Allan Jay Shaftel never forgot anything.
With five children aged 36 to 63 and 10 grandchildren aged six months to 31, he managed to give personalized attention to all without losing a detail of what they shared with him.
He saw the large family as a great “opportunity to understand what made each one of us tick,” Cynthia Nathan, Shaftel’s oldest daughter said in an email.
The former chief financial officer (CFO) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia died of renal failure on April 29 at Chandler Hall Health Services in Newtown. Prior to his stay there, Shaftel lived in Langhorne.
His family recalled an eagerness to giving back to his community.
“When I was a teenager in the 1960s, he often accompanied me while I volunteered in New Haven,” Nathan remembered. “His dedication inspired my early career choice to work for legal services in New York City.”
The drive to help others inspired Shaftel’s term as CFO at the Jewish Federation, a position which he held from 1984 to 2000.
“He coveted this particular role,” Nathan explained, because of his passion for service and the Jewish community.
Shaftel grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated from Long Island University in 1953 with a degree in accounting. He served in the Army after graduation, stationed in France from 1954 to 1956.
After his military service, Shaftel launched a successful career in business. He worked at U.M.C. Electronics, Inc. in North Haven, Connecticut from 1961 to 1979, eventually rising to the roles of president and CEO.
His business acumen provided him with a knack for offering well-timed advice to his family.
He always knew what to say, be it while “watching Little League games with his youngest grandsons, watching his young granddaughter’s dance performance or discussing business school topics with his oldest granddaughter,” Nathan said.
Shaftel is survived by his wife, Natalie Hacku Shaftel; five children, Hal, Cynthia Nathan, Michael, Benjamin and Jennifer Rentschler; and 10 grandchildren.