Irving Sklaver, age 95, died on Thursday, February 7, 2019 in Paramus, New Jersey. The youngest of five boys, Irving was born on July 15, 1923 in the small village of Hoscht, Poland. The son of a hardware store owner, Irving grew up in a Jewish community surrounded by Polish farmers.
When the Nazis invaded Poland, Irving left the village on a bicycle at age 17 with two of his brothers, riding 600 kilometers to Kiev behind the Russian army. After escaping to Uzbekistan, Irving survived on his wits and grit, along with the support of the local Jewish communities. After the war, upon returning to Hoscht, he learned from a local priest that only a handful of Jews, including his former classmate Sonia, had survived the war. Irving set out to look for Sonia, and found her in what he liked to describe as finding “a needle in a haystack.” The couple traveled to a displaced persons camp in Germany, were married, and came to the United States in 1949 to begin a new life with only $5 to their name. Irving got a job at Hudson Paper Company and quickly excelled.
He and Sonia had two children, Linda and Sheila, and moved to Fair Lawn, New Jersey. After leaving Hudson Paper Company, he had many years of success as an entrepreneur. Irving was a proud survivor and vowed to live his life with appreciation for every moment, cherishing his Jewish identity. As the former President of the U.S. Society of Hosht , and Vice President on the board of the Fair Lawn Jewish Center and longtime fundraiser, Irving preserved the memory of the holocaust and embodied the Talmudic Statement, “Kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh – All Jews are responsible for each other.” Beyond his success, generosity, and commitment to his community, what most characterized him was the unusual quality of love he had for his family and friends.
He will be remembered for his positive attitude and for the “nachas” or pleasure he received from being with his family. The nachas was mutual, as no family event was complete without his beautiful speeches, which always focused on his love for his family and deep appreciation for his wife Sonia. He is survived by his loving wife Sonia of 73 years, his daughters Linda and Sheila, his son-in-laws Myron and Larry, his grandchildren Zoe (Ethan), Abby (Brandon), David (Margaret) and Jonathan (Eva), and his great-grandchildren Aaron, Adam, Clementine, Gershon, Sam, Hugo and Madeline, and extended family in the United States and Israel. Funeral Services will be held at Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel on Friday, February 8th, 2019 at 11:30 AM.