For George Hantgan, Sunday was indeed “super,” in two ways: For one, he took great pleasure in manning the phones to raise funds for UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, just as he has done for the federation’s various incarnations for the past six decades. And two, he was presented with a plaque honoring him for those same 60 years of service.
Hantgan, who was honorary chairman for UJA-NNJ’s Super Sunday, said he was gratified to have taken part in a “righteous cause” all these years, recalling how the Bergen County Jewish population had blossomed from a small community to a large one during that time. “And I had a role to play,” he said.
Hantgan, 94, now lives in Palisades, N.Y., but is a former resident of Englewood, where he founded the United Jewish Fund of Englewood and Surrounding Communities in 1951. He served as its executive director until 1981.
Participation in Super Sunday is a family affair for Hantgan. His wife of 61 years, Hon, was seated next to him. “I am always by his side,” she said. Theit daughter, Roberta, came up from Washington, D.C., to take part, and grandniece Elizabeth Levi drove over from Riverdale, N.Y.
“It’s easy to serve for 60 years,” Hantgan said in an interview. “First you have to pick the organization you want to work with, but then you have to live another 60 years. That’s the hard part,” he laughed.