UNION, NJ — Irv Breslow is not slowing down anytime soon.
The recently retired president of the Union Township Active Retirees, unofficially known as the “The Monday Club,” received an award Jan. 9 from township of Union Committeeman Manuel Figueiredo, who presented Breslow with the Union Township Active Retiree Leadership Award at Union’s Senior Center for his 14 years of service.
Breslow, as well as the other members of the Monday Club, were also acknowledged for their help in raising $500 in a fundraising event to be donated to the township’s food pantry.
According to Breslow, who served as the club’s vice president before becoming president, when he and his wife joined the club in 2000, it had about 45 members. Today, the club has more than 100 members, and Breslow said the club is a place where people can come and expand their horizons.
“We have speakers from various walks of life — doctors, authors, pianists, lawyers,” Breslow told LocalSource in a phone call. “One of the members said that you get an education when you come to the club.”
Breslow, who is a former principal and vice principal in Newark schools, said the club is a place where Union’s residents who are 60 and older can meet their neighbors and discuss common concerns and interests.
“The members have a commonality, and this is where they can get together and solve problems,” Breslow said.
The club is also a place where members can relax and hear some good jokes.
According to Breslow, each meeting ends with a few good jokes told by his wife, Bea.
“We tell Milton Berle jokes,” Breslow said.
Some of the charitable initiatives of the club include a New Year’s at Noon luncheon, where $500 is raised for needy families. The funds are used to purchase gift cards to Shoprite, and then handed out to those in need.
Another initiative, said Breslow, is the monthly social hour, where members come to enjoy some coffee and company and bring in a food item or a cash donation to be given to the local food pantry.
When asked why he decided to serve as the club’s president, Breslow responded immediately.
“Why I decided to become president?” said Breslow. “Well, let’s see — the coffee was good,” he quipped.
But Breslow’s sense of humor and modesty don’t mask his years of active involvement in the community and beyond, over the course of many years. He is past president of Union’s AARP and currently serves as the vice president of Union’s AARP and is the grassroots coordinator for the AARP of Union County. He also served as president of the B’nai B’rith of Northern New Jersey Council, and served as president of the Newark Vice Principals Association.
Breslow said that his many years serving as a principal and vice principal, as well as his involvement in many programs and initiatives, helped him prepare for his presidency of the Monday Club.
“With my background, I was accustomed to standing and speaking to large groups, and 14 years later, here I am,” Breslow said.
Phyllis Monguso, director of the Senior Center in Union, said that Breslow will be missed.
“Irv was a pleasure to work with for all those years and he ran a great club,” Monguso told the Union Leader. “I will miss his leadership and his interest to making the Monday club a great success.”
Breslow credits his wife, Bea, for much of his success.
“My wife helped with my presidential duties, like helping me put together the agenda each week and purchasing supplies,” Breslow said. “I couldn’t have done this without her. She has been a tremendous helpmate. I never would have done what I have done without her. If you have a good co-mate, it makes it that much easier.”
Breslow said his entire family has been supportive of all his endeavors throughout the years.
Breslow said that he will continue to offer guidance to the club’s new president and help in any capacity he can.
“That’s how you get things done,” he said. “When people work together.”