Deceased Information

  • DECEASED

    Elliott Levitas

    Eliyahu ben Yehudah Yoseph Halevy v'Itka

  • AGE

    91

  • DATE OF DEATH

    Friday, December 16, 2022 (After Sunset)

  • DATE OF FUNERAL

    Monday, December 19, 2022

  • TIME OF FUNERAL

    12:00 PM

  • SHIVA INFORMATION

    Monday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the home of Elliott and Barbara Levitas and


    TUESDAY via ZOOM ONLY from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. To attend via ZOOM

    Click HERE


    829 Castle Falls Drive, Atlanta, GA 30329

  • OBITUARY

    1. Former Congressman Elliott Harris Levitas, one of Atlanta’s most distinguished citizens, passed away on December16th, 2022, ten days shy of his 92nd birthday. Levitas was the epitome of the dedicated public servant, who believed deeply in the power of American democracy and the potential for people with competing points of view to find common ground. In addition to his many accomplishments in public life, he will be remembered for his towering intellect, his wit and humor, his commitment to underserved communities, and his dedication to protecting the environment. Levitas was born in Atlanta on December 26, 1930, to Ida and Louis Levitas. He attended Boys High School and was in the first graduating class of Grady High School where he was awarded the Journal cup for outstanding student. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Emory University. As a Rhodes scholar he obtained a Master of Law Degree from Oxford University in England. He served two years in the United States Air Force where, as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s staff. he tried more than a hundred cases. His career in private law practice began at the Atlanta firm of Arnall. Golden & Gregory, where he was a protégé of former Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall. In 1965, Levitas, elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, was a strong voice for racial justice. His first act as a legislator was to cast a dissenting vote in the House’s refusal to allow civil rights activist and Viet Nam war opponent Julian Bond to assume the seat to which he had been elected. Levitas was one of only five white legislators to vote to seat Bond, for which he received death threats. When the 1966 Governor’s race was thrown to the legislature for decision, Levitas, a staunch Democrat, refused to cast his vote for the Democratic nominee, an outspoken racist and cast his vote for the Republican. He served five terms in the Georgia Legislature where he was a leading proponent for the development of Atlanta’s rapid transit system, MARTA. At the end of each of his terms he was named "One of the Ten Most Effective Members" by his colleagues. In 1974, Levitas was elected to Congress from Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District as part of the Watergate reformers. During his ten years in Congress, Levitas earned the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle as a pragmatist, consensus-builder, and one of the brightest and most thoughtful members of Congress. As chairman of a House oversight subcommittee, he led the successful investigation into the Reagan administration’s efforts to undermine the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency, which led to the firing of dozens of senior officials. Of particular note to Atlantans and all Georgians, both in the Georgia Legislature and in the US Congress, Levitas was a tireless champion for the creation and funding of the 10,000-acre Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area as a National Park. Upon leaving Congress, Levitas joined his long-time friend Miles Alexander at the Kilpatrick & Cody law firm (now Kilpatrick Townsend) where he practiced for over thirty years. He was proud to play a leading role in representing more than 300,000 Native Americans suing the United States government for breach of trust in connection with the lands and trust funds held by the United States since the 1880s. In the historic class action of Cobell v. Norton, the courts determined that the U.S. Department of the Interior had breached its fiduciary duty to the plaintiffs. The ensuing court ordered settlement negotiations resulted in a $3.4 billion award to plaintiffs – the largest class-action award against the government in United States history. Levitas was an active and observant member of the Atlanta Jewish community and the Ahavath Achim congregation and was involved in many Jewish organizations, dating back to his national debating success in AZA, the B’nai Brith youth organization. He was especially engaged in the work of the Anti-Defamation League and a vocal opponent of antisemitism. In 2008, Levitas received the Thomas B. Murphy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Democratic Party of Georgia. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Emory Medal, the highest University honor presented exclusively to alumni by the Emory Alumni Association, “for his commitment to civic service and his unrelenting defense of justice for our nation's underserved populations.” And in 2016 he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Georgia’s legal community. The Political Science Department at Emory bestows the annual Elliott Levitas Award on its most outstanding graduating senior. Over the course of his career, Levitas served on many non-profit boards, including the Environmental Law Institute, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Georgia Conservancy, and the Anti-Defamation League. Levitas was an avid tennis player and sports fan throughout his life and had wide-ranging interests outside of politics, including history and bluegrass music. In 1955, Levitas married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Hillman, who was a great source of strength and inspiration to him throughout his life. She survives him along with their three children Karin (Bob), Susan (Jake) and Kevin (Claudia), grandchildren Aria and Elaiya Een, Cydney and Annie Schwartz and Michael and Allison Levitas, and brother-in-law, Stuart Hillman. He was predeceased by his older brother, Ted Levitas, with whom he shared a special relationship and with whom he spoke every day. The family is eternally grateful for the excellent care given by Damar Barrett, Pauline Beckford, Vinton Thompson and Felix Manford.  Funeral services will be held 12:00 noon, Monday, December 19 at Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 600 Peachtree Battle Ave NW, Atlanta with interment following at Arlington Memorial Park.  Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal will officiate.  In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to ADL Southeast https://support.adl.org/give/174715/? _ga=2.174112614.537798266.1671310715-1963628805.1671310715#!/ donation/checkout Georgia,  Conservancy https://georgiaconservancy.app.neoncrm.com/forms/donation, Southern Environmental Law Center https://donate.southernenvironment.org/give/279875/? _ga=2.84360921.1332194062.1671312194-1289027440.1671312194#!/ donation/checkout, Ahavath Achim Synagogue https://aasynagogue.org/invest-in-our-future/strengthen-our-community/, Or a charity of your choice.  Dressler's Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999

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  • Arthur Burns

    Me: frat brother (TEP) at Emory 1949-53. Elliott was greatest all around smartest human being I have ever met! I have same birthday 12/26! Condolences!


  • Joe & Janice Nodvin

    A Rhodes Scholar, a political and legal giant, a dynamic leader in the Jewish Community and a "Mench" in all regards. Elliott's memory is a blessing to all who knew him and heard the speeches that he so eloquently delivered. Joe & Janice Nodvin


  • Shelley Marrich

    Dearest Karin, so sorry to hear that your dear dad has passed away. Even though 91 years is a long and fortunate time to have had his presence, it's never easy to lose a loved one. I pray that time and the love you have for your dear friends and family will fill the emptiness his absence has left. This comes with much love from all of us at Meherazad. Shelley


  • Robin Kramarow

    Dear Karin, so sorry to hear about your father's passing. Sending heartfelt condolences to you and your family.


  • Michelle Cooper

    Sending heartfelt condolences to you and your family, Barbara.


  • Emily Lifton and Bill Herman

    Sorry to hear of the passing of your amazing father Krinny, we send love to you and your family. Sad we never got to know him. We read the obit and what an incredible life, so much great work he did! Inspiring and impressive. And what a wonderful family he helped to make! Our hearts go out to you all ???


  • Cebo Price

    The world for me seems little less kind now. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know Elliott will live on through you his family.


  • Donna Englander Fleishman

    Elliott was one of the first Atlantans I met when I moved here. When I worked at the Georgia House of Representatives, he was kind and generous with his counsel. Mark and I send our condolences to the family and to the people of Georgia, for we have lost a champion for our state.


  • Sandy and Dave Abrams

    Our heartfelt condolences. Elliott's star will be one of the brightest in HEAVEN. May his memory be a blessing .


  • Sandy and Dave Abrams

    Our heartfelt condolences. Elliott's star will be one of the brightest in HEAVEN. He was an amazing man So dedicated to his beliefs and principles.


  • Simon, Chuck

    Becky and I extend our deepest condolences to Barbara and the Levitas family. Elliott had a larger than life impact on so many of us through his integrity, courage, and genuine warmth. May his memory be to inspire these qualities, regardless of all of our political differences.


  • Julie Lifton

    I'm so glad I had the chance to meet Elliot and witness his inspiring and formidable presence. It gives me a better sense of how profound his loss is for you. I am with you in spirit and with love.


  • Elise Eplan

    So many happy memories of times and travels (esp state parks) shared by the Eplan and Levitas families. Elliott and Leon were childhood friends and remained close throughout their lives. Elliott was a brilliant man with a wonderful sense of humor. He lead a life of meaning and purpose, and his devotion to public service inspired many of us. We are sending you our love.


  • Marcia Robkin

    Babs and family, my heartfelt sympathy. Elliott z"l was a special person. I knew him and his family many years on Park Drive. May you be consoled among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.


  • Charlotte and Rap McBurney

    Our prayers with the family. Elliott was a huge part of my life for so many years, and taught me so much. He will be missed.


  • Neil Gordon

    Cousin Elliot was revered by all who knew him, and I was fortunate to have had many connections to the Levitas family. From the time I was a little boy, it was a ritual in our family on Jewish holidays to visit his mother of blessed memory, Ida Levitas. Later, my AZA chapter was founded under the name of his father, L. J. Levitas. He presented me with an award from TEP fraternity that he had won exactly 25 years earlier, and I was privileged to present him with the highest award from the American Jewish Congress. When my grandfather Abe Goldstein died, the Atlanta Journal editorial about his passing was largely based on an interview with Elliot. I was always amazed that when Elliot spoke, whether in Congress or at an ADL Board Meeting or anywhere else, you could hear a pin drop. He commanded such respect and attention and was always among the most consequential members of any organization to which he belonged. Susan and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, which is shared by the entire community.


  • Amy Lifton

    What a magnificent life! Sending my heartfelt condolences for your loss. I know his memory will live on as a blessing to you and countless others whose lives he enriched. With love, Amy


  • Jody Diamond

    Many a highshcool night or weekend were spend campaigning for Elliott when he ran for State Representative and when he ran for US Representative. Inspired a budding lifelong Democrat using his example of service. May his memory be for a blessing.


  • Elyse Mintz

    Dear Babs and family, My deepest sympathy for your loss. My thoughts are with you at this most difficult of times.


  • Karen Brown

    I want to extend to all of you my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your husband, father, grandfather, uncle. I know that Elliott was a force of nature and had extraordinary strength and resilience. It seemed that nothing could knock him down for long. Even at 91, I believed the odds were in his favor. I'm wishing you a gentle time of grieving with one another and your wider community. I know this passing will be marked by many and it will be recognized that a great one has passed. With Love, Karen


  • Linda Diamond

    So sorry to hear about the passing of not only one of the greatest generation but a Public Servant who served with integrity and grace. Condolences to the entire Levitas family.


  • Martha Jo and Jerry Katz

    Sending deepest sympathy to all. May his memory be a blessing and bring comfort to the soul.


  • Rabbi Karen Bender and Shoshie

    Dear beloved family of Congressman Levitas, Our hearts extend to your on your loss. We wish we were in Atlanta to give hugs in person but please know our love extends to Karin, Elaiya and the entire family. May his memory be a blessing. ?????? ?????? Karen and Shoshie and Family


  • Sherry Carasik

    Elliott Levitas was an outstanding example of "by the people for the people" representative. As one of his constituents in Dekalb county, my husband and I received calls to find out how we wanted Elliott to cast a vote in controversial laws. We were proud of our native son who really believed he was representing the public. My only thoughts today are we need 538 people to represent the public today.


  • Larry and Stella Gordon and Betty Ann Shusterman

    Cousin Elliott was an inspiration to all of us and my mother Betty Ann had a special relationship with Elliott, particularly during their years growing up. I was fortunate to be working in DC shortly after Elliott was elected to Congress. I really enjoyed seeing his career blossom. As a volunteer working in Elliot’s last run for Congress in 1984, I remained in disbelief in his loss. Everyone who uses the Chattahoochee River Park is knowingly or unknowingly indebted to Elliot’s hard work to make it a reality. A truly great man!


  • Stephen Friedman

    Elliot was loved by our entire family! The memories we have of Babs and Elliot with our parents will live in us forever. We are so deeply saddened by his passing. Sending our love to the entire Levitas family! Stephen and Annette


  • Carol and Bob Deutsch

    We send deepest condolences at the loss of Elliott, a distinguished public servant, great lawyer, and most important, seminal "outlaw" member of the Solomon family. It was a privilege to know him and to engage in many deep discussions about politics, history, and life. He will be missed! Carol and Bob D


  • Carl Golden

    I’m so sorry to hear that my cousin Elliot died. He was a good man. Babs and family, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Carl


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