Untitled Document

May 29, 2014


Board Honors Steven H. Klinghoffer and Lori Klinghoffer

(Newark, NJ) – The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders held its second annual Jewish Heritage Month Celebration on Thursday, May 29, 2014, at the Hall of Records.  The event was sponsored by Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold of Livingston and the deserving honorees were Steven H. Klinghoffer and Lori Klinghoffer both of Short Hills.

Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold (left) of Livingston presents the Board’s Commendations to honorees of the Freeholder Board’s 2nd Annual Jewish Heritage Month Celebration, held on Thursday, May 29th, at the Hall of Records in Newark. She is pictured with: Lori Klinghoffer (center) and Steven Klinghoffer (right) both from Short Hills.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Freeholder President Blonnie Watson opened the program by welcoming those in attendance to the Board’s second annual Jewish Heritage Month Celebration and expressed her joy in highlighting the accomplishments of the Jewish community.  She gave a brief, but informative account of the history that led to the April 20, 2006, legislation proclaiming May as Jewish American Heritage Month in the United States. She described the legislation as a “Crowning Achievement” that recognizes the more than 350 years of Jewish contributions to American culture.  In her closing comments she said, “As we celebrate, let us celebrate the differences that make us unique; but more importantly, let us celebrate the commonalities that make us similar.”

The honorees for this year’s celebration, Steven H. Klinghoffer and Lori Klinghoffer, consequently are husband and wife and were introduced by Freeholder Vice President Sebold as a “Dynamic Duo.”  She stated the Klinghoffers affirm this title over and over with their self-less dedication and commitment, not only to the Jewish Community, but to Essex County in general. 


Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold introduces honoree Steven Klinghoffer at the Freeholder Board’s 2nd Annual Jewish Heritage Month Celebration, held on Thursday, May 29th, at the Hall of Records in Newark.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Steven Klinghoffer was presented first and Freeholder Sebold commended him for being a successful business professional, as well as a community servant leader.  He graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ and received a B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University School of Management in 1972, and subsequently earned his J.D. from Boston University Law School.

Mr. Klinghoffer is an active member of New Jersey’s Jewish Community and is an outstanding example of leadership. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees to the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest since 1990, and served as its President from 1999 to 2002, and he served as General Campaign Chair in 1996 and 1997.  Currently, he serves as a Board Member to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and has done so since 2013.  Additionally, Mr. Klinghoffer has served as a Commissioner to the Essex County Improvement Authority (ECIA) since 2000 and presently contributes his expertise as its Secretary.

After practicing law for almost ten years, Mr. Klinghoffer, directed his entrepreneurial interests toward helping professionals market their practices and in 1984, along with his wife Lori, founded WPI Communications, Inc., in Springfield, NJ. They offer a wide range of editorial-based tools, such as client and patient newsletters, referral-generating newsletters and Web-site content.  Over the last 27-plus years, he has worked with thousands of professionals to help them build their practices.  In addition, he is Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of Valcor Engineering Corp., also in Springfield.

In 1988, Mr. Klinghoffer began taking leadership roles in the local Jewish community as President of the Jewish Family Service of MetroWest, where he served until 1990.  He was also a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel (2000–2001); Co-Chair of the New-Israel Commission (1997-2002); Chair of the Overseas Needs and Distribution Committee of the United Jewish Communities (2001-2004); member of the Board of the American Joint Distribution Committee (2004-2006); member of the Essex County Tax Study Commission (2005-2006); and he is currently a member of Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael where he served as a member of the Board of Trustees (2010-2013). Mr. Klinghoffer has been married to his wife, Lori Kreitchman Klinghoffer, our co-honoree, since 1972, and they are the proud parents of two adult daughters, Lisa and Rachel.

Mr. Klinghoffer thanked Freeholder Sebold, Freeholder President Watson and the County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo who he referred to as “good friends”, as well as the entire board for the recognition.  He stated, “The real honor is not about acknowledging Steven Klinghoffer, but it’s about the role the Jewish community plays here in Essex County.”  He went on to describe the 1840’s immigration of the first Jewish citizens to Essex County.  During that time period, a group of German Jews arrived in Newark, and similar to other immigrants, they settled “Down Neck” then moved to “Clinton Hill” and the “South Ward”.  As an adolescent, Klinghoffer was given an assignment by a memorable teacher, the late Dr. Nathan Winter, who challenged him to identify the Jewish synagogues in Essex County.  Pre-dating computers, he recalls telephone books as his database, and push-pins highlighting the locations on the map.  The experience still resonates with him, “It taught me the depth and breadth of the organized Jewish community that serves both Jews and non-Jews.”  The process of the research was his first lesson in the importance of the Jewish community noting all of the social service needs that came about as a result of these synagogues; from orphanages, to hospitals and community centers.  He went on to say, “I feel fortunate to live in Essex County where diversity really is honored and people of all colors, religions and lifestyles are encouraged to participate in county government.”  Reflecting on his 14 years with the Essex County Improvement Authority (ECIA), he counts it a privilege to have been involved in so many significant projects, even in a small way.  He closed by saying that he is proud and thankful for his role of a small part in a much bigger endeavor – “May we all go from strength to strength.”

Sebold introduced her second honoree, Lori Klinghoffer, as the other half of the team. “Just like team-members they are each confident in their respective roles, yet neither overshadow the other as individuals, as professionals, or as community advocates.  They truly complement each other.”  She stated that Mrs. Klinghoffer has worked diligently on behalf of the Jewish Community on the local, national and international landscapes and she shows exemplary leadership.

Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold (right) reads the biography of Lori Klinghoffer honoree at the Freeholder Board’s 2nd Annual Jewish Heritage Month Celebration, held on Thursday, May 29th, at the Hall of Records in Newark.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Mrs. Klinghoffer is a graduate of Boston University where she received her B.S. degree in Education.   Currently, she serves as President of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and she has held many leadership roles within the organization including; immediate past Chair of Israel and Overseas, Marketing Chair, UJA Campaign Chair, Women’s Department President, and Women’s Campaign Chair. She also serves on the general and women’s campaign cabinets and is a lifetime member of the Women’s Philanthropy Board. Mrs. Klinghoffer currently serves as Nominating Chair for Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and is past President and Campaign Chair of The National Women’s Philanthropy (NWP) an organization dedicated to ensuring that women have been given the tools to hone their individual abilities and maximize their potential for success. She continues to serve on the NWP board as a lifetime member.  In addition, she is a member of the Board of the United Israel Appeal.

Professionally, Mrs. Klinghoffer is the Executive Vice-President and Creative Director for WPI Communications located in Springfield, NJ. In partnership with her husband, President and Publisher Steven H. Klinghoffer, her primary focus is to provide customers with the best services and products to meet their newsletter marketing needs. She comes from a background in graphic design and newsletter production. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of Valcor Engineering Corporation, in Springfield NJ.

In acceptance of the recognition, Mrs. Klinghoffer thanked the Freeholder Board and the County Executive for the leadership that has taken Essex County to new heights and for making it the place that it is today. Similar to co-honoree and husband, Steven Klinghoffer, Mrs. Klinghoffer conducted a research project of her own three years ago prior to becoming president of the Jewish Federation of MetroWest NJ.  However, she had modern technology on her side and was surprised to find in Google Maps many locations and digital push pins that identified the locations.  Mrs. Klinghoffer’s findings agreed with Steven’s and the many MetroWest locations. She also agreed that the recognition is bigger than her personally, in her words, “We are here to celebrate the rich Jewish community here that is an intricate part of the community in Essex County.  We are partners and together we make it better.”  Mrs. Klinghoffer noted the many Jewish organizations that cater to the needs of the Essex County community including, but not limited to; the Daughters of Israel, the Jespy House, the Jewish Community Housing Corporation, the Jewish Community Center and Jewish Vocational Services.  These agencies are examples of the Jewish presence in Essex County and the wide range of much needed social services available to Essex County residents regardless of ethnic background. She closed by saying, “The Jewish Federation is here and I am proud to be part of the safety-net that is available here in Essex County. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to lead our federation, to be part of this Jewish community, and to call this place home, thanks so much for honoring us today.” 

Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz of Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston offered the opening prayer, and Cantor Perry Fine of Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston sang three musical selections and offered the closing prayer.  The program also included welcoming remarks from Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and was also attended by Freeholder Gerald W. Owens and Freeholder Leonard M. Luciano. The honorees and invited guests enjoyed a catered reception of light refreshments following the program.

The freeholders, County Executive and honorees gathered for a group photo at the conclusion of the Jewish Heritage Month program: (left to right) Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold, Lori Klinghoffer, Steven Klinghoffer, Freeholder President Blonnie Watson, County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Freeholder Leonard Luciano and Freeholder Gerald Owens.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON


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For Additional Information:
Kathy R. Brown, Research Assistant
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4489 (phone) 973-621-5696 (fax)




Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695