A lifetime resident of New Jersey, Bob Max served in World War II, enlisting on October 26, 1942. During the Battle of the Bulge on January 4, 1945, he was captured behind German lines, forced into slave labor, and subjected to harsh treatment and starvation. He led a daring escape, reached Allied lines, and was subsequently hospitalized for ten months with more than 20 illnesses and injuries. He was awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, three Bronze Campaign Battle Stars, and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.
In civilian life, he served as president of the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations, the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey, two Jewish congregations, and several businesses; served as the Associate General Chair of Metropolitan NJ State of Israel Bonds; and chaired the Union County Advisory Council on Aging and the Senior Legislative Issues Coalition.
He received the Lasting Impressions Award for 60 years of leadership in the Jewish community and a lobby dedication as a founder with his wife, Shirley, of Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Summit, New Jersey. Endowments in their names were established at Ohio University and Drew University. Bob Max’s life story was recorded and is preserved in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Wash-ington, DC, and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.