Ed Leibowitz fondly remembers his father-in-law, Alan Rubin, who died Sept. 20 at 93.
“Dad was special,” said Liebowitz, a Westfield resident who runs The Leibowitz Group, an insurance agency. “He was someone who set an example to all he came in touch with. I knew him better than my own father, who died at 35. Dad [Rubin] I knew for more than 40 years.”
Rubin, who lived in Rahway, was an electrical engineer who designed lighting for businesses such as LIDI Supermarkets, Wal-Mart, and other clients. He was vice president at Electricon, Inc. in Teaneck, where he worked for more than four decades.
“He was working until he got sick a few weeks ago,” said Leibowitz. “Then it just went downhill fast and we really miss him.”
Stanley Stone, the executive director of the American Society for Yad Vashem in New York, who worked with Rubin on many projects when Stone was executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ, praised him as someone who was always available for the Jewish community.
“No matter what the project, he was always there to be of assistance, no matter what we needed him to do,” Stone told NJJN. “He was a humble man who always had a smile and never wanted the limelight. He really was a mentor to me.”
His longtime friend Tom Beck, who is in his 35th year as executive director of Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, told NJJN he already misses Rubin.
“Alan was a nice man,” said Beck. “He was volunteering with us…until a few weeks ago, assisting with mailings and other work. He helped our agency in a lot of different ways. One year, he even donated a car.”
Rubin volunteered with several Jewish communal organizations. In the early 1990s he was campaign chair for what was then the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey. (The federation merged in 2012 with United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ to form Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.) He was also a past president and board member of The Jewish Horizon newspaper, which covered Union and Somerset counties. NJJN acquired the paper in 1997.
Rubin was instrumental in the merger of Conservative Temple Beth Torah in Rahway with Conservative Temple O’r in Clark to become Temple Beth O’r/Beth Torah in Clark in 1992. “Dad’s involvement and relationships helped that merger along,” said Leibowitz.
His dedicated volunteerism extended to the community at large. For more than 20 years he read to a kindergarten class in Roselle.
Many will remember Rubin as a skilled tennis player and a fan of the New York Mets, but his family knew his dedication to sports began with them.
“All the games any of us, or our kids played, dad never missed,” said Leibowitz, who spent many years as a college basketball assistant coach at schools such as the University of Nevada and Boston University. “He also kept scores and records of all the games. No matter the sport and where anybody in the family was involved, he kept all the records. We still have them.”
Predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Judy (Appel), he is survived by two daughters, Laurie Rubin and Mindy (Ed) Leibowitz; four grandchildren, Steven, Lucy, and Scott Leibowitz and Lauren Levine; and two great-grandsons, Jasper and Finn Leibowitz.
Services were held Sept. 22 at Temple Beth O’r/Beth Torah, to which memorial contributions may be made.