A life of survival, self-discovery, creativity & love.


"Bonia Shur's life and musical expression reflected the trajectory of 20th-century Jewish experience, from the destruction of the Shoah to the birth of Israel and the flowering of Jewish culture in America. Together with Fanchon's gifted choreography, his creativity and vitality nurtured the academic and spiritual journeys of our students and enriched the larger community. His charismatic presence will be missed greatly, and his extraordinary music will endure as a living legacy."

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Since his appointment in 1974 as Director of Liturgical Arts of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Bonia Shur has taught hundreds of rabbinical students. Shur had a unique impact on music in the Reform Jewish Movement in America. He has over 300 published compositions in use in the synagogues and on stage across the country and abroad and is a versatile composer. In addition to his vast liturgical repertoire, he has written for theater, television and film. In 1966 he collaborated with Johnny Mandel on the vocal score to the motion picture "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming." In 1968, he received a National Television Academy Award for his music to the TV special, "Revolt in Mode'in. His orchestral music was played by the Israeli Radio Orchestra, Minneapolis Chamber Symphony and Cincinnati Chamber symphony. His choral works were performed and recorded among others by The Sarasota Chorale Symphonic Chorus, The Nova Singers of Florida, Oshkosh Chamber Singers, "The Rinat Choir of Israel," Chicago Children's Choir.Shur had a diverse background; he was born in Latvia, escaped the Nazi invasion, fought in the Russian Army, emigrated to Israel, and lived on kibbutz before coming to the United States in 1960. His music integrates and reflects the many diverse cultural heritages in which he has lived.
Bonia Shur