A longtime public-relations director, Steve Steiner maintained exceptional relations with all, both in and out of the office. He passed away on March 30 of an illness believed to be further complicated by COVID-19.

Steiner had a passion for history and would often lug thick tomes to work. “He was always reading these really huge books all the time,” Rabbi Menachem Genack, the head of the Orthodox Union’s kosher division, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “He was just the nicest person. I really miss him.”

Born in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1944, Steiner graduated Columbia University in 1966, where he was a history major, eventually earning a master’s degree as well. After graduating, he taught history and Spanish at a Brooklyn high school.

An avid Yankees fan, often seen sporting his trademark Yankees cap, he worked as a sportswriter for a while. Until retiring several years ago, he was the public-relations director at the Orthodox Union for more than a decade.

“Steve was always so respectful of journalists’ time,” wrote Andrew Silow-Carrol on social media. “He’d call you and say, ‘This is Steve Steiner at the OU. I just want to draw your attention to a news release I sent earlier.’ And that’s it. No haranguing, no wheedling, just a gentle reminder to check our mail.’ ”

At work, he was similarly appreciated. “One morning at work,” Tova Cohen, a former employee of Steiner at the Orthodox Union told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “I received a phone call from someone at an auction I had entered, telling me I won a free trip to Israel. I was so excited I shrieked with joy in the middle of the entire office. Steve came running over to see what was going on; when I shared the news, he was so genuinely thrilled for me and immediately started strategizing about when I could take this vacation. That’s always what struck me the most about Steve—he truly shared in other people’s joy in a rare and beautiful way.”

Steiner is survived by his wife, Joy, and their children: Andrea Steiner and David Jason Steiner.

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