• "Mel was my oldest and first friend..Our mothers were ..."
    - lorraine cohn
Service Information
Eden Memorial Chapels, Inc.
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ

PARNESS--Melvyn H.

Bnai Zion mourns the loss of Executive Vice President Emeritus, Mel Parness. Mel has given over 50 years of service to Bnai Zion, establishing his first Bnai Zion chapter when he was a teenager. Mel joined the staff of Bnai Zion in 1964 and was elected its National Secretary in 1976. He was then elected to the position Executive Vice-President in June 1983 and retired in July 2006. Even after his retirement he continued to be a driving force within the organization and lent his expertise wherever it was needed. The Bnai Zion Foundation grew in both scope and fundraising capacity during Mel's tenure. Mel's efforts led to a greatly expanded profile of the organization and increased contributions to its projects. He was a dynamic speaker and had been active in many Jewish organizations, including the America-Israel Friendship League, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Zionist Movement, the American Red Magen David, the Israel Dance Institute, and Israel Bonds. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish National Fund. Mel exemplified what it means to be a dedicated Zionist, humanist and American Jew. The funeral will take place on Sunday, November 8th, at 12:30pm at Eden Memorial Chapels, 327 Main Street Ft Lee, NJ 07024. Our hearts go out to his wife Arlyne, their children, Bari and Alan Shaffran, and Caryn and Keith Evans, and their grandchildren, Lizzie, Jonathan, Emerson, Andrew and Brady, and may his entire family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. George W. Schaeffer, Chairman of the Board David H. Eisenberg, National President Cheryl Bier, COO

Published in The New York Times on Nov. 7, 2015
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.