Sunday, October 22, 2017

Marty Feitlowitz, architect, historian and preservationist, will be honored by the Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey.

Marty Feitlowitz and fellow board member Mireille Schuck discuss the next panel in the creation of the timeline of Jewish community growth in Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties.

The Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey will honor Marty Feitlowitz at its annual fundraising dinner on May 17 at Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes. Feitlowitz is the organization’s vice president and is being honored for his valuable contribution to the society in the establishment of its new home in Fair Lawn. Also being honored with Feitlowitz is the Jewish Federation of Greater Clifton and Passaic for their generous support of the organization. Tickets are $75 and can be obtained by calling the society at 201-300-6590 or mail checks made out to JHSNJ to 17-10 River Road, Suite 3A Fair Lawn, NJ 07410. Barnert Temple is located at 747 Route 208 South in Franklin Lakes. The event starts at 6:30 p.m.

Born in the Barnert Hospital, Marty spent his first 18 years living in one of Paterson’s vibrant Jewish “villages”—the Tenth Avenue neighborhood. He graduated from PS 21 and Eastside High School, and joined AZA 133 becoming the Aleph Gadol (president) in 1955. He studied architecture at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, graduating in 1960. His senior thesis, awarded “best in class,” was the redevelopment of a 50-acre Paterson neighborhood.

With a lifelong interest in the practical use of design, Marty has spent many years as an architect, planner, historic preservationist and an amateur painter. He started the architectural firm Martin M. Feitlowitz & Associates designing office buildings, industrial parks and private residences. Eventually, the firm’s primary focus became the design of educational facilities. Liberty Middle School, West Orange and the Anthony Wayne Middle School were among the projects honored for Excellence in Design. The Center for Jewish Learning, at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, and the Yeshiva Bais Hillel in Passaic were two projects where Marty had an opportunity to create environments specifically for the pursuit of Jewish studies. Although he has retired, Marty’s firm continues to practice architecture as FKA Architects located in Oakland, New Jersey.

Prior to establishing his own practice, Marty worked for several prestigious architectural firms in New York and New Jersey. Among the projects worked on were the original design for the World Trade Center in New York (unbuilt); Laurence Rockefeller’s Little Dix Bay Resort on British Virgin Gorda; Campus Master Plan and eight initial buildings for the County College of Morris; and Prudential’s Regional Headquarters in Woodbridge.

Marty has had a five-decade record of tikkun olam (repairing the world), and has served on or led:

the mayor’s advisory committee, West Orange

chairman, West Orange Main Street Revitalization Committee

adjunct professor, pre-architecture program, County College of Morris

chairman, Careers in Architecture Committee for AIA NJ

president, Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, S.Orange

vice president, Jewish Community Housing Corporation

chairman, West Orange Historic Preservation Commission

chairman, Paterson Historic Preservation Commission

committee member, Bring the Halls to the Falls committee, Paterson

guest lecturer at William Paterson University, Seton Hall University and Kean College.

In 2012, Marty was invited to join the board of directors of the Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey (JHSNJ). He was
actively involved in locating, renovating and furnishing the Society’s new home in Fair Lawn. Recently he compiled a timeline of the Jewish community in North Jersey illustrating the people, places and events of our nearly 180-year history.

Marty and Harriet (Staum) have been married 57 years and reside in West Orange. Their daughter Ilana is married to David Wasserman, and daughter Shari to Steven Gould. Their grandchildren are Asher and Jonah Wasserman and Leah Gould.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the society. The mission of the Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey is to collect, preserve, and make available the documentary heritage of Jewish life and culture in Passaic, Bergen and Hudson counties. The Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey originated in 1979 as an oral history project at the Charles Goldman Judaica Library at the YM-YWHA of North Jersey in Wayne. That year, a dedicated group of volunteers under the direction of librarian Sylvia Firschein began to document Jewish life in the area by recording the personal reminiscences of people from Paterson and vicinity. Realizing that much of this long, rich, vibrant story was in danger of being lost to time, Y oral history committee chairman Jerry Nathans soon undertook the larger work of collecting and preserving the historical record of Jewish communities in North Jersey. The Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey (JHSNJ) was formed in 1982 to carry out this archival and advocacy mission. Currently located in Fair Lawn, the JHSNJ continues its work of safeguarding our common past for the sake of the present and future generations.

The society opens its doors to visitors, scholars, researchers and students Monday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday by appointment. It is located at 17-10 River Road, Suite 3A, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410; telephone: 201-300-6590; email: [email protected]; website: jhsnj.wordpress.com

The Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey exists to collect, protect and celebrate the wealth of Jewish history in Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties. Formed over 30 years ago initially to collect oral histories, the society’s continuance was championed by President Emeritus Jerome Nathans and recently moved into a new home in Fair Lawn. It is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and financial donations are always welcome. Also, the society is always interested in adding items reflecting local Jewish history to the collection.