Sara Duker, 22, Barnard Alumna


Photograph: Students, faculty, family and friends filled the lower level of the McIntosh Center on Feb. 29 to pay tribute in memory of Sara Duker, the 22-year-old Barnard graduate killed Feb. 25 in a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem. Photo Credit: Joe Pineiro.


Sara Duker, a May 1995 graduate of Barnard, was one of two Americans killed on Feb. 25 in a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem that killed 24 people; the other was her fiance, Matthew Eisenfeld, a student at Jewish Theological Seminary.

An environmental science major and a Centennial Scholar, she received her A.B. degree summa cum laude. She also was awarded departmental honors in environmental science and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Duker, the daughter of Arline Horowitz Duker, BC '68, and the late Ben Zion Duker, was from Teaneck, NJ. She is survived by two younger sisters, Tamara and Ariella.

A talented writer and scientist with a wide range of intellectual interests, Duker was involved in a variety of extracurricular activities on the Barnard and Columbia campuses. She studied Russian during her four years at Barnard, was a member of a Jewish theater ensemble, and was active in efforts to promote peace in the Middle East through the Jewish Student Union. She spent the spring semester of her junior year studying in Israel.

Duker also was an active community volunteer. While at Barnard, she worked for over a year as a tutor at P.S. 125, where she taught reading to third and fourth graders.

Born Aug. 13, 1973, Duker attended high school at The Frisch School in Paramus, NJ, where she was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, a New Jersey Distinguished Scholar, and the recipient of Senator Bill Bradley's Young Citizen Award.

As a Centennial Scholar at Barnard, Duker participated in a special program linking selected students with faculty mentors for work on challenging academic projects. Her Centennial Scholar project was an examination of the works of Elisha ben Avuyah, a first century rabbi and Jewish apostate. Her mentor was Celia Deutsch, professor of religion at Barnard.

"Sara Duker was a person of extraordinary talent and promise and the entire Barnard community shares in this loss," Barnard President Judith Shapiro said.


Columbia University Record -- March 8, 1996 -- Vol. 21, No. 19