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Rabbi and Sunnyside Activist Dies

Feb. 12, 2011 Staff Report

Rabbi Jonas Javna, who lived on 47th street in Sunnyside Gardens, died last week after a battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 86.

Javna was buried at Salem Fields Cemetery in Brooklyn. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, children, and grandchildren.

Javna was the president of the 108 Police Community Council for five years and began a civilian patrol, known for its outreach to all ethnic groups.

“We still miss their wonderful singing to the seniors in our Annual Valentine¹s event,” said Joanne Billharz of the former Kiwanian.

Javna worked at the La Puma Opera Company as lead vocalist (third from left) in many productions. He served in the Army, and was cantor at Manhattan’s Temple Israel. He met his wife, also an opera singer, when he held an open audition at Temple Israel. After Jonas retired from there,  he became actively involved in community service in Sunnyside.

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Kathy Giaimo

I’m so sorry to read this! Jonas was a lovely gentleman, real old school. I loved the way he always referred to Ruth as his B.W. (beautiful wife). He was full of wonderful stories and tip on investing in the stock market! I’ll miss our lengthy sidwalk chats.


Sunnyside Post thank you for this story about Jonas Javna he was a friend of the family for many many years. He was a wonderful kind man. Its a sad shame he is not with us anymore. He will be remembered for many years to come. Thanks again for this story. Many people in our area have very loving memories of him and his wife and children


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