When Irv Lipetz died at age 99 on September 25, the Louisville Jewish community lost a true leader who devoted his life to the pursuit of justice and was beloved for his ready smile and sense of humor.
Born in 1913 in Brooklyn, NY, Lipetz moved to Louisville shortly thereafter. He was a proud graduate and alumni of Louisville Male High School, the University of Louisville and the Kent School of Social Work. In 1993, he was University of Louisville Alumni Fellow.
For 39 years, Lipetz was a regional manager for Social Security. Upon his retirement, he engaged in a second career as an active volunteer and advocate for the elderly, which he pursued well into his 90’s.
Lipetz provided volunteer leadership for many social service agencies as president, chair or Board member, including the Kentucky Association for Gerontology, the Kentucky Institute on Aging, KIPDA’s Aging Advisory Council, ElderServe, the Kling Center, Metro United Way and the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work Alumni Association, among others. He also founded TRIAD Crime Prevention for the Elderly.
He identified some of the elderly’s most pressing needs and led efforts in Kentucky to prevent crime against seniors and to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
The Jewish community also benefited from Lipetz’s leadership. He served on the Boards and committees of the Jewish Community Federation, The Temple, the Louisville Hebrew School, the Bureau of Jewish Education, the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family & Vocational Service, Shalom Tower and Congregation Adath Jeshurun. He was also a dedicated teacher of Judaism and Jewish values in the classroom and by example through the way he lived his life.
Lipetz’s work did not go unnoticed. During his lifetime, he received the Jewish Community Center’s Blanche B. Ottenheimer Award, the Jewish Community Federation’s Ronald and Marie Abrams Volunteer of the Year Award, National Council of Jewish Women’s Hannah G. Solomon Award and many others.
Irv Lipetz will be missed.