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August 29, 2014  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Harvey Hertz, philanthropist, will have lasting legacy

Harvey Hertz, who particularly in the last few years of his life became a major philanthropist to Jewish organizations, died Aug. 16.

Hertz, 85, a resident of St. Pete Beach, was a native New Yorker. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II.

Hertz developed an interest early in life in the stock market and made his wealth in that field, then became a generous supporter of his synagogue, Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg; Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services (GCJFCS), the Florida Holocaust Museum, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and others.

His legacy will endure in several tangible ways. Earlier this year he provided a $1 million endowment to establish the “Jewish National Fund Tampa Bay Tree of Life Award Dinner Forever Endowed by Harvey Hertz.” In 2011, Hertz donated $1 million to JNF to help repair the damage to the Carmel Forest following a devastating fire, In appreciation, JNF established the Harvey Hertz Ceremonial Tree Planting Center at Neot Kedumin in Israel.

In 2012, GCJCFS dedicated the Harvey Hertz Jewish Family Services Center and The Counseling Center, a new wing of the agency’s headquarters in Clearwater. The renovation and expansion of the Jewish Family Services Center was made possible through a bequest from Hertz. “I was very impressed. Not only were they helping Jewish families in need, but anybody who came to them. I was never in a position to give in this way earlier in my life, so I feel good being able to do it now and know that I’m helping people,” Hertz said at the time of the center’s dedication.

Most recently Hertz was honored at the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties’ 8 over 80 Gala. He has also been honored with awards from JNF and GCJFCS.

Born in Brooklyn in 1928, Hertz moved to Florida in 1956 and eventually found his way to Raymond James, then a small financial firm. There, he served as head of the Syndicate Department for nearly 35 years before retiring in 2004. Then he turned his talent for stock picking into portfolio management for a select number of individual clients and continued actively managing his own account as he became a passionate philanthropist.

Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Donna and William Shindelar of Osage, IA, and Laura Anne and Martin Bell of Gallatin Gateway, MT, and three grandchildren. The family suggests memorials to the American Cancer Society, Jewish National Fund, Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services or Temple Beth-El. (David C. Gross Funeral Homes, St. Petersburg Chapel.)

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