Bloomfield College joins in mourning the passing of Joan Bildner, one of New Jersey most prominent citizens.
Joan Lebson Bildner H’02 and her husband Allen Bildner H’02 established the Bildner New Jersey Campus Diversity Grant from the Bildner Family Foundation. In 2002, Bloomfield College was one of eight colleges to receive this grant in recognition of its commitment to implementing the systemic changes needed to promote and build intergroup understanding, reduce prejudice and bigotry, and more adequately prepare students for their lives following graduation. More than 26 institutions applied for the Diversity Grant.
Joan Bildner passed away on June 23, 2013 after a short illness. She and Mr. Bildner were a philanthropic couple who supported arts, education, and diversity initiatives. Mrs. Bildner was a founding member of the board of directors for Prevent Blindness New Jersey, was a board member for the Paper Mill Playhouse, on the board of governors of Rutgers University and the Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, Fla. She was founding co-chair of the N.J./Israel Commission, and co-founder with her husband of the Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers. Mrs. Bildner received numerous honors and awards recognizing her community service, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Lifetime Achievement Award at Dartmouth College, Volunteer of the Year by the National Society of Fundraising Executives, New Jersey, and honorary doctorates from Rowan University and Rutgers University in addition to Bloomfield College.
The Bildner New Jersey Campus Diversity Grant helped create the Institute for Cross Cultural Communication. It also supported the certificate in Diversity Training program and work done between the college and the Bloomfield Township mayor’s office to offer diversity training to township employees.