CESA 7 Special Education Director Bar-Lev Has Passed Away |

Dr Nissan Bar-Lev, Director of Special Education for Chilton-based CESA 7, died suddenly on Tuesday August 2.

Bar-Lev and his efforts to help special education locally and statewide have been featured in the Tri-County News many times during his many years in this position. A 2018 article quoted a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction official calling Bar-Lev the “father of special education” in Wisconsin. In March of this year, the efforts of Bar-Lev and a large team he assembled were showcased as a program they developed garnered interest at the federal level.

Bar-Lev was predeceased by his parents, Hayyim and Haya Buium; and his granddaughter, Julia Bar-Lev.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Candy Bar-Lev; children Joshua (Camaron), Benjy (Lauren), Ari (Ali) and Abby (James); and grandchildren Isabelle, Ruby, Sammie, Jake, Asher, Noah, Isaac and Micah. He is also survived by special education colleagues across the state and country.

Born in Romania at the end of World War II, Bar-Lev immigrated to Israel as a young child. At 21, he moved to the United States to pursue his dream of helping children with special needs, a dream he worked to fulfill every day until the last day of his life. Generations of children have benefited from Bar-Lev’s advocacy.

An obituary for Bar-Lev said: “Nissan was deeply proud of his family, his work, his vegetable gardens and the life he and Candy created with their family. He will forever be known for his unwavering support for his children and grandchildren, his dedication to everything he has undertaken, his generosity and boundless energy. He will be deeply missed, but he will live on through all the good he has done in the world.

Funeral services were held Friday, August 5 at Congregation Shalom, 7630 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Fox Point. Interment is at Mound Zion Cemetery, 14510 W. North Ave., Brookfield. Submissions can be made to the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin, or Congregation Shalom.

Helen D. Jessen