SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Essex County’s Annual Jewish Heritage Celebration was held on Wednesday. The event recognized the influence of Jewish people have on the economy and culture of Essex County.

During the ceremony, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo presented Star of Essex Awards to Nomi Colton-Max, Board President of Congregation Beth El in South Orange, and Harold Colton-Max, CEO of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey.

“Harold and Nomi Colton-Max have both enjoyed tremendous personal success in their respective careers,” DiVincenzo said. “Their commitment to serving the Jewish community and improving the lives of Essex County residents, their leadership, and dedication to public service is to be commended."

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Nomi Colton-Max began her volunteer work at Congregation Beth El shortly after her family moved to South Orange 13 years ago. She has been active on a variety of committees and served on Beth El’s Board of Trustees for 11 years, the last two as president of the egalitarian conservative synagogue. Trained as a foreign policy analyst, specializing in the Arab World and the Persian Gulf, Colton-Max previously worked at the Council on Foreign Relations and a private energy consulting firm. She holds degrees from McGill University and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She has lived, worked and traveled throughout the region and speaks Hebrew, Arabic and French. Colton-Max also previously served a three-year term on the Supreme Court of New Jersey District Ethics Committee (District VB).

Harold Colton-Max has dedicated his efforts to the Jewish principle of Tikkun Olam, which means to repair the world. Mr. Colton-Max currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey, a non-profit organization devoted to providing housing with supportive services for senior citizens in the Greater MetroWest Community that includes Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union and parts of Somerset County. In this capacity, he oversees the organization’s four apartment buildings with 470 units of independent living and assisted living options for those 62 years or older.