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Aaron and Rachel Meyer Memorial Foundation Continues Leadership Support


Alissa Murphy remembers the first time she understood the transformative power of philanthropy. “When I was a kid, my parents made a donation that helped to save horses and move them upstate to an animal sanctuary,” she says. “From an early age, I saw the impact a charitable gift was able to have.” She learned firsthand from her family’s foundation, the Aaron and Rachel Meyer Memorial Foundation, which supported local and regional charities across New Jersey and New York. “The work of the foundation was always rooted in things that were meaningful to my family, like healthcare, education, and animal welfare,” Alissa continues. “I have so many beautiful memories of things we have been able to do.”

The Aaron and Rachel Meyer Memorial Foundation was established in 1964 by Philip Lowy, Alissa’s father, and named after his grandparents who instilled in Philip the value of philanthropy. A lifetime resident of New Jersey, Philip was a successful entrepreneur who owned the Meyer Brothers Department Store in Paterson, and the Wayne Hills Mall, before retiring in 1995. He was equally passionate about his role as Director of the foundation, where he enjoyed working alongside his daughter and wife Janet to build personal relationships with different organizations in the area, including The Valley Hospital. The family’s generous support of Valley dates back to the 1970s; in the years since, they have given more than $2.5 million, marking leadership gifts for past hospital campaigns; the NICU; and for a DaVinci surgical robot in the hospital’s gynecologic oncology program. For Alissa, their dedication to Valley stems not only from years of charitable giving, but also an appreciation of life-saving care they’ve received themselves. “Everyone goes above and beyond. Plain and simple, Valley is near and dear to our hearts. We found our roots at Valley and know so many good people here. This is our hospital.”

After Philip’s passing in 2016, Alissa stepped into the role of the Director of the Aaron and Rachel Meyer Memorial Foundation. Today, almost sixty years after the foundation’s founding, she is proud to continue her father’s legacy and commitment to Valley. The foundation has designated their most recent $750,000 gift for the Cardiac Catheterization Lab Operating Room at The Valley Hospital in Paramus. “I am inspired when I think of the patients we will be able to help with this lab. It was absolutely something we had to do for Valley,” Alissa says. As she reflects on her family’s long history with the hospital, she looks forward to having the Aaron and Rachel Meyer Memorial Foundation play a part in Valley’s next chapter. “There is so much to be excited about with the new hospital. It’s such a wonderful opportunity for Valley to grow.”