2013-10-02 / Obituaries

Jacobo ‘Jake’ Farber, philanthropist devoted to local institutions and Israel

Jacobo “Jake” Farber, of Cherry Hill, a prominent local philanthropist who was devoted to Jewish education and Israel, died on Sept. 21 at the age of 77. He was a longtime supporter of many local Jewish institutions and served as president of the Jewish Community Relations Council from 1980- 1982. It was during his tenure as JCRC president that the Holocaust Memorial was dedicated in Cooper River Park.

Arriving in the United States from Cuba in 1957, he earned a PhD from Brown University. He worked at RCA before founding his own business in 1968.

An active supporter of the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign, he served as a cochair of the Major Gifts Division. He was a member of the Federation Board of Directors from 1981-1984 and served as a Federation vice president in 1982-1983. For his work, he was honored by the Allied Jewish Appeal.

“He was very philanthropic, and much of what he did was done anonymously. He did not want fanfare,” said his son, David, a past president of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. David Farber added that his father not only supported local institutions, but also had a deep love for Israel, which he visited many times, and the Cuban community.

In eulogizing his father, David Farber described him as a devoted family man. “Dad, you taught us to dream big, to believe in ourselves, to pursue excellence and to always stand up for what we believe to be right. You changed lives and you had a profound effect on me and everyone with whom you came in contact. We will miss you every day and you will never be forgotten.”

In addition to his Federation involvements, Mr. Farber served as the first president of the Music Society of Southern New Jersey, which helped to raise money for Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He was also an active member of Cong. Beth El, where he served on the Board of Trustees.

Mr. Farber’s most recent involvement was as a Board member of Kellman Brown Academy, where he served on the Board of the day school for the past three years. He was a frequent presence in the Voorhees building, always finding new and innovative ways to support the school. He shared history through a presentation on his Jewish roots in Havana, Cuba, and shared technical expertise in engineering through participation in science experiments and mentorship of the Kellman Brown science faculty. His passion for the arts inspired a new curriculum and provided experiential opportunities, including a very special trip for students to the Kimmel Center and the first U.S. concert for the Siberian Philharmonic that took place at KBA two years ago. The family established the Jacob, z”l, and Anita Farber Music Endowment Fund providing enrichment for current and future students.

“Dad had a strong thirst for knowledge and a strong desire to share that knowledge with all of those he came into contact,” his son Daniel said at the funeral. “He always wanted the best for everyone, and would share his passion for learning and truly hoped you would succeed from his guidance.”

He was the beloved husband of Anita Farber. Devoted father of Ruth (Richard) Farber Horowitz, David (Daryl) Farber and Daniel (Stacy Lewin) Farber. Grandfather of Rebecca, Jeffrey, Drew, Zachary and Ethan. Brother of Samuel Farber and the late Esther Perlmutter. Son of the late Cyrla and the late Calko Farber. Contributions can be made to Kellman Brown Academy, 1007 Laurel Oak Rd., Voorhees, NJ 08043. .

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