Philanthropist E. Billi Ivry dies at 102

E. Billi Ivry, a personal secretary-turned-stockbroker and a major philanthropist, died at 102.

Ivry, who died last month, was the first woman to serve on the board of trustees of Yeshiva University. She went on to serve on the boards of five of its schools.

Born in 1906 in Grajevo, Lithuania (now Poland), Ivry was the youngest of nine children of Israel and Rebecca Ivry. Her father was a paper-box manufacturer in New York City, while her mother was very active in philanthropic work with women’s organizations in Manhattan.

After high school Ivry worked as personal secretary to the top executive of McCrory department stores. The executive taught Ivry how to manage his portfolio of stocks and investments, and lent her a small amount of money to invest for herself, fueling Ivry’s interest in the stock market.

In her 50s, Ivry took courses to become a stockbroker and earned her license. She enjoyed success at several major firms.

Ivry endowed scholarship funds, research fellowships, professorial chairs, free loan funds, a beit midrash and a student center at various schools. — jta