producer when she first became ill.

During the last few years, she developed an interest in hypnotherapy, became certified and developed a hypnotherapy practice in Northern California, working with eating disorders and smoking cessation.

Tirzah was dedicated to a vision of Jewish-Palestinian co-existence that came to her from her great-grandfather Martin Buber, who had struggled for this vision since the 1920s. She worked with Dr. Paul Mendes-Flohr on the second edition of his book, “A Land of Two Peoples,” a collection of Buber’s writings about the Israeli-Arab problem, and lectured about the book.

Tirzah’s grandmother, Margarete Buber-Neumann, was author of “Under Two Dictators,” which tells the story of her seven years as a prisoner first of Stalin and then of Hitler after being handed over under the Stalin-Hitler pact. Tirzah’s father, Josef Agassi, is a renowned philosopher, and her mother, Judith Buber Agassi, is a sociologist of women and work, and a historian of women in the Holocaust.

Tirzah is mourned by her loving parents, her brother Aaron, her many cousins, and many, many friends in America, England, Israel and Hawaii.

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