Montclair philanthropist Josh Weston, 94, has been elected for induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

“I’m flattered by the honor of getting this recognition,” Weston said Thursday. “I’ve been around a long time, and as a result, I’ve been able to do a lot of things in New Jersey. I think some people thought it was noteworthy and in any event, it’s an honor to receive it.”

Weston is the former CEO of Automatic Data Processing and serves on the board of 39 organizations, according to a January article in The Jewish Standard.

Those boards include J.Crew, Committee for Economic Development, Business Executives for National Security, International Rescue Committee, Liberty Science Center, N.J. Performing Arts Center, United Nations Association, WNET/Channel 13, Safe Water Network and Yeshiva University. Weston’s past affiliations include the National Commission to Restructure the IRS, NJ Business Partnership, NJ Quality Education Commission, Outward Bound, Tri-State United Way and the President’s Task Force to Improve Health Care Delivery for Veterans, according to Seton Hall University, where Weston serves as an emeritus adviser to the School of Diplomacy and International Relations.

Weston and his late wife, Judy, have also been strong supporters of the Montclair public schools.

Josh Weston shares the origin of the 2023 Judy Weston Awards for Inspired Teaching during the awards ceremony. Masiel Rodriquez-Vars, executive director of the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence, stands behind Weston. (HAZEL AIELLO/STAFF)

Weston’s father, born in a shtetl in Belarus, came to the United States in 1922, and started what would become the biggest dental supply company in Brooklyn, according to the Jewish Standard Article. In 1925, Weston’s parents married, and in 1928, Weston was born.

He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, graduated as valedictorian, and went on to City College of New York. He holds a bachelor of science degree in economics from City College, a master of science degree in economics from the University of New Zealand, and five honorary doctorate degrees. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1952-53.

In 1954, Weston married Judy Hirsch and in 1956, the couple moved to Montclair where they raised their four children who attended the Montclair public schools.

Weston began working at Popular Club Plan, which later became J. Crew, during his time in the Navy, according to the Jewish Standard article. By the mid-1960s, he had become CEO.

In 1970, he joined Automatic Data Processing, served as CEO from 1982 to 1996, and retired as chairman in 1998.

“I am very happy that Josh has been elected into the New Jersey Hall of Fame,” longtime friend Donald Bowers said Thursday. “He is so deserving of the recognition and honor for his remarkable career as a successful businessman at both Popular Club Plan and ADP. Along with his late wife, Judy, they were/are incredible philanthropists working to improve the quality of life for residents of Montclair and citizens of the State of New Jersey, the USA and the world — especially Israel.”

Bowers worked with others to get Josh Weston inducted into the Hall of Fame, including writing a Letter to the Editor on Weston’s behalf.

“Electing Josh to the NJ Hall of Fame truly speaks to the adage, “It takes a Village,” Bowers said. “Josh (and Judy) are role models to all on how to live an extraordinary life of charity and service that has helped thousands (millions?) to enjoy better days in many ways.”

The Westons supported many local nonprofits, along with the Montclair public schools.

“Montclair has a high quality of education, they’ve got interested residents, who are people that care about more than what’s going on in their backyard,” Weston said. “I’m very pleased to have been a Montclair resident for 66 years.”

They have been donors to the Montclair Art Museum, the Montclair Film Festival, Mountainside Hospital, and the Montclair Ambulance Unit. Josh Weston previously supported Montclair Local with a matching grant program — donating $30,000 to the nonprofit news organization.

The Westons have been “outstanding citizens of Montclair for decades,” friend and journalist David Jones said Thursday. Jones is also a member of Montclair Local’s Board of Trustees.

“I can think of no one who has been more generous to this community, and more deserving of recognition for it, than Josh,” Jones said.

The Westons have been staunch supporters of the public schools. One of the programs Josh Weston said he was “particularly pleased” with is the Judy Weston Awards for Inspired Teaching, which honored 16 Montclair teachers earlier this month. The awards, established as the Judy and Josh Weston Awards for Excellence in Teaching in 1991, honored teachers who stood out as creative, talented, supportive, inspired and inspiring. Each winner was given an individual cash award of $2,000. The Weston Science Scholars, a partnership between Montclair State University and the public school district, gives selected ninth, 10th and returning 11th grade students the opportunity to study science hands-on.

Josh Weston will be honored during a formal induction ceremony on Oct. 29 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. More than 2,500 people, including Gov. Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy are expected to be in attendance, according to an email sent to the Weston family. Danny DeVito will serve as master of ceremonies.

— Talia Wiener/Montclair Local

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