A Legacy of Hope and Leadership

Jerome “Jerry” Gottesman z”l, a property developer and philanthropist who provided a legacy of hope through his kindness and helped to expand access to Jewish education for youth in the U.S. and in Israel, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 at the age of 87. He was in Israel visiting family at the time of his death.

Jerry and his wife, Paula, are longtime supporters of Yemin Orde and received the Friends of Yemin Orde Tikkun Ha’Lev Award in 2016 for their extraordinary friendship, commitment and generosity to Israel’s fragile youth.

As philanthropists, Jerry and his wife, Paula, donated key gifts to innovative programs in Jewish education. The Paula and Jerry Gottesman Family Supporting Foundation in 2013 gave a $5 million grant to help the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ create the largest endowed community-based Jewish camp program in North America, according to the Foundation for Jewish Camp, another of his beneficiaries.

In 2014, the Gottesman foundation gave a $15 million challenge grant as part of a capital and endowment campaign to the Hebrew Academy of Morris County, which changed its name to the Gottesman RTW Academy.

In 2015 the Gottesman foundation gave a $10 million grant to attract new students and to keep tuition flat for 10 years at four New Jersey Jewish day schools: the Golda Och Academy, the Gottesman RTW Academy, the Jewish Educational Center and the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School. The overall program became a national model for making Jewish days schools more affordable.

Providing hope through philanthropy and Jewish education

“The Gottesman family stands out in their profound devotion and selfless service to communities that comprise Am Israel – here and in the Land of Israel,” said George Blank, Board Chair, Friends of Yemin Orde, and friend of the Gottesmans.  “Through Jerry’s leadership and philanthropy, at-risk youth throughout Israel have hope for a bright and productive future – prepared, proud and determined to care for each other, our Land and all our People. The family’s impact will be felt for generations.”

The Gottesmans have also given over $500,000 to PJ Library, which provides free books and educational materials to young Jewish families.

Gottesman, along with his brother Harold, was the co-founder of Newark, New Jersey-based Edison Properties, and served as chairman of the company until his death. Edison controls more than three million square feet of property, including parking garages and storage units in Manhattan and Brooklyn and several million more square feet in Newark, according to the news website NJBiz.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Paula, four daughters, 17 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Information provided by Jewish wire services.

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