Former colleagues, students and friends of Yeheskel “Zeke” Hasenfeld gathered at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica on Oct. 11 to honor his life and reflect on the profound influence the professor emeritus had on those around him. Hasenfeld passed away on Feb. 28, 2019, leaving a legacy as a generous mentor, gifted communicator and a pioneer in the study of human service. After three decades at UCLA, Hasenfeld retired in 2014 but remained connected as a researcher and mentor. Among those who spoke at the memorial was Professor Laura Abrams, chair of UCLA Luskin Social Welfare, who has “fond memories of Zeke, who graced the halls of UCLA with his kindness and the rare intellectualism that made him a true social work legend.” Fernando Torres-Gil, professor of social welfare and public policy, remembers Hasenfeld’s infectious joie de vivre and a sense of life that never wavered. In remembrances shared during the memorial, former colleagues recalled his penchant for challenging them intellectually over the years, and former students expressed their gratitude for Hasenfeld’s deep trust in the capacity of students to do good work that matters. Several speakers at the memorial noted Hasenfeld’s devotion to family, and the pleasure he took in talking about his children and grandchildren. One of his daughters, Rena Garland, thanked the Luskin School for hosting the memorial, saying it gave her a deeper understanding of her father’s academic research and accomplishments. Also speaking at the memorial from UCLA Luskin were Professor Emeritus A.E. “Ted” Benjamin, Professor Emerita Aurora P. Jackson and alumna Sara Terrana, as well as other former colleagues and students who came forward to share memories at the memorial. Thomas Brock, a former student of Hasenfeld at the University of Michigan, and Michalle Mor Barak, a professor at USC and personal friend of Hasenfeld, attended the memorial and offered their remarks, and video tributes were provided by four other former students and colleagues.
A memoriam to Hasenfeld’s life and career can be found here.
View a Flickr album of the memorial.