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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Friends remember Jonathan Roth ’14

Published: January 18, 2013
Section: News

Jonathan Roth ’14, a beloved friend and member of the Brandeis Orthodox community from Teaneck, New Jersey, died Dec. 16. He was 21.

Roth was on leave from the university last semester and died from a drug overdose, according to The Record, a New Jersey newspaper.

“Jon was one of the first friends I made when I moved into my dorm freshman year,” Ricky Rosen ’14 said. Rosen and Roth lived across from each other during their first year in Reitman Hall. “From the first time I met him, I could tell that Jon was one of those rare people, who no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. Jon will be missed by anyone who ever had the pleasure of coming into contact with him.”

Other friends recalled Roth’s impact on their lives.

“Jon was a caring individual who persevered in all of his endeavors,” Adam Rabinowitz ’14 said. “He was a trustworthy individual who certainly could be counted on in any situation. He represented a individual that embodied the spirit of this great Brandeis community and should be remembered as such.”

Roth, an economics major, had been involved in the Brandeis Libertarian-Conservative Union (BLCU), the center-right political club, and Brandeis Orthodox Organization (BOO), the Orthodox Jewish community.

Professor Scott Redenius (ECON) knew Roth well, saying, “He was one of the top students in Econ 2A.”

“He was a wonderful student to have in class. He was very excited about economics and always intellectually engaged with the material,” Redenius said.

Morris Didia ’14, a co-president of BLCU, also remembered Roth’s approach to life.

“The great thing about Jon was that he always had a smile on his face, and at our meetings he lightened the mood by cracking jokes, which was comforting for those of us who had a paper or test the next day.”

And Roth did more than amuse. Those who knew him say he was the archetypical Brandeisian.

“I also remember him as thoughtful and caring. I received emails from him at various points apologizing for missing class or an assignment because he had been helping a friend go to the emergency room,” said Redenius.

“Jon was never afraid to speak his mind and had some different views than other members of the group,” said Didia. “But, he stood strong for his beliefs and was an important member of the organization whose memory will not be forgotten.”

Professor Anne Carter (ECON), who taught the class “Social Priorities and the Market,” remembers Roth as a student with an “apologetic smile” and said he had a gift for expressing his complex views on the economy and the environment in class.

“He was a dear friend of our community and he will be greatly missed,” BOO President Ethan Stein ’15 wrote in an email to Hillel and the community in December.

“He was one of the most honest people I’ve ever known, one of the most sincere, and certainly one of the most loyal friends a person could have,” said Joshua Nass ‘14, of Jonathan Roth.