Moshe (Morris) Baran
February 3, 2024

Funeral Information

February 4 2024 - 12:00 pm
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. 5509 Centre Avenue, (Shadyside), Pittsburgh 15232

MOSHE (MORRIS) BARAN: It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Moshe Baran on Saturday, February 3, 2024, a beautiful soul, who not only survived one of the darkest chapters in history but emerged as a beacon of strength, hope, and resilience. 

Born in 1920 in the predominantly Jewish town of Horodok, Poland, Moshe Baran was the eldest of four children. In 1941, when Moshe was just 21 years of age, the Nazis stormed through his hometown. A few months after the invasion, the Jews were forced into ghettos, residing in fifteen to twenty homes for hundreds of families. Surrounded by barbed wire fences, guarded by Nazi soldiers, denied access to food, shut away from the rest of the world, the inhabitants started to hear whispers about the destruction by the Nazis of neighboring communities.

In the spring of 1942, 30 able-bodied men were chosen for various projects and sent to neighboring towns; Moshe was sent to work on the railroads and his brother was sent elsewhere. Just a few months later in July, Moshe's ghetto was liquidated, but luckily Moshe's family escaped and was later reunited at the place he was working. Knowing that when the work was completed, they would be exterminated, they began planning a resistance movement.

Two of Moshe's friends worked in the warehouse sorting captured Russian guns. Moshe and his friend devised a plan to steal gun parts by wrapping them in rags and hiding them in a nearby junkyard. Moshe was able to successfully smuggle gun parts into the ghetto. It was through Moshe's connections that he was able to escape. A woman in the ghetto, who knew the area and the partisans well, led Moshe and his friend to the partisans' encampment with the agreement that they would help her two children escape.

After a week at the encampment, two Jewish Russian soldiers arrived to help organize the resistance. Because Moshe had smuggled guns into the ghetto, he was welcomed into the partisans and was given the name of a local farmer who would help facilitate additional escapes. Moshe was able to successfully plan the escapes of his mother, brother, and one sister. Two days after his mother was freed, the ghetto was destroyed, and Moshe's father and other sister were murdered.

Moshe stayed with his partisan group until 1944, helping with underground activities and recovering weapons dropped from Russian planes. Like many partisans fighting the Nazis, he was eventually drafted into the Soviet Army. Due to his bookkeeping skills, Moshe was assigned to the local battalion office, as the treasurer's assistant, allowing him to stay off of the front lines.

When the war ended, Moshe made his way back to Russia and then to Poland. Connecting with Bricha, the organization responsible for bringing Holocaust survivors to Palestine, he eventually arrived in Austria where he met his future wife Malka in the American Zone. In 1948, Malka, also a Holocaust survivor, left for Israel, but Moshe was unable to follow. A relative who was living in the United States, encouraged Moshe and his surviving family to come to the United States and helped them emigrate.

Moshe eventually married Malka and brought her to the United States from Israel. They originally settled in New York, where they raised two daughters. They moved to Pittsburgh, PA in 1993 to be closer to their daughter, Avi, and her family. Their other daughter, Bella, made aliyah as a teenager and still lives in Israel. 

(Above courtesy of the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation)

When Moshe and Malka moved to Squirrel Hill in 1993, they lived in Maxon Towers at Forbes and Denniston and immediately embedded themselves within the Jewish community. Eventually Moshe's sister Mina moved into the apartment next door and the three of them became fondly known as "the Sages". They were often found at Beth Shalom, Young People Congregation, the JCC, the Holocaust Center, Community Day School, and up and down Forbes and Murray as they ran errands and spent time with friends and family. They spoke to students and other audiences near and far about their experiences during the Holocaust, with a mission to preserve the memory of the past while paving the way for a better future. 

Moshe was well-known for his sense of humor, his close friendships, and his dedication to Judaism and to his family. Until his final days, he was a model of gratitude, joy, and lightheartedness. He loved to laugh, learn, and listen. He loved to tell stories and jokes and was always eager to hear new ones. He never formally learned English, but he grew into an avid reader and writer and loved wordplay and language-based humor. He grew up speaking Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, and Russian, and he understood German, Ukrainian, and Belarusian. 

Malka passed away on May 7, 2007, and Moshe missed her to his last day. He was blessed to live to be 103 - independent into his late nineties, then lovingly cared for by caregiver Ted Goleman and the caring professionals at the Jewish Association on Aging in Pittsburgh.

Moshe was the beloved husband of the late Malka Baran. Son of the late Esther and late Yosef Baran. Loving father of Bella Baran (Amos) Ben Menachem and Avi Baran (Paul) Munro. Brother of Mina Rosenberg, the late Yehoshua (Joshua) Baran, and the late Musia Baran. Cherished grandfather of Yosef (Hannah Jegart) Munro, Boaz (Emily Silverman) Munro, Isaac (Jonah Taylor) Munro, Eliana Munro, Maya (Tal Ben Avi) Baran, and Aviya Baran. Great-grandfather of Florence Malka Munro. Uncle of Sally (Edward) Rosenberg Rosenblatt, Marcia (Benjie) Chankin, the late Rochelle Rosenberg, and the late Michelle Baran. 

Services at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 12 Noon. NO prior visitation. Interment Homewood Cemetery. Contributions may be made to Community Day School (, Congregation Beth Shalom (, Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh (, or a charity of your choosing. Please call Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. at 412.621.8282 for shiva information.


Send Condolence

Dear Avi and Paul and family, you were blessed with such magnificent, warm and beautiful parents. I will always remember your mom and dad living at Maxon, and contributing so much to so many with their presence. My daughter Leba interviewed your mom when she studied the Holocaust at CDS, and I felt blessed to be there with her. I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathies. Your dad will be remembered as a courageous heart-centered being who lived life to the fullest. What an inspiration!

By Sheri Sable - February 08, 2024

Dear Avi and family, it was a privilege to have known your father. May you all find comfort in your memories. We send hugs and warm thoughts.

By Clara and Larry Kahn - February 08, 2024

Dear Avi and family, Moshe was an amazing, warm and loving person. We loved hearing the stories he told, while in his company. He gave so much to his family and the community. Sending our love and condolences. May his memory be a blessing. Sandy & Leonard Browdie

By Sandy and Leonard Browdie - February 07, 2024

Dear Avi and family, we are sending you love and warmest regards in memory of Moshe Baran. He was a light that will shine forever, and we are so grateful to have shared in his amazing life. May his memory be always a blessing.

By Tracy, Ari, Alia, Asher, Noa Rapport - February 07, 2024

Sending many hugs to the family of Moshe. I had the absolute honor and pleasure of working with both Moshe and Malka during my time at the Holocaust Center. Both took this naive non-Jew under their wings and taught her about Judaism and the Holocaust. I was also honored to have met both of their daughters and their grandchildren. They are forever my heroes. I know that he has been reunited with his beloved Malka. May his name be for a blessing.

By Samantha Chilton - February 05, 2024

Dear Avi and Bella, Sorry for the passing of your dad. I was glad to see them while I was attending school in New York with Sally. From Allison Rosenthal

By Allison Rosenthal - February 05, 2024

Rest in peace, Moshe. You were an amazing human being and made a wonderful contribution to society. I pray for you and your family and send love and prayers ♥️🙏

By Mike Steinberg - February 05, 2024

So sorry, Avi. It was truly an honor to have known both your mom and dad.

By Sol Marcus - February 05, 2024

Moshe made a great impression on my students at Canon-McMillan High School. He lectured at our school several times and we became a better place because of his visits.

By Chris Fee - February 05, 2024

Moshe was an amazing man and knowing him was a blessing. We mourn his passing Ruthie and Scotty

By Scott and Ruthie Apter - February 04, 2024

Far away from Israel . Out of a chaotic times Moishe will remain my “cousin” in the usa. Through all our family history especially our childhood he presented the holocaust’s survival in which my parents too. All raised a beautiful families and maintained closed relationship. We all loved him and remember him as long as we live

By Rephael Zeltser - February 04, 2024

Sincere condolences to the entire family and community. I had the privilege of going to Poland in 2004 with Moshe and he was such a gift to our trip. May his memory be a blessing.

By Elysa Schwartz - February 04, 2024

Dear Avi, So saddened to hear about Moshe’s passing. We were able to join into the celebration of his life via zoom. It was so moving to see/hear the grandkid’s eulogies. What a legacy he left behind! He surely was a very special man, and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky enough to know him. Love to all, Batia, Bernie and family

By Batia Lieberman - February 04, 2024

Our sincerest sympathies for the loss of your father. We are thinking of you at this sad time. May all the memories comfort you. Love, Max, Robin, Isabelle, Annelise and Phineas

By The Hammers - February 04, 2024

I had the honor of knowing Moshe and he was a friend and gentleman. May his memory be a blessing and may future generations learn from his experiences and wisdom. Sincerest condolences to his family!

By Jon H.Prince - February 04, 2024

Sending you love and condolences on the passing of your beloved father. He gave so much to so many and will be remembered with admiration and gratitude! May your wonderful memories sustain you during this time!

By The Hurwitz family - February 04, 2024

Dear Avi, Our sincerest condolences on the passing of your father, Moshe. While we only had the pleasure of sharing his company a few times at Beth Shalom, we both know how much time he spent with our daughter, Madeline. He was a true mensch, and will be remembered with great pride and fondness. May the memories of him always be a blessing to you and to the other members of your family.

By Steven and Diane Herrup - February 04, 2024

Avi, Our deepest sympathy to you and your family in the passing of your father what a great loss. Time marches on like a soldier but memories linger forever, may you be blessed with the best of memories,, thoughts and prayers are with you. Fondly Charlie and Carole Henderson

By Carole Henderson - February 03, 2024