Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Max Stern Dead at 83

May 21, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Max Stem, on industrialist and prominent philanthropist in the field of Jewish education, died today at the age of 83. Funeral services will be held tomorrow at the Jewish Center in Manhattan.

Founder and chairman of the Board of the Hartz Mountain Corporation, a large pet products manufacturer and real estate enterprise, and a leader of Yeshiva University for 41 years, Stern was the recipient of numerous honors and awards here and in Israel. In 1976, he was given the Jerusalem Medal, and five years later a park in Jerusalem was dedicated in his name.

Having served for 35 years as vice chairman of Yeshiva University’s Board of Trustees, Stern was elected honorary chairman of the Board in 1977. In 1954, he founded the University’s Stem College for Women, the nation’s first undergraduate liberal arts and sciences school for women under Jewish auspices.

When, in 1950, the University obtained a charter for a medical school, Stern was among a group of five who visited the late Albert Einstein and prevailed upon him to lend his name to the new school. Initial donations from Stern and his four colleagues launched the campaign to found the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, on whose Board he served. By 1976. Stern had contributed a total of more than $10 million to Yeshiva University and substantial gifts to other institutions as well.


In addition to his leadership at Yeshiva University, Stern served as honorary president and president for more than 30 years of the Jewish Center, a prominent synagogue in New York City. He was one of the original founders of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, and the master builder of the Shoare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem.

Stern was also a founder, honorary chairman, and president of Manhattan Day School in New York City; and honorary chairman of Torah Umesorah, the National Day School movement. In 1977, he was elected president of the Advisory Council of the New York Board of Rabbis. In 1955, Stern was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Yeshiva University. In 1960 he received the first annual Synagogue Statesmen Award from the Synagogue Council of America.

Stern was born in Fuldo, Germany, where he received his early Jewish education. Reacting to the religious prejudice he suffered there, he emigrated in 1926 to the United States.

Recommended from JTA