Celebrating the Life of Burt Tregub (1934-2020)

Founder and Webmaster of the hmsi.info website.

In the Words of the Chair of The Harold M. Schulweis Institute, Sylvia Bernstein-Tregub, His Wife of 22 Years

Burt will be remembered as a man of great integrity, who cared deeply about life. He was considerate, courageous and creative, always open to new ideas and challenges. Guided by his engineering instincts, he had the patience to carefully weigh all the options, examining every detail of an object or an idea before making a considered judgment and then he would arrive at a decision that would completely satisfy him for it was one that he would want to enjoy for years to come and, most often, bring pleasure to someone else as well.

It was exciting to speak with Burt for he was very bright and well- read. Invariably you would learn something new. He was a man of his word. You could rely on his judgment. He was dependable. He cared about people and listened carefully to what they had to say, reaching out to the children of friends, remembering every detail of his last conversation with them so that he could return to it the next time they would meet. He was a trusted mentor, counseling them in achieving their dreams.


Joining Valley Beth Shalom in 1971, Burt served enthusiastically in many capacities including on the VBS Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  As a friend and disciple of Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, (z”l), one of Burt’s greatest pleasures, truly a labor of love, was working with Pat Kater on the publication of Passages in Poetry, the keepsake edition of over 200 poems and writings of the Rabbi.  This remarkable publication became a most welcome addition in hundreds of homes and professional libraries.

The Schulweis Institute was the beneficiary of his service on its Board of Directors, where as a Vice-President, he managed the website, hmsi.info. Working with the invaluable support and expertise of Bill Green, they enabled Rabbi Schulweis’ teachings and oratory to reach a worldwide audience seeking guidance informed by the Rabbi’s moral vision. To the very end of his life, Burt worked to ensure that the Schulweis Institute website thrive and fulfill its mission. He was especially pleased that Marcy Rainey and Eric Weisser joined with Bill enabling this reality.  It will, along with his good name and many good deeds, be his legacy. Rabbi Schulweis would be very pleased.


Burt was husband to Sylvia, father to David (Leslie), Julie, and Susan, step-father to Howard(Laurie), Linda, and Rachel, grandfather of Zachary (Nikki), Jeremy, Sarah (Ariel), Shira, Alana (Nick), Holden, Josh, and Shoshana, brother-in-law to Ellen (Gordon), uncle to Samantha and Ryan, great-uncle to Benjamin and Abigail, and great-grandfather to Sonny, Kyros, and Micah.

Traveling with family and grandchildren and friends gave him great pleasure and he planned, with enthusiasm, each experience in the greatest detail, carefully researching each possibility.

He loved the theatre, the ballet and Broadway shows, remembering all the words to all the hit songs to which he wholeheartedly sang along, although singing on key was not his forte. He relished attending his grandchildren’s performances in every musical production and every sports competition. He loved the movies, remembering the names of all who starred in each film and in what year. Music played an important role in his life and The Music Academy of the West was a favorite summer destination along with the Hollywood Bowl as well as concerts performed by the LAPhil and the chamber music of The Music Guild.  He was a regular attendee at all the performances of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony along with the choral performances of the American Jewish University Choir.

Burt loved the use of words and appreciated good dialogue and the text of famous oratory. While speaking unfathomable computer language, he insisted on clarity in the use of words. He had an impressive collection of vintage maps, visiting map stores whenever he traveled just to enjoy looking, like a kid in a candy shop, and hopefully buying a rare find. Burt was a devoted and educated Jew, who relished studying Talmud and who included in his bedside books, Interpreting Maimonides.

And then there was the Tuesday, monthly, Achei Nefesh Havurah lunch bunch, an occasion he would not miss. Burt thoroughly enjoyed returning, every five years, to Sylvia’s college reunions, attending as many of the programs and classes as possible and taking advantage of the experience to travel through the adjacent wine country speaking, as the knowledgeable wine connoisseur which he was, in depth to each vintner. Burt was also a romantic, marking every special occasion in his 22year marriage to Sylvia, with a very extravagant bouquet of flowers.

Burt was much loved and will be sorely missed. His memory will be a blessing.

Obituary from the LA Times, May 20, 2020