TODAY'S PAPER
65° Good Afternoon
65° Good Afternoon
Long IslandObituaries

Teacher, union leader Jeffrey Rozran dies

Jeffrey Rozran, a career educator who spent nearly four decades as an English teacher on Long Island and was a vocal leader of the teachers' union in Syosset, died on Saturday.

Rozran, of Commack, was 65. The cause was lung cancer.

Raised in Rockville Centre by two public school teachers, Rozran focused his life on fighting for the welfare of fellow teachers, friends and family said, and on his students.

"That's really what kept him going," said his stepdaughter April Kaufman, who noted that Rozran had declined to retire despite being eligible because of his love for the classroom. "We can't go anywhere in the town of Syosset without bumping into someone who knew him as a student."

After graduating from South Side High School in Rockville Centre, Rozran attended the University of Wisconsin and Point Park University in Pittsburgh. He returned to Long Island and began what would be a 38-year teaching career, mostly at Syosset High School.

April Kaufman said that an early marriage ended in divorce. Then, about 10 years ago, a mutual friend helped reconnect Rozran and her mother, whom Rozran had taught as a ninth-grader, Kaufman said. Rozran had been her mother's favorite teacher, she said, and the two married.

"He put me through college and now I am a teacher," said Kaufman, 27, who works in the New York City school system.

Not only was Rozran the Syosset Teachers' Association president, but he'd been an at-large director of New York State United Teachers and a member of the Long Island Federation of Labor's executive board.

Shelly Larit of Dix Hills, Rozran's longtime secretary at the Syosset teachers union, recalled a beloved man of uncommon kindness and intelligence. Larit said a commitment to fairness guided much of his work.

"The union was very important to him," she said. "Teacher rights were very important to him."

Even as he underwent medical treatment, he recently launched a blog dedicated to elevating the discussion of public education on Long Island.

Writing at educationli.com, Rozran invited readers to fact-check his work and asked them to lend their voices to his project. "What we need in this time of fiscal crisis is a calm conversation on this complex subject so that we can prioritize our resources thoughtfully," he wrote. "What we don't need is finger-pointing, exaggeration, bombast and misrepresentation."

In addition to April Kaufman, Rozran is survived by his wife, Luanne Rozran of Commack, and two sisters, Marcia Turbiner of Pittsburgh and Ellen Matis of West Palm Beach, Fla.

A funeral service will be held Tuesday at Gutterman's funeral home in Woodbury at 2 p.m. Shiva services will take place at the Rozran home in Commack Tuesday evening, Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News