Major General Jerome N.
“Jerry” Waldor: A Leader
in the Air Force and in
the Jewish Community
by Seymour “Sy” Brody
Major General Jerome Noel “Jerry” Waldor was a leader in the United States Air Force and in the Jewish community. He was known as “Mr. UJA” for the leadership he gave to the Untied Jewish Communities of MetroWest New Jersey.
He was born on September 21, 1927, in Newark, New Jersey. He was the second son of Rose and Jack Waldor. He was a graduate of Newark’s WeeQuahic High School. He enlisted in the Navy V-5 program in 1945. He was in pre-flight training when he received an appointment to West Point in 1946. After graduation, in 1950, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
In that year, he married his neighbor, Rita Kaden. They traveled to air fields around the country and, in 1952, he was shipped to the Royal Air Force Station on Sculthorpe, England. He served as a crew member on the B-45 Tornado jet bomber and he received training as a navigator-bombardier.
When he returned to McGuire Air Force Base, in New Jersey . He remained here on active duty until 1954, when he was commissioned a captain in the Air Force. In 1960, he was selected to be in command of the newly-formed 5thMilitary Airlift Squadron.
His recognition for military leadership was noted when he was transferred to the Pentagon. In 1978, he was moved to Defense Logistics Agency. In 1983, Waldor was assigned to the Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson
Air Force Base. He was selected to be the commander of the Tactical Air Command, in May, 1985. He remained here until his retirement as a major general in 1987. Waldor was 40 years in America’s military.
Waldor lived in South Orange, New Jersey, when he wasn’t on active duty. In The late 50s, he established an insurance company, Boulder Kramer, Waldor Kane Agency. Under his leadership, the insurance agency was very successful and in 2004, they employed 40 people.
He was very active in the community. He served as campaign chairman of the United Jewish Federation Metrowest, New Jersey, in the 1980s and as president, in the 1990s.
He served on the boards of Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey, National Conference for Community and Justice, Daughters of Israel Geriatric Center, New Jersey Y Camps, Jewish Community Housing Corporation, Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and the American Jewish Committee.
Jerry Waldor was a principal participant in the campaign to build the West Point Jewish Chapel. The building became a reality for the Jewish cadets who attend West Point Military Academy and for Jerry Waldor and the others who worked hard to get it built.
He was an avid tennis player, who won a silver medal in Israel’s Maccabiah and he was ranked in fifth place in the Eastern Tennis Association.
He and his wife, Rita, had three married sons, who presented them with five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Jerome “Jerry” Waldor died on September 2, 2005. The Waldor Memorial Library on the Alex Aideman Family Jewish Campus in Whippany, New Jersey, is a tribute to a great and giving man to his country and his community.
Addenda to this article:
Jerry Waldor was the chairman of the Grants Committee of the Jewish Federation of Metrowest, in 1991, when I submitted a proposal to build kiosks exhibits on the illustrations and articles of my first book, “Jewish Heroes of America.” He and the committee saw the need for such a project and gave me a grant of $2,000 to build them. These eight exhibits toured the schools, libraries, etc. for over eight years depicting the sacrifices and contributions that Jews have made in and for America, in peace and in war and from colonial times to the present. Thank you General Waldor.
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