Menasce Elie Levi
LEVI: Menasce Elie Levi, 92, passed away Thursday, February 16, 2017 at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., surrounded by family. Menasce was born May 8, 1924 to Elie Sasson and Esther (Argy) Levi in Alexandria, Egypt. He was the sixth of eight children. In 1940, Menasce graduated the Lycée Français d’Alexandrie with honors as a member of the French speaking Jewish community. Menasce met his wife, Diane Benzakein, at a Bnai Brith dance and the two were married for 61 years. In 1956, the Levis and their three young children (Terry, Simone and Alain) were forced to flee their home country in the face of religious persecution and political unrest. Though most Egyptian Jews, of that era, immigrated to Israel, Menasce took a job in Paris and moved his family to France where they resided for two years. With the help of the Refugee Escapee Act of 1957 and the Hebrew Immigration Assistance Service (H.I.A.S.), the Levi family settled in Pittsburgh, where they gave birth to their fourth child, Debbie. The epitome of the American Dream, Menasce thrived in Pittsburgh as vice president of Babb Inc., a prominent insurance brokerage, and as president of the Young People’s Synagogue in Squirrel Hill – where he was coined “Manny.” Longing for their beloved Mediterranean climate, the Levis moved to Los Angeles in 1974 with their four children, where Menasce and Diane were reunited with old friends and traditions during their time at the Sephardic Hebrew Center. Manny Levi was a generous and spiritual man who valued education. His personal philosophy was, “Leave it for the children.” Menasce was preceded in death by his wife Diane (Benzakein) Levi and is survived by his children Terry Snyder, Simone (Chuck) Politi, E. Alain (Ruta) Levi, Debbie (Richard) Minchenberg; grandchildren Aaron Levi (Jamie) Snyder, Stacey (Eric Kutner) Politi, Lesley (Jose) Rodriguez, Mia Levi, Charlie and Juliet Levi Minchenberg; great-grandchildren Maya and Jacob Levi Rodriguez, Max Levi and Andie Snyder and Eli Menasce Kutner; siblings Liliane (Levi) Gani and Andre Levi; his caregivers, Pet and Nino. Funeral services were held at Hillside Memorial Park. Memorial donations can be made to Skirball Hospice.