It wasnt just that Jerry Carr was scrupulously honest and forthright, always saying what he thought, never leaving you guessing where he stood. It was much deeper than that. What he thought, and hence what he said, was thought out, fair, the result of a judicial temperament, a rock solid integrity, a style that came, perhaps, from the school of hard knocks.
As president of the Allied Jewish Federation, Carr changed its way of thinking. He was, perhaps, the first president actually to hear the critical importance of intensive Jewish education for the Jewish future. It was his sense of fairness that let him hear a different side to community priorities.
Alongside that sterling character of his came a sterling compassion. He began this communitys kosher food pantry, together with his wife Bobbie and a few friends. It would be nice to say that he was driven by uncommon foresight look at the need for the food pantry today. (It grew so much under the Carrs aegis that it outgrew itself and now is under the JFS.) But it would probably be nicer and more accurate to say it as Jerry would to say it straight that sheer compassion drove him. He saw people suffering. He acted. That was Jerry Carr.
We might say that Carr was in the junk business; OK, make that the scrap metal business; all right, upgrade it to recycling. The unchanging point is that Jerry Carr had old-fashioned common sense and old-fashioned integrity. It shone through in every word he said. It was his style, his trademark, his signature.
Hundreds of people can testify to this.
Our community is much the poorer for Jerry Carrs passing, and not just because he was president of leading Jewish organizations (throw in JFS alongside AJF and the food pantry). He is remembered not just because he was honored by TRI and JFS. He set a tone of concern and dedication. He put his heart and soul into this community as long as his health allowed. He was a friend to many, and we were proud to be one of Jerry Carrs friends. May G-d shine kindly upon his soul.