Robert Albert, 95, a former clothing store owner and leader of the Jewish community in the Trenton area who served as a mentor to younger generations of community leaders, died Nov. 25 in Sarasota, Fla.
Albert was campaign chair, then president, of the Jewish Federation of Greater Trenton, a forerunner of United Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks.
In addition, he was a founder of the Julius and Dorothy Koppelman Holocaust/Genocide Resource Center at Rider University in Lawrenceville and an active supporter of Greenwood House, a center for the Jewish elderly in Ewing and a partner agency of the PMB federation.
“He was a terrific adviser and mentor,” said Lionel Kaplan, a Princeton attorney and past president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Kaplan’s parents were lifelong friends of Albert.
“He was the leader of this Jewish community in his generation, and he wanted to help people become more involved,” Kaplan told NJ Jewish News.
Born and raised in Trenton, Albert owned and operated the Stacy Shop in Trenton and Lawrenceville for 60 years before retiring in 1999. A former Princeton resident, he moved to Sarasota 12 years ago.
Like Kaplan, Richard Glazer of Lawrence Township was a boy when he first met Albert.
Glazer is a past president of the PMB federation and a trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation whose commitments were inspired by Albert’s dedication.
“In any community there are a number of key people who are leaders, whether or not they have any specific job title at any given time. Bob Albert was one of those,” Glazer told NJJN.
“He was a guide for many of our leaders here,” said federation executive director Andrew Frank. “He was one of our most outstanding leaders. His legacy will live forever.”
Kaplan remembers a lesson he received from Albert.
“People thought I was a little aggressive about things and he came to me one day and said, ‘Lonny, there are a lot of people in this community who want to put caps on things. They don’t like people to do more than they are doing. But if you think you are doing the right thing, don’t pay attention to them. Just do it.’ That is the way he lived his life.”
In addition to receiving a Community Service Award from the federation, Albert was the recipient of the America Jewish Committee’s Phillip Forman Human Relations Award and of a humanitarian award from Rider University.
Predeceased by his first wife, Sylvia Sear Albert, he is survived by his wife of 21 years, Marsha Diznoff Pushkin; three daughters, Susan Loewenberg (Ezra Suleiman), Nancy Franko (George), and Patricia Ross (Donald); two stepsons, David and Michael Pushkin; a stepdaughter, Lesli Kay; sister-in-law, Dorothy Albert; brother-in-law, Dr. S. Barry Diznoff (Betty); four grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Services were held Nov. 29 with arrangements by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, Ewing.