Friendship Circle Mourns the Loss of Edward Meer

Friendship Circle is saddened to share the passing of one of our closest and long-time supporters. Edward Meer, z”l, made dreams come true for tens of thousands of individuals with special needs, their families and the community.

In the early days of Friendship Circle, Rabbi Levi and Bassie Shemtov, and a small group of dedicated supporters, had a dream for a building specifically designed for kids with special needs. A space where families can receive support to improve their lives, and where kids can be themselves.

When Ed Meer heard this dream, he immediately took action to make it a reality. Today, his family name and legacy lives on and is recognized by the thousands of people who visit our flagship buildings on the Meer Family Friendship Center campus.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov shares the story of how the Meer Family Friendship Center came to be.

“In 1999, Ed Meer came to the Friendship Circle annual dinner. In our dinner journal, we shared an article about a building for children with special needs titled, “Our Dream.” At the end of the dinner, Mr. Meer came over to me pointing at that page and said, “I’ll do it.”

Meer made dreams become reality. His name graces buildings for community organizations all around this community and beyond. Many organizations were able to grow and reach their goals because of his generosity. For Friendship Circle, it was a transformational gift that helped us move from a trailer to a 23,000 square foot building. His lead gift was followed by many other generous donors who made our campuses possible.”

Edward will be deeply missed by the Friendship Circle community and everyone who’s been impacted by his kindness and generosity. Edward made Friendship Circle’s dream come true of creating a home-base for our many programs and services. Because of that, the lives of thousands of children with special needs were changed.

Shari Kaufman, vice president of the Friendship Circle Board and Alon Kaufman, executive committee member shares thoughts on the legacy of Edward Meer.

“We are blessed that in this community, we have so many generous donors. When it came to Ed Meer, giving was not just about making a donation, it was about making a difference — and he sure knew how to make a difference. Ed Meer touched so many thousands of lives, lives he had never met. Alon and I feel blessed to have known Ed.

The kindness and love that this wonderful man put into the Friendship Circle will be an inspiration to all who knew him and to many who will never get the chance to. Ed Meer will forever truly be a light unto the nation.”

May Edward’s memory be a blessing for each and every one of us and may his legacy continue to turn dreams into reality. Edward’s wonderful legacy will continue to shine through all the great institutions that he helped establish.

We send our condolences to our friend and Edward’s beloved wife Gloria, and to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will continue his legacy.

Funeral Details

To honor his memory, the Meer family is asking for contributions to the Friendship Circle. To make a contribution, visit

A family graveside service at will take place 3 p.m. on Oct. 6 at Adat Shalom Memorial Park Cemetary.

For media inquiries, please contact Melanie Barnett at [email protected].
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