Nominated and written by Rabbi Barry Goldfischer, TJJ Director
Howard Goldfischer gave of himself in many capacities in the NJ Etz Chaim Region. He served as President of his West Orange chapter (President of the Year), Fair Lawn chapter advisor (Advisor of the Year) and finally as the Assistant Director of NJ Jr. NCSY. Most NCSYers will remember Howie for his contagious ruach, his powerful ebbings, his lively and rich sessions, his incredible warmth, empathy, and kindness, his performances in the “West Orange Boys Choir” Cafe Nights, his long tongue, and of course, for parading around at every Shabbaton with his “Orange” gas station jumpsuit. Even after Howard completed his NCSY career to become a psychologist, it wasn’t uncommon for him to show up at a Regional or a Shabbaton when his expertise was needed to to help an NCSYer navigate through a crises or bereavement.
But as his little brother (and I’m certain I speak for for my little brother, David Goldfischer – NJ Regional President 1994, 1998), Howie was the one who inspired me the most to remain in the greatest organization on earth, when in high school, I was surrounded by peers who believed that the cool thing to do was to drop NCSY. Howie served as a role model for many as he naturally blended humor, fun, passion for Torah growth, and coolness. There is no question that my involvement in NCSY today is thanks to Howie’s profound influence on me growing up.