Jan 9, 2020


We are shocked and deeply saddened to share news of the untimely passing of Harvey Sandler on January 1. Harvey was a pillar of our Federation and the Jewish and wider South Palm Beach County community. The profound loss of this man whose compassion, kindness and generosity inspired his towering philanthropy, shakes our entire community.

Harvey’s transformational vision and generosity are evident throughout our community. Inaugural members of our Federation’s Ketubah Society and forward-thinking legacy donors, Harvey and his dear wife, Phyllis, have long been among the top contributors to our Annual Campaign. Our Sandler Family Major Gifts Event was named in their honor.
Their local legacy also includes naming the Sandler Center for Jewish Life Enhancement at the Levis JCC, the Harvey & Phyllis Sandler Pavilion and the Sandler Medical Plaza at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University, and so much more.
We could not be more grateful that Harvey and Phyllis chose our community as their home, and for their powerful commitment to making this a more compassionate, fulfilling and vibrant place to live for everyone. We will always pay tribute to Harvey’s memory with the utmost admiration and gratitude for all he accomplished and all he inspired in his too few years with us. He will be forever missed.
Our hearts and prayers are with Harvey’s beloved family, who were the center of his life, including his wife and partner in all pursuits, Phyllis. His children, Robin Rubin (Gary), Amy Ross (David) and Larry Schnurmacher (Andrea), in our community, and Ricky Sandler, and Andrew Sandler (Aurily) of New York, all continue Harvey’s passion for philanthropy and community building. Harvey also adored his 17 grandchildren who share his commitment to our Jewish family and to helping others, and his three great-grandchildren. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may Harvey’s memory always be a blessing.
When asked for advice for other parents, Harvey said, “Our children and grandchildren have learned by example, coming to events and conferences, being a part of family discussions. There’s no magic formula. It’s how we live our life.”