Obituaries » Michael Thomas Chusid
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December 8, 1952 - May 2, 2022
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Michael Chusid, of Woodland Hills, California, passed away on Monday, May 2, of natural causes. A true mensch, he had a huge heart – greeting everyone he met with kindness and compassion – and an insatiable curiosity about the world around him.
Michael is a tenth generation descendant from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, a revered teacher of Jewish spirituality and great-grandson of the Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism. Like his ancestors, Michael was dedicated to building communities and tikkun olam (repairing the world). He gave generously of his time and heart anywhere his help was needed, whether that was as a coach for his child’s soccer team, a Cub Scout leader, a supporter of local theater, a mentor, or working for social justice. He was a longtime member of the Los Angeles Passover Village, a chavurah, group of friends, that gathers in the desert annually to study and celebrate the holiday. Michael also was a ba’al tekiah – shofar master blaster – for several congregations around the Los Angeles area. He is the author of the bookHearing Shofar: The Still Small Voice of the Ram’s Horn about the history, lore, and traditions of the instrument. He has taught shofar at the American Jewish University, Hebrew Union College, and Limmud; conducted workshops internationally; and created a Shofar Corp that sounds shofar for the sick and confined. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, the spiritual founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, described Michael as “the mouthpiece of the shofar.” Michael’s book can be read and shared at: www.hearingshofar.org
Michael was a registered architect and certified construction specifier. He dedicated his professional life to improving the built environment by advancing the art and science of building products. Michael studied in Buckminster Fuller’s design science program at Southern Illinois University and earned a Master of Architecture degree from University of Illinois. In 1985 he founded Chusid Associates, a building product marketing and architectural technology firm, and was a frequent author, speaker, and consultant for building product manufacturers around the world. In recognition of his contributions, he was made a fellow of the Construction Specifications Institute. His fellowship citation reads, “For your on-going leadership in advancing new technologies; for your prolific articles that provide a valuable resource to the construction industry; and for raising the bar for technical support to design professionals through your profound impact on translating product information into useful and well-written technical documents and improving the tools and specifications of product manufacturers.”
He was perhaps most at home, though, when in nature. Whether hiking across the desert or backpacking through mountains, he viewed the world around him with joy and wonder. This influenced his design work, which showcased the beauty and function of natural materials, working to integrate the natural and built environments.
Michael is survived by his wife Sandra, five children, and two grandchildren. His beaming smile will remain in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Michael’s name to one of the following:
” Flip the Vote:
” Planned Parenthood: