Rita z”l and Jerome “Jerry” z”l Waldor were beloved philanthropists, mentors and leaders of our Greater MetroWest community, helping to build our Federation into the vibrant Jewish community it is today.
Rita was a leader of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest, which merged with Jewish Federation of Central NJ in 2012 to become our Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. She served on their board of trustees and Women’s Philanthropy board as well as Major gifts and Campaign Cabinets. She went on to serve on the board of trustees and Women’s Philanthropy board of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest and also served on the Campaign Cabinet, including as Campaign Vice Chair. Rita was also a member of the Jewish Women’s Foundation.
Jerry served as the President of the United Jewish Federation of MetroWest from 1990-1993. He also served on the board of trustees of UJC of MetroWest and our Jewish Community Foundation, as well as on many committees. He was a National Vice Chairman of the United Jewish Appeal and a Director of the Council of Jewish Federations. Jerry was an active leader in more than a dozen non-profit organizations, including serving on the boards of our partner institutions, JESPY House, the Jewish Community Housing Corporation, Daughters of Israel and the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy.
Together, Rita and Jerry were founding members of the William and Betty Lester Society (recognizing donors of $100,000 to the Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment), members of the Achim Society (for donors of $100,000 or greater to the UJA Annual Campaign), hosts of major gifts events in their home and leaders of numerous missions around the world. They were also instrumental in the founding of our partner agency, Friendship Circle. The Jerry Waldor Special Needs Fellowship at Friendship Circle recognizes volunteers who have demonstrated a commitment to both their special friends and the Friendship Circle by consistently volunteering their time and energy and advancing their knowledge through educational programs.
Following Jerry’s passing in 2005, a fundraising drive in his memory raised approximately $1 million to establish the Waldor Leadership Development Fund, which has supported numerous leadership programs, including the Wexner Heritage Program, in our Greater MetroWest community. That fund, as well as an additional leadership fund established by local Wexner graduates, continue to support the recruitment, education and training of new leaders for our community, each and every year.
To honor the extraordinary legacy of the Waldors at this historic moment, the Jewish Federation Board of Trustees approved a grant from the Waldor Fund for a Centennial sponsorship in memory of Rita and Jerry.