‘Renaissance Man’ of Business, Arts and Culture Returns to Hoboken Birthplace
August 10, 2012
Hoboken, N.J. – Jay I. Kislak, who is acclaimed for his leadership in business, art and cultural realms, turns 90 this year and is marking the milestone with a variety of events. Most recently, he returned to the city where he was born for a gala evening with family, friends and longtime colleagues. The event was held in the Chandelier Room of the W Hoboken, where the iconic New York skyline and a double rainbow provided a fitting backdrop.
More than 200 well-wishers gathered to share stories and toast the accomplishments and contributions of Kislak, with many describing the honoree with such words as “brilliant,” “charming,” “hero,” “role model,” “people person,” and “true Renaissance man.”
The son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, Kislak grew up to take the helm and expand the real estate firm that his father, Julius Kislak, founded in New Jersey in 1906. Today, with its headquarters in Miami, Florida, the Kislak Organization is thriving nationwide. In addition to the multifamily and commercial real estate brokerage firm that continues to be a leader in the Northeast, Kislak’s business ventures include real estate investment, multifamily apartment ownership and management, and tax certificate investment funds.
Kislak is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, World War II Naval Aviator, patron of the arts and education, and student of history. In 2004, the Jay I. Kislak Foundation donated more than 4,000 items from the collection to the Library of Congress as an extraordinary gift to the American people.
The celebration in Hoboken was emceed by Emmy-winning business journalist Betsy Stark, and the slate of speakers included renowned actors Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, who have been friends of Kislak since childhood; City of Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer; former Ambassador to Iceland Charles E. Cobb Jr.; longtime business associate Felix Beck; Thomas Bartelmo, president and chief executive officer of the Kislak Organization; Librarian of Congress James H. Billington; and several family members, including wife Jean, daughter Paula, son Phil and brother David.