Friday, June 05, 2020

Harvey Ian Paretzky, z”l, was the deeply loved husband of Leah (Gibbs) Paretzky for 34 years. He was the beloved father of Rabbi Mordechai (Ruthie) Paretzky, Adina (Rabbi Nate) Miller and Shoshana Paretzky, and the adoring grandfather of Shmuel, Batya, Avrumi and Rivka. Harvey was the beloved son of Cicely (and the late Rabbi Mordechai, z”l) Paretzky and beloved brother of Raymond (Karen Zacharia) Paretzky and the late Carl Paretzky, z”l.

Harvey was born in Queens and attended Queens College and Columbia University. He began his career at WEVD radio in Manhattan as a reporter and newscaster. He then went on to work for The National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, where he helped plan the successful Freedom Sunday Demonstration in December 1987, which was the historic gathering of 250,000 people in Washington on the eve of the summit meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev. His career later shifted to refugee resettlement, which he continued at CJF in Manhattan and later at HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), where he worked diligently for more than 25 years.

Harvey was instrumental in starting the first matching-grant program for refugees in the United States. He most recently held the position of senior director, grants manager for HIAS in both Silver Spring, Maryland, and New York. Harvey also served as chairman of the RCUSA Resettlement Committee.

Harvey was a cherished member of the Congregation Ohr Torah family in Edison, and of the Edison/Highland Park community. He valiantly battled illness for many years, but he never allowed his illness to stand in the way of living his life to the fullest. He was very devoted to his Torah learning, completing nearly two full cycles of Daf Yomi. Harvey worked full time until his final illness.

Harvey’s beautiful legacy will be continued by his family, friends and community. Contributions can be made to: “Harvey Paretzky Memorial Scholarship.” The fund will award merit-based scholarships to high school seniors who plan to study in Israel.

Donations can be made to Congregation Ohr Torah, and in the memo line please write “Harvey Paretzky Memorial Scholarship.” Checks can be mailed to Congregation Ohr Torah, 48 Edgemount Road, Edison, New Jersey 08817.

For further information please email [email protected].