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Joseph Strelitz

Hebrew Cemetery
Location: Jewish A, Lot 60N, Space N CTR
(Died 10/19/1984)

Joseph Strelitz was a prominent Norfolk businessman and Jewish community leader. As a youth, he attended Taylor Elementary, Blair Middle School, and Maury High School. After earning a bachelors degree from the University of Virginia, he embarked on a career in business.  He was a partner in the Haynes Furniture Company. With his brother Leonard, he helped develop it into one of the largest furniture retailers on the East Coast.

Strelitz played an active role in furthering the cause of education in Norfolk. He was a trustee of Virginia Wesleyan College, and a member of Norfolk State University’s board of visitors. Most significantly, he served as chairman of the Norfolk School Board during the 1970s. His tenure as chairman spanned one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of Norfolk Public Schools. Students and their families had to make difficult adjustments in order to comply with a federal court order to promote racial balance at all schools. Compliance with this ruling often necessitated that students be sent on long bus rides to schools across town, rather than attending those in their neighborhoods. This policy engendered animosities and sparked a significant exodus of white students from the school system. Strelitz was praised for his compassionate leadership and efforts to build consensus during this upheaval.

Along with his wife Arlene, he was an ardent supporter of Israel. He was president of the American Friends of Tel Aviv University and the National United Jewish Appeal. In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded Israel’s Prime Minister’s Medal in 1976.



Area couple honored by Israel. Ledger-Star. 12/7/76

Joseph H. Strelitz. Virginian Pilot. 10/23/1984.

Joseph Strelitz, furniture retailer, dies. Virginian Pilot. 10/20/1984.

Fund-Drive Post Goes to Strelitz. Virginian Pilot. 12/13/1973.

Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries.

Visitor Information

Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM - Office located at Elmwood Cemetery.

Free parking inside cemetery.

Admission Cost: Free

Address: 1200 Tidewater Drive, Norfolk, VA 23504

Official web site for more information: www.norfolk.gov/cemeteries

Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: www.norfolksocietyforcemeteryconservation.org