Clara Harelik
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Clara was born in Newark, New Jersey. She and her parents, Mel and Lee Harelik, moved to Springfield in 1972. Her family played an integral role in the building of the synagogue as it transitioned from Young Israel of Springfield to Congregation Israel of Springfield (CIS). Not only was the Harelik family among the first of the CIS members, but Clara’s Mom was President of the Sisterhood, Clara’s Dad was on the Board of Trustees, and her parents actively served on many committees. Clara grew up in the synagogue, was the first Bat Mitzvah of CIS, and had the pleasure, with her parents, of seeing the synagogue expand from a house to its current building, and from the few to its many members.
Being the recipient of the Aishet Chayil award is very special to Clara. She greatly appreciates being recognized for her contributions to CIS and her community, and for her commitment to Jewish and family values. Of equal importance is the fact that she is the first second generation recipient of this award. Her mother was the Aishet Chayil recipient a decade ago in 2012. Clara is also following in her parents’ footsteps by being a Sisterhood member and a member of the CIS Board of Trustees. In addition, Clara has enjoyed authoring three Reflections articles for CIS’s Rei’ach HaSadeh. 
Clara is a graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors in Political Science. She obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. She has served as a judicial intern to the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and as a judicial law clerk in the Superior Court, Civil Part, Law Division of Morris County. Clara has had her own law practice in Springfield for over 25 years.  
In addition to being a practicing attorney, Clara is currently serving as a Commissioner to the Union County Board of Elections, a gubernatorial appointment. She was first appointed in 2010. Previous to the Governor’s appointment, Clara served for nine years as a Committeewoman on the Springfield Township Committee. During those nine years, she served three terms as Mayor and two terms as Deputy Mayor. Clara was the first and is the only woman in the history of Springfield to serve as Mayor three times.     
Over the years, Clara has served on numerous boards and committees at both the local and county levels. At the state level, Clara has served as a Mediator and Hearing Officer for the Early Intervention Program for Children. In addition, Clara has hosted a cable television show, was interviewed by Steve Carell in “Plague of Potter” on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, enjoys playing piano, and has a street named after her in Springfield called “Clara Court”.     
Further, Clara has been the recipient of many awards for her service to the community, including: the Union County Mayor of the Year Award from the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce (first woman recipient); the Union County Women’s Political Caucus Notable Women in Politics Award; the Millburn/Springfield Kiwanis Club Humanitarian and Leadership Award; the B’nai B’rith Citizenship and Civic Affairs Award; and, together with her husband, was honored by New Jersey State of Israel Bonds.  
Clara is a member of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, New Jersey Association of Election Officials, and International Association of Government Officials. She also is a member of Jewish Women International and Hadassah. Plus, Clara is actively involved with the Friendship Circle and the Chabad Jewish Learning Center of Springfield.    
Clara and her husband, Jay Mevorah, a certified public accountant and personal financial specialist, reside in Springfield with their three children, Cole, Michael and Cayla. 
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