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Efrem Basava Weitzman

Published on November 29, 2012

The family of Efrem Basava Weitzman of South Fallsburg, NY, regrets to announce his death on November 16, 2012. He died of cancer, at his home, after a short illness.

Born in New York City in 1925 to immigrant parents Abe and Helen Weitzman, Efrem grew to be a true Renaissance man. In his youth he studied dance and art. He attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He was a recipient of both the Tiffany and Fullbright Awards. Efrem went on to have a long and distinguished career as an artist and designer of interior spaces, his work being commissioned in religious, municipal and corporate buildings across the country.

Efrem also had a long-standing passion for stories and storytelling. Over many years he delighted his children Dara Klassel, Chaya Spencer, Charney (Dhruva) Weitzman; and grandchildren Naomi and Susanna Klassel, Daniel and Sophia Spencer and Oisin and Aine Weitzman, with the stories he would create for them. He recently published one set of these stories, “Daniel, Chicken and Elephant.”

Besides his art and design work, Efrem also spent time as a college lecturer, therapist and professional storyteller. He also composed poetry and song.

Since the 1970s he was involved in the practice of Siddha Yoga Meditation. He spent a great deal of his time pursuing this path and doing volunteer work, seva, for SYDA Foundation. In recent years, Efrem had also become a practitioner of the Japanese hands-off healing method, Semei.

Efrem is survived by his wife of 52 years, Nandini Susan Weitzman; three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and by his brother, Bernard Weitzman and his family.

Through all his work and many endeavors, Efrem has touched a vast array of people with his warmth and ever-present wit and humor. He will be sorely missed.

A public memorial for all family and friends is planned for sometime in 2013. The family has requested that instead of flowers, a donation may be made to SYDA Foundation (, Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties (, or Semei Foundation (

Arrangements by Colonial-Bryant Funeral Homes & Cremations Services; for further information please call 845/434-7363 or visit