Judi z”l and Arthur Schechner created a legacy of philanthropy for their children and grandchildren who would follow in their generous footsteps.
Judi Schechner was a pioneer and leader in her community, serving as the first woman board member and later first woman president of Daughters of Israel. Always an advocate for the underserved in our community, she also served as president of JESPY House. Judi was a founding member of the board of trustees of Hebrew Free Loan of New Jersey and in 1975 created HAREL, one of the nation’s first assisted living facilities, now located in South Orange.
In 2006, to honor his late wife, Arthur Schechner raised over $2 million dollars to build the Judith Ruback Schechner Recreation and Wellness Center at JESPY, better known as Judi House. Judi House opened in 2012 with new and innovative programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Arthur is an active member of his synagogue, Oheb Shalom where he is a lifelong member. Thanks to a recent generous donation from the Arthur Schechner Charitable Foundation, Oheb Shalom’s Zeman Religious School is tuition-free, believed to be the first free Hebrew school affiliated with a Conservative synagogue in the US.
Arthur was the architect of Hebrew Free Loan of New Jersey and served as chairman from its inception in 1996 until 2020. Previously, he was president of Daughters of Israel and served on its executive committee for 50 years and was the founding president of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation (JCHC). He was the first chair of MetroWest Cares, a network of services for community seniors and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Oheb Shalom Cemetery for over 50 years, 25 of them as President.
He is a member of the Hill Society of his alma mater, Syracuse University and holds a Doctor of Laws degree (honoris causa) from the Rabbinical College of America.
Arthur and Judi were also among the early members of the William and Betty Lester Society, recognizing Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment donors of $100,000 or greater and continues to generously support the UJA Annual Campaign. He was the inaugural winner of Jewish Federation’s Bamberger Award in 2017.
In honor of Federation’s Centennial, June and Michael Schechner made a Centennial sponsorship to honor their parents’ legacy in our Greater MetroWest community.