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Remembering Jimmy Cafritz

Jimmy Cafritz photo

Jimmy Cafritz as we will remember him: front and center, leading the applause for our young musicians, after a “Heifetz on Tour” performance for the Fox Hill community in Bethesda, MD in December of 2019. 

We are very sorry to announce the passing last week of James E. Cafritz, one of our most stalwart and long-serving Heifetz Institute Board members. We’d like to share a message from our Founder Daniel Heifetz:

It is with the deepest sadness that Janne and I received the news of the passing of our beloved friend and Heifetz Institute Board member, James Cafritz. When we first met Jimmy, in 1998, we joked about the possibility of our being distant cousins. It seems that the Heifetz name went through several contractions during Jewish immigration from Russia, the name Cafritz being one of them. We immediately became friends!

I told Jimmy of my dream to create a music institute to teach young musicians how to be expressive in performance. He was immediately interested and wanted to help. He joined the Institute Board and became one of our earliest and most active members. I remember how each year he would tirelessly write hundreds of letters to all his personal and professional contacts, when the early years of fundraising were the most difficult for our program. He rarely ever missed a Board meeting.

Jimmy would attend the Institute every summer during the Board Weekends. He jumped into the classes with enthusiasm and enjoyed every aspect of the program and concerts. His energy was constantly positive, with great warmth, love, and always with a smile! I know he was very proud of his contribution in helping to create the Institute and seeing its impact on the lives of so many young musicians. Janne and I will forever be grateful for his love and support as our dear friend and someone who deeply believed in our artistic and educational vision.

We will miss you, Jimmy.
All our love,
Daniel and Janne Heifetz.