August 3, 1931 – July 31, 2019
Jack taught at Red Bank Regional High School for 16 years and at Brookdale Community College for 34 years. He was honored by the Alumni Association of both institutions: RBRHS Hall of Fame in 2004 and the BCC Barringer Award in 1990. Professor Needle earned is AB at Northeastern University and his AMT at Harvard University. Additionally he attended Rutgers University and received fellowships and scholarships to Oxford (Exeter College), Princeton (2), SUNY at Stony Brook (2), University of Chicago (2), University of Jordan (Aman), Yad Vashem (Jerusalem) Robert A. Taft Institute of Government (Eagleton Institute), and 5 more. Active in professional activities, he was president of the BCC Faculty Association twice and president of the board of the Eastern Community College Social Science Association. Having had experience as editor of both the undergraduate weekly newspaper and the college yearbook and four years at the Boston Globe, he edited the newsletters of the NJ Social Science Association and the NJ Commission for Holocaust Education. With his late colleagues, Dr. Seymour Siegler and Dean Norma Klein, Professor Needle founded the Center for Holocaust Studies. He represented the Center at the founding meeting of the Association of Holocaust Organizations. Starting with about a dozen colleges, AHO represents more than 100 institutions internationally. Today the Center at Brookdale is known as Chhange. When Dean Klein of Community Services identified an adult social/educational need, Professor Needle originated Tour and Talk, a day bus trip program. The popular program began with visits to four local historical sites a semester. Within a few years, it grew to as much as 26 varied trips a semester, and serviced thousands of Monmouth County residents over the decades. During his tenure, Professor Needle, supported by the Office of Student Life, brought to the campus outstanding speakers, such as Henry Steele Commager, Arthur Schlesinger, Stephen Ambrose, Issac Asimov and many others. At his retirement, the History and Political Science Departments initiated the Jacob W. Needle Annual Lecture in History, which has featured Ken Burns, Elizabeth Clift, Jerry Izenberg and other luminaries. Born in Quincy MA, Jack was educated in the public-school system. Partly to overcome childhood polio, he engaged in sports. His modest skills were rewarded with championships along the way: in softball; AZA (Jewish youth fraternity), sectional; Red Bank Recreational (Fifers); BCC Intramural (Faculty); in basketball, YMCA Church League (two divisions), intramural H.S. (junior year); in tennis, BCC intramural singles and doubles, and coached RBRHS to the Shore Conference championship. Among his academic and professional awards are the New Jersey Senate resolution and commendation, U.S. House of Representatives Citation, Second Annual BCC Outstanding Faculty Award, Distinguished Service Award (ECCSSA), Hannah G. Solomon Award (Hadassah), A. Bodroshian Award, and several for citizenship from the Jewish War Veterans of the United States. He was a member of the Monmouth of the Monmouth Arts Foundation and active in the Democratic Clubs of Fair Haven and Shadow Lake Village. A member of Cong. B’nai Israel, Rumson, since the mid-50’s, he has been a teacher in its schools, chairman of the board of education, and most recently, a member of the Adult Education Committee. Jack has been pre-deceased by his parents, Jennie and Nathan Needle, sisters Helen Brick and Sophie Richmond, brothers Harry and Paul, and his granddaughter Erika Megin Needle. He is survived by his devoted wife Barbara, his daughter Marcia Listo and her husband Joe, their daughter Tessa Nicole and his son Jesse and his wife Rona Lissak. He expresses appreciation to family, friends, colleagues, students and all who have made the journey so rewarding and fulfilling. To those he failed, he expresses his sincere regrets. Donations in his memory can be made to Chhange at Brookdale Community College, Cong. B’nai Israel, Rumson or the March of Dimes.
- Funeral Service Friday, August 2, 2019
- Committal Service Friday, August 2, 2019
August 5, 2019
I knew the Needle family for over 40 years and always enjoyed their company and knowledge. As I told Barbara on Friday "there's a new star in the Heavens tonight. The Kaplan family
August 3, 2019
I wish to send my sincerest condolences to Barbara and your entire family. Jack was truly a remarkable man who accomplishments could only scarcely be written about. I had the pleasure of actually meeting him some time ago at the YMCA in Red Bank.
I've been searching to find out how you and your husband were doing ever since the accident. I was the man holding Jack's head until EMS arrived. I'm so truly sorry for your loss. I will pray for your full recovery and hope to see you on your feet again soon.
August 3, 2019
Recently heard of Professor Needle's passing. My entire family was touched by his genius. Three of my five sons, all History majors were privileged to take several courses with him. His exceptional teaching motivated my sons and his guidance encouraged them to pursue their Bachelors & Masters Degrees. Dr. Needle's learning strategies left his students searching for more knowledge, never accepting the norm but thinking outside the box. The profound courses he presented to his classes were beyond the extraordinary for their quest for research and proficiency. My husband and I attended with our son many of his Holocaust sponsored lectures, an excellent contribution to the community. My sincere condolences to his family.
August 2, 2019
There are many!!
.....About 5 years ago, Dan and I were starting our vacation in Punta Cana, our favorite locale. We got on the shuttle taking us to Melia, settle in...and who gets on, with family in tow?
I stand up, our eyes lock, smiles, surprise! "JACK!" I say!
"JILL!" he replies-- and the bus driver announces to all, "Jack and Jill are on the bus!"
We all fell out laughing, and once again, Jack runs into people he knows all over the world!
Oy, he's soo busy right now!
Love you, Jack. You were my second Father, you and Sy. Your legacy is a broad one.
August 1, 2019
I so admired Jack Needle for his passion and leadership. He was involved in so many worthwhile projects and endeavors throughout his life. RIP. You planted the seeds to sow the results through those who follow.
August 1, 2019
Mr. Needle was my teacher in high school. He was a fine young teacher and could get our attention. I remember him well.
Condolences to the family.
August 1, 2019
I worked with Jack for 22 years at Brookdale Community College. . He was a great man. Sorry for your loss.
July 31, 2019
I got to know Jack as a member of the Adult Education committee. He was very supportive and full of great ideas.
We always had interesting discussions. I greatly admired him, his imagination and intellect and will miss him very much.