Harold "Hal" Bloom

March 15, 1929January 14, 2019

TRIBUTE TO HAROLD "HAL" BLOOM Saturday, April 27, 2019 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Hackensack High School Auditorium 135 First Street Hackensack, NJ 07601

Please join us on Saturday, April 27 as we celebrate the life and legacy of Mr. Harold "Hal" Bloom, beloved father, grandfather, educator, colleague, friend, and community leader.

Together we will celebrate his dedication and contributions as a mentor to many and an inspiration to his family and countless others in our community.

Former Principal of Hackensack High School

It is with profound sadness that the Bloom-Cislo family announce the passing of Harold (Hal) Bloom, 89, on January 14 at Hackensack University Medical Center. His transition took place after days of visits with friends and family.

A true gentleman, Hal could be described by many roles, including beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and cousin, teacher, administrator, community leader and activist, volunteer, veteran and loyal friend.

Born in the Bronx to Eva (Levine) and Louis Bloom, Hal was the first in his generation of ancestors to complete high school, doing so in three years in order to join the military. He served in the United States Army Medical Corp as a Medical Laboratory Technician (Hematology, Bacteriology and Blood Chemistry) from 1946–1947.

After meeting his future wife, Rita, who insisted that she would only date someone with career goals and a college education, Hal enrolled at NYU under the World War II GI Bill. Hal and Rita married in 1950 and moved to Maywood in 1957 where Rita continues to reside. Hal began his teaching career in Hackensack High School after receiving his Master of Arts from New York University in 1953. He was appointed Chairman of the Social Studies Department in 1963, Assistant Principal in 1967 and served as Principal of HHS from 1970 until his retirement in 1992. He was the High School's guiding light through a tremendous period of growth and change in the Hackensack school system.

Hal was deeply committed to his community. He served as a Councilman for the Borough of Maywood playing a significant role in the building of the current town library and municipal pool, he served as a lay and curriculum advisor to the Maywood Board of Education High School Study Committee and Regional Study Committee, President of the Memorial School PTA, and High School Chairman and Coordinator for the Hackensack Tercentenary Committee. He participated in Operation Drug Alert, the SchoolWide Alliance Team, sponsored local Red Cross Blood Drives, coordinated the Hackensack Bicentennial Committee, served on "Blueprint for Progress: Committee to facilitate change in racial education programs for Hackensack", served as a chairman of "Tri-Community Clinic", ( Hackensack, Teaneck, Englewood) to provide racial understanding and curriculum growth, and served as a Career Education Coordinator for U.S. Government funded programs in which models were set for hundreds of districts nationwide (Hackensack was one of only six districts throughout the United States to participate).

He belonged to a long list of organizations including, the NEA, NJEA, BCEA, HEA, HASA, Bergen County Secondary Principals and Supervisors Association, NJ and National Principals' Association, National and NJ Association for Supervision and Curriculum and Development, NJ Association of Department Chairman, National and NJ Councils for Social Studies, NJ League of Municipalities, and he served as the Educational Chairman of Rotary International.

His leadership experiences included serving as President of the Northern NJ Interscholastic League, President and Executive Board Member of the Bergen County Secondary Schools Principals Association, Vice-President and Executive Board Member of the Bergen County Association of School Administrators, President of the Hackensack Association of School Administrators, Area Coordinator of the NEA-NJEA, President of the Hackensack Education Association, President of the Hackensack Schoolmasters' Association, Teacher and Assistant Principal of the Temple Emeth Religious School, Instructor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Director of Hackensack Day Camp, Coach of the Hackensack Rifle Team, and Coach of the Hackensack Swim Team.

During his tenure as Principal, he was instrumental in construction that included the First Street bridge, housing three floors and including a library/media center and data processing center. In 2015 at a dedication ceremony, the bridge and media center were named for Hal in honor of his 39 years of service to Hackensack High School and the extended Hackensack community. Hal was committed to the education and well-being of the youth of our country and dedicated his life to this goal.

In retirement, Hal continued to serve the broader community on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Therapy Center and the Board of Directors for Lydecker Manor. Most recently, he remained a member of the Maywood Rotary Club; and, on the Maywood Library Board as President, and then Chairperson Emeritus, working closely with the Town and the James and Pauline Hackbarth Foundation to ‘revitalize’ the library as well as serving on the Hackbarth Scholarship Committee, awarding $25,000 - $30,000 per year. He was among the inductees honored at the Maywood Historical Committee’s first annual Hall of Fame in 2016.

Together with Rita, Hal’s retirement was filled with family. He imparted his gift as the consummate educator into everyday adventures and was ever present in the joyful memories, adoring hugs and laughter he shared with his four grandchildren. He found fulfillment in attending luncheons with friends and colleagues; and, appreciated the loving care of family members and friends throughout his illness. He never forgot his HHS ‘kids’. Many flanked his bedside at HUMC, telling [him] stories of the year they graduated, their classes, homerooms, about their grandchildren if he was their teacher, or rankings as athletes.

Hal will be remembered for his many contributions to the community, but most importantly, he will be remembered for his warmth and good humor, his ability to connect to others as a non-judgmental listener, sharing insights and experience through the subtly of storytelling that referenced his deep empathy for humanity and the diverse and evolving world around him. Flags were lowered to half-staff in recognition of his passing in both Hackensack and Maywood.

Hal is predeceased by his brother Stanley Bloom and sister-in-law Sheila (Weinstein) Bloom. He leaves behind his wife Rita, his daughters: Linda Bloom; and, Heidi (Bloom) Cislo, her husband John and two children, Allie and Dillon; and, his son Steven Bloom and his family.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. said, “Live so that when … children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” That is exactly what Hal did. We will carry on his legacy and miss him deeply.

There will be a private memorial service for the immediate family held at Gutterman and Musicant Jewish Funeral Directors in Hackensack.

A Celebration of Hal’s Life to include extended family, friends and the community will be planned for and communicated on Facebook, in local news media and through Gutterman and Musicant Funeral Directors.

In honor of Harold Bloom’s memory, please consider a donation in his name to the Hackensack Blue and Gold Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 2032, South Hackensack, New Jersey 07606-2032, (201) 587-9797 ext. 315. For online donations, click here.


Gutterman and Musicant Jewish Funeral Directors

Hackensack Blue and Gold Scholarship Fund donation information link:

Online donation button link:


  • Tribute to Harold "Hal"Bloom Saturday, April 27, 2019


Harold "Hal" Bloom

have a memory or condolence to add?

Lorraine Aiello

January 28, 2019

Proud member of the class of 1975! Mr. Bloom was a man who was so approachable, lead by example, respected his staff, faculty and students...and we knew it! Thank you Mr. Bloom for the wonderful memories you gave and the pride we have in Hackensack High School!