Cover photo for Michael Kaplan's Obituary
Michael Kaplan Profile Photo

Michael Kaplan

April 10, 1940 — November 1, 2023

Highland Park

Michael Kaplan, of Highland Park, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. He was 83. Born in Poland, and one of the youngest people to survive the Nazi death camps, Michael went on to build a real estate empire from the ground up.

He is widely known for changing the face of New Jersey’s suburban communities. Michael rose to become an icon in the residential real estate industry, whose landmark lawsuit led to the 1975 Mount Laurel decision requiring all New Jersey municipalities to provide their “fair share” of affordable housing.

Aside from his many business accomplishments, Michael was a strong supporter of The Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County, Hadassah Hospital, Everyman’s University, and Solomon Schechter Day School. He traveled to Israel multiple times and was deeply proud of his heritage.  Michael was a long-standing member of the Highland Park Conservative Temple and was a consistent supporter of local charities in towns where he worked.

His greatest pleasure came from spending time with his family. He loved vacationing with family, celebrating holidays and spending time just talking with everyone.

Michael is survived by the love of his life, his wife Helen (Rutman) Kaplan.

He is also survived by his brother, Morris; his daughter, Lisa and her partner, Andrew Kaye; daughter Amy, and her husband, Will Schafer; son Jason, and his wife Michele; and nine grandchildren: Perri Isaacs and her husband, Graham Isaacs; Alexander Weinberg, Isabel Weinberg, Lindsey Schafer, Matthew Schafer, Jesse Schafer, Jakob Kaplan, Lukas Kaplan, Sydney Kaplan and great granddaughter Vienna Isaacs.

Funeral services are 11 a.m. on Friday, November 3, 2023, at the Highland Park Conservative Temple, 201 S. 3rd Ave., Highland Park, NJ.  Burial will follow at Mount Lebanon Cemetery, 189 Gill Lane in Iselin, NJ.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael Kaplan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, November 3, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Highland Park Conservative Temple

203 S 3rd Ave
Highland Park, NJ 08904

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