Judith Kolokoff


05/23/1929 – 12/29/2019


image of Judith Kolokoff

Judith Kolokoff

Judith Rawson Kolokoff, age 90, of Chicago, Oak Park, and Seattle, passed away peacefully on December 29, 2019 in Seattle, Washington, after a short battle with a glioblastoma. She was surrounded by her family at the time of her death.

Judith was an amazing woman. Brilliant, strong willed, and ferociously dedicated to her work; she was a true warrior for peace and justice.

For eighteen years she was the Director of an Alternative High School Learning Community in Oak Park-River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois, and for seven years she served as the Regional Director of the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Friends Service Committee in Seattle, Washington.

Judith was instrumental in organizing Jewish Voice for Peace in Seattle and was a founding member of the national organization American Jews for a Just Peace. She also worked as the tour coordinator for the Refuser Solidarity Network and organized the first national tour for “Breaking the Silence.”

Judith was a human rights activist for 75 years. For the past 20 years her work was strongly focused on working for justice for Palestinians and for peace in Palestine and Israel.

Very much loved, she will be sorely missed by a large worldwide community of friends.

Judith is survived by her four children, Valerie Kolokoff, Rachel (George) Hopper, Mark (Jeannette) Kolokoff and Lisa Kolokoff; nine grandchildren, Brenna (Kevan) McCrummen, Zackary (Chandra) Gjullin, Wyatt Gjullin, Simon Kolokoff, Esther (Arsalan) Ansari, Briana (Burke) Butler, Weston Kolokoff, Maia Nowack and Ethan Nowack; six great-grandchildren, Ayla McCrummen, Sawyer McCrummen, Braxton Gjullin, Keeleigh Gjullin, Lyla Ansari and Ava Ansari; two sisters, Barbara Stone and Carol Rosofsky; and many nephews and nieces. She is also survived by her beloved dog Barney. She is preceded in death by her son David Kolokoff and her parents, Emanuel and Dorothy (Friedlander) Rawson.

A celebration of life will be held on February 8, 2020, at Kadima Reconstructionist Community, 832 32nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. Rabbi David Basior officiating.

Join us for food, community, and remembrance from 5:00PM-6:30PM. Services from 6:30PM-8:00PM.

In lieu of flowers and in honor of Judith, please consider a donation to the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice: https://rachelcorriefoundation.org

10 Responses to “Judith Kolokoff”

  • Racquel Hager says:

    I was a student of XP at OPRFHS in the 1980s and 2 of my siblings were students there in the late 1970s. I loved this program and would have had a significantly harder time in high school without it. Thank you Judith for your dedication to your students and to promoting peace on Earth. You were a hero and your work will reverberate unceasingly.

  • Jill Hardin says:

    I met Judith Kolokoff only three months ago, in my new neighborhood of approximately 150 tenants at this Senior Independent Lifestyle Community to which I have finally surrendered as a slightly disabled 75-year-old widow. We had an immediate bonding, Heart to Heart… As we understood each other‘s passions for what is Right, Beautiful, True and Sacred. As her life stories unfolded before me, I could see her truly angelic presence all through her life on this earth.
    She has given of herself at every opportunity, tirelessly, for the good of all humanity. She surrendered, Elegantly, when she realized her body was finally exhausted. She has definitely earned her wings… And I believe she is already a leading Warrior among The most powerful Angels. There could be no other Destination For such a Strong and Righteous Soul. Namaste All … and thank you Judith, for all you have been to us here on earth.

  • Miko Peled says:

    In 2012 I met Judith for the first time. I spent about a week with her as she drove me through Washington State. It was a speaking tour she organized for me after my book “The General’s Son,” was published. She was a smart, caring, powerful, no-nonsense, wonderful woman. I was happy to see Judith one several visits I had made to Settle in the years since. She was always there, smiling and generous and ready to fight for justice and peace. I know that I am one of many, many people who will miss her.

  • Victoria Linne says:

    In 1979 I found myself an emancipated minor and returning to OPRF HS to complete HS and graduate with my class. XP was the only way I could attend classes AND work full time to support myself. When Judy found out I was back (after a miserable one year exile in Virginia) and in need of apt. furniture, she invited me to her home and told me to help myself to her attic full of unused items. She pretty much furnished my studio apt for me, always the nurturing and caring educator that she was, she was a mama hen to us too. Judy has always been remembered by me with love and respect. I only wish I could have let her know how full and successful a life I’ve had, and that her stewardship of the XP program in general, and the life lessons she taught us as an individual played a role in my successes.

  • Susan Bohanon says:

    I was a student at the Free School in Oak Park, and also attended XP at OPPRF HS. Judy was my counselor in XP, and she understood that the traditional HS education was not for me. I preferred independent study, as well as attending college classes and vocational training to earn my credits to graduate HS. She as a person inspired me to convert to Judaism. I admired her and I was so fortunate to have her as a teacher and mentor. She touched and inspired many people, and she will be missed.

  • Jennifer Biagi Bailey says:

    I am so sorry to know Judy is gone. She was a wonderful mentor when I was in XP at OPRF. She was the most caring, interesting, and wonderful educator. I really enjoyed her. I have thought of her often over the many years since I graduated. I will continue to miss her, may she Rest in Peace.

  • Bob Brauneis says:

    Dear Judy,
    You may not be able to hear these words, but I know you would appreciate the directness that only speaking in the second person can bring. For me, and for hundreds of other high school students at OPRF XP, you were the teacher that we did not know we needed, because we could not imagine the richness that you would bring into our lives. You imparted knowledge, to be sure. But you also shared everything you cherished with us. We learned about the treasures that cities held, from art and drama and music to early-morning wholesale food markets. We learned about the struggles of people of color, and of women, and of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ people decades before that acronym existed. We learned about the struggles of Jews and Palestinians and South Africans and others around the world. We learned about human potential and growth, and about difficult and fulfilling relationships, and about the power of community. And we found in you a model of a life lived with integrity, engagement, passion, attentiveness, humor, and love. Know that the fires that you lit in us will continue to burn, and that we hope we can light those fires in our children, and in our friends, and in our students. Know that every time I think of you, it will be with deep gratitude for the gifts you gave.

  • Deborah & Per Curtiss says:

    Judith was a treasured friend during the years we overlapped living at Ida Culver House Broadview, and beyond. We loved and enjoyed Judith as a neighbor and friend, and sorely missed her when she had to leave Ida Culver. While a challenge due to the distance, we continued to see her when she lived at Aegis and at Landmark. Judith contributed greatly to making a better world for friends and concerns near and far. We convey our sincere condolences to her family.

  • Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta says:

    I’m so sorry to hear Judith Kolokoff has died. I remember her as someone who was always looking for ways to empower those around her.
    I think we first had met when Judith and some other AFSC folks visited Jerusalem when I was living there in the early nineties.
    The last time I visited Judith (from Burnaby, BC) was in May or June of 2016, and she was as energetic as ever, despite needing a wheelchair to get around. In fact, she was collecting autobiographical recordings from fellow residents of the care facility where she had moved after losing the ability to walk, which she meant to turn into a play.
    She commented that even folks who “couldn’t remember what they had for breakfast” could recount interesting events from their past, and enjoyed doing so.
    As the rabbi and Judith’s grandson both said at her memorial, Judith took an interest in everyone and made us feel special.

  • Mimi Brooke Bernhardt says:

    Judy was there in my life when I needed her most. I was 14 years old in XP and I hadn’t really known anyone like her, loving, maternal, progresssive, feminist and someone who just supported me for who I was. I want to express my condolences to her family and friends as her passing is a great loss. May she rest in peace.

Leave a Reply

Please be respectful. Disrespectful comments will not be published

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE