Dec 4, 2013

Federation Mourns Dr. Melvin R. Clayman, JARC Founder and Jewish Community Leader

It is with great sadness that we observe the passing of Dr. Melvin R. Clayman, Founder of Federation’s longstanding beneficiary agency, Jewish Association for Residential Care (JARC), and a pillar of our Jewish community. Mel passed away on November 29, 2013 and a memorial service was held at Temple Beth El in Boca Raton on December 2.

A decorated U.S. Army veteran whose awards included a Purple Heart, Mel practiced dentistry in the Washington, DC area as well as locally, Mel also owned Barry Construction, named for his son, of blessed memory. When Mel moved to Florida in the 1980s, he searched for a program for Barry. Finding none that suited Barry’s needs, Mel developed a concept for residential homes to serve adults with developmental disabilities – homes where anyone could proudly and comfortably live. JARC’s first home, the Barry Clayman House, opened in 1987. From that one home, JARC has grown to encompass ten residential homes, an apartment complex and an adult day training program. JARC’s social and recreational programs are available not only to residents but for others in the community.

We extend our deepest condolences to Mel’s cherished wife Edith; to his beloved sister, Shirley Steinberg; to his treasured daughter Caryn Clayman, a past president of our Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation, former president of JARC and founding trustee of our Jewish Women’s Foundation; to his dear stepchildren Andrew Abramson, Richard Abramson, Lawrence Abramson and Anne Ellman; and to his eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The Family has requested that donations be made to JARC; to Temple Beth El in Boca Raton to help those with developmental disabilities study their Jewish heritage; or to the Alzheimer's Disease Association, Southeast Florida Chapter. May his family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

The vision that began with Mel’s love for his son will continue to help countless families for decades to come. He was a true blessing to our community and will be deeply missed.